Blood, Sweat And Cheers
A Toast to the Summer of Mountain Biking
This story should have been about the perfect cocktails for a Moab trip in April, then it was Whistler in June, then Downieville in August… This cocktail collaboration with Pivot Cycles was to be my anti-bachelor party - for the guys in our High Camp riding crew who didn’t want the traditional tomfoolery of a bachelor party - who just wanted to go somewhere epic and ride. We envisioned a much different storyline for our first promotion with Pivot, but eventually 2020, as we know it, arrived. We postponed our weddings, got refunds for our flights, and then the fear and uncertainty of our new-normal set in.
By Mid-March, the only thing open to the public in SF were the roads and trails accessible on foot or bike. Social distancing on a bike was relatively easy. Our rides got longer, the terrain got less familiar, and then new cyclists began emerging. Our riding crew pushed for more competition and sure enough, friends that were beginners in April, were rippers in May. All the while, the closure of bars and restaurants enhanced our at-home cocktail game.
The whiskey reserves emptied and then filled up again with better bottles and more unique liqueurs. By the time June set in and our favorite restaurants opened for takeout, we’d ride 30 miles to grab a sandwich a county away, have a flask-transported cocktail, then ride back. It felt, dare I say, good. Industry wide, mountain biking as a sport saw unprecedented growth, and home cocktail concoctions became Instagram staples. What was happening?
Meanwhile, at High Camp Flasks, we weren’t sure if we were going to make it. Whit sublet his apartment in San Francisco early on in the pandemic and moved in with friends rent-free for a bit. He has been nomadic with his girlfriend ever since. But somewhere along the way, between shipping delays, lost packages and increases in online shopping, we realized that in order to survive, we needed to grow our team.
The ride you see in these photos eventually became our first real-life meeting with our newest team member, Ariel. We were all able to link up in Tahoe for one last ride of the Summer and it turned out that she and I both rode Pivots. We reached out relatively last minute to revive our previous plans and they were all about, loaded our bikes on our 1Up bike rack. Ariel decided to show us around her home turf and take us to Tyrolean in North Lake Tahoe. We caught clear skies in the thin air that Tahoe is best known for - a much needed reprieve from smoke-battered Northern California.
Better yet, Breckenridge Distilling provided us with a couple world class bottles for the Apres adventure at the Basecamp Hotel. The trail was world class, albeit dusty as hell, and the elation of riding with friends and drinking cocktails around the campfire makes you forget the many things that will make 2020 unforgettable.
So cheers to Mountain Biking and homemade cocktails in 2020 and may this be the legacy of 2020 that lives on.
Here's what we were drinking:
More from our adventure:
Big thank you to Five Ten shoes, 1Up USA racks, Club Ride Apparel, Pivot Cycles, Basecamp Hotels, and Breckenridge Distillery for decking us out! You can enter to win some of the awesome gear seen here:
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