This years event was the perfect excuse to get one of my long time riding partners out to the west coast to hang out, do some rides in Truckee and travel to the race with.
After a few days of acclimation rides and stops at the Treat Box, we head west from Truckee through the Sacramento valley. My next truck WILL have air conditioning!!
We arrive in Napa two days early. Of course The Bacon Strip is there in full effect. How full of effect you ask...... ....this bag of home fries was small in comparison to the bacon these guys brought. Can you feel your arteries hardening yet??
With a pic of the map, we're off to pre-ride the course.
The beauty of SSWC is that you never know the people you'll hook up with for a ride. Our pre-ride posse from left to right: Fast guy TravisBrown. The always comical & all around do-gooder Ryan Fowler . Buck, you met him earlier. Nat Pellman from Seattle. Last but certainly not least Yuri... this guy's into bikes. He's got a killer mag down in the city that will no doubt become one of the staples of cyclist bathrooms everywhere.
Later in the day it was time to get the "decider" event going to see who was hosting SSWC2009. The disciplin for the decider is different from year to year & only the current host (Curtis Inglis) knows how next years race venue will be decided. The hosting options for 09 were (from left to right) New Zealand (location undetermined), France, Durango Co, Phoenix Az. Potential hosters were given the mic to say a few words and then it was off to.....
.....Napa Bowl!! A few hundred people jumped on bikes and headed into town where the 4 people vying for hosting rights would have to show the world their "A game".
Things started normal enough. This guy (Fuzzy) is hoping a few good frames will take the race to New Zealand for 09.
Chad. (Durango) Were the first few frames beginners luck??
France starts to get rowdy.
Durango acquires a comfy points lead and starts getting loose!
Then there were two. Thanx for coming from France.... but you're out! Grab the Arizona kid while you're at it and head to the bar to drown your sorrows. You've been just been out-bowled.
I don't even know if these guys knew what they were rochambeauing for, but they were throwing rock/paper/scissors like they were going out of style! After a heated round of 5 it was off for the ultimate decider between Durango & New Zealand with a bit of.......
......keepin' it real!! What better way to decide a World Champion Bike Race venue than with a game of Ms Packman. Good, honest fun that the whole family can enjoy.
The guys from Durango were traveling in a pack and are super serious fun hogs. Every time I saw these guys they were doing something to pass the time. The bowling started a little late so they had a quick game of bike polo jsut to keep things interesting.
After all the important details were taken care of at the bowling alley, it was time to hit the town! Bike locks are replaced with some careful bike stacking and huge groups of people. If you're a bike thief cruising the Worlds for a new ride you're in the wrong spot. This is a "take no prisoner" kinda crowd.... I offer you no pity.
What happens next? Tune is soon for part two of SSWC 2008