Meet our friend Caetie, Ornot
We first met Caetie on our unofficial Mt. Tam hill climb in 2016 and it still stands as her fastest ascent up tam via bofax (I just checked). Back then she was working for a funky startup in the food zone and was fairly new to cycling. Since then I've been on rides with her over thousands of miles of dirt and pavement across California. Generally, as the ride gets longer, she gets stronger, and if there is one person that shows up to a dirt ride with a road bike, it's probably her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where do you live and what do you do for work?
I'm a freelance writer and consultant focusing on food, community and climate solutions and I live in San Francisco, CA.
What kind of bikes do you like to ride?
Almost all of them -- road, gravel/cx, mountain. I commute on a single-speed basket bike. I got on a fixie once and my brain yelled nope, nope, nope, so I don't ride on the track. But never say never.
What sparked your passion for cycling?
I was focused on other sports growing up, so at first riding was transportation and I loved the freedom and self-sufficiency that came with riding everywhere instead of driving or juggling transit logistics. But one thing led to another and I started riding more for fun, with groups, getting more technical on dirt. Then I started racing with Ornot and joined the SF Cycling Club. At this point I think gaining technical skill on my mountain bike is the most satisfying thing for me, and I have a soft spot for under biking (i.e. getting loose on sorta sketchy dirt trails on a road bike), but I still love it all.
You wake up and find out work was canceled, where will we find you riding?
Oooh, I love that kind of news. Probably driving to escape the SF fog to ride Annadel or Tamarancho on my hardtail. Or heading up Mt. Tam in Marin one or more of several ways. Can never go wrong climbing a mountain. When left to my own devices I've been known to audible a Friends of Tam last minute (climbing Mt. Tam via the four main road routes in one day, with maybe a fifth bonus dirt ascent).
You just finished up a long ride, what’s your guilty pleasure post-ride meal?
I don't feel guilty about it, but a big sandwich, bag of chips and a cold drink always hits the spot. A tofu banh mi is my go-to. Sometimes I need a cookie, too.
Do you have any races or bucket list rides you plan on doing this year?
A couple of my favorite soul-searching mountain bike races are coming up soon, Boggs and Wente 8-hour. I contemplate the Downieville XC every year, maybe this is the year I actually race it. And then my most serious racing is cyclocross in the fall, and I want to try some single speed races this year. Locally, I'm also excited for our SF Cycling Club race series and the return of Kooks of the Coast, a Marin dirt alley cat ride of the kindest and most fun variety. And then I'd like to do my third Friends of Tam this summer too, probably in June around the solstice.
Aside from riding your bike, what other sports and activities are you into or did you do in the past?
I grew up playing soccer and running track, including a couple seasons of soccer in college. After that I transitioned to long distance road and trail running. I was really into that until I found out that I was wearing out one of my hip joints way ahead of schedule and had to get FAI surgery. My doctor told me I needed to nix long distance impact sports unless I wanted a full hip replacement, so I switched to cycling and here we are. I still run, swim and do a ton of core work for cross training. I recently started lifting heavy weights at the gym, which feels like cheating and I wish I had started sooner.
You've been riding in Ornot gear for a while, what are some of your favorite pieces?
Now that I've gone Microclimate I'll never go back, it's so perfect for the variable weather we get here, and I love the new bright colors that have been rolling in. I'm also very very into the comfort and coziness of the new women's fleecey cargo tights. The lightweight long sleeve jerseys are also in constant rotation for me. On and off the bike, the women's Merino grid thermal sweatshirt and special edition jersey are also favorites.
Do you actually enjoy riding up hills, Ornot?
I truly do. The best ones are when you both lose yourself and find yourself.
What’s the longest ride you ever did, and would you do it again?
I've done a lot of 100 mile/8 hour + rides, with the longest being out and back from SF to Occidental on a road bike. That was 185. I've also done The Coast Ride four times (375 miles in 3 days). Hoping to do it again!
What’s your favorite local go-to ride?
We have so many incredible options that I don't have a single favorite. Routes that involve the Marin Headlands, Sutro/Laguna Honda, Golden Gate Park, Tamarancho, Mt. Tam, Tunitas Creek, Purisma Creek would all contend for my favorites.