Friday, August 31, 2012

Gula-Gula Cafe Ride, revisited

Back in February this year I wrote a blog entry entitled Gula-Gula in which, if you care to read it, I describe my first authentic 'Cafe Ride'.  Now I'm not talking about the first time I ever rode my bike to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee.  I'm talking about the first time it was existential for me, the starting point of a different mindset around riding my bike woven into a higher life experience and the cycling lifestyle as an expression of my personal character not just as a means to physical strength or a rub into competitive extremes.

So these days when I refer to a 'Cafe Ride' I'm really talking about a different ride perspective and purpose, one intent on texture, esthetic & the splendid luxury of memorable experience that everyone desires in their life.  There's a unique classroom and elegance that forms when a group of people share the roads together exploring planet earth on bicycle machines.  'Cafe Rides' are about such things.

Riding bikes just to train and training just to ultimately race have their perks and yeah I still love to compete; put on the war paint, lock-n-load and all that stuff, but there is a whole lot more out there too.  And the 'Cafe Rides' by my definition are a gateway to these things.  It's rolling just to roll and letting it happen out there in a healthy, connected and social way.

Cafe rides are now a staple in my cycling/racing lifestyle and I'll keep doing them.  It's cool too to see that without any effort great people actually want to join I write about the rides/journey's etc & as more people just hear about what we're doing they seem to want to be a part of it.
Brad, me, Charlie Pearch, Pres Rapha Cycling Club, London, UK & Charlie's friend Sean (?)
Last week the President of the Rapha Condor Cycling Club, London, UK Charlie Pearch sent an email to US North East members in support of the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo at the end of September and also that he was going to be in Cambridge for a few days and wanted to ride the 'Rapha Continental Walden Pond ride'.  Walden is in my back yard so I helped coordinate an awesome ride for us.  Charlie had done a little research and was somewhat familiar with the 'Cafe Rides' we've been doing and he thought they were cool.  So we agreed to meet at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square; which was a super cool spot, and we rolled west from there around Walden Pond, the world renowned DeCordiva Museum, in Lincoln and the Concord North Bridge... before looping our way further west into American Indian territory of Harvard and grabbed a bite to eat at the Harvard General Store before looping back into Davis Square in Somerville and the Deisal Cafe. It was a perfect day.  Charlie was an awesome guy and strong rider too.  We had great conversation for the entire ride; all 150 smooth kilometers of it. And then we hung out together, with Brad there too, back at Diesel Cafe for another hour or so.

I hope to do Levi's Grand Fundo ride in late September,  think it's in San Francisco?  Some of the Rapha Pro guys are doing it, as is Charlie and there's a chance I may be able go.  I almost forgot to mention that Charlie also gave me a rockin Rapha Condor Team Jersey which I still can't believe. 

Peace and roll strong!

PS; Here are some pics of Saturday's Cafe Ride the day before the Walden ride, which wasn't too shabby either. It was just Kelrock, Me and V-neck.  We were out for about 8 hours all said and done.
Kel's first ride since shattering his collarbone in July

The Barrington Cafe.  Seaport, Boston Harbor.  High end, business sheik & great coffee

Lunch in Harvard Square
Last stop, Studio Cafe in Lexington.  Sam Adams was there.


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