Group rides and Graveling

Photos + Words: Nicole Campbell

The morning started off with a cappuccino at Dune coffee shop on Anacapa St in Santa Barbara, but not before a few unfortunate events. These events happened as my friend Tony and I started making our way from Ventura to Santa Barbara; a good 30+ miles from downtown.

This ride was put on by some awesome companies including the legendary locals at Boom Boom Bike Room, Bummerland Brand, Dune Coffee as well as our LA friends over at Cadence Collection. 

I pulled my road bike out from the garage, pumped up my tires to probably an unreasonable amount of tire pressure. As I left my house, within 20 feet of my driveway, I went to shift to an easier gear and my cable snapped off of my shifter. We quickly turned around, packing and cleaning up my dirty gravel bike. We made our way and hit the coastal bike path, only to go about 5 miles before Tony hit some glass and got a flat tire. We took a few minutes to change the tire and realized we were a bit too late to make it the remaining 25 miles for a pre-ride cappuccino.

The route started up mountain drive, along some familiar terrain and a few new roads. Most of the route was on streets I commute through when traffic is rough. It was nice to be riding, going slower and enjoying the scenery. Mostly, we flew through the marine layer, occasionally breaking through into some sunlight.

The group was a big one. Most of us ended up having little conversations with new friends and familiar friends; we all wanted to have a good time. The pace was quick, but no one was left as we made sure to re-group. There was also an A group and and B group with different riding priorities. 

After the ride, there was coffee, donuts, breakfast burritos and watermelons. Some great post-ride conversations as the A group and B groups synced up. 

A few of us decided it would be fun to fill our gravel sized hole in our hearts with a bit of (new to me) Santa Barbara gravel. Six of us headed out toward Summerland. We turned off the bike path to a sudden single track switchback of a 17% grade. 

We proceeded to some of the bumpiest and narrowest single track I had ridden. And after a zone 3-4 ride, my legs were left very tired. I was really glad I didn’t ride all the way from Ventura, at that point. 

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