Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ride the Ridge

When you're down and out, where do you go? How do you escape, find mental clarity, and begin to trudge forward, once again?

Above San Luis Obispo, which rests along the Central Coast of California, a natural divide separates east from west, common from uncommon.

On this Wednesday morning, as the dreary, picturesque town rises once more, we head for the hills. What are we looking for? In the end, who knows. However, pedal strokes at sunrise, brisk morning temperatures, quality company, and insane settings always lead to some form of clarity, comfort, and confidence.

It's roads like these that we're searching for, always. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

Departing from town, we strike gravel on Cal Poly's campus. Bit by bit, we climb, begin to dampen, shed layers, and reach for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Smile. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

After a gradual slog to the ridge, there's peace in the silence. At this hour, there are no distractions. The ticking of gears, a search for singletrack, and looming morning classes keep us moving. As we head northwest, the flow of a fireroad that closely resembles a buffed out sprint-car track is exhilarating, ideal, and worthy of a grin.

On the pedals. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

Upon reaching the end of a maintained fireroad, the good times get better. It's around one gate, before descending a rocky and rutted fireroad. This leads up to where we wanted to be all along. Scooting off the fireroad, there's a poorly marked singletrack. On bicycles suited for gravel, it's a neat challenge, one that takes us down to Cerro Alto campground, outside Morro Bay, a coastal town.

He can't always be behind the camera! It's Adam Evard.
Good vibes only. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

With plenty of enjoyable moments behind us, it's back to reality. The buzz of cars and the honking of horns are stark reminders. However, is it really reality? As someone is late for their morning coffee run, an appointment, or the beginning of an eight-hour day, we're in the middle of a four-hour gravel loop. I suppose it's just a lifestyle. This is important to us. You can't take this away from us.

As we search for clarity, find the uncommon and be different. Where is your escape? Try the ridge. Which one? A local can't release every secret.

Stay tuned for more Everjourney adventures. This favorite included Sean Bird and Adam Evard.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hawaii Friday: A Cal Poly Cycling Tradition

If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.

As a cagey second-year student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Tyler Mastromattei released Hawaii Friday, a social-paced, Hawaiian-themed, mountain-bike ride to Cal Poly Cycling. Since spring 2016, the concept has continued to flourish. Now, Mastromattei is a fourth-year student at Cal Poly and the president of Cal Poly Cycling.

The man himself, Tyler Mastromattei (@tymastro). Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)

Initially, the idea was simple. Combine mountain biking and Hawaiian shirts to gather the tribe. Since its inception, the growth of Hawaii Friday has provided ample entertainment and plenty of quality memories.

@instavince_ - Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)

With rider counts exceeding 50 mountain bikers, Hawaii Friday has been a blast for new and continuing students at Cal Poly. Students, alumni, and advisors are all in on the scene. Banter, laughter, and smiles are constant, while friends consistently try to outdo one another. Certainly, heads are being turned and interest is present from the Cal Poly community, as well as avid trail users in San Luis Obispo.

@jptacoman - Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)
@christopherblevs and @andersjohnson35 - Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)

With its roots in San Luis Obispo, Hawaii Friday travels with Cal Poly Cycling, depending on upcoming events and races. For Cal Poly Cycling's annual mountain-bike race in Los Olivos, California, the Dirt Club has become a recurring site for Hawaii Friday action. Also, this past weekend, from Nov. 10-12, while Cal Poly Cycling was in Santa Cruz, California, Hawaii Friday took place before a mountain-bike race weekend.

Locally, in San Luis Obispo, Hawaii Friday has varying weekly routes. With plenty of dirt access just a short jaunt from Cal Poly's campus, it's simple to keep the fun flowing on a variety of trails. 

@s.e.brennan - Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)

The vibe of Hawaii Friday is always around Cal Poly Cycling. During fall and spring, this event is popping. Every Friday, from Cal Poly's Campus Market, join us around 4-5 p.m., depending on lighting. To stay in the loop, check in with Cal Poly Cycling's social-media antics: Facebook and Instagram.
  
Thank you for your support of Cal Poly Cycling. See you on the trails soon.  

@sean.m.bird - Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Everjourney

Storytelling...wherever, whenever, and however we want to. This is Everjourney, a project motivated by the adventure and freedom of cycling. Wherever you are, be all there.

On this journey, your lead navigator is Sean Bird, a local of Southern California and a fourth-year student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While studying journalism and integrated marketing communications, I have remained influenced by my exhausting interest in two wheels.

Scouting gravel. Photo: Adam Evard (@aeevard).

Now, growing out of Sean Bird's Cycling Blog, Everjourney is my next step. While combining a variety of interests and passions, Everjourney will continue to focus on cycling. However, it will carry a deeper purpose.

Everjourney is meant to resemble the everlasting journey of life. "Ever" represents wherever and whenever. "Journ" represents journalism, storytelling. "Journey" is self explanatory. A hodgepodge to carry deeper meaning, Everjourney is about adventure and travel, finding your outlet, and being present in the moment.

Way back when, this whole writing thing began with the wish of a college counselor. After having beneficial luck with a few English professors in high school, I realized that reading and writing were of interest. Then, when considering future steps, I started a cycling blog to discuss product reviews, race reports, and industry news. Writing was interesting, no doubt. Then, with the reveal of Thereabouts #1, storytelling wasn't going to let me go. Beyond racing, the bicycle provides a powerful appeal, which is revealed by Angus (Gus) and Lachlan Morton.

At this point, through their influence and the motivation of many other characters in the world of cycling, I'm out to continue focusing on the positive, while taking it easy.

Please, follow along. Truthfully, I only have some clue as to what this will become. However, it's a journey now. Thank you for your support.

A recent sunset above San Luis Obispo, California, with the Adventure Aide crew. Photo: Luke Bender.