Thursday, April 17, 2014

Alameda Full Moon Night Circumnavigation

The 8pm start time turned out to be more like an 8:50pm start time, which threw our paddle off a bit.  We fought a little more current than we should have, and picked up the flood a bit too late, but no worries, it was an awesome paddle anyhow.  How can you not have a good time paddling with friends on a warm night with light wind and a full moon?  Night paddling is always fun and last night was no exception.

Start time:  8:50pm
Finish time:  1:50am
Launch:  Grand Street Boat Ramp, Alameda
Route:  counterclockwise loop of Alameda

Around 2pm I saw a FB post from Yuri saying she's in San Fran for a 24-hour layover on her way from NZ to Baja.  A quick chat later and the plan was set to meet her at West Oakland BART so she could join us.  She was traveling with full kayak kit, so it couldn't be easier.  So, 6 of us set out on our way up the estuary towards the bay.  L&M paddled a fair distance and said their goodbye's, opting to not do the entire loop with us.  From there the four of us chatted & paddled the next four hours until we returned to our start, playing in some bumps and current along the way.  Bitching & moaning, laughing & joking.  Nice paddling last night and good training for the girls as the get ready for Maui and the California 100.

MM made an appearance

looking back at the estuary, about to make the turn downcurrent

1:50am finish.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sea Otter Classic, April 5th - 14th

Sea Otter Classic!  One of the best events of the year loaded with long days, exciting competition and an incredible team of people.  Camp fire sessions, radio chatter, stupid question of the day.  Gator done!

If you've never attended, check it out next year.  For a long weekend in Monterey, 60,000+ people celebrate cycling at Laguna Seca Raceway with a jam-packed schedule of road racing, dual-slalom, downhill, cross-country, coastal tours, dirt jumping, cyclocross and dozens of other bike events.  Surround that with an enormous expo of over 400 different exhibitors with all the newest products.  Top that off with family friendly activities, movie premiers, good food and plenty of beer to wash it down.  I'm not religious, but I'd call that bike heaven.  Not a bad place to live for 10 days each spring.

I've been working on the team for 6 years with dozens of other 'work all day work all night' core crew with experience to spare.  It's one of these events where the people make it exceptional.  Not to downplay the cycling, because it's highly energetic and inspiring, but the people are just plain fun and transform work into play.  Positive vibes are abundant.  Good times.

my ride for the week

WRX test drive

Dual Slalom start

Flyover on the cyclocross course

the office

Cyclocross - the craziest spectator event at Sea Otter