2012 The Best Rides, Rads and Raps

The three "R's" of life. Rides, Rads and Raps. It seemed a little better than people places and things. The first one seems pretty simple and there have been quite a few of them this past year. I thought it would be fun to take a look back through them all. Rad's that would be places, outside of the cycling world sure, maybe, but maybe not. Raps well, that would be people. Interesting conversations, new people met, old people visited (maybe not "old" per se) but all that good stuff. People, places and things of 2012.

PART ONE: Rides.

Backyard Blam at the Lumberyard

In February Amanda Sundvor put on her first event of the year at the Lumberyard. The mountain bike park in Portland had yet to open, so she had her run of the place. There were people lining every aspect of the course which made it difficult, but really maybe the course itself made it difficult. Of course, with the luck of the draw I had to race Tony Pereira and he smoked me. The man has skills, I've said it before and I'll say it again I'm sure. Plus, the two ladies that you see above wandered in, wondering what the hell was going on and stayed for the racing action.

NAHBS 2012 - Sacramento

What did I like about NAHBS last year? The fact that we took our bikes and rode them every single day. Sure, there were people there setting up their booths and tearing down their booths and borrowing nails to build their booths, but not us. I was pleasantly surprised by the Sacramento area as well. And you cannot go wrong when your riding with SR, CD, Clint and Slate. Throw in a Gary Fisher or two (or just one) and it makes for a good time. I've never ridden with the do-rag man himself before, but I have to say ol Gare-Bear was pretty awesome and happy to talk about anything and everything. I hope to meet up with him on a ride again some day. 

Sacramento doesn't have too much to offer by the way of terrain, however, it was still awesome. Great bike paths though. This was more about the company than it is about the actual riding spots themselves. 

Otto Miller Wednesday's

I like this monthly ride as much as I don't like it. This one photo sums up the ride so well that it doesn't need any other. Except for maybe it does. Who knows? The climb itself — Otto Miller — goes on for days and this is sort of the end of it. The top before it turns into a speedy, downhill slide.

Dan Action Cross Country Kickoff 

It is always great to have Dan around. Period. So, to get a few hours on the bike with him, talking about whatever it is people talk about when they ride in the sunshine was pure joy. Mainly, I think we were discussing his impending cross country ride with his father. Well, it took them a couple of months, but they made it. And they make quite the pair.

Lunch Ride with Blick & Midnight LA Ride

Pretty much anytime that you ride with Blick you can bet that you're going to have a good time. The lunch ride that the guys over at Oakley do is part of the Olympic Road Race course from the 80's. No big deal. But Blick knows every inch of the course, so it makes it that much more fun. "This is where Grewal took the illegal feed." "Over here is where Phinney made one final push." And in a side note: "this is where Tom Danielson crashed on a lunch ride just like this one." Lunch Ride: Oakley

The other thing that happened that weekend was the monthly full moon ride in Los Angeles. Good crew. Even better riding. The descent down Mt. Wilson with only the light of the moon, and maybe a few headlamps, has to be experienced to understand. Luckily we had Woody at the helm and he's good like that. Also, according to Jordan Clark Haggard's (<< awesome photographer) Garmin we posted up the second fastest descent down that thing. In the dark.

St. Jean - France 

My parents were staying on a Walnut plantation in the tiniest village of St. Jean in the South of France. Not a bad place to be in the springtime. And while the rain came and went throughout the day Julie and I were still able to get almost 6 hours of riding in on this day. The roads up and over the mountain narrowed to a point where you were able to visualize the cart paths that had been here a few years earlier and apparently the Tour de France passes by quite near. We headed out without a plan and found some truly amazing roads with no one else one them. Fantastic day. In fact, maybe one of the best ever... 

Well, that gets us into...uh...May. Leaving a whole bunch more rides for the next round of things including a junior stage race, the tour of California, Colorado a few times and many more...