Cupcakes and Pickled Beans

CONGRATULATIONS TO DARIO FREDRICK WITH A TIME OF 3:21 AND KIRSTEN DRUMM WITH A TIME OF 4:03

April 30th 84 riders gathered in Healdsburg for Stage 4 of this years Grasshopper Adventure Series. Was the first stage to begin in Healdsburg and the only other besides the famous Bear Valley Loop to start outside of Occidental. We have eliminated the overall title for the first time in 13 years to make it clear that these are training rides and not races. Of course, this doesn’t stop anyone from going for a PR and forcing their riding buddies to call “uncle”. I used my artistic license to label this the NorCal Climbing Championship of training rides and I don’t think the route disappointed. I claimed it would “bring you to your knees” and again I was correct. Our loop was 60+ miles and 7400 ft of vertical gain. Ouch!

After a guided parade lap through South Healdsburg the field was split by a red light at the 17 way intersection of Healdsburg Ave. and whatever -the -hell other streets cross just south of the Healdsburg square. The group was kind enough to wait and we all regrouped and had a safe, somewhat social cruise down West Dry Creek Rd to Dry Creek. I had been anticipating some strong accelerations on Dutcher Creek but the gang had Geysers and Pine Flat on their minds and things stayed calm. Ted Simpkins stretched things out leading to the Geysers but nothing began in earnest until Doctor Todd decided to prescribe the necessary safety medication that effectively split the field and left me snapped off the back, (somewhat) contently falling into my coach/ride director position. I’ve always considered myself a mountain biker who rides road bikes and have designed the Hopper loops to be fun rides, even when you’re alone in your own special suffer space. This ride was no exception and my helmet cam died at the precise moment the elastic broke. I made a huge dig to stay as long as possible and get some good footage; soon to be edited and published. Anyway, long ride, short story. Let a few come by me as I settled into my own pace and rode mostly solo for the rest of the day. I enjoyed a few moments of companionship with Nathan White and with Jadey and then some special time alone in the ditch nursing a quadruple quad and hami cramp. Sucked down the rest of my water, ate a Gu and scrambled to the top where Cokes and cupcakes were being consumed.

Thanks for the awesome swag donated! It was HUGE having Jim Keene and NorCal with the feed on the Geysers. Thanks to Leo Autuori for making the Spikes of Courage and Arnot Roberts for the delicious wine. Much thanks to Oliver Max for letting us use the parking area. Thanks to Boozley for the pickled beans that I wolfed down at the finish; mother in law for the tasty cupcakes and SOOO much thanks to Tera for greeting us at the top with cold Coke.

NEXT HOPPER: SUPER SWEETWATER MAY 28TH

NEW START LOCATION: MONTE RIO ( BY THE RIVER’S EDGE) STAY TUNED

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