The beauty that is Quincy, California. (photo c/o Long Nguyen)
Camp vibes galore. (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Lil' Chicken wing with Stan the Adventure Van. (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
Taking laps around the campground. (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
Grinduro is a dog-friendly event. (photo c/o Dain Zaffke)
Jeremiah was giving away art. What a guy! (photo c/o Ian Stowe)
Race day. We went through about 65 gallons in less than three hours of coffee service. (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
It was a bit chilly on the morning of the race. (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
It's was on! (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
Shae & PK were steady serving that sweet bean. (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Deana and Slim getting ready to ride. (photo c/o Parker Batterson)
Jeremiah Kille reppin' that VCR.
"Gourmet" adult libations. (photo c/o Brad Urban)
The cheer squad. (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
It got a little strange out there on the trails. (photo c/o Brad Urban)
Hydration was key. (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Crushing it! (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Nikki was out there serving cold brew to riders on the last leg of the race. (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Rob Gaukel (far right) and his ride squad. (photo c/o Jordan Haggard)
Deana killed it! (photo c/o Jordan Haggard)
The Verve squad was so proud. Hoist her up! (photo c/o Jordan Haggard)
VCR Griiiiiiiiiiiiiinduro squad!! (photo c/o Jordan Haggard)
Jeremiah Kille partied with our squad this year. (photo c/o Jordan Haggard)
Grindur... Oh wait. Gin-duro! (photo c/o Brad Urban)
The Tijuana Panthers supplied the jams! (photo c/o Colin Meagher)
Dain was definitely feeling the dance floor scene.
Let the good times roll. (photo c/o Ian Stowe)
When my co-worker, Mac, first brought up Grinduro as a potential event for us to participate in, my interest was immediately peaked. As a long-time cycling fan and with a crew of friends who cycle competitively, Grinduro has been on my radar for a long time. I’ve heard my buddies rave about Grinduro and speak highly of the “party to race ratio.” I knew that if we were going to be a part of Grinduro 2017 it would no doubt be one for the books.
At our preliminary meeting with Melanie and Dain from Giro, the energy was tangible as we spitballed ideas around the room about what was possible for Verve to bring to the table at Grinduro. We were all in. The goal? To bring an epic coffee experience that Grinduro had never seen the likes of before.
After weeks of meetings, planning, coordinating, and a full day spent packing, it was time to hit the road. 7 hours in Stan the Adventure Van (pictured below) flew by as Parker, my friend, and co-worker, and I listened to sweet tunes and enjoyed hours of good conversation. As we passed the time and the miles, the scenery went from dusty flat towns and farms to rolling foothills and, finally, to trees and canyons with the striking ribbon of the Yuba River flying by us as we entered Plumas County.
We finally met up with our crew at the fairgrounds and got straight to work setting up our coffee station. The fully equipped van, complete with 4 brewers, was going to caffeinate almost 1200 people the next morning. We brewed some test batches and set up our campsite (complete with our 4 person Tepui on top of Stan), hitting the hay early so that we could wake up at 3 am on Saturday to fulfill our mission.
3 am Saturday
I groggily awoke to my alarm. “What year is it….” I had slept well in the comfortably Tepui, albeit for not enough hours. I clambered down the ladder and began brewing batch after batch of that sweet, hot bean.
6 am Saturday
Our whole crew is up and at em. We have brewed almost 60 gallons of coffee, and we were brewing more and more every minute. The sleepy racers were gearing up for the big ride. They kindly expressed gratitude to us while emanating positive pre-race jitters. We handed out steaming cup of coffee after steaming cup of coffee, feeling a deep sense of gratification to be helping so many kind souls start their day off on the right foot, even with something as simple as a cup of good coffee.
10 am Saturday
We had the pleasure of serving the riders cold brewed coffee halfway through the race. Talk about fun. The coffee kept flowing straight into the evening. Night came, indicating time to celebrate. Family dinner was the obvious, celebratory choice. We made a delicious homemade chili and shotgunned beers together. The food + drink was good, but the company was phenomenal. Then it was time to dance. We boogied on through the night to fun tunes before hitting the pillow in anticipation of – you guessed it – another morning of non-stop brewing at good ole “Griiiiiiiiinduro!”.
Sunday brought with it a mellow energy, but we still managed to brew the same massive amount of coffee for our tired Grinduro friends. The day came to a close and we wondered where the weekend had gone. It all felt like one big, happy, blur. We packed-up Stan the Adventure Van – having entirely depleted our coffee stores, space was abundant, making the process quick and painless. We said goodbye to our awesome new friends and hit the road with a deep sense of satisfaction and heads full of fun memories.
The consensus? 10/10! I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
- Kara Jeffery, Event Coordinator at Verve Coffee Roasters