In the early hours of a Sunday afternoon in August, 300 or so of us randonneurs in the 5:30PM “G” group left the suburban confines and cheering crowds of St. Quentin-en-Yvelines bound for Brest. The nondescript tracts of concrete buildings soon gave way to the rolling terrain of countryside. Continue Reading
Riding 1230km across France within 90 hours (or less, depending on your start time) is a grueling affair. But even in my most enervated state, the charm of the rustic French villages never failed to captivate me.Continue Reading
Today’s rad “Meet Your Maker” ride was hosted by Petaluma-based White Industries, a renowned company that produces hubs, cogs and many other shiny bicycle components right in their own shop. (I’m fortunate enough to own one of their beautiful road hubs and a set of their sturdy platform pedals.)
After meeting up at 10AM at their headquarters, three large groups rolled out for either a 15, 30 or 50 mile ride through Marin. TBO, Pudu and I joined the latter ride and were whisked away on a fast-paced jaunt through Tomales (where we stopped for pastries), up Marshall Petaluma Road (I’d never climbed up from Hwy. 1, so that was a challenging treat), with a final ascent up Wilson Hill. Other local builders and companies from the MYM collective — including Rex Cycles, Paul Components, Falconer, Bruce Gordon, Inglis/Retrotec, Black Cat, Blue Collar — rolled along with us through the countryside flanked by their friends, spouses and colleagues.
Then we relaxed back at WI, snacking on tacos and drinking lots of cold Lagunitas beer — but the highlight of the day was getting a tour of the production facilities from founder Doug White himself. Thanks to White Industries and the rest of the MYM gang for organizing another stellar event!
I’d briefly met Dennis Stone, the recently departed owner of Stone’s Cyclery in Alameda, only one time several years ago. I’d popped into the shop to say hello to my friend Jason, who’s been moonlighting at the shop for ages, during a casual group ride around the island. As I walked down the center aisle of the store, I couldn’t help but admire the dozens of beautiful bicycles packed into its small space. Lined up in long racks that practically spanned the length of the shop, some were shiny new Waterfords and Bob Jacksons for sale, their bright colors beckoning you to take them on a test ride; others were classic vintage steeds that were distinguished members of his permanent collection.
Stone’s struck me as the sort of place where amid the dust and clutter — it had the genteel quality of an old antique shop — customers who loved bicycles as much as Dennis did would stop by often. Not just to pick up a tube or a derailleur or a new frame, but to swap stories and laughs. And after that first meeting, I heard much about his generosity, his loyalty and his far-reaching impact on the Bay Area cycling community.
This past Sunday, his dear family and friends organized a full day’s worth of celebrations to commemorate his life and legacy. These photos are from the first leg of the memorial ride that departed from the western part of the island back to the shop. I hope he was watching, from wherever he’s pedaling in the universe, as we came together and filled the streets of Alameda in his honor.
THE GOOD: I kept my R-12 streak* going with an SF Randonneurs workers’ ride on Saturday; I’m now at R-31 for finishing at least one 200k each month! Plus I got to pedal from Mill Valley to Tomales on one of my favorite sections of Hwy. 1 under brilliant blue skies, and Ann triumphantly rode her first 200k after a two month-hiatus due to recovering from surgery.Continue Reading