Picture by Laura Spencer of the Coast Ride crew in Paso Robles, CA.
Video and words by Sean Bird.

The bicycle is a powerful tool, and during the weekend of January 14-16, The Coast Ride tested its might, while allowing adventure, teamwork, and nature’s beauty to collide. These are the reasons why so many call themselves cyclists.

Last weekend, GU Energy Labs supported The Coast Ride, which is a three day, 378 mile, and 23,000 vertical foot trek down the coast of California. The group rolled from San Francisco on Saturday and finished in Santa Barbara on Monday, with plenty of miles for reflection in between.

“Man, it’s all good. I’m out here, and I get to ride with my friends,” mentioned one cyclist.  While many cyclists suffered, others embraced the plentiful moments of freedom. These moments of freedom were inspired by the first self-supported coast-riders clad with backpacks full of supplies. Now, this well supported event includes sag vehicles and rest-stops along the course.

Between early mornings, late nights, extensive travel, and exhausting physical efforts, former strangers had plenty of time to make friends and learn about their fellow riders. To complete 378 miles in three days, riders have to work well with each other. This camaraderie is one of the beautiful aspect of cycling. With a common goal, cyclists swapped wind-breaking duties and rotated through pacelines. As the experienced group rolled south, speeds gradually, but noticeably, increased.

All the while, I peered on from the GU Energy Labs van growing more and more excited to support such a dedicated group of cyclists.  (I also become increasingly jealous, a common side effect for endurance junkies.)

To complete a substantial effort is rewarding. And now, after the weekend, I understand that to support a massive journey is equally rewarding.

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