Before I forget…

Starting VIP with some familiar friends!

Levi’s Gran Fondo.  I did it.  All 103 miles of it.

It was just me, Levi, and his 6,058 closest friends.  No big deal.

Actually it was a big deal for me.  I hadn’t ridden my bike over 3.5 hours since the crash. Bring on the Fondo.

If you remember from last year, I was the fastest female finisher, at 5:26 or something like that.  Yes, I am giving myself a big pat on the back for past successes.  If you can’t have victories in the present, you might as well relish the past.  Ah.  I was so fit last October. Sigh.

Needless to say, I was not the fastest female finisher this year.  Yet, even with a mending pelvis, Levi still brought me up for the ride and gave me the best VIP treatment a girl who used to be “kinda” fast on a bicycle could ask for.  I love the Gran Fondo.

The dinner the night before the ride was a beautiful spread at the D’Argenzio Winery.  D’Argenzio actually came out with a special Gran Fondo Pinot! From the wine tasting to the polenta to the professional cyclist that need to eat more foccacia bread, this was the place to be.  I was able to catch up with Levi and Odessa as we exchanged bone breaking stories and past successes and future dreams.  I truly am inspired by the two of them.

Odessa, me, and Levi at dinner

The next morning started early and with a whirlwind of activity.  Of course I was a little nervous to embark on my 103 mile journey with 6058 other people.  Good luck ever finding people you know!  Luckily, I got a “call-up” to the front line from the infamous “voice” of cycling, Dave Towle.  He is my favorite race announcer, and I always know I am in the big time if I hear his characteristic booming countdowns and colorful analogies.  My knees starting shaking a little bit as he got the fondo off to an roaring start.  Was it a race?  What is a Gran Fondo? Group Ride?  Yikes!  What am I doing here!  The helicopter followed us along the path from Santa Rosa to the coast!

With OWow and the infamous Dave Towle!

Then after the pomp and circumstance, the ride strung out (like a runway model according to Dave), and I was then able to relax, enjoy the rest stops and a truly remarkable day in Northern California.  I might have consumed more calories than I was burning, but it was worth it to enjoy the day with great views and good friends.  BikeMonkey did it again.  They put on a spectacular event that I would recommend to anyone.  The support was amazing, and the day was warm with crystal blue ocean waters.  You could not have ordered a better venue or volunteers.

I finished the ride satisfied with the day and with no pain from a very long time in the saddle.  Things are looking good. I am on the mend.

Even if McDreamy did show up for the ride, I think we all know who the real “VIPs” were!

Patrick Dempsey road with us too! McDreamy?

I already have the Gran Fondo on my calender for next year!  Do you?

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