Russian River 300k Brevet Ride Report

I had been wanting to do a brevet for a few years now. Back in 2012 Matt Shapiro and I rode down to LA on our track bikes. It took about 13 days and we averaged 100 miles a day. On this trip we meet a good friend Erik who long story short, roped me into the world of long distance riding. This year was the first year where I felt fit enough, and mentally prepared to attempt rides like these. My goal, to get a Super Randonneur title the first year.

The Super Randonneur title isn’t something to joke about. Although many have achieved this title, it is more than just finishing a ride. By the end of the season, you will have had to complete a 200k, 300k, 400k, and a 600k brevet. The Russian River 300k is a classic, with a 20 hour time limit. Starting the the Golden Gate Bridge, running north through Petaluma, Santa Rosa, through Healdsburg, over to the coast through Guerneville, south to Bodega Bay and back to the starting point on the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Map here

The ride left the Golden Gate Bridge at 6am. Erik had been briefing me on the way to the start. Usually it’s fast off the line, then it mellows out into a softer pace, something reasonable for the 189 miles in front of you. We were the first onto the bridge, getting out in front and figuring out who was going to work together. We we’re hauling through Sausalito when two guys on a tandem come up alongside our breakaway of 5 or 6. These guys had some serious power and it become very apparent that they are going to turn this ride up to 11. We start to shed riders after a climb 10 miles in, and were left with the tandem, Erik, myself, and Bill Brier, previous president of SF Randonneurs… dream team.

Let me get something straight, there aren’t classes or categories when it comes to randonneuring. No masters, no pro, cat 5, or tandems. Which means were all in it together. Also, let me make this very clear, two really strong riders on one bike will always be more efficient than one rider on one bike. Therefore, the three of us had to WORK to hold onto the tandems rear wheel. We made it to Petaluma in 2.5 hours, and all the way to Healdsburg before noon. Those are fighting words.

Erik and I were sick, I forgot to point this out. We started feeling pretty shitty two days before. We weren’t sure what was going to happen, if we would be able to finish the brevet, or if we should even attempt the ride in the first place. Our plan was, if things go south we turn around in Petaluma. But with the tandem, and Bill in tow we were a well greased machine. We just might have been some rusty gears. My throat would get scratchy, so a banana, and a bite of a chocolate bar to fix the problem. Erik had some Blueberry soup as his secret weapon. Basically we were patching a sinking ship every mile we rode.

But… we were the lead group and we were hauling ass and that felt @$*%ing good. Averaging 23mph, we were on schedule for a 10 hour finish time. As 300k brevets go, thats fast. Once we made it the coast, the illness hit Erik like a brick wall. He fell off the back just south of Jenner so we waited in Bodega to regroup. Pizza, coconut water, candy, fix. Erik rolled in about 10 minutes later. The tandem and Bill rolled out and at that point we changed our pace to two airplane whiskeys per hour. The next 40 or so miles were becoming familiar territory. This just makes things feel slower and although you know you’re almost there, the anxiety level builds. The weather was overcast for most of the ride, so rolling into Pt. Reyes at 76 degrees meant a power nap and beer. This is the typical brevet style when you go fast and chill hard.

We made our next move, this time warm and filled with some liquid courage to grease the gears and 130 miles in our legs. I had a dinner date at the Martin house, so I had some motivation to get to our point B. Erik was on cruise control. At this point the sickness had grabbed ahold of his DNA and started to attack his soul. His cough would produce some red tinted phlegm so there was no point in trying to ramp the pace up. We parted ways just just before descending into Fairfax. As punishment for leaving my friend, the ironic fate of my front shifter breaking and leaving me in the big ring only solidified my need to hit mach 10 to get home on time.

I rolled over the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge to finish my ride in 11 hours 27 minutes. 4th place, considering the tandem as two. 45 minutes behind Bill Brier and the freight train who broke the course record by 20 minutes. Do you remember when Felix Baumgartner space jumped out of the Red Bull Stratos, falling 39 kilometers breaking the sound barrier? This ride, that finish, same feelings.

Mike snapped a few details of salt and grease on my way home.

: Dylan Buffington

[ Orginial report on MASHSF ]

POLER CX

So rad to finally see these ripping around! 

It was a long process but they turned out RAD! 

H. Coe

A few photos from Monday's #campoutwithyourlampout

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Fallen Angel Island

This was our venture to the Island of the Fallen Angel.

The five of us embarked onto a trip that no man should endure. The Island of the Fallen Angel has lived many lives; lives that have given hope to some and taken the souls of others. 

We left on a day not like today, one that sucked. The island is only accessible through bribery. The deckhands of the sea ferries barter in rare gemstones and ancient currency of bear skulls. The salty sea was cold and choppy, the white caps threw our boat like a rag doll. after hours, through the dense grey fog, the island appeared. 

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when we arrived at the island our scanners recognized that we were dangerously far from any Starbucks. Fraps, Caps, the things we live for are nothing but dust in the wind. We had 24 hours to survive on the Island of the Fallen Angel. Moral was down and our crew was falling apart. 

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- Nohlin, head of ammunition and explosives. Born in-between two glaciers, some say his blood runs backwards. 

- Hormuth, Anthropology. Hormuth has spent his life studying this island. His finding of the island leaves scars through his dreams. He won’t say its name out loud. 

- Drew, Journalist, Specialized in the documentation of the afterlife, his cameras capture the residue of death. He has recognition from the the science community for proving that demons exist. 

- Simon, philosophy. His studies of the cultures who have passed through this place and have only left ruins, Busk is willing to risk his life to find the answers of those forgotten. 

- Myself, Dylan Buffington, exploration, I have spent my life seeking for the unseen. searching for the questions that turn others away,  and hungry for the danger of mystery. 

Through the haze we trekked on. Our camp was not safe on the shorelines, we had to make out way inland and higher in elevation to hide from the wildlife that haunts the island at night. Hours had passed, camp had been set. Our queries of the island brought us to the only peak. With our magic rust water, once consumed, we were able to see the light that only the ancient cultures knew about, their carvings brought us to this place. Drew set up his equipment and took dozens of photos. They all caught fire when he tried looking at them. The golden light pierced through the dark cloak of the falling sky. 

The five of us woke up in a spiraling daze the next morning. Everything that happened the previous night was undocumented and unspoken of don’t ask us about any of it. Simon used hypnosis to crack the walls that the island built inside of his head. Nothing was recovered from the depths of his memory. 

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Once camp was broken down, Hormuth noticed his compass spinning on axis, the island had its own magnetic field. With no sense of direction we only had our instincts. Hours later we found ourselves walking through the tombstones of the abandoned cities. The temperature dropped by 50 degrees and our lives were in danger. We had to get out. 

The boat was set to meet us at 1500 hours and Nohlin used the last of the explosives on the way down the hill just for fun. This left us defenseless against the natives. We carved spears to ward off the hostiles. When the boat arrived we had to jump a 15 foot gap onto the deck of the boat. We didn’t speak the whole trip back. Simon puked, Nick cried. 

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Do not attempt to go to this island, this is our only reques

View the gallery HERE!

BASP CX Candlestick

Bay Area Super Prestige is our home turf CX race series. The sandy. pot-holed, landfill of a course might be the nightmare of some but for us it pure joy. Walton, Rainier, and Derek all showed up ready to fight. The second the race was started it was total war, the three bridged up and held the front, they OWNED the front. The whole race MASH dominated the front end, working together and pulling each other along. I don't remember the last time I saw such an exciting race, especially one that your team is holding down. 

In the last lap there was some technicals on the back of the course that put a gap between 3rd place and Rainier. 

 Eddy raced in the B's, and although he stayed away from the front there was no question he was having the most fun out there.

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Mission workshop : Andrew Low//

Andrew Low started his small aluminum bike frame company in 2010; now he now makes some of the best aluminum bikes in the world. Mission Workshop hosted a talk with Andrew about his street bred brand, where it came from, and who keeps it running. The building was filled with bikes and frames, colors and styles that tell the visual story of success, beauty, trial and error. Among the renditions Andrew had on display, he highlighted his brand new gloss orange road bike. The design of this particular bike has been in the works for a few years and he didn't cut anything short. The bike looks like a perfect machine. 

The humble, honest, and friendly builder talked about the support he has gotten from his team, the community, his friends and how it has fueled his appetite to design the best bikes he can. His past experiences and his attitude towards performance and visual aggression has shaped these street weapons to be some of the most aggressive and visually stunning bikes on the road. Check out his website here

Thank you Andrew for sharing with us. You vision and passion is truly inspiring. I am excited to see what you come up with next.  

The Mission Workshop Builder Series talks are always streamed live on The Radavist so check in there for the next talk. You can watch the whole talk here.