Packing up and heading out.
I have everything I need;
By the time you read this, I will (hopefully) be on a plane headed east to Colorado and an array of things I will get into momentarily. I will say that though I’ll have a computer with me, I have no idea what kind of posting schedule I’ll be on. Considering the fact my boss hasn’t given me a raise in seven years, he’ll get what he pays for.
First things first, I feel like I should mention this news flash that was sent to me some time ago from Michael;
It’s about time the UCI did something that actually made bike racing fun.
Moving on to the meat of today’s post, we should button up with the final word from last weekend’s Grinduro event that was hosted by Giro, from none other than Blue Collar Bikes impresario himself, Mr. Robert Ives;
I tried my best to condense the events of last weekend, alas I found myself unable to convey me experiences with any sort of brevity, my brain just don’t work that way. Hack this bitch up to your heart’s content, I hope you can make something useful out of it. I will attempt to send a few photos from my phone as well.
When I got the email way back in April from theMeet Your Maker head honcho and SOULCRAFT creator Sean Walling inviting myself and other builders in the group to participate in the GRINDURO event in October I immediately accepted.
Though I had zero desire to race a bike, the outline presented for the event sounded fun and raised funds for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, whose trail work I have been enjoying for decades. The event would also provide the MYM builders an opportunity to build and showcase of our best gravel worthy machines. Todd Ingermanson of BLACK CAT BICYCLES took the helm organizing the rest of us flunkies, insuring we’d get our bikes and asses to Quincy as promised;
Fast forward to the morning of Thursday Oct. 8, I rolled in to the Plumas County Fairgrounds to meet the MYM crew who were already busy building display walls in the exhibit hall for the other artists and vendors who’d be displaying their wares during the weekend. The GRINDURO was absolutely a team effort, folks from SRAM, GIRO, YUBA EXPEDITIONS, SBTS, MYM and others all busting ass to get their own duties handled and eagerly lending assistance wherever needed.
We managed to get an afternoon break and hitched a shuttle ride to the top of the mountains with the fine folks at YUBA. It was pretty anazing to see their rigs loaded with primarily drop bar cx bikes and all but absent of the big travel DH rigs typically adorning the roof racks;
Holy shit, were the trails the SBTS built fun! I was even more stoked that the weekend’s event was funding these folks, their work is incredible. We returned to the fairgrounds at dusk recharged, finished with set up and meandered back to camp to pass out.
Come Friday night, all was in order and the exhibit/registration hall was buzzing with smiling faces and eager racers, the atmosphere already indicating that GRINDURO was sure to be a success. I spent the night talking shop, making new friends, hugging old ones and enjoying every minute. When registration closed we meandered our way through the darkness back to camp. Though a few members of the MYM crew and myself were to be on deck at 6:30 a.m. race morning to recive our volunteer instructions, we still managed to spend a few hours late into the night circling the camp fire (a fake one at that) telling stories, laughing and joking until we finally faded out. “No farting, Stace” were the last words I heard in the camp trailer and since I passed out immediately after, I have no idea if the warning was heeded or dismissed.
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has their shit together and it was obvious at the morning volunteer meeting that this was not their first rodeo. Dr. Rob and Tara the volunteer coordinator set everyone straight duty wise, we loaded the vehicles with Aid Station supplies and hauled ass up the dusty mountain road just outside of town to our destinations. After a 11⁄2 hour drive up a climb I was thankful my out of shape ass wouldn’t be riding a bike up that day, we hopped out, set up shop and were barely able to catch our breath before the first group of racers descended upon us.
They were thoroughbred athletes, to be sure, but all showed up in a pack with smiles on their faces and a distinct lack of “aggro”. This attitude proved to be the norm rather than the exception, from front to back every rider that arrived was happy to be there, excitedly recounting to each other the grueling climb and tire cooking descent that brought them to us. When the last of the racers rolled off to the next section, we packed up and ripped our way down the fire roads back to HQ.
For those on bikes, it was a long day in the saddle but you’d hardly notice it as the riders filtered in to the fairgrounds. Cheers and beers were the name of the game. I have no idea who won the race, and honsetly I don’t think it really matters. As best I could tell, all involved enjoyed their day and were anxious to get on with the afterparty. After the sun descended and the gourmet dinner was consumed, the Plumas Fairgrounds stage lit up and by all accounts Mike Watt delivered a stellar performance. Another late night of carrying on ensued, but despite a few close calls no one fell in the fake fire pit.
Sunday morning, Cameron of FALCONER CYCLES, Todd of BLACK CAT BICYCLES and John from CALETTI CYCLES organized the Meet Your Maker poker run and led a hearty group of riders back up the the mountain for a short loop which offered many a second chance at some of the choice singletrack descending rom Saturday’s course.
Post ride Poker winnings were divided up and tear down began. The fairgrounds were at that point as empty as they had been when I arrived 3 days prior, and much to the credit of all attending, the grounds seemed free of debris and any sort of noticeable damage. After some heartfelt goodbyes were exchanged we left Quincy with shared hope that we’d be back again next year. From my perspective, the GRINDURO brought out the best in everyone involved and I can hardly wait for next years event.
So there you have it straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth.
Three points I will make is that (1) I am sincerely glad to have Robert in my corner to handle the reportage duties where I cannot, (2) though I am saddened to have missed it, I would have just been bummed, and kicking rocks in the parking lot (or passed out in the fake fire) anyway, and (3) Robert is a worse photographer than I am.
From what I can tell however, there are approximately one million photos now posted online which are available to any and all who want to look at them, so do what you will to track them down.
I always have next year to either attend, or possibly not, so I have that going for me.
God knows if I make it, I’ll be aboard my Dirtbomb.
Both the bike;
-and the band;
But all of those sheninagans were last weekend, and well in the rearview mirror. What we have to concentrate on now is what’s directly ahead of us, and from where I sit, it looks to be some mile high madness. For any and all on the Front Range, we have this here upcoming shindig thrown by the good folks from Soulrun;
This of course benefits the Amy D Foundation, and will be populated by the best and the brightest.
I don’t know who the special musical guest is, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t hope that it’s Party Cannon;
So please roll through, and slap some hands. It benefits a very good cause, and there will be big old stack of prizes a’plenty.
If we’re lucky, maybe even a mountain of Louis Vuitton bags.
Cool. Should be a great weekend. My drinking game should be strong enough to hang.
Good to see Tassie boys Psycroptic with a major headline.
I can without a doubt say that I can read 2 of the band names on that flyer!