The ride began with a climb on a tree-enveloped road that took us up over the shoulder of Mt. Tamalpais and suddenly opened to sunlight and bright azure heavens.
The day alternated between cool shade under trees and earthen walls and the brilliant sunlight of a day uncommon to Marin County.
The group was as calm as it was adept at navigating challenging terrain. I felt like I'd been riding with these guys for years.
Fausto gained everyone's respect by staying near the front the whole day. There is no doubt he rides regularly and with a strong group.
Chad stayed near the front as well, stopping the group periodically to let those with less spring fitness rejoin and enjoy a drink.
The Bissell Team members rode with the relaxed air of guys out for a Monday morning recovery ride. Many remained in long sleeves and leg warmers for the whole of the day, despire temperatures that entered the 80s. More impressive, they would gently slide into gaps allowing lesser riders a chance to catch a wheel rather than get dropped.
After climbing up the long grade of BoFax from Stinson Beach, riders were treated to vistas of rolling hills, the beach below and sheer hillsides.
The rolling terrain gave everyone a chance to enjoy some short decents on which to recover.
In the birthplace of mountain biking, singletrack beckoned, despite the quality of the road.
Gita's Nicholls, at right gets important feedback on the DMT shoe line the team wears.
The final descent back to town offered the group an E-ticket ride with distracting views and constant switchbacks. Disneyland was never this much fun.
A group with this much skill can make any descent seem effortless.
Morgan Schmitt, who won the crit at Sea Otter days before, grabs a bottle on the descent.
DS Eric Wohlberg was joined by his girlfriend and made sure she stayed with the group with pushes on the climbs and descents. It was an incredible display of power, grace and gentleness.