We embarked on our most ambitious Rider House Tour to date in late July, driving over 4000 miles across 9 states and 2 countries to visit and ride in four incredible places.
Our first stop was San Francisco. We’ve been to San Francisco many times and have had the pleasure of riding all over the Bay Area. The energy of the city combined with the undulating terrain has created some unforgettable adventures. This time was no different, and we were treated to incredible rides, led by Fat Cake Club, San Francisco Cycling Club, and Marin County Bicycle Coalition.
We were lucky to share new kit day with Fat Cake, and it was a gratifying experience to share miles with so many people enjoying their new threads. Their most recent kit stays with their previous themes of fun, vibrant kits that scream Fat Cake in the best way possible. Fat Cake is a fun, welcoming club that knows how to turn up the intensity, and we ripped around Lake Merced before cruising to the top of Twin Peaks. Like all good rides, we ended at a delicious pastry shop.
Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Equator Coffee in Mill Valley opened their arms to us, and we had the opportunity to showcase their new kit design. We were shown the ropes of Bay Area mixed terrain riding, starting by climbing the pavement of Hawk Hill before descending the dirt and climbing Bobcat Trail. As we climbed the steady grade, the fog rolled across the hillside, and we flew down the fast descent into Tennessee Valley. Even though it was late July, the weather was starting to cool off, and we enjoyed post ride beverages back at Equator Coffee.
SFCC meets in the heart of the city, and their Friday morning ride is a casual, no drop ride where conversation and camaraderie is free flowing. The Friday ride is about as tame as you’ll catch SFCC ride, as they are known as “fast and friendly”. We rolled through the Presidio, before twisting through the city back to The Mill for coffee and your choice of freshly baked bread.
Saturday morning took us to Equator Coffee in Mill Valley to meet up with Matt Wiebe of SFCC and crew from Ornot. We were shown some great backroads and trails around Mt. Tamalpais before winding our way to the East Peak via Railroad Grade. We departed early enough to have very little traffic, and the only sounds to be heard were heavy breathing and shifting gears as we worked our way to the top of East Peak. Our descent was on the road, twisting down Mt. Tam and enjoying the foggy but nonetheless stunning views.
San Rafael Sunset Criterium is a phenomenal race, offering riders of all abilities the chance to race a fast, demanding course. As the afternoon progressed, riders from all over gave their all. Because of San Rafael’s mass appeal, we had the opportunity to see riders from teams that we support, ranging from Tyler Pearce the Vegan Cyclist of SP2life Elite Cycling, Sammi Runnels of Squid Bikes, unbelievably fast junior racers from Team Swift, and many more. The evening was capped off with the men’s and women’s pro fields push the limits of how fast the course could be ridden, and every race was capped off with the winner donning an Eliel winner’s jersey.
Every time we visit San Francisco we see new and familiar faces, and are treated to new roads and local knowledge of how to enjoy the city on two wheels. We can’t wait to come back and see where the next adventure takes us. Stay tuned for our recap on our next stop, Vancouver.