• SF Spring Classics: Maximized Grinning

    by  • March 6, 2012 • too random

    This ride is my homage to the spring classics of Europe,” said Murphy Mac, the promoter of the upcoming adventure ride being billed as the SF Spring Classic. “It’s mostly road with some sections of dirt, broken pavement, some rough gnarly road that i can throw in. 100 plus miles, with lots of climbing. But It means climbing and downhill. I’ve thrown in enough to maximize the amount of grinning. It’s not all suffer face.”

    Murphy Mack is one of the pioneers of a new kind of road event that’s catching on across the west coast. For a lot of riders like myself the Grand Fondo craze, as currently being promoted, seems too much like my aunts Tour of Woodside fundraising ride. There is no edge to them. No bite to make it seem interesting.

    Shortly after Chris Hipps death I started to hear about one of his favorite rides called “The Planet of the Apes.” It is a tame road ride towards pacifica where it takes a turn onto a forgotten access road up through the undeveloped hills. It winds through northern California jungle until emerging onto steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I imagined it was named Planet of the Apes because of the last scene from the movie… lost forgotten roads, vegetation, beach, screaming NRA freak with a hot chick on a horse.  Screams Halfmoon Bay to me.

    I started riding with a friend who would take us on crazy routes that climbed through peoples yards in Portola Valley, and through vineyards in Los Altos. We called them KT rides – which means it would be a leisurely 2 hours ride, we’d turn off road and then get lost in the woods for another hour. Once we road through a forrest fire. They were awesome. I always had something to talk about.

    When i first saw Murphy Mack’s website I was excited. It was like a local version of the Rapha’s Gentleman Ride without the need to by $300 bibs. They are pure adventure – capped off with a party bus and beer.

    “The route is point to point going in different directions. You get to go through multiple eco systems and show wider range of terrain variations rather than doing a loop,” said Murphy who got started on his road bike adventure rides while riding to single track from San Francisco. ” Riders get to go further away from home, and that maximizes the sense of accomplishment.”

    Murphy’s course is designed to be tackled on a road bike and are hard, yet rewarding, all day affairs – just like the classics of Europe which inspired the event. But it’s the party after that make the event seem inspired. Murphy, who has put on similar off road enduro race out of San Francisco the last few years, see’s it as the lynch pin of the experience. “It provides a convenient way to have people share their stories at the end of the day. It is a chance for them to gather, relax, and socialize after the event without everyone disappearing.”

    It’s not without mystery either. Murphy doesn’t reveal the route until the start line. It simultaneously enables him to maximize the sense of adventure and provides flexibility in designing the route to create the best rider experience. So far the event is drawing some interesting riders who like to get dirty like Barry Wicks, Marco Soldano, Christian Krishna Dole, Isais Job, and NorCal Cycling News own Hernando.

    Sign up soon to get you spot on the SF Spring Classic bus. If you are still nervous about being lost on dirt roads for five hours Murphy is confident enough to make some assurances, “I’ve thrown in enough descending to maximize the amount of grinning. It’s not all suffer face.”





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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com