The Tour de France is one of my favorite sporting events. Over the years I lost my enthusiasm for it, but on days like today I know the spirit of the Tour is alive and well. So many of the favorites in this year’s race have crashed. Andrew Talansky crashed twice. With teammates literally pulling him up the stairs on the bus and helping him out of his jersey because he was so tired and stiff with injuries, it was near certain that he would quit the race. During today’s stage, Talansky reaching the critical point, where he found himself off the back, then off the bike, on the brink of throwing in the towel. Talansky’s coach lobbed a nugget of encouragement, shrouded in wisdom
Talansky pushed on. In pain, out of energy, without any team support or companions, he pushed on, for over 50 miles. Alone. He limped across the finish line within just 5 minutes from the cut-off time. He did it.
Those 50 miles catapulted Talansky into Tour history. Fans cheered like he was in the yellow jersey. Cameras re-emerged as news of this gutsy act spread like a wildfire up the rolling roads of France. Attention engulfed the bus until Talansky was obliged to open the door for interviews. HE was the news. The hero of the day. Not because he won. But because he called upon that kernel of courage and determination that, though rarely seen, exists deep inside all of us.
Vive le Tour! And don’t miss this read.
At Dude Girl, we’re aware that our biggest asset is you, our community of customers. For the past 12 months we’ve been pedaling hard, regaining our cadence, getting warmed up for the climb. We’ve reached the base of the climb and now the real work begins. Just like on a bike ride, we’re a little nervous, and filled with anticipation and excitement that accompanies any big effort. We’re asking you to help us, now, so that we can continue to improve Dude Girl products and bring you more items that add joy to the ride!
Hitting the road with friends on weekend mornings is one of my most cherished activities. The day’s journey is filled with possibility. Spirits are bright, pony tails are flying, along with laughter and chatter and girl-talk (even if the boys are along). And by the end of the ride — or day — our hearts are full.
This spring let’s widen our circles and meet new friends among the hills and valleys that serve as the beautiful backdrop for our weekend joys, freedoms, and connections.
Dude Girl will be at the events below with all our cycling and casual apparel.
LEVI’S GRAN FONDO, Santa Rosa, CA – SAT, OCT 4
PRINCESS PROMENADE, Sacramento, CA – SUN, OCT 5
TEMECULA VALLEY CENTURY, Temecula, CA – FRI – SAT, OCT 10-11
(Ride is on Saturday. Expo and Beer Garden on FRI for a little extra GiddyUp.)
BIKETOBERFEST MARIN – Fairfax, CA – SAT, OCT 11
(More beer and biking! Not in that order please.)
There are days in life where you feel like you have it made. One of those days, for me, was a recent Sunday at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Gran Fondo. Dude Girl had the good fortune of being a select vendor at the debut event’s Mercato over the weekend. We rubbed shoulders with cycling fame and showed off our gear to like-minded cyclist foodies!
Appropriately, the weekend began with a lovely meal at Michael’s restaurant, Bottega, in Yountville. If you’ve not yet been, make it a part of your trip to the Napa Valley this year. And I highly suggest a leisurely afternoon of appetizers and refreshments outdoors before moving inside for your meal. My mother will be surprised that my favorite dish that evening was Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Whole Meyer lemon dressing, toasted Marcona almonds, sieved egg, and Pecorino cheese. (Brussels were the very bottom of my list as a kid).
On Saturday, the Mercato was open! I, and so many others, were able to meet our cycling, food and wine heroes in a relaxed park-like setting. While sipping and sampling.
The double hot fudge Sunday was riding with Bob Roll, who I’ve listened to during Tour de France coverage for years. Bobke, as he is affectionately known, is a 3-time Tour de France racer, 3-time Giro d’Italia racer and 7-time Paris-Roubaix racer. But this was back in the day… at the inception of American racing in Europe. And those 3 races are the short list.
We had 15 friends riding in Dude Girl Dots at the fondo. And all of us had the pleasure of meeting, riding with and taking snaps with George Hincapie, Christian Van de Velde, David Zabriske… And I haven’t even begun to list the chefs and sommeliers.
During Sunday’s ride, one of the highlights for me was sharing some time on the bike with Chef Michael Chiarello, especially when he powered the Dots train down “The Trail.” Michael gesticulated with one arm and steadied his steed with the other while offering a few nuggets of wisdom for the Dude Girl operation. (I seek advice from Michael annually, typically on a bike ride in the Napa Valley. Someday, Michael, I’ll sell a little handbook titled, Business Tips — Not Tri-tips — I learned from MC.)
At the Bottega Gran Fondo, I felt nothing but gratitude — for my friends and supporters of Dude Girl, for my generous family who jumped in to help build “The Barn”, and for being able to participate in an exceptional event comprising my interests of cycling, food, wine, friends (new and old) and the conviviality and memories harvested from such gatherings.
Next year, I hope more of you will join us! We all need a few Hero Days.
Meet Jocelyn Ray. I had the good fortune of meeting Jocelyn on one of our Dude Girl cycling trips back in 2005. Jocelyn hit the Pyrenees that summer like she does everything else — with gusto. So it didn’t surprise me when I learned that Jocelyn will be directing the media efforts for Team In Gamba/World Bicycle Relief in the Race Across America this year. She’ll be playing a very important support role in this race of endurance and fortitude, and I assure you that she’ll be hammering.
Hope you will follow Jocelyn’s posts for this great adventure, and keep an eye out for — and say hello to — one of our favorite Dude Girls when you are out there on the roads. She is often seen on roads and trails of Marin either on her road bike or in her running shoes.
Jocelyn is wearing Dude Girl’s Department Athletic Tee. Now in 3 colors — get yours here.
I can’t help reminiscing a bit with the photo below of all of us on Col d’Aspin waiting for the Tour to come through. This shot captures the essence of that great trip–and summer–perfectly.
They’re everywhere! Enjoy them! And get your very own Dots magic kit if you don’t yet own one. And send us shots of you doing your own Polka. We’ll post and share!
Congratulations to the following winners of our Facebook Show Your Love Contest!
If your name is below, please send us an email so we can get your GiddyUp Tank Top sent to you!
Tori Oman – Milwaukee, WI
Cathy Jensen – Portland, OR
Peggy Ray – Great Falls, MT
April Hartford – Santa Fe, NM
Kelly Kennedy Diodati – Georgia / San Francisco, CA
We couldn’t do it without our partners — please visit a Dude Girl dealer near you! A full list of retailers is on the Find A Store page on our web site, but we want you to know about the latest additions to our dealer family:
Pedal Chic – Greenville, SC
Carmel Valley Bicycle – Carmel, CA
Roaring Mouse Cycles – San Francisco, CA
Eden Bicycles – Castro Valley, CA
Spa Moab – Moab, UT
Pelo Cycling & Fitness – San Rafael, CA
A quick word about Pelo: If you are in or near Marin County, and are a cyclist, this place is worth a visit. We wouldn’t call ourselves indoor-anything people, but Pelo kept our legs strong this past winter (even if we sacrificed a little sleep for Alan’s 6 AM classes) with their intense 1-hour workouts designed by cyclists for cyclists. This is not spin. It’s indoor cycling, and I was surprised by my fitness when I finally did get back out on the open roads this spring. The instructors are great — Alan, the owner, is a superstar, but there are other top guns such as Georgia and Leslie. The music will have you almost dancing on your pedals when you’re not gasping for oxygen. If you have a chance, definitely try Pelo.
I want to extend a personal invitation to join us in the Napa Valley for my friend, Michael Chiarello’s, Bottega Gran Fondo on April 12/13. I’ll be riding the 75-mile course, along with a few friends, and we’ve chosen Bob Roll as our VIP Team Leader (although our choice has not been confirmed yet). If you register today and choose Bob, too, we have an even better chance of riding with him. Plus, we’d just like to meet all of you in person, and share the joy of riding together.
If you’ve not yet experienced riding in a peleton of Dots, it’s pretty much like magic. Our Dots kit is certainly not a requirement, but if you would like to wear it, get it here.
Please join us and make this a Dude Girl Super Fundo on top of a Bottega Gran Fondo!
The VIP registration is sold out but regular tix are still available – but HURRY!
1) Review all the fabulous info on the Bottega Gran Fondo Web Site.
2) Register and IMPORTANT:
- When asked to input your Team Name, put: Dude Girl
- When asked to select your VIP Team Leader, select BOB ROLL
- Secondary choices – Chef Jody Adams, Christian Vandevelde, David Zabriskie
(if you don’t have to choose a 2nd option, I would leave blank)
3) Invite any of your friends and family that you think would enjoy this event — the more the merrier!
4) Also Important: Send me a note to let me know you have registered. And send me the names of your friends/family that have registered. This is important as we want to make the event as special as it can be for you.
Also, Dude Girl will have our Little Barn booth at the Fondo, with all of our Dude Girl merchandise for sale!
Hope to see you there, and meet those of you who have purchased from us (thank you).
Time to have some fun together!