I’ve been bicycling long enough and am curious enough that I’ve ridden most of the backroads in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. I know which roads are beautifully quiet and I know which are prone to heavy traffic. I know which roll along or climb gently and I know which will brutally punish you with steep 15%+ grades.
So when Katie and I found ourselves riding with a strong group on Summit Road and she said, “They’re turning on Loma Prieta Road. What’s it like?” I was surprised I didn’t know. I knew that Loma Prieta ran parallel to Summit, but that was it. “They say it turns to gravel,” she said. I said, “Let’s do it” and surprised myself.
We had joined up with a ride sponsored by Giro to promote the launch of their New Road clothing. Santa Cruz-based riding club Steel Wül had planned an all day route in the hills, but details were thin. All we knew was they were starting at Giro headquarters in Scotts Valley and climbing the painfully steep Mountain Charlie Road.
Katie works for Giro as their marketing director and wanted to ride with the group, but she wasn’t looking forward to driving over the hill to Scotts Valley like she does every weekday morning. And I wasn’t looking forward to starting a long ride with climb up Mountain Charlie, much less riding with a pack of fast bike industry riders. Our plan: climb up the other side of the hill from Los Gatos, take a few photos and play it by ear.
We ended up climbing into the unknown on Loma Prieta Road, dropping down the dirt on Mt Bache and then riding along the delightfully remote, but potholed Highland Road to a lunch stop in the redwoods at Buzzard’s Lagoon. I quickly snapped some shots and got a better look at the Giro New Road line.
The bicycling world often divides riders by discipline: roadies, mountain bikers, commuters, urban hipsters and more. Each requires a specific uniform: lycra kits for roadies, baggie shorts for mountain bikers, hi-viz for commuters and skinny jeans for hipsters. Giro New Road goes beyond the tribal distinctions with a line of bike wear that can take a rider from road to trail to cafe in comfort and style. The secret is merino wool, the original technical fabric, carefully tailored cuts and performance features, and a healthy dose of relaxed California style.
As someone who belongs to several bike tribes, New Road appeals to me. I can see myself wearing it for weekend trail and road rides and on my longer commutes. What’s currently available is cut to fit men, but inside sources tell me there’s a women’s line in the works. You can get a glimpse of a prototype in the slideshow.
Katie and I left the group after lunch. They rolled down to the coast while we headed back over to the bay side of the hills. Not an easy day in the saddle for me, but my curiosity was satisfied by a New Road from Giro.
What bicycle tribe(s) do you belong to? Does each require its own uniform? Does each have its own style?