Friday, September 21, 2012

Smooth Riding at the 2012 Guardsmen Tour

Last Saturday, I had the great pleasure of joining 120 fellow cyclists for the fourth annual Guardsmen Tour Century Ride in San Francisco, CA. This fun, low-key ride provides 20-, 60-, and 100-mile distances that take you across the Golden Gate Bridge, up Hwy 1, and through some gorgeous towns and countryside of the Headlands. The goal was fun, fellowship, and philanthropy, and thanks to great sponsors and volunteers, we had plenty of all three!
(The Golden Gate, and me having fun with iPhone camera filters)
Mother Nature set us up with some great weather, and the sun lured us across the Bay from our start at Crissy Field. The Guardsmen, a great group of guys who love nothing more than to have fun raising money for at-risk youth, know how to do an event right. I've found this out from both their rides and runs like the Presidio 10-miler. This morning was no different as the first volunteer pulled up with a trailer/smoker/BBQ with 110+ lbs of pork that had been going all night, as well as enough kegs of Figueroa Mountain beer to host Octoberfest. YEEESSSS! Let's get this ride done!

(Dude, I seriously need a trailer like this...the parking lot smelled like bacon for hours)
(@ the start)
About sixty of us opted for the metric century (60-miler), including my brother-in-law (and co-event Captain) Brian Drue, his college buddies Zac Granger, Todd Maderas, and Chris Devine, Doug Feliciano (co-event Captain) who had joined us at the Auburn Century this summer, and many more donning the dark green Guardsmen jerseys. I was still feeling the UTMB in my legs, but knew the pace would be sorest muscles would likely come from smiling over the next six hours. We gathered up around 8am, and headed out over the bridge.

(A busy day on the bridge!)
(Doug and Brian lead the pack up the first set of climbs)
We worked together to get through the windy sections, and soon found ourselves on the newly paved, incredibly smooth Hwy 1. Todd let us know they just finished laying new pavement a few weeks ago and it was amazing! It's easily the smoothest road in town, and combined with the views and eucalyptus-and-sea-salt-filled air, this was quickly becoming an epic day. Time just flew by, and before we knew it we were fueling up at Stinson Beach.
(Hwy 1 is wicked smooth)
(The descents were fast and fun!)
(Lots of food options...and we sampled them all!)

(Awesome volunteers!)
The volunteers were amazing, and the food was plentiful enough that many of us wondered if we would be gaining weight today. We took our time getting to know the many other riders, then headed up the highway to Olema.

(Zac and Brian soaking up the sun)
Once we headed inland to Fairfax, we had to leave the smooth roads behind. Crazy Todd took a bunch of folks through a semi-dirt bike path detour, but we all caught up with each other at the Fairfax aid station.
(San Anselmo is super cute)
(But not as cute as meerkats! Sqa-wish!)
(Heading to Sausalito)
We cut through the cute little town of San Anselmo before doing some sweet climbs through Kentfield, Corte Madera, and Mill Valley. Before I knew it, we were cutting through Sausalito again and had the bridge in sight. Pulled pork and beer, here we come!

(Ryann and Cameron Drue serve up some pulled pork and ale...ahhhhh)
(Team HSBC rocked it all day)
(Delicious brew from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co)
(There better not be beer in that sippy cup, young man)
The food at the finish was delicious, and we soaked up as much beer and sun as we could with the great sponsors, volunteers, and family members. Everyone had a fantastic time, and The Guardsmen raised $50,000 in the process. Very nice! My thanks to the RD's, volunteers, and sponsors for giving us a great excuse to enjoy a picturesque summer day in the Bay Area. I will see you next year!

- SD

1 comment:

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