Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gran La Fonda

Our highly unorganized Gran La Fonda bike show the night before Levi Leipheimer's Gran Fondo was an unmitigated success.  By setting the bar so low to begin with, we had nowhere to go but up.  No fees for the builders or public, free beer, etc., we wanted this to be the anti-bike show.  We had somewhere around 15 builders from Portland to Santa Cruz.

As you can see, the accommodations were meager but fitting.  A partially burnt-down loading dock makes a way nicer hangout than an expo hall.  The guys from Whiskeydrunk Cycles showed up with their Whiskeydrome. Curtis, Jeremy, and I climbed in and took a spin.  Completely frightening at first but with a crowd looking on, we represented fairly well.

Whiskeydrunk also brought out their crazy people powered rigs that were built for the Hand Car Regatta.  Impressive doesn't begin to cover it.

Handmade bike shows are all the rage these days and with all the great local talent it's a bit of a mystery why we haven't had one here before.  Actually, it's not a mystery.  We're lazy, and would rather spend our free time riding.  Speaking of which, riding was the whole reason behind the show.  The next morning all the builders met up to take part in the Gran Fondo.

 We even got Bruce Gordon to show up with his insane creation.

We decided the "medio" route of 65 miles would be more to our liking than the 105 mile route.  Of course we had to modify that slightly with a run up Willow Creek Rd.  Typical of frame builders, we opted to hide from potential customers.

Check out Curtis Inglis and Rick Hunter working on the best way to look cool while waiting around.  "So where do I put my right hand?"

We have to acknowledge the crew at Bike Monkey (that's Monkey #2, Greg Fisher, after Patrick Dempsey wouldn't autograph his left breast) for helping us make the Gran La Fonda possible.  These guys and gals (15 of them I think) are responsible for pretty much every bike race in Sonoma county (and elsewhere), including the Gran Fondo, which helps raise money to pay for the Tour of California when it rolls through Santa Rosa.  In a few short years they have helped make Sonoma county more of a cycling destination than it was already.  After looking back on the whole weekend, I have to say I'm even more proud to call this place home.  Not that I didn't know what we had here, but to see it all come together like that was inspiring.  I can't wait until next year.

No comments: