A holiday cycling event is the perfect catalyst to get us back into the blogging swing of things after having fallen off the wagon earlier this year. And since it’s still twenty ten, I get to avoid being lumped in with all the new years resolutions of “I’ll post more frequently this year.”
The guys at Campagnolo North America have hosted an annual holiday ride and gift drive here in Southern California for the last 3 years now. It’s a great cause and a nice chance to meet up and ride with fellow bike industry members and cyclists. Campy’s headquarters in the USA are in Carlsbad, California – about 35 miles up the coast from San Diego. You can tell the location when walking through the office and seeing the stash of employee surfboards in the back room. They’re literally about a few minute ride from some prime SoCal surf spots.
The ride took place two weekends ago, and I had the rare pleasure of also being able to ride with my wife Julie. I’m really lucky to have married a passionate cyclist, but with two small kids at home, the chances to ride together are very infrequent. With the kids settled at their Sunday morning play date, off we went.
There were about 60 people on the ride this year. MUCH better weather than last year’s un-San Diego like cold rain contributed to the the good showing. Riders from a bunch of the region’s bike companies showed up like Focus Bikes, SockGuy, Canari Cyclewear, Road Bike Action Magazine, RedKitePrayer.com, Peloton Magazine, Campagnolo (obviously) and a good showing from local bike shops. I wish I could have met everyone.
The ride rolled down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carlsbad. We first stopped at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas to regroup. This is one of the great surf spots in SoCal. Don’t let all the long sleeves and tights fool you. It wasn’t that cold. We’re just soft in this part of the country.
The ride turnaround for most of us at the top of the Torrey Pines climb near the famous golf course. Anywherebicyclerepair.com was kind to provide support and snacks at the turn around. With all the industry types and bike experts, it didn’t seem like anyone needed much help, though. Thanks, guys!
This is Julie (my lovely bride) and Mark from Canari Cyclewear. mark handles the custom apparel division for Canari. If you order your team or club stuff from them, Mark makes sure that it gets done right.
That’s Tom Kattus, the general manager of Campagnolo USA in the blue Campy jersey and our ride’s host and MC. Campy has a good man in charge of the brand here in the US. Thanks for putting the ride on, Tom!
This journalist and blogger Patrick Brady of RedKitePrayer.com. You might also know him as Padraig, formerly of BelgiumKneeWarmers fame. He came down from the LA area for the ride. Nice RKP kit, Patrick! No sign of Radio Freddy, though.
Bicycle John’s made it down to the ride. BJ’s is a great shop with a bunch of locations in the LA area. I visited their Burbank location about 8 years ago and remember being impressed that they were located right in the middle of all the Hollywood film and TV studios.
Me and the missus at Torrey Pines. She’s been riding more and even talking about getting back into racing after an 8 year sabbatical raising two kids (one of whom asked for a “road bike like mommy and daddy’s” for Christmas this year. Don’t tell her, but she’s getting a cool 24″ Schwinn Midi Fastback…). Julie retired as a Cat 2, so I’m sure she won’t have any problems.
This is what it’s really all about. The guys at Campy were able to collect two huge boxes of toys to donate to kids who will need some extra love this holiday season. Personally, I’m jealous of the kid who’s getting that Campy gift in the picture. I’m still a kid in spirit, Tom…
Thanks again to Tom Kattus and the team at Campy USA for getting us all out for a ride together for a great cause. Looking forward to next year’s ride!