Belgian Waffle Ride 2019

Who is Will Choi? Where did this guy come from? Who cares, we’re glad he’s here because he rounded our asses up and delivered the stoke for the 2019 Belgian Waffle Ride.
Toward the end of 2018, Will and a few others were hanging out in the shop when the topic of heading to southern California for the BWR came up. A few minutes of caffeine fueled bike talk and Sunday, May 5th was on our calendars. What bikes would we ride? How would we train for all this elevation? Who is Will Choi? Let the preparation begin.
Fast forward to Saturday, May 4 as Will Choi, myself, Tyler Marks, and Samih Elchahal roll out of The Lost Abbey Brewery for a course pre-ride where we’d finally figure out if those cassettes we brought along were large enough. Speaking of, here’s a quick description of our gear selection:
– Will: Open U.P.P.E.R. // Di2 11sp, hydro // WTB Riddler 700x37mm // 46/32 up front, 11-32 in the back.
– Myself: Mosaic GT-1 // Campagnolo 11sp // Rene Herse Barlow Pass 700x38mm // 46/32 up front, 11-34 in the back (Shimano RX800 rear derailleur + bar end shifter for this ride).
– Tyler: Mosaic GT-1 // Sram 11sp // Rene Herse Barlow Pass 700x38mm // 46/30 up front, 11-32 in the back.
– Samih: Specialized Crux // Sram 11sp, hydro // Rene Herse Stampede Pass 700x32mm // 50/34 up front, 11-32 in the back.
At 7:15am Sunday morning, I was shivering in 55 degree temps (or was it nerves?) as we rode from the brewery and onto the course, which promised to “take its riders on a ronde through North County San Diego, where it will clatter through agrarian hamlets and the Ardennes-like hills—not over classic mountains per se, but rather a never ending string of ups and downs—along single track climbs, sandy trails, and roughly paved roads carved through inland San Diego’s beautiful rural and sometimes forested backcountry.” The course delivered; it was beautiful. Much of the off-road sections were heavily sanded, which was not on our radars and proved a bit challenging to navigate. The elevation was challenging too, as we ascended more than 10,000 feet over the span of 133 miles. We managed to stay (mostly) safe, avoid mechanicals save one flat, and finish atop Double Peak with a euphoric sense of accomplishment.
Check out the stats and a few photos from the day: <iframe height=’405′ width=’590′ frameborder=’0′ allowtransparency=’true’ scrolling=’no’ src=’‘></iframe>

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