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22 September 2008  |  Misc

Epiphany Ride

Last night I got back from Napa valley in California where I took part in the annual Clif Bar “Epiphany Ride.” It follows a route that Gary Erickson (the owner/founder of Clif Bar) rode when he had the “epiphany” that he couldn’t eat one more terrible energy bar- there had to be a better way! It was during this ride that he got the idea for Clif Bar. The original ride in 1990, was 150 miles. Now there are a few other distances (30, 50 and 100 miles) for those not up for the full length ride.

At first I was going to ride the 50 miler- figuring I’d try not to blow myself up this weekend before the ‘cross race in Vegas. Waldek had other ideas. He gave me a bunch of grief and told me I had to do the 100. He was going to do the 100 with Catharine and Marla, Alison was going to do the 150 and Shonny was going to do the 50 because she had to run too (those triathletes and their crazy training…). I decided, “what the hell, if I have to do the 100, I might as well do the 150- who knows, maybe I’ll have an epiphany.” I told Waldek I was going to do the 150 with Alison, and after a bunch of heckling, we convinced him to wake up at 4:30am to ride 150 miles with us. It’s really not too hard to heckle Waldek into doing anything- you just have to say “I don’t know, I think that’s worth about 100 town line sprints…” and he’s in.

We got up early, ate some breakfast and headed out in the dark with a few headlights spread out in the group. There were probably about 20-25 people going for the full 150- a bigger group than I was expecting. Also a fast group. I was expecting a typical century ride- conversational, kind of slow, etc, but people were hammering! I rode at a pretty steady pace- alternately chatting with people and trying desperately to stay on the wheel of some of the 100 mile riders, but it was a really great ride.

Most of the route followed low-traffic roads through beautiful rolling terrain, up in the hills and down around several different reservoirs. It was a clear day- not too hot- and you could smell the sage in the air. I have to say, it was pretty awesome. (And I was totally destroyed by the end.) Luckily there was a big BBQ after the race and plenty of good food to re-fuel with.

Tomorrow I head to Vegas for Interbike, but not before doing a little bit of painting- Dusty and I have been remodeling the kitchen, and it looks really good! I am very excited about it (and about being able to use my stove that has been sitting out in the garage for a week). I had to be a little creative with cooking so I ended up cooking on the grill a lot. I made a delicious mushroom paella on the grill the other day. It cooked much more evenly than when I tried making it on the stove- the bigger burners are key. I think that’s where all future-paella-cooking will take place. Should have taken a picture or something, but I was too busy eating it.


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