Bolinas Road ascends out of Fairfax California and winds its way over the picturesque hills of Marin before spiraling down to the stillness of Alpine Lake – from there it climbs through a garden of redwoods to West Ridgecrest Blvd and the Seven Sisters of Mt. Tam. For all it's beauty its not a road to be taken lightly. Blind corners, pockmarked pavement and forest litter insist you keep your wits about you.
On Friday I arrived to photograph Hunter Ziesing, founder and executive director of ZTeam, a national cycling club with several chapters in the Bay Area. ZTeam's mission is to encourage cycling at many different levels, from the camaraderie of group rides with fellow members, support for rider development programs, training and competition to the long term goal of fielding the next premier U.S. Continental Cycling Pro Team.
It was a landmark day in ZTeam's history as it prepares to send a very competitive team to the 2008 American Eagle Outfitters Tour of Pennsylvania, the world's richest Espiors Race, June 24-29, 2008. More exciting still was the announcement that Frankie Andreu, nine-time Tour de France rider, will lead the team as director sportif during the six-day stage race televised on Versus.
Andreu was in attendance, filming an upcoming review of the Ridley Helium for broadbandracer.com. At the scheduled start time of 9am, the hills still wore a thick blanket of fog. Arm warmers, knee warmers and gilets were the order of the day until the sun finally broke through for good at about 11am.
While the video production rolled I got plenty of shots of Frankie riding with the team from the roadside and out the back of a team car. At 6'2" Andreu is an imposing figure on the bike. After an hour, he and the video crew left to film elsewhere on the road, leaving the ZTeam peleton to continue on the road to Mt. Tam. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the company of photographer Ronnie Lenzi who was also shooting. By 1pm we were done and I was back in the Audi heading for the Golden Gate Bridge and southward to San Jose.
Two additional observations on Bolinas Road. First, struggling for 90 minutes to keep the viewfinder on the team while swinging from side to side through endless hairpins eventually had me feeling just a little green. Second, the Rapha Occidental Continental ride followed the same route in February. They definitely had me in the pain cave because after Alpine Lake, I couldn't remember any of the climb and descent into Fairfax.