I’m in Santa Cruz for a couple of days of rides ahead of the Sea Otter Classic. The event is being hosted by Giro and while I know the thrust of it concerns their New Road apparel, beyond that, I can’t say what the real plan is. It’s unusual to attend an event that is so open-ended. Most of the industry events I attend are very direct about what they hope to achieve in terms of media coverage. I don’t mind anyone laying out such an explicit expectation, but to attend something as relaxed as this is both unusual and refreshing.
Honestly, if I had to guess, I’d say this was really just an opportunity to get more editors to ride in the New Road apparel, but in a setting where Giro can entertain questions and solicit feedback. You might say they give as much as they get.
While most of the editors here have endured real winters, I can’t claim to have suffered in any way, can’t say that I needed a getaway, can’t convince anyone that the riding in Southern California is so drab that I needed something like this to jump-start my season. Oddly enough, today’s ride was still the warmest weather I’ve ridden in this year. Strange … but true.
Every time I ride in or around Santa Cruz, I marvel at the tiny roads that wind through the forests. Riding past 1000-year-old trees and ferns that have been growing for hundreds of millions of years is awe-inspiring stuff, but some of the appeal of this riding is simpler. The attraction can be traced to details like how you can ride out of 80-degree sunlight and into a canopied forest where the temperature can drop 15 degrees.
I’ve been riding this apparel on mountain bike rides, for errand running, or when I ride my tandem to pick up Mini-Shred from school. There were times at first when I found myself feeling self-conscious. I suppose this is what non-cyclists feel the first time they put on stretchy cycling kit. Indoctrination is a funny thing.
Near the end of the ride I was sitting at the back of the group and took a moment to just look at the group and everyone in the apparel. For a moment I saw the bunch through the eyes of a driver. The riders didn’t look so alien, so threatening, so predisposed to dive into the middle of the road. I wonder what others see.