Letter from Archipelago Ride Mastermind Rich Julien
Five years ago, this ride started off with twelve riders. There was supposed to be thirteen -- me -- but surgery got in the way and I was relegated to being the support crew. So I rounded up my daughter, bought some water and beer, and saw them off at La Costa. I was driving my EuroVan places VW didn’t put in the driver’s manual.
The course was roughly thought out. Parts had been done before, but the entire course hadn’t been done in one single effort. That wasn’t going to stop these guys-- some of whom had never even done a ride close to this length. It’s a good thing Mountain Bike Bill was navigating because they were literally making it up as they went.
The beer drinking started at Lake Hodges and by Black Mountain a couple of towels were ready to be thrown in. But the spirit of the Archipelago kicked in, the strength of the group took over, and off they went. The stretch from Black Mountain to the finish in Sorrrento defined why we do it. With your friends you curse the pain, the hurt, the thirst, the muscle cramps, the hunger, and question why the f—k you do this to yourself. You put it in the oven and bake at high heat. The result? An Epic. The Archipelago.
So here we are. Every year, some part of the course gets better. Don’t ask me how, but the Gods let it be so. Every year, we get together as a tribe of mountain bikers and celebrate riding through this great place we live in. We help each other in the spirit of mountain biking. No one gets left behind. Encouragement abounds and you find that it’s more fun to help those around you. It isn’t long before you get it. Life is not just about you. The Archipelago is a slice of life.
Welcome to the 2012 Archipelago.
The details and other announcements will follow shortly.
Published - 1/31/2012