By Mike StoneStarts: Sunday, February 4th, 2024 - 8am
With expansive vistas of the majestic Sea of Cortez paired with the challenging variety of desert track, there seem to be endless opportunity to become invigorated and inspired while riding a bicycle on the east side of Baja Sur. I feel so well here. I am so very fortunate to have these three pillars that I know contribute greatly to wellness in my life: The Sea. The Desert. The Ride.
Feelings of gratitude are with me during all my activities while in Baja, and this feeling was particularly strong on a Christmas morning bike ride when I was overwhelmed with inspiration to create an event where fellow cyclists could come together and enjoy this breathtaking and challenging environment, all with the purpose of giving back to the incredible Mexican communities that welcome us and freely share their adventure playground. A FUNd raising bike race was created. It’s called the Eastside Epic and the positive response from all the early participants has been just as inspiring as the environment in which it’s held.
There are several worthy charitable foundations doing great work in Baja. I believe that education is a cornerstone for any healthy community, so the decision to where the funds raised at our races would go was an easy one. The East Cape Guild has long been working toward supporting local students. We team up with them for volunteers and they see that the funds raised in our events are awarded to deserving students. All lives are lifted in an educated community.
Since the very first Epic three years ago, racers, volunteers, and sponsors have all done their part to increase the stoke meter for this event. Homes and Land of Baja have long been supporting the Guild’s mission of providing scholarships to students and they were quickly and enthusiastically on board with our mission.
Frame Fine Clothing is a Mexican fashion company and each season they design a unique and custom neck gaiter/ buff that each participant receives. The Epic Buff has quickly become cherished and appreciated hallmark swag. It is so very practical for protection from the sun, wind, and blowing sand.
Rancho Cacachilas has also been there from the beginning. They are exemplary stewards of Baja Sur and each season they have contributed by awarding day passes to the Ranch for several lucky race participants.
Hammer Nutrition has continued to provide supplies that support the racers’ nutrition and hydration needs at start and finish as well at an aid station on course.
Each season a variety of local shops and restaurants give generously and we are able to award gift certificates to many of the racers. It is truly a remarkable experience where the practice of giving literally results in receiving.
And now I am also very grateful to add the great people at Baja Bound to this list. Through all my seasons in Baja, they have provided us with great service for our journeys and now they are helping to increase awareness, and hopefully participation in our race by sharing this article with you!
The Eastside Epic bike race is held on the first Sunday of February each season in Los Barriles, BCS. The course is different each year and is announced in advance on the Eastside Epic's website. It varies a bit in length, about 30k, but always promises a breathtaking route that mixes road surfaces with desert track, providing something for everyone. And everyone is welcome to participate. The bike you have is the best bike for this event. E-bikes have their own division.
So, are you in? Gorgeous sea views, a challenging good time all in the true spirit of community. You are Epic and I will love to see you there! Register at our web site. Check in is from 7am - 7:45am and the Race starts at 8am with awards immediately after the last rider crosses the finish line. A healthy challenge, a chance to meet new friends, give back to our communities, and still have time for a Sunday afternoon session on the water, the pickleball court, or beach? What could be more Epic than that?
Can't make the event? Make a donation directly to The East Cape Guild!
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