Grinduro Is A Real Thing

Maxin and Relaxin at a New Kind of Bike Race.

Words by Dain Zaffke. Photos by Dain Zaffke, Dusty Bermshot, Jordan Haggard

Whoa… Something special happened last week in Quincy, California. We might be biased, but seriously – now that the dust has settled from Grinduro we think that the event has left a lasting impression on the bike world. 

What a party! What an epic bike ride! What a dynamic group of artists, craftsmen, musicians and riders of all types! 

Maxin’ and Relaxin’ – that’s the most succinct way to describe the unique ratio of bike racing and partying that 400 people experienced at Grinduro. The enduro-style format allowed us all to absolutely hammer the timed segments (I thought I was bleeding out of my eyes on the timed one-mile climb), yet we were able to regroup/laugh/chitchat and make friends in the vast stretches in between. 

When was the last time you saw carbon fiber, disc brake-equipped cyclocross bikes racing alongside full suspension mountain bikes? Not to mention handmade works of art from California’s best independent frame builders, full-on road racing bikes, singlespeeds, at least one fixed gear and even a tandem. The thing is no one really knew which bike would perform best, because there’s never been an event quite like the Grinduro. 

We could argue about the merits of one type of bike over another, but every rider we saw had a blast. It didn’t seem to matter what they were riding. And the Grinduro race format rewarded the most well rounded cyclists. In the end it was Barry Wicks (Kona Endurance Team) and Caroline Dezendorf (Rock Lobster Cycles) that possessed the right mix of skill, fitness and luck.

There was a special energy that lasted well into the night and camping onsite meant that we could all have just one more drink knowing that our tents were only a short stroll from the party. 

The riding was only half of it, though. A lot of folks attended just for the music, with Ray Barbee and Mike Watt headlining. Some people came for the food, knowing that renowned chef Chris Diminno was in charge of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Others were more fired up about the art/bike exhibit showcasing a collection of handmade bikes, guitars, prints and bags. 

With leaves changing and autumn in the air, the Grinduro marked the ultimate end to a long summer of cycling. While we feel somewhat somber now that summer’s over and the Grinduro has come and gone, we’re more optimistic than ever about competitive cycling. We’re already fired up for the next Grinduro and the chance to introduce more people to our kind of bike race. 

Until the next one, we can reminisce with a bunch of great photos (including the portraits from the photo studio), video and even a Grinduro playlist on Spotify.