Prescott, Arizona - Spicy Streats

This year was my third time returning to the Whiskey 50 Offroad in Prescott, Arizona. It is an event that combines so many things I love about mountain biking - great community, an exciting and adventurous course and some very strong elite fields to keep everyone on their toes. After a big week of training, I struggled in the fat tire crit but managed to hang on for 5th place and a front row call up in Sunday’s marathon cross country race.


The course for Sunday’s 50 miler featured some exciting changes over past years, including the addition of significant, technical single track towards the end of the lap. The women’s race stayed together at the front with a strong group of 5 riders heading into the infamous Skull Valley climb which this year featured a roughly six mile relentless climb up to the highest point on the course. From the base, the pace began to lift and I was able to work together with Erin Huck and Catherine Pendrel to begin establishing a small gap. By the last section of the climb, Erin and I were together off the front and took turns pulling hard at the front.

At the top of the climb, I attacked into the single track and found that I got a small gap. I charged hard on the descent and could no longer see my competitors behind me - but knew there was a lot of racing left to be done. One of the most challenging things about this race, and particularly with the new course changes, is the mental task of staying focused and pushing hard for so long without any clear picture of where your competitors are. I was able to keep my foot on the gas and stay away to take my second Whiskey 50 win after just under 4 hours of racing! All this racing definitely works up an appetite…

The Taco Spot: Spicy Streats

Local recommendations from Mile High Middle School students who were clearly in the know brought us to Spicy Streats for some post race refueling. There, I ordered a taco platter which comes with four tacos and the choice of two sides. I elected for one chicken, one steak, one al pastor and an avotaco with a side of elote corn as well as some chips and guacamole. They also provide the option of flour or corn tortillas which is always lovely for a gluten free diner.

The atmosphere was average, but the service was quick and the salsa bar was satisfactory. As for the tacos, the al pastor was most definitely the stand out and I’d honestly recommend just looking no further than that option. Second place for me was the chicken taco followed by the steak. To be honest, the avotaco was a bit of a let down. The real star of the show, however, was the corn. The cheese was delicious and the corn tasted fresh and perfectly roasted so as to maintain a bit of a crunch while still being nice and juicy. Brad would also like to note the deliciousness of the queso dip which he selected as one of his sides. It was homemade, a little spicy and overall a very fun time.

Overall, Spicy Streats was a well branded restaurant with good service and some ingredient highlights but lacked the pizzaz we search for to be seen as an outstanding example of the taco craft. That said, we will definitely be back next time we are Prescott…. Gotta get those tacos!

Tacos: 2/5 for all but the al pastor which gets a 4/5

Ambience: 3/5 

Fun Factor: 3/5

Value: 3/5 

Overall: 2.5/5

Temecula, California - Espadin

The US Cup at Vail Lake was a new addition to the schedule, giving us a chance to ride on a new track and explore a new town. The race format also mimicked the World Cup weekend schedule - with a short track Friday evening and the XC race on Sunday morning. 


In the fast and furious short track on Friday afternoon, I battled hard with Erin Huck and ended up second on the day. It was a very hard effort in the legs and a great opener for the big show on Sunday. 

The cross country course at Vail Lake is reminiscent of my high school racing roots - with many open, sandy sections and no real sustained climbs or descents. The course was sure to make the racing tight and physically demanding as racers had no obvious opportunities to make separation or recover from a consistently hard effort.


On race day, I lined up ready to give it my all and was able to make a small separation at the beginning of the first lap. Throughout the next three, Erin Huck chased hard behind me and continued to bridge back up. By lap 4, we were together and Erin took the lead, charging the sandy descents and attacking hard on the last climb on course. I knew I needed to recover and launch a decisive attack on the last lap. 

At the start of the last lap, I gave an all out effort heading into the single track and was able to get a few seconds on Erin. I pushed hard to the finish and was able to hold on for my second win in the rainbow jersey! I am so grateful for the chance to race hard in the States against such a strong field and begin to sharpen both my form and tactics ahead of the World Cup season. But man…. does racing make me hungry….

The Taco Spot: Espadîn

Espadin is a hip restaurant on a corner in downtown Temecula. After driving past it many times throughout the week, we were eager to celebrate some hard racing with some delicious taco eating. We were able to circumvent the wait time by opting to sit outside under the heat lamps and were quickly treated to some delicious chips and home made salsa. 

I opted to order three tacos - chicken, fish and shrimp - which came as a combination plate with pinto beans and rice. I also got a side salad and guacamole for my health. The service left a bit to be desired on a busy night, but after forgetting the guacamole they comped it which was very nice of them. 

Overall, the tacos were well crafted with good flavors. I will say that they lacked the pizzaz of some of the other meals we’ve enjoyed on this trip - the ingredients tasted high quality, but the tortillas and corn chips were not particularly notable. My favorite taco was the shredded chicken taco which I found to be the most flavorful and had a fun little green sauce as well as onions and cilantro. I also definitely enjoyed the rice and bean accompaniment which made this meal filling after a tough race day. Overall, this was a tasty meal and fun ambience sitting outside in the quaint downtown.

Brad’s Cocktail Corner: 

The margarita was described as a high quality, minimalist approach - not too sweet, but extra delicious. Recommended ordering with the higher end reposado tequila!

Tacos: 3/5

Ambience: 4/5 

Fun Factor: 4/5

Value: 3/5 

Overall: 3/5


Venice Beach, California - Tocaya

With two weekends of racing in a row in Southern California, I opted to stay down in the LA Area between the two events. Red Bull HQ is located in Santa Monica which made it an easy choice to head to the beach for a few days of gym workouts, hard training and exploring the local scene (and cuisine).

Between race weekends, I often have one or two key workouts to keep building fitness and get the body ready for another hard effort. Tuesday brought a very hard workout on one of Santa Monica’s steep climbs - and certainly left me in need of refueling. Enter: tacos.

The Taco Spot: Tocaya

We had driven by the hip Tocaya restaurant many times and were eager to test it out for ourselves. The restaurant is on a corner in Venice Beach and boasts organic, fresh, local ingredients as well as trendy decor. Given it was a Tuesday, we opted for their tacos which were discounted for our favorite weekly holiday.


Their taco menu is a bit interesting - offering preselected preparations that can be paired with various meat and cheese options. I went with the chef recommended pairings and was not disappointed. I tried a cali tacos with achiote chicken and manchego cheese, the tulum taco with chicken tinga and queso fresco and the barrio taco with carne mold and jalapeño jack. To drink, I had a strawberry basil aqua fresca. Brad and I also shared guacamole with plantain chips to start which I HIGHLY recommend.

The ambience is also notable for this spot. You order at a walk up counter, take a number and sit either outside or in their hip back patio. It has a very LA vibe and is both casual and nice.

Overall, the food was to die for. The tortillas definitely tasted hand made and were thick. Personally, I am a fan of one, thicker corn tortilla rather than two thinner ones which often don’t stand up to the job. The meats were deliciously spiced and very flavorful but the preparations left them tasting fresh and clean. The unique preparations enhanced the flavors in a way that absolutely exceeded your average taco. My only knock is that the tacos are a bit small and pretty pricey - but in no way does that undermine their deliciousness.

Tacos: 5/5

Ambience: 4/5

Fun factor: 5/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 4.5/5

San Dimas, California - Taco Grill

Every year, I am lucky enough to start my season close to home with the US Cup series season openers in Southern California. Arriving in San Dimas feels a little like deja vu after racing here since my junior days. It is a great first opportunity to test the legs and see where I stand after a long winter of preparation!


This year, things got a little more interesting when a crash and resulting back injury left me side lined just a few weeks before the event. With the help of my amazing team of physical therapists, coaches and Red Bull’s guru bodyworker Adam - I was back on track and so happy to be lining up for the first race of the season. This race was extra special as it marked the first time I would race in the rainbow jersey and as a member of the Scott SRAM MTB Racing team. My incredible mechanic Brad had my race bike dialed and I was excited to see what the Spark could do when finally put to the test.


Despite some pre race nerves, I quickly fell back into the racing rhythm after the gun went off. By opting for my full suspension and dropper post, I was able to attack the descents and managed to get a small gap on the first lap. Things came back together in the middle and I found myself battling with Erin Huck for the lead. In the end, I was able to get away and take my first victory in the rainbow jersey in front of my family and friends!

A huge thank you to the crew that makes these early race opportunities possible and to ShoAir for bringing some serious points to the USA. Overall, it was a great weekend and was as much of a bike race as it was a reunion with all of my favorite racers and members of the American cycling community. It did, however, leave me very hungry….

The Taco Spot: Taco Grill

As Brad and I headed out of town, it was imperative that we refueled properly. These consecutive weeks of racing don’t fuel themselves. Enter: Taco Grill. Unassuming name, fire tacos.


Taco Grill is one of those places that chooses to focus on a few things - and does them to absolute perfection. The appearance of the restaurant is very simple, with only a few seats and a very small walk up counter. Don’t be fooled. I ordered three tacos while Brad opted for the five taco sampling to get a taste of all the flavors. After talking with the the host (whom we LOVED), it was clear they take great pride in their food and choose to focus a lot of their time on having really high quality ingredients - specifically their meat options. Sorry to vegetarians but the meats were incredible and included a variety of slow roasted, carefully seasoned and/or fire grilled deliciousness.

Highlights also included fresh locally made tortillas delivered daily, two options of salsas (get the hot one, you’ll sweat it but you won’t regret it) and home made tortilla chips. As for the tacos themselves - they were fresh tasting, classic and perfectly executed. Hands down, one of the best taco stops to date and shouldn’t be missed. We pretty much spent the rest of the day wishing we could go back and relive that experience for the first time. While that may be impossible, we will definitely be coming back next year!

Tacos: 5/5

Ambience: 4/5

Fun factor: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5


Tucson, Arizona - Seis Kitchen

Seis Kitchen - Tucson, Arizona

As the newest member of the Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team, I was particularly excited about team camp! This year, we kicked off the season in Tucson, Arizona where we enjoyed two weeks of training, product testing, team bonding and of course taco eating. 

Highlights of the week included getting my sparkly customized Scott Spark race bike, getting to work with the engineers at SRAM to test products and dial in suspension settings, and - of course - many laps of Mount Lemmon. Needless to say, the busy week left us ready to refuel. 


After my teammate Nino professed his own love for tacos, it seemed the stars were aligning. After some light googling and receiving recommendations from some local pros, there was one name that kept coming up - Seis Kitchen.Despite the clarity of my decision, I still managed to slightly screw it up. We arrived at the closest Seis Kitchen to find it was actually the sister take out stop of their larger restaurant downtown. Luckily, they had heat lamps, some Mexican music and a bar across the way to provide our requisite margaritas - but the pressure was on for this food to be worth making everyone sit out in the cold. I was feeling the heat. 

Moments later, vegetarian nachos and fresh made guacamole graced the table. A solid start. The nachos put in a strong performance and started to give me hope that I wouldn’t spend the rest of my years being made fun of for our outdoor dining extravaganza. (I think the margaritas helped my cause as well)

Plates of tacos soon began pouring out of the kitchen. There were many delicious options which led to some tough decisions - but everyone seemed to be feeling good when warm plates landed in front of them. Personally, I chose to order three different tacos with a side of black beans and a side of zucchini. 

My three selections were the crispy avocado taco, a chicken taco and a taco al pastor. They came out topped with chunky salsa and cheese and wrapped in fresh home made corn tortillas. My favorites were absolutely the crispy avocado tacos - highly recommend. Overall, I think the food definitely redeemed my choice and put Seis Kitchen at the top of my list for my next trip to Tucson! 


Tacos: 4/5

Ambience: 2/5 (outside in winter is v medium)

Fun factor: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

scott-sram_2019_team portrait by_jordan_haggard_0829.jpg

Stinson Beach, California - The Siren Canteen

Well hello there! Due to lack of tacos in Europe and my need for a little offseason, I have been off the taco bandwagon for far too long. Never fear - I am back and excited to train, eat tacos and tell fun stories about them for the foreseeable future!

The offseason is a tricky time of year. The harder I train, the more I require time to rest and recover from the mental and physical demands of a long season of bike racing. I always try to plan my offseason for a time when I can really step away and spend time doing things that often get pushed to the side during busy times of training and racing. It is a chance to spend time with friends, go on adventures off the bike, treat yourself and find the focus and motivation to hit the ground running when training starts again. This season, I just took my two weeks off the bike at the beginning of October and really got some deep mental rest that has left me eager to start working towards 2019.

One of the best parts about the offseason for me is getting to plan adventures with my friends and family that don’t have to revolve around my strict training schedule. One such adventure was a short backpacking trip with one of my best friends Mckenna. We grew up just a few houses away from each other and met in middle school. Since then, she has been one of my closest friends and a huge supporter of my cycling career. Often during the season, however, it is really hard for me to spend big chunks of quality time with my close friends between travel and training. So - to take advantage of my time off the bike, we planned a ladies backpacking trip that really just turned into a long walk for tacos. Get the low down on our epic adventure and tasty taco extravaganza below!


The adventure: While we had planned a more extensive trip, we ended up having to shorten our trip and decided to stay very local in Marin. On the first day, we backpacked to Pantoll campground, set up camp and then hiked down to Stinson beach. For anyone looking to plan a similar trip - Pantoll makes things incredibly easy as campsites are on a “first come, first serve” basis and they have specific sites reserved for bikers/hikers. It would also be an easy option if you’d like to drive and start/end at the campsite there.

To simplify our trip, we decided not to bring our camping stoves and opted to just stop at a quick, casual restaurant that next day. After a quick dip in the ocean (much needed after 14 miles of hiking!), we walked up to a great new restaurant on the edge of the beach - more on that in the taco section.

We hiked back to camp after dinner, spent the night and woke up early to hike to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais before heading back home. While our trip was short and simple, it was absolutely incredible and showed the power of just getting out to explore your own backyard. It was also a great reminder that the imperfect camping trip you actually go on is infinitely better than the “perfect” trip you plan but never commit to. Sometimes, you just have to go for it.

Additionally, while I spend a lot of time on Mt. Tamalpais on my bike, I had never explored many of the fire roads and trails on foot and it gave me a new appreciation of the amazing places I get to train. It also gave me an appreciation for how much faster it is to ride a bike :) Perfect motivation to get back to training!


The taco spot: The Siren Canteen is a new little restaurant at the edge of Stinson beach that serves a variety of tasty treats including tacos and burritos. The atmosphere itself is somethings special. We walked up to order and then sat at a table by the window, overlooking the ocean on a sunny fall day as we waited for our food. Just sitting on the covered patio and enjoying the view was magical and a perfect break for our tired legs.


I ordered three tacos - one vegetarian, one shrimp and one fish. We were right on the water so some sort of seafood just felt right. The shrimp taco was probably my favorite, with tasty seasoning and good pico de gallo salsa. The vegetarian taco had a generous helping of avocado, but unfortunately also came with a generous helping of sour cream which I am not a huge fan of. I’d recommend ordering the tacos without sour cream! The corn tortillas were a bit soggy (possibly related to sour-creamgate) but they got the job done and were the perfect way to refuel for the rest of the trip. My friend Mckenna ordered a vegetarian burrito which I personally think may have been the call and would be my order recommendation! I also highly recommend the homemade corn tortilla chips and guacamole - an absolute highlight.

Overall, this little taco stop was a great addition to our trip and I would recommend checking out this little spot on your next trip out to beautiful Stinson beach. Come for the atmosphere, stay for the tacos.



Harrisonburg, Virginia - The Sub Station Mexican Grill

After a few weeks in Europe for the 4th and 5th rounds of the World Cup, it was finally time to head back to America. My teammates Howard, Chris and I landed on the east coast in the afternoon, eager to kick off our annual Nationals race trip. This year, Nationals is being held in Snowshoe, West Virgina - a very remote ski resort with notoriously rooty, fun technical trails and no grocery stores or cell reception for miles. Rather than head straight to Snowshoe, we stopped over for the night in Harrisonburg to get in a short spin and fuel up before making our trek up the mountain. Luckily, we were reunited with my mechanic Brad at the airport who picked us up and squired us about the town. 

By the time we were checked into the hotel and bikes were built, it was already around 6:30pm. The jet lag was hitting us all hard and it took all of our motivation to get out for a short sunset spin. I always find that, no matter how late or short the ride, just getting back on the bike after a travel day is essential for the mind and body. A few minutes of riding on Pleasant Valley Road and we were all feeling like new people. The only thing missing was dinner - and the tacos were calling.  



The Taco Spot: Proximity played a large role in the selection of this spot, but we were certainly not disappointed. The Sub Station Mexican Grill is located in the outskirts of Harrisonburg, conveniently a 4-5 minute walk from the Hampton Inn depending on how jet lagged you are. From the outside, this restaurant looks a little funky. It's in a small, unassuming brick building snuggled between a used car lot that may or may not be abandoned and across from a dunking donuts. I tell you: do not judge a taco by its tortilla. 

Once inside, you are greeted by the sound and smell of meat sizzling on the grill. We took our seats and a basket of chips and giant mugs of water quickly found their way to us. As we began to peruse the menu, we were a bit surprised by the variety of offerings. From sub sandwiches to burgers, I was starting to wonder if the tacos would really be the star of the show. 

The insatiable Chris Blevins ordered some nachos for the table and Brad and I decided to share the steak fajitas as well as an order of the tacos al pastor. Brad also ordered a margarita and when asked about sizing, the waitress responded, "we have one size. It's a 20 ounce fishbowl". There you have it folks. 20 ounce it is. 


Innumerable baskets of chips were consumed as we waited for the food to arrive. Though they required some salt, they were warm, delicious and irresistible. First up - the nachos. While the nacho cheese was somewhat standard and left a bit to be desired, the corn and jalapeños saved the day. The fajitas sizzled on out in a pan a few minutes later accompanied by a little foil wrapped side of tasty corn or flour tortillas. Though they required some assembly, the fajitas made great little tacos. The steak and chicken fajitas were both delicious. 

It should come as no surprise that the tacos were definitely the highlight of the meal. One order  consisted of four delicious tacos al pastor. The meat was very flavorful and wonderfully crispy having sizzled on the griddle with diced pineapple. The meat was topped with cilantro and thinly chopped onions, nestled in soft corn tortillas and served with a lime. There was also a side of tomatillo green salsa, however, it was somewhat watery and wasn't my favorite. Overall, however, these tacos tasted like a very authentic version of tacos al pastor and were definitely worth coming back for.


Truckee, California - Tacos Jalisco

It's safe to say that altitude camp has not quite gone to plan - but sometimes plan B can end up having some improbable, yet pretty magical moments. While the last few weeks have been a bit of a journey with a little injury - they have left me with a newfound appreciation and gratitude for the gift of riding my bike, the amazing team of family and friends that make it possible, and - of course - for the tasty tacos along the way.  

I drove up to Tahoe to spend a few weeks breathing very little oxygen at 7000 feet and putting in some serious work with the next few World Cups in mind. Unfortunately, just a few days into my trip - I started having some anterior knee pain and feared the worst. I tried to be conservative and took complete rest from the bike while working to isolate and solve the problem. 

For cyclists, overuse injuries are pretty common but can also be incredibly difficult to deal with and carry a lot of uncertainty. After several PT visits, a lot of frustration and many hours of stretching, icing, foam rolling and cross training while trying not to go crazy - I finally made some headway. The knee pain was likely caused by some worn out cleats and a huge week on my road bike, which has slightly different geometry than the mountain bikes I race and ride more often this time of year. After a few ups and downs, I was finally able to turn the corner with the help of an amazing team and miracle bodyworker Adam (HUGE shoutout to Adam the genius guru) who, among other things, realigned my hips and managed to almost immediately alleviate the pain. 


The next few days, I eased back into riding and became more and more hopeful. Every pain free pedal stroke put a smile on my face as I began to string together longer and longer rides. The first week back, I did double days every day - keeping the time of each ride relatively low while managing to sneak in more volume on the bike. Ride, lunch, nap, ride, repeat. 

I was on one of my evening spins when I got a call from my Red Bull athlete manager Aaron Lutze. They had just gotten off the boat and were headed to our favorite taco joint - Taco's Jaliscos. "Cruise over and I'll drive you home" - he offered, sounding like a real life superhero. I rode pain free all the way to tacos and had this overwhelming feeling that things were exactly as they needed to be. A surprising moment of grace after a tricky few weeks. 

While I had taken a little more rest than I'd hoped, I had gained a huge appreciation for this amazing sport I get to call my job and for a healthy body that can accomplish incredible things. Not only that - I realized how many people were willing to help me in a time of need. Whether by arranging for time with a PT, sending a new PowerDot system, offering KT tape, being there with words of encouragement and moral support or meeting me with tacos at the end of a successful ride, it was these people that helped me heal physically and mentally from this little bump in the road. 

Since my injury, I have been back training harder than ever and am making huge progress to be on top of my game. As always, many of my long rides have ended at a fantastic taco shop in Truckee - find all the details and a few ride route suggestions below :) 

The Taco Spot: Tacos Jalisco is a local favorite for anyone in the Truckee area. It is tucked just off of Donner Pass Rd in downtown and is the perfect place to end an epic mountain bike ride on the amazing trails in Tahoe. They recently expanded the restaurant so there is plenty of seating if you'd like to lean up your bike and take some time to relax. 


I would describe their food as authentic and relatively simple but good. During my altitude camp, I have been here quite a few times and have tried to sample a variety of their taco offerings. My favorites - and if you ask, the option they most recommend - would have to be the carne asada tacos. They are the size of street tacos so I definitely recommend ordering a few - I usually get two and guacamole on the side, but after a big ride, my boyfriend easily downed five so don't be afraid to go for it. I also tried the pastor, pollo, and chorizo options which I also really enjoyed, but thought were slightly less notable than the carne asada. If you order the tacos with chicken, I recommend getting guacamole to add! 

Pro tip: First of all, make sure that you try their house hot sauce. It will be in a little plastic container at the center of the table and you might miss it if you aren't paying attention! Don't be fooled by it's casual appearance - it is unreal. The darker red one is just the right amount spicy and will make anything you eat taste fantastic! 


Ride Recommendations: I am definitely not the expert on the trails in the area and there are too many great ones to mention - but I do have a few favorites! 

Here is a great MTB ride that covers the Yogi Bear and Jackass trails. I also did a variation on this ride in which I climbed a trail up from Donner which meant a bit more single track:

Another favorite ride from the Truckee area is Hole in the Ground. I actually really love this route and it's a great couple of hours on single track where its practically impossible to get lost :) -

Unfortunately, the file was lost from the amazing gravel ride I did - however, if you get the chance to ride out to Boca and Stampede Reservoirs, I highly recommend this as a road ride with the option to add a little dirt! To take the dirt home - just hop on Boca Rd at the Reservoir and take the gravel towards Prosser Reservoir. Eventually, you will get yourself back to town. It's pretty clear on a map, has very little car traffic and is breathtakingly beautiful! 

Finally - I highly recommend climbing the iconic Old 40 highway up to Donner Summit. This is one of my all time favorite climbs and is great for intervals! It has unbelievable views and should definitely be on your cycling bucket list for this area. 


Palo Alto, California - Sancho's Taqueria

This one is close to my heart! After attending school at Stanford, I fell in love with the town of Palo Alto. Just walking down University Avenue at night, lined by trees wrapped in string lights and populated with restaurants and coffee shops, made me feel at home. But what really drew me to the area was the incredible riding and the adventures that it encouraged. Oh yeah - and the tacos :) 

There are so many epic rides that have ended at our favorite local taco shop! One of my favorite adventures took place on gravel bikes this past winter. With a long day on tap and talk of a long fire road climb I had never ridden, it was bound to be epic. We actually decided to drive to Pescadero to start out,  head to the Butano fire road and hit plenty of single track before we went back. Butano is just over an eight miles long with 2000 feet of climbing and plenty of fun dirt. It ends at the boundary of the Butano State Park where we ventured into the Big Basin State Park and began the long climb back up Highway 9. It was a long ride - which calls for a big meal to refuel. We got back in the car and headed home to our favorite spot - Sancho's! 

The Taco Shop: My favorite taco shop in the area is called Sancho's. It is located just one street over from Palo Alto's bustling University Avenue and would be easy to miss if you didn't have the local pro tip. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a very welcoming vibe. There is a bike rack in front with tables and chairs next to it. I recommend leaning your trusty steeds on the racks, going in to order, and returning to the table outside with a variety of tasty salsas from the salsa bar. 

First of all - it is important to note that Sancho's only takes CASH. Being able to eat the tasty food at this restaurant is pretty much the only reason I ever go to the ATM anymore - and I promise it's worth it. 

While I have heard great things about their burritos, my order at Sancho's over the past few years has remained the same - two fish tacos with corn tortillas. I can't recommend these tacos enough! Personally, I think the corn tortillas make a big difference. Regardless of what they are wrapped in - these tacos are something special. They come with homemade salsa and some kind of secret sauce that I really can't put into words but absolutely love. I also highly recommend squeezing a lime over the top! 

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Sancho's has great salsa. On particularly long rides, I have been known to finish a basket of chips and cup full of salsa even before our tacos arrive. My favorites are the green salsa or the extra spicy red option! Whatever your preference, you are in for a real treat.

Nearby Rides: Personally, I think the peninsula has some of the best road riding in the world! There are incredible loops with few cars and infinite opportunities to string together new routes and big adventure rides. Below I have provided a few of my favorite loops, including this adventure route starting from Pescadero. These are road and cross bike loops, but if you are looking for mountain biking - I recommend Arastradero and Skaggs! They are both beautiful and very fun. Happy riding :)

Adventure loop on gravel bikes from Pescadero:

Classic road loop (one of my regulars & favorites!):

Fun, extra long road loop: (Note: started with a group in Los Altos - added a bit to the beginning of the ride!)

Fairfax, California - Mas Masa

What is the best time to enjoy a taco? Easy. After a big adventure ride with your buddies! This past week, I ventured out on my cross bike to try both a new route and a new taco spot. Even after growing up in Marin and spending so many hours on the bike exploring it's beautiful trails and roads, it amazes me that I can string together completely new adventure routes. Nothing is more motivating to me than the thrill that comes from embarking on a new path, turning left where I have always gone right and opening myself up to the unknown. 

This route involved some incredible road climbs, a bit of single track and some of the most iconic and beautiful roads Marin County has to offer. While I have ridden all of these sections individually on mountain bikes or road bikes, it was a whole new adventure to string them together on my cross bike. The strava route is linked below for those interested! 


The Taco Spot: After over four hours of mixed terrain riding with temperatures hitting the high 90s, we were completely smoked by the time we rolled up to Mas Masa in Fairfax, California. This relatively new restaurant advertises "California-inspired Mexican street food" and is another very hip addition to Fairfax's downtown.  I was eager to try it and this adventure ride certainly called for some tacos to refuel. 

After our hot ride, just walking into their air conditioned restaurant was a glorious experience! We immediately ordered a few of their homemade agua frescas which absolutely did not disappoint. These were the perfect remedy to a hot summer day and had just the right amount of sweetness! I ordered Tacos al Pastor and couldn't resist getting a sweet potato quesadilla to share. We took our seats, downed our agua frescas and eagerly awaited the arrival of our food. 

My Tacos al Pastor arrived just in time to fight off my post ride hanger and I got to work. These tacos were the epitome of simple, yet very high quality. They featured a hand made corn tortilla which housed a delicious pile of heritage pork and a topping of cilantro and peppers. It was love at first bite. I really enjoyed how delicate, yet flavorful these tacos were - although I do wish the portion sizes had been bigger. As far as tacos go, these were incredibly delicious but, in my hangry opinion, were not quite enough bang for my buck. 

For me, the sweet potato quesadilla may have been the star of the show. Sweet potatoes are one of my all time favorite foods and I found that combing them with pepper jack cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and wrapping them in a handmade blue corn tortilla only deepened my affection. I will definitely be going back for unique and tasty morsels! 

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 4.26.34 PM.png

The Ride: Here is the strava link to our awesome adventure ride. It features a dirt climb up Railroad Grade, single track descending on the famous Coast View Trail, a stretch of road along the coast through Stinson and Bolinas and finally - an epic (and *slightly* steep climb) climb up to the Bo-Fax Ridge Fire Road. This will drop you out at the top of the Alpine Dam climb which is a short road ride from Fairfax and your eventual stop at delicious tacos. I'd definitely recommend a cross or adventure bike (I rode a Specialized Crux and Will rode a Specialized Diverge) for this route!


Bend, Oregon - La Frontera

This past week, I learned that a quick trip to Bend, Oregon is always great for the soul. I arrived mid day, grabbed a Clif Bar and Red Bull and headed straight from the airport to the trails. There is no time for lunch when there are people waiting who are willing to shuttle you on Tiddlywinks! I built my bike in the parking lot, ripped trails all afternoon with the Red Bull crew and left enough time to shower and change before the eagerly awaited premiere of North of Nightfall that night at the Tower Theater. Side note: this film is incredible and I highly recommended seeing it. 

The next morning, we headed out early for another ride before my 1:50pm flight home. We rode around 20 miles of amazing single track and were only slightly worried when we rolled into the parking lot at 12pm - a little less than two hours before my flight. In my mind, it's always worth it to get a few extra minutes on the trail - even if it means a rushed bike pack and a speedy drive to the airport. I stood in the middle of the parking lot in my kit and scrambled to get my bike packed as it started hailing. Suffice it to say - I did not take off my rotors, but I did all the other important things. At 12:07pm, it was done. 

I hopped in the car with my athlete manager (shoutout to Aaron Lutze for putting up with me) and we booked it to the Redmond airport. At 12:40pm, we rolled up with plenty of time to check my bike and get through security. There was just one problem - we hadn't gotten lunch. After eating another Clif Bar meal for breakfast to maximize time for our epic ride, I was pretty hungry. A quick google search revealed a Mexican restaurant just a few minutes away. "Should we just go full send?", I asked Aaron. We pondered for a moment, but there was no real decision to be made. 

I ran into the airport, checked my bike, ran out and jumped back into the car. By 12:50, I was ordering up "tacos especiales to go" at La Frontera. We waited eagerly, knowing this was a pretty savage move if I wanted to make it back to San Francisco that day. But soon, I was back in the truck holding a styrofoam to go box filled with deliciousness. I made it to the airport 40 minutes before takeoff, cruised through security while still wearing my kit and made it with plenty of time to change into some lululemons and enjoy my pre flight tacos victoriously. What a day.


The Taco Spot: La Frontera is located in a small building on the side of the highway and, at first glance, almost appears closed. Inside, however, it is bustling with authentic Mexican music, delicious food being prepared and plates of tacos and tostadas being carried to nearby tables. It was hard to take my eyes off them. The wall above the cash register is papered with pictures of each item on the menu - with simple descriptions above them in spanish and the service was friendly and speedy, which was very important on this particular occasion. They also have warm, home made chips next to a case filled with amazing salsas. As I waited for my meal, I ate a little basket of chips and tried each of the salsas (the green turned out to be my favorite).

As my main course, I ordered two chicken tacos with a side of rice and beans. I was warned that the salsa would be extremely spicy to which I replied "I love spice". It was very delicious, but also very fuego so I recommend being prepared with a bottle of water and a napkin to wipe your tears. I will also note that all of their tacos are served in corn tortillas which makes ordering gluten free very easy. The tortillas were a highlight - they were white corn, just a tad crispy on the outside and didn't fall apart when you held them. The rice and beans were also a great side - the rice had little bits of vegetables in it and were a great compliment to my tasty tacos. Overall, the food tasted great - particularly after a long morning of riding trails. I highly recommend seeking out this gem if you are in Bend and, especially, if you are tight on time before or after a flight! 

Where I rode: It was a quick trip to bend and I am no expert on their trail networks - but I do have a few recommendations! Tiddlywinks is a super fun trail and can be easily shuttled - it is pretty smooth and flowy with some fun and reasonably sized jumps. We also rode Phil's Trail which features a series of well built table tops and fun berms. This trail would have a been a bit more fun if I wasn't on my hardtail, but I highly recommend checking it out. These were just a few of my favorites from the short rides we did, but I hope to return for some epic rides and more exploring this fall! From what I have seen, there is no shortage of amazing single track to be shredded. 


Tour De Taco: A pursuit of tasty tacos on bike rides around the world.


One of my favorite parts about being a professional cyclist is being able to travel all over the world and experience new places and cultures by bike. It is a pretty special experience to ride  around a World Cup venue and realize that you may have just heard 10 different languages being spoken in the course of a few moments. These experiences not only spark my curiosity about other cultures - they also reveal the ways in which the unique cultures of the country, state and city that I grew up in have shaped my interests and preferences. 

One of those preferences - a very strong one I might add - is my love of tacos. When traveling in the states or training at home, I love seeking out great tacos at the end of an epic ride. After a few social media posts, my love of tacos has become a running joke and when I visit new places, kind souls often message me with their local recommendations. This blog will be a place to document my journey as I test out tacos around the country and world. Hopefully it will be a win-win for everyone! I will be doing the heavy lifting of taco tasting and fellow travelers will get to cut corners and head straight to the best spot in town. 

I am also a firm believer that tacos are best enjoyed after a long bike ride! Tacos are actually a great food to help you refuel - they have carbs (tortilla, rice, beans), protein (meat if not a vegetarian, beans) and you can be sure to incorporate some healthy fats (avocados!!!). I will try to include ride recommendations in the area for each of the places I review. Consider your day planned. 

Finally - a disclaimer. I am not actually an expert on tacos - but I really do like them and eat them often. I will do my best to give an honest and fair assessment. As my dad says when tasting wine - "the only thing that really matters is whether or not you like it". Like fine wine, fine tacos can be analyzed on so many different levels - authenticity, quality, size, taste, etc. - but for the moment I am going to stick to talking about overall experience, enjoyment and deliciousness. 

If you have recommendations or suggestions - please send them my way :) 


First stop: Palo Alto, California.