From Saturday, January 14, through Monday, January 16, GU Energy Labs diligently supported The Coast Ride, a three day, 378 mile, and 23,000 vertical foot trek down the coast of California. Rolling from San Francisco and finishing in Santa Barbara, The Coast Ride offered plenty of time for reflection.
As one cyclist mentioned, "Man, it's all good. I'm out here and I get to ride with my friends." Although a simplified, brief comment, it was spoken with relief and pleasure. While many cyclists suffered, others embraced the plentiful moments of freedom. These moments of freedom began with backpack-clad cyclists, the original coast riders. Now, we're more than willing to pick up the slack, while providing course support.
Between early mornings, late nights, extensive travel, and exhausting physical efforts, former strangers possessed plenty of time to acknowledge their counterparts. To complete 378 miles in three days, it is entirely necessary to work well with other individuals. Personally, I see this as a beautiful aspect of cycling. With a common goal in mind, cyclists rotated through pacelines. As the experienced group rolled south, speeds gradually, but noticeably, increased.
All the while, I peered on from the GU Energy Labs van growing more and more excited to be supporting such a dedicated group of cyclists, as well as increasingly jealous, a common side effect for endurance junkies.
To complete a substantial effort is rewarding. After this past weekend, I understand that to support a massive journey is equally rewarding. During the course of three days, formerly random individuals became grateful friends.
The bicycle is a powerful tool. During the weekend of January 14-16, The Coast Ride perfectly tested its might, while allowing adventure, teamwork, and nature's beauty to collide, all reasons why so many call themselves cyclists.