Happy Birthday Rachael!

Day 68: Davis, CA to Napa, CA
Total Mileage: 63 miles

Last day driving the van today and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Abigale and I were responsible for driving the host van and finding lunch and dinner for the team. Every time I’m responsible for finding food donations, I always luck out and end up in a big city with a ton of options. The teams left by 8AM and all the restaurants opened at either 10 or 11, so we just had to wait it out and try to find other food donations while we were there. We tried Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Nugget for snack donations and didn’t have any luck. Either their manager wasn’t in yet or Bike and Build asked them the day before. The employees we talked to told us they would give us a call once they got in contact with their manager, and only one supermarket got back to us which was unfortunately a no. We even tried Subway early on, but the manager wasn’t there. The only place that gave us food before 10AM was a donut shop where we got 2 dozen donated for the team. So we tried our luck at restaurants. At first, we tried asking the non-traditional restaurants that weren’t fast food to surprise the team with a gourmet lunch, but had absolutely no luck getting food. We called restaurants ahead of time to see if they would be willing to donate and still had no luck. So we went for Taco Bell and the manager was more than willing to donate 50 tacos on the spot.

IMG_4886Drove two miles to the Chipotle, who I called earlier, to try and get burritos donated. The person I spoke with earlier told me to come in person and talk to the manager, so they were expecting us when we arrived. We lucked out cause there were two managers there, one in charge of the Davis branch and the other in charge of Napa. The Davis manager was more than willing to donate 26 burritos and the Napa manager got us in contact with the workers at the Napa chain to donate 27 burritos for dinner. 53 Chipotle burritos donated in one day, that’s got to be a 4K record! Pictures from both Chipotle branches.

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And of course, since we were right down the street from UC Davis, Abigale and I had to take a picture in front of their sign.

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We arrived at our host, dropped off the duffles and book bags, set up lunch, and tried our luck at finding more food on Main Street in downtown Napa. We got a call from the water van telling us that we needed to back track 15 miles to shuttle some team members to the host. Two groups were following the wrong arrows that turned out to be the Bike and Build route, which led them astray and away from the host. It was also Rachael’s birthday, so some riders were having a good time at the water stops and drinking fermented beverages. So we shuttled riders back to the host and were back on our donation game.

Walking down Main Street, we saw a restaurant that specialized in making paella and the team knows that Coral loves paella. So Abigale and I tried our luck to get some paella donated to the team. As soon as we walked in, we thought our chances of getting food from Zuzu was close to zero because the restaurant was very fancy, the menu was priced high, and the attire was very formal. We already asked for the manager, so there was no turning back. The worst he could say is no, and by that time, we were used to rejections. Plus, we thought it would be a win to somehow get paella donated, even if a dish of it was pricey. So we explained the 4K to the manager and told him a team member was head over heels about paella. The manager was all for the 4K cause and paid out of his own pocket for a 2 serving size of paella. Win!

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Another win of the trip, getting California cycling hats in Napa!

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And to celebrate Rachael’s birthday, it was necessary for us to visit a winery especially since we’re in wine country. The team went to Vermeil Wines off Main Street and had the entire place to ourselves. The man tending the bar even let us bring in our donated Chipotle so we could have dinner there. We surprised RT with a cake and sang our hearts out to her. Most of the team went back to the host while a couple of us went onto another sushi bar place. Happy Birthday Rachael! Hope it was everything you expected it to be 🙂

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And special shout out to Rob for riding the last two days with the team. He rode the team San Fran route two times.
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