words: Roman Kilun images: Andrew Goessling & Mike's Bikes
Day two of camp was scheduled to be the big ride of the weekend. Kings Ridge, Tin Barn, HWY 1 and Coleman Valley. In addition to some serious training the other goal for the ride was to work with our photographers to get some action shots of the team on the new bikes. All fueled on Equator Speed Blend we kitted up and got out the door. As team captain, it warmed my heart that everyone was ready on time and looking super fly for photos.
The first portion of the ride was fast and flat. Big smiles were had all around as we realized how silly fast these Vias bikes really are. As we rode and chatted the Caesar chaffered the photographers to get “the shot.” It was all fun and games until the base of King Ridge when our Colin Daw, our national champion, set a hard pace and the conversation was a minimum. The views were incredible, the weather was great, and the pain in the legs was just right. Once at the top we stopped for a big group photo and refilled on Osmo. The climbing was by no means over but everyone was quite relived to have main climb over.
An hour later we reached the coast just north of Fort Ross. At this point we spit up into 2 groups to practice on pace lines and to do some intensity. The plan was ride hard for 20k but no one wanted to stop and we smashed each other all the way to Bodega, some 30 miles later. Hungry and tired, we still had the climb up Coleman Valley to get home.
Once within spitting distance of the house the guys started turning to me and asking about dinner… and I honestly did not know. We did not have much food in the house but I did know that a chef was coming to cook for us. It was five o’clock and I did not expect that he had arrived… but I am glad I was wrong. As we came into the house we realized that our chef, Matt Accarino (or SPQR and had arrived, and he had made us the most amazing spread I have ever seen at any team event. It was a cornucopia of treats, all perfect for recovery. And we were told that this was just to tide us over until dinner.. we were over the moon.
After snacks and showers, Chef Accarino did a really informative presentation on race food preparation and how to cook a variety of grains. The team was super curios and got to try a dozen new ingredients. And then, it was dinner. Moroccan chicken, truffle risotto, roasted squash, and herb salad with grapefruit. Everything was beyond delicious and made with love. It was obvious that Accarino is a world class chef and the next day we would learn that he is also a very good bike rider