MASH ride with Greg Lemond
I realize this post is about three months late. I've wanted to recap this experience somewhere other than facebunk or my blog that never gets updated. So what better subject for our site's innaugural post?
Back in May, a few Pedalers had the honor of taking part in a group ride lead by American cycling legend, Greg LeMond.
The ride started downtown at the Oakley store on Market St. We wormed our way along Embarcadero, past Fisherman's Wharf, and through the Marina before regouping at the Golden Gate Bridge. When we set off across the span, in an incomprehensibly long paceline, it hit me. I was drafting behind LeMonster. It didn't matter that I was at least a dozen riders back. I was getting pulled by a legend. In my head, I kept repeating, "I'm drafting off Greg LeMond."
My starstruck wheel suckery was swept away when the pack turned up Conzleman Rd. The winds reminded me of the breadth of my cross section and slowed my progress. I cursed my dietary habits and subpar fitness until I reached the circle where McCullough and Conzleman Roads converge.
From there, the pack split. Most of the skinny tires took the paved route. Not all of them though. Peppered among the CX and MTB rigs shredding down the Coastal Trail, I saw plenty of roadbikes and even a few brakeless track bikes. Pinch flat casualties were plentiful, but so was the neighborly support of our community. Patches, tubes, pumps and tools were gladly shared. Even Greg LeMond had to crowd source a tube.
We reconnoitered where the trail joins Bunker Rd, which we followed till the pavement ended and the Coastal Trail resumed, signaling another climb toward Battery Townsley. Again, quite vocally, I cursed my affinity for fat and sugar, and the 20 extra pounds of weight beget by said affinity. Spinning in my most granny of gears, I reached the bunker, joining the throng of wild eyed riders, panting and grinning, feeling accomplished.
The respite was brief. After posing for a comically large group picture, we shoved off for the city. Nearly immediately, I had a mechanical issue, rendering my front derailleur useless, limiting me to the big ring on the journey home and inviting shame for cross chaining up the hill toward the tunnel. After a predictably windy trudge back across the bridge, we crossed the Presido and took Arguello into the Park, before we all mashed down Oak on the green wave. A quick wiggle down to Sanchez and we were at the Mash store.
I really wanted to introduce myself to Greg LeMond, except calling him Craig LaMont and pretending he invented craigslist. I though better of it.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I took no pictures. Harold and Ken did though. Check them out.
This is around the point where Aaron got a flat and had to drop out.