Jan-Willem Billiet // Grand Epic

It was a foggy and damp morning when we arrived at the starting line of the Bay Area Grand Epic. Alex Broekhof and myself did a great job carbo loading the night before. In desperate need of a last minute kicker I scored a double shot espresso at the local coffee shop. No time for small talk. A big day ahead in the saddle. 

The first climb into the nature reserve felt awesome. The air was thick, full of oxygen and testosterone. Soon the fog burned off and at that moment I knew it was going to be a grand epic day. A shoeless river crossing made for a much a refreshing foot massage. The descent into Rob’s Market was fast and quick. Gatorade and Clif Bars for second breakfast. Trying to stay in the wheel of a group road ride was a bad idea. The engine started smoking and black smoke left the exhaust. Luckily we decided to ride our own pace for the rest of Cañada road. The single track descent into Pacifica was sketchy on slick gravel tyres. Bricks were shat. 

Another double espresso and pastry in Half Moon Bay and off we went again. The flat coastal trail was beautiful and breezy. Tailwind for the win. I was craving another double espresso and some chain lube when approaching the Bike Hut. None were found. The steep part of the Tunitas Creek hit me hard. My mind and legs were in limbo. I entered a very dark place for a good half hour. Where’s the barista?

Skeggs immediately after Tunitas looks exciting on paper but proved to be brutal. A much needed donut/coke/gatorade pitstop at Alice’s gas station provided an intense and blissful sugar rush. Watching the sunset at Russian Ridge was magical. 

The decent into Cupertino was quick and dirty. We could smell the finish line but had to go through a few sadistic climbs first. It was pretty dark by the time we rolled up the parking lot. That was a wild day out on the bike.  We felt grand and epic and inhaled a turkey sub. I’ll be back next year!