Catalina Wine Mixer

I kept hearing the term thrown around and wasn’t sure what it meant, but then I remembered the movie scene from “Step Brothers.”

Post-adventure, it makes sense sort of. We hoped on a jet boat ferry with bikes, tool boxes and gear. It was the first time I have traveled the open ocean to ride my bike, in fact. As we approached the island, I was intrigued by the stories I had heard from the years before.

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Alex and I went on a spin, climbing one of the sickest switchback roads I have ever seen. We even had a hair-raising encounter with a 3000 lb wild animal with horns. Check it out on the Team Sho-Air Facebook page and hit the like button!

The roads and trails there are steep and scenic. The views where stunning like I have only seen on the western cape. The sound of steep cliffs and beaches being smacked by waves below us. The water was as blue as bottle of Bombay 1000, a sight not easy to forget!

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We shredded and diced, being a touch more careful than if it was a race. Alex, Tinker, Max and I made up half the lead group by the mid-way point at remote feed called two harbors. Max and I managed to ride the steepest hill I have seen since La Ruta de Los Conquistadors. It was 15-minutes long and 33% in spots; it pretty much murdered the legs. At the top we navigated a knives edge ridgeline where a mistake would send you 200 feet down into the ocean. The scene was surreal, the fall line decent was like the pictures you see in alpine climbing magazines, rideable and so sweet.

As a group we stopped at the aid zones to replenish our food and water supplies. Heading home on the final climb I took turns on the front to keep the pace up, testing myself at every chance. After some spirited hammering, it was time for a nice meal water front.

Max and I displayed some brotherhood and instead of our normal lets nuke each other race face we decided to take in the unreal cliff side ribbon of dirt that was our final decent and roll across the line together!

A Gran Fondo it was!! So not a race but a mixer that made it a lot more fun! A few drinks on the beach and a buffalo burger wrapped up the weekend. Now I understand the wine mixer, it was an unexpected great surprise.

I can’t wait for 2015!

JB

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