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Strava addict chats about getting his cycling fix in California  <br> <h3> with the Rapha Cycle Club</h3></br>

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Strava addict chats about getting his cycling fix in California

with the Rapha Cycle Club

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August 1st, 2014

Businessman Paul Berney (co-founder and Managing partner at mCordis) and friend of Ride25, explains how he gets the miles in on his bike even when he’s miles away from home (and his bike)…

Corporate Cycling Trips Ride25 cCompleting Strava challenges is becoming an obsession with me, particularly the monthly competition to rack up the most kilometres of my friends. This is one of main motivations behind making sure I don’t miss out on riding when away on business. The idea of slipping down the league table while stuck in some dreary hotel room kills me, so it was with this in mind I rented a bike for the weekend while on a business trip to San Francisco (a full carbon Cannodale from Sport Basement for $60). San Francisco is also home to a Rapha Cycle Club cafe and they organise group rides at the weekend. You don’t have to wear Rapha to join in, although judging by the number of cyclists wearing the brand, Americans have also joined the cult in huge numbers.

Corporate Cycling Trips Ride25

On Saturday morning I rode with a group of five others on a 90km loop to Alpine Dam which is apparently the classic local’s ride. The six became five when one guy bailed out because of the pace (or to do a different route depending on who you believe). The route included riding over the Golden Gate bridge to get started before a couple of short climbs to get warmed up. We then hit a long drag up Pine Mountain to the dam and an even longer, steeper climb on the other side of the valley to ridgecrest where your ‘reward’ was more climbing up the Seven Sisters Hills. My riding companions carried on for another 10 minute climb up the east ridge but I bailed out to my shame as I was already hanging on for grim death. All the climbs range between 5%-10% on average with a few nasty steeper sections thrown in. We rode on a mixture of bike paths, main roads with wide bike lanes and single track road. The group were good enough to wait for me at intersections as I struggled to keep there pace both up and down the steeper hills (and when I was cowering by the roadside eating all of there spare food). The real rewards however are the fantastic views and the coffee at the end.

Corporate Cycling Trips Ride25 f The other classic ride for locals is Paradise Loop which is around 70k with a lot less climbing but still has some great scenery to enjoy. It’s best to start both rides early in the morning to avoid weaving your way through overweight tourists wobbling on bikes over the bridge. There are tons of cafes and indeed bike shops on the route if you want a more social ride, but if you want to test yourself then check out Rapha’s Saturday morning ride. Just don’t blame me if you end up rewarding yourself with a new jersey and have to explain yourself when you get home.

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