report and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team
The chance to enjoy the independence that was declared by our forefathers on July 4, 1776 with a Path shop ride, what else could one ask for? About 20 riders showed up for good times at the future Live Oak location of the Path Bike Shop. The mood was light: with a rogue water gun roaming the area, Tallboy manuals abounding, and frequent explorations through the new location
At about 9:15, the troops were rallied and "BANG!" enthusiastic pedaling reigned…for about 5 minutes. Swooping and whooping through O'neill Regional Park and up into the trail system the group rode off. Quite a motley crew, ranging from spandex clad XC racers, to Dickie-wearing-iPod-rockin' ol' timers, to patriotic jerseys, and a blend of every possible world all wrapped into one ride. Heck, Brian Blair was even spotted riding a 26-inch Santa Cruz Blur TRc: truly, armageddon was upon us! GOTTA LOVE RIDES LIKE THIS!
Up through the live Oak trail system the ride progressed and tied back into the bottom of Live Oak Canyon Road. Auk had to leave early and started pedaling up the hill. Perhaps this is what inspired further enthusiastic pedaling as Neil took off shortly after and reeled him in, catching (and passing) him on the downhill towards Cook's Corner: at 5'8" 155 lbs, Auk had no chance against Neil's 5'10" 205 frame.
The ride picked up its pace and looped through Whiting Ranch (climbing Dreaded), from there the diehards continued up Santiago Truck Trail and back to Cook's corner for lunch and brews.