Levi Leipheimer's Gran Fondo

 As cyclists, we all know very well that the majority of our organized endurance rides, races, and events tend to start early in the morning.  Funny how we forget the uncomfortable stages of waking up and preparing for such events as another sneaks up on the calendar.  This weekend's  4am buzz of the alarm and 4:30am departure for Levi Leipheimer's Gran Fondo quickly reminded me the joys of being a morning person as I jumped into the SV van with a mix of 8 morning and non morning enthused cyclists.  Throughout the smooth ride to Santa Rosa, registration, and co-mingling around the sprinter van everyone had completely come to life.  Coffee had kicked in sending out smiles, laughter, and a healthy amount of banter surrounding the red, white, and black kits.  Before we knew it, it was time to line up with 7500 of our friends.

  A few of us were very fortunate to be invited to the Fondo last minute through one of the leading sponsors of the ride; Capo.  For those of you who don't know, Capo is an Italian cycling apparel brand.  Not just any brand, but an industry leading brand in not only men's but women's apparel.  Their quality and design can be seen here in our Custom Studio Velo kits or here in the chosen Fondo jersey; thankfully the guys at Capo made a few adjustments to make the kits more suitable for the few of us women who were invited to join their group.  Thanks again guys!

It was such an honor to have started among some of the area's strongest and accomplished cyclists.  Levi Leipheimer, Grey's Anatomy Dr. McDreamy, The Fat Cyclist, and not to mention our very own SV celebrity, Christian Hobbs.  Ok, so maybe Hobbs skews the list a touch; but he and the other SV men all rode very impressively.  At the start, I had a great chance to meet all of these known names and yes the Fat Cyclist is as genuinely funny as he comes off in his blogs and Patrick Dempsey looks just as good if not better in spandex than scrubs.

Unfortunately, my day only consisted of the first 45 miles as an unpredictable bike mechanical prevented me from going any further.  All in all, I know I made the right decision as the weather and roads proposed precarious conditions for a bike that wasn't working in its typical 100% condition.  My very first sag van ride aside, I had a beautiful 45 mile ride with a very enjoyable climb up King's Ridge; can't wait to do it again in better conditions!

The day brought on many accidents, some minor, but more than a few resulted very severely.  Some recent crashes that have hit home to dear friends were also weighing on my mind and aided in my decision to bail out.  Thoughts on a speedy recovery to all who may be spending some time off the bike due to injury.  We are very happy to know you'll be around to ride with us soon!

After everyone finished up and regrouped, many positive notes were shared from the day, and we were all quick to relax and enjoy the company of our cycling friends in the Capo VIP tent.

Thanks again to a great day with amazing friends and a few new lessons in bicycle riding.  It's good to know when to push, but even more important to know when to set it down.



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