It takes a peculiar mentality to embrace the suffering that is found in the sport of cycling. Out on the open road we challenge others and ourselves instinctively, and often unspoken, as we dig deep to conquer the psychological battle in order to push through the pain billowing up inside of our souls as it manifests itself in our legs and shoulders. We overcome with our sheer will to destroy all obstacles and potential failures in our path. For if there is no pain, there is no progression. More often then we would like to admit or remember, we fall short of our personal expectations but we use that frustration to motivate ourselves to excel. This is the torment at the core of the masochistic cyclist.
Woven in to the tapestry of the Velocurean lifestyle is also a passion for friendship, peace, enlightenment, perfection, education and enrichment both on and off the bike. On this particular day in Napa, Rachel Ashley – Viticulturalist for Beringer Vineyards, led us on a ride toward stronger relationships and an appreciation of the amazing agricultural nuances that makes the Napa Valley the perfect terrain to practice the art of winemaking. Together we rode through the vines and breathed in the scents of ripe stone fruits and grapes of all varietals. We paused to experience the landscape surrounding us as we stood in the heart of the Napa Valley encircled by miles of vines. Rachel had us feel the soil, examine the vines and taste the grapes as she explained the expectations and process of the journey for each fruit from the science of the earth to the first sip from the goblet. At the end of our trek we relaxed on the grounds of Beringer. Over lunch and fellowship Rachel poured wines crafted from the fruits of the fields we were just learning in. Never before had a sip of wine meant so much as its aromas and hints of earth, herbs and fruit swirled together in our mouths in a kaleidoscope of flavor. An amazing experience…
Eat. Drink. Ride.
Words – Joshua Seaman
Photos – Kevin Eisele