The Tour of the Usal

The Tour of the Usal

On the same weekend we were holding the RKP Ronde et Vous, the Grasshopper Adventure Series was hosting its second Mendocino County-based event, the Tour of the Usal, near Fort Bragg. Jeremiah Kahmoson wrote up his impressions of the event and its ties to a foundation he runs, B•Rad; he’s a fellow Santa Rosan who went through the fires last year. The photos were shot by Jeremiah’s longtime friend Jerry Dodrill; you can see more of his incredible work (Dodrill is a mountaineer as well as cyclist) at his site.

Storytelling is gold. Sharing a common understanding through time and experience via narratives is as human as needing a hug or to feel a sense of genuine belonging. But storytelling also serves a greater good when those involved in the original experience share something compelling and pure. In the countless retellings, each generation shares some of that initial vibrancy.

This is the core emotion of joy or stoke that planted itself solidly in the afterthought that we now get to re-experience over and over when we reminisce of that time before. Last month a core group of cyclists shared something special. We got to feel alive again and reinvigorated through a sense of adventure and purpose, with massive amounts of fun and camaraderie intermixed for good measure.

We are so grateful for the support and partnership of Miguel “El Chapulin” Crawfordand the Grasshopper Adventure Series. In essence, these rides are an annual pilgrimage toward all things pure via two human powered wheels over any terrain you can imagine in the greater coastal ranges of Sonoma, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.

Over the past three years the Hoppers have helped raise funds for our Sonoma County B-Rad cycling programs—getting kids on bikes who would never have had the chance otherwise. Suffice to say, Mig is “good people.” And his latest endeavor, The Lost Coast Usal Hopper, in its inaugural running was damn near perfect but for reasons far beyond bikes or races or whatnot. Miguel explained that when we get to ride in hallowed places like pristine wilderness the experience is amazing and deserves our full attention and reverence. But he also shared that it is the ripples that emanate forward within each participant as they recount a moment of glory, an epic save, or that hilarious dose of friendship and humanity we all yearn for, that the true value of these experiences comes into clarity. It might only be for a day, or maybe a week. For some perhaps longer. But the space between joy and a return to “normalcy” is extended when we feel better about our lives and how we are living them.

We are more patient with one another. We listen more attentively. We pause to care about things that might normally be beyond our patience rather than responding to another series of endless emails, texts, or phone messages. We instead look each other in the eye. We come back to center.

The B-Rad Foundation is all about making allegiances to purpose and those motivated to make a positive contribution. We believe that HEALTH of mind and body is paramount to each of us. We are committed to the belief that STEWARDSHIP is not limited to the environment we live within. It can be practiced within our relationships and communities and have equally meaningful impacts as those ripples carry magnificent significance. And we strive for ADVENTURE, as this is what allows for the story to be experienced in such a manner that our “aliveness” is resurrected yet again. It might be your personal mountain, an untamed wave around the point, or anything in between that challenges you to be exactly who life intended you to become.

In this way, find your joy. Follow your bliss. Be honest about the process. And tell the tale so you can share what you believe and how it made you feel. With so much chaos and strife in the world right now to overwhelm our optimism, make ripples in your community for the sake of positivity. Then retell the stories when you get home. And then go out and do it all over again. Lord knows we all deserve to smile more. Because in the end, what are we if not the sum of our experiences?

Be Love.

Be Brave.

Be Rad.


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