Race Report by Dylan Vanek, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team
I remember when I was little my dad told me about the Vision Quest because he raced it right before I was born. Ever since hearing my Dad’s stories about this race, it was my goal to compete in it. When I was 12 years old, we tried to sign up for the Counting Coup, which is a shorter version of the Vision Quest. The Counting Coup is 44 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain. In comparison, the Vision Quest is 56.5 miles with 11,000 feet of elevation gain. Unfortunately, the Counting Coup sold out before I could sign up that year. I was very upset. The following year we were successful in signing up for the race. Unfortunately, the race was canceled that year due to weather conditions. The race was set for the next year in October of 2016. In 2016 I was fourteen years old, and I finished in 28th place in the Counting Coup. At the end of that race, I felt like I still had more in the tank, so we decided that next year I would race the Vision Quest, which was scheduled a week after my fifteenth birthday. The day before the race I heard there was a chance of rain, but I was not worried. I continued through my day preparing my bike and creating a nutrition plan for the race. I also planned to wear a ¾ sleeve jersey and baggy shorts in the spirit of enduro! (laughs).
The day of the race I woke up at 4:00 am, giving myself time to eat breakfast and do a final check on my bike before the 5:30 am race start. We left the house at 4:45 am. As we drove to the starting line, it started to rain. Once we I arrived I got dressed in my gear inside the car, and then got out to check my tire pressure before the race started. There was a steady drizzle coming down, and I regretted not bringing a rain jacket. I was certain it would clear up in a couple hours. The thought of a muddy race never crossed my mind.
by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, member of The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team
Sometimes epic bike rides have more to do with the company you keep, people you meet, and stories shared with local companions.
I was fortunate to score a spot in the 2015 Amtrak Century Bike Ride. A long running tradition hosted by the Orange County Wheelmen Bicycle Club, the annual Amtrak Century typically sells out in less than 45 minutes (or so I’ve been told). The ride starts from the Irvine train station and ends at the downtown San Diego Train Station. The ride has 3,200 feet of climbing and is well supported; with 60 miles still to go, a buddy riding the SAG vehicle donated his rear derailleur and was Johnny-on-the-spot with a chain tool so I could convert my bike to a retro-cool single speed.
I started the ride from Tustin at 5AM and met my ride buddies James, Dave, and KC at the Irvine Train Station around 6AM. We checked in and were riding the Century event by 6:30AM.
Bike for Bender is a local California non-profit organization that was founded in memory of Robert Bender, who lost his fight to cancer at the young age of 26. Proceeds from their annual hosted events benefit many local community groups, including High School Mountain Bike League Teams, Boy Scouts of America, fallen riders, cancer research institutions, as well as efforts to improve and develop local trails and cycling pathways.
Here are two ride perspectives from two of the participants from The Path Bike Shop staff and race team, congrats to all for toughing it out!
Members of the Kona Race Team - Barry Wicks, Kris Sneddon, and Spencer Paxson came out to The Path Bike Shop Tustin location last Thursday March 20, 2014 for a meet and greet with our friends, customers, staff, Path Bike Shop team racers, and Relampago team racers. Then it was off to Santiago Oaks Regional Park for a mountain bike ride. We had over 25 riders join in the fun! Ian and Jeff sported matching shirts and beards for the occasion.
The ride was followed by the all important recovery drink...at the Tustin Brewing Company.
Thanks to Kona Bicycles for your continued support of our shop and riders.
by Jesse Peterson, Mechanic at The Path Bike Shop Live Oak
“He knew how to handle pain. You had to lie down with pain, not draw back away from it. You let yourself sort of move around the outside edge of pain like with cold water until you finally got up your nerve to take yourself in hand. Then you took a deep breath and dove in and let yourself sink down it clear to the bottom. And after you had been down inside pain a while you found that like with cold water it was not nearly as cold as you had thought it was when your muscles were cringing themselves away from the outside edge of it as you moved around it trying to get up your nerve. He knew pain.” ― James Jones, From Here to Eternity
Although I know many things can be said about a simple ride through the Santa Anas, come Monday morning (a day after the Sunday Tour) I found myself short of words and still in thought. It is back to a busy life, enduring the tasks and responsibilities in this shared network we call "real life." Back to the grind. Seemingly uninspired I searched for a frame of reference that I could build a blurb about our Shop Ride with, and upon reading through a bunch of quotes about endurance, serenity replaced anxiety and my thoughts became simplified...making it much easier to type a short page on my MTB ride.
by Jesse Peterson, Mechanic at The Path Bike Shop Live Oak
The Sunday Live Oak shop ride was well worth depriving myself of sleep to make, although a couple more hours of snoozing would have been so nice, but that's then and this is now.
I got to the shop at 6:50am, and to my disappointment, nobody was waiting there. I supposed a 21 mile single-track ride wasn't on people's agenda for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but I was soon proven wrong as Jeff (a fellow Sprockethead) pulled up into the driveway. I was relieved. On the way out of the parking lot, Jeff broke a chain (which we fixed with two rocks and tight MacGyver skills) just as Pat (a long-time Path groupie) showed up late to join us.
The annual Path Bike Shop Turkey Day Ride rolled out of the Maple Springs trailhead at 6:30am or so with temps in the mid-forties. Dense fog socked in the lowlands of Tustin, but at the trailhead, sunny skies and crisp weather welcomed 15 riders to conquer the Maple Springs pavement and experience epic views from Four Corners.
Last Saturday September 29th was the SHARE Poker Ride, benefit for OC Parks. Great turnout, 350 riders came out to ride through Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
Special thanks to our The Path Bike Shop employees and friends for coming to help out! Heather, Auk, Andy, and Jordan, way to represent.
Visiting Kona Bicycles Headquarters in Washington, then driving up to Whistler, B.C. - a trip I will always look back on with great pleasure.
Every summer for years, I have been telling myself that this would be the summer I would make it to Whistler. After years of letting myself down, I was beginning to lose hope. So when our long time friend and Kona rep Kelly invited me to join him for three days in Whistler following the 2013 Kona product launch, I jumped at the chance. We flew in to Bellingham, Washington on Wednesday August 22nd. We arrived at around 4PM, and before sunset, we were racing around Bellingham on Kona Dr. Good bikes. The team up at Kona all are passionate and ripping riders who really know how to share a good time.