Roadbook: Santa Barbara
There are few ways better to start a day than with a couple cups of perfect coffee and a giant donut slathered with pink frosting. And following it up with a group ride that basically follows the route the pros will be riding in today’s stage removes all guilt of that donut. Aaron Stinner and Stinner Frameworks have organized the now-annual ride that heads out to watch the riders competing in the AMGEN Tour of California. Stinner built his first frame a few years back, and has quickly developed a near cult following that reaches past his hometown of Santa Barbara.
The ride takes us to two lower-category KOM climbs, and we stop and wait to see how the race will unfold at our location—though the race’s real-time app gives away a little bit of the surprise.
The riders and caravan pass. And then even more quickly than we’d imagined, the cleanup crew comes through to collect the KOM sign. The Stinner group ride begins to roll back toward Santa Barbara.
But we have a flat front tire. Though it is not exactly the return trip we’d expected, riding in this tiny group gives us a chance to look around a little bit more, and appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the American Riviera.
SRAM: Why are you a SRAM fan?
AS: I love [your] product. Ever since—I’m going to have a hard time remembering when you guys came out with your first road drivetrain—I think the team that I was on, you guys were doing a bit of a sponsorship, so I got to ride it—some of the first generations of it. And obviously, it’s come such a long way from what it was then. Honestly, the support that I have gotten, whether it was [working] at the bike shop, or as a frame builder, has been way better than anyone else. Second to none, it’s the support we get—that’s why I love it. It’s great product, obviously, but there’s a lot of people making great product. But the support and the community around it is amazing. You guys win, hands down.