After last year’s mind blowing event, how could the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship possibly top it? I didn’t think it was possible. Well. They did. 2017 was the best event yet!!
The venue was as expected. The registration desk and pop up bike art and vendors. Food trucks for the evening were lined up as registrants rolled in and set up camp. The first night is a bustle of energy. The fairgrounds fills in as people trickle in throughout the day. By the evening, the entire fairgrounds is buzzing with excitement and anticipation for tomorrow’s events. Ken and I had the opportunity to relax and take in the atmosphere this year. The cool crisp evening fall air, rising steam from the lumber mill across the road and the thick smell of pine heavily permeating the air, Quincy California is a hidden gem in the Sierras.
Morning race start comes around early and the fairground quickly comes to life. Things get kicked off with a harmonica rendition of the National Anthem followed by the mass start of 750 riders. As soon as the last rider is well on their way, Ken and I load up and head out to our station. We are working the same station as last year and we really do enjoy this spot. We arrive with plenty of time to set up our station and listen to some operators out of Vacaville talk about Fleet Week and monitor the radio traffic for the earlier stages of the race. It was another beautiful fall afternoon in the Sierra Nevadas. We are in the thick trees, and the pineapple vanilla aromas from the pine trees energize my soul.
The trail crew guys were the entertainment for the day. Before the race, they built a new technical portion to this stretch of the trail and let’s just say, they were cheering a few riders along. Just watch the videos below to get a taste of the encouragement from the trail crew. Riders stream past our station throughout the afternoon. In comparison to last year, we had very few tire repairs but we did have one injury to a rider that required assistance off the course and to medical aid. This station always has volunteer paramedics, so help was there right away.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. These riders are the coolest, raddest folks! These guys and gals ride hard but they play just as hard. I enjoy the camaraderie of all the riders. They are their own merry band of genuinely awesome people. Every event I work, I am continually amazed at the limits they push their bodies. On the course, they are exhausted and feeling the pain. But when I see them after the finish line, they look so refreshed, rejuvenated and glowing.
The evening brings with it a catered dinner for all riders and volunteers and beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing followed by the awards ceremony, which is raucous and rowdy show. After the awards ceremony, the party continues late into the evening with live music. This year, we are in for a special treat. Local Reno favorite Mojo Green is headlining the entertainment. A very good friend of mine just happens to be a member of the band. Ken and I were treated with star treatment, getting to hang out with the band before their set. They rocked the party with their high energy, and booty-shaking soul funk jams. Check out the video below for a little taste of Mojo Green.
Sunday morning comes with our tradition of stopping at Patti’s Thunder Cafe for breakfast and The Carey Candy Company to pick up some treats for the family before heading home. We then make the drive back to Reno, happy and feeling jazzed about another successful race event in the bag. Every time I leave Grinduro, I am ready for the next year. It is tough to say goodbye but I leave knowing that I will be back to work another. Time to put some Tom Petty tunes on the radio and enjoy the magnificent ride home. Until next time Grinduro.