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by Page McCargo on May 04, 2012
Running through the Presidio early Friday morning, my camera banging against my knees, I learned what it meant to be apart of the Studio Velo biking community. Fearing I would be left behind, and regretting my decision to walk to the Sports Basement meeting place, I nearly ran past the friendly face that pulled over to offer me a ride. “Are you headed to the Coast Ride?” Not a question I would have thought to ask a disheveled bikeless sprinter - just one of the perks of representing Studio Velo. Thanks to my token Studio Velo black T-shirt and the caring SF bike community I was given a ride to the group and was able to begin my journey as SAG.
As a new California resident I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore much South of San Francisco. The route and pace set by the bikers gave me ample opportunity to observe the light blue water of the central coast, already so much more welcoming than the darker seas up North. Following the trail of bright kits I was in awe as we moved in and out of the fog along the cliffs counting cows and bikers and taking green tinted photos through the windshield.
Having conquered Santa Cruz, a long swim, and feeling buoyant with warm weather energy- day number two brought more to absorb. Despite my momentary dismay when my crew of cyclists crossed the railroad tracks and disappeared behind the Santa Cruz boardwalk; I quickly realized you couldn’t get too lost following the water. Sneaking through parts of towns I never would have known to look for, passing bustling beach breaks and farm stands advertising fried artichokes I determined I would have to come back and ride my bike along this route.
Having up until this point considered cycling an individual sport I found the community energy very appealing. As I drifted along behind the group or leap frogged ahead to take pictures, I took note of the constant motion as each person took turns pulling. As the cyclists shed layers and everyone stopped for water - I was starting, in my own way, to feel a real role in our team.
It was with renewed excitement that I reconnected with my group passing the electric pink coast in Monterey and on to 17 Mile Drive. Fortunately, my role as sag was hardly necessary, for the most part people were well prepared and strong. However, as Meredith Kessler one of the Velo Sf guides said, “It is much easy to relax and have a good time when you are aware support is available.”
Driving a support vehicle for the Coast Ride was an awesome
opportunity to explore California, meet and get to know the people I see in the
shop, and get a better understanding of our cycling community. Last weekend I made my way South again. I parked my car and I did a little wandering on my bike. The pace, mobility, and the experience of propelling yourself along the coast is unique in the distance you can gain while truly experiencing the environment you are in. I'm sold!