Thursday, July 30, 2009

Return to Freedom 2009

We promised updates and we haven't delivered. Sorry about that but let's get back on track.
This past weekend marked the return of our Return to Freedom ride. As you might expect from a formerly annual event that has taken some time off we had a relatively small turn out of loyal, enthusiastic riders, eager to take in our area on their bikes. Fair weather, good food, great company, and the best bicycles in the world made for a memorable and fun weekend.
Here's a visual account of what went down:

Day No. 1 - Watsonville/Freedom/Corralitos
Good thing we started straightening up early:

If you have a red Tour Easy, what else would you park next to?:
Our mechanic stayed busy the entire morning doing little tune-ups:
Riders kept coming until there was a sea of bikes in our parking lot:
As we waited for more to arrive we had plenty of time to meet and chat:
Julian parked his new Ti-Rush in an inappropriate place:
Tanya's pink Gold Rush:
Denton's Ti-Rush is always a hit:
The weather looked a little gloomy early on but it never got any worse:
Denton rallied the troops...:
... Roberto and Eddie looked on...:
... and we took off, through Freedom, stopping first at the Five Mile House in Corralitos:
Everyone kept a good pace and we re-grouped quickly:
After a quick stop at the Corralitos Market..:
... we hit the hills:
The descent was a blast!:

As we rested near the bottom of Hazel Dell Road I took a minute to examine some of unique features of the the bikes in this year's RTF. I found a sleek electric motor kit...:
... an ergonomic handlebar set-up...:
... a Topolino rear wheel with carbon spokes...:
... a "Thermal Drink Pocket" (on a neat insulated handlebar bag)...:
... some ERRC under seat panniers...:
... and a set of ROTOR cranks:
We met-up one last time at the Casserly Store before heading out to...:
Gizdich Ranch!:
We devoured several pies...:
... entertained each other with harrowing cycling tales...:
... and left with our bellies (temporarily) full:
The home stretch:
Back at the factory, the guys had (more) food ready and we all kicked back for the rest of the day:
Day No. 2 - Monterey
Ready for another day of adventure:
The view was stunning, as usual:

The (somewhat smaller) Day 2 group stopped long enough to take a picture:
More of the scenery...:
... and the locals:
Our final lunch together:

There you go. To everyone that joined us: Thank you, thank you, thank you! We hope you had a great time and that we'll see you again next year. To everyone that couldn't make it: Don't miss it twice!
For more pictures check out John's Photostream On Flickr, and Fred's On Photobucket.
Until next year...