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