The Breadman Cometh

Robin Carpenter creates Strava challenge, delivers fresh-baked bread to winners.

In uncertain times, you always know where you stand with a hefty slab o'sourdough. That's why Rally Cycling rider, Robin Carpenter, has been getting as much of it as he can bake into the hands (and bellies) of the people of his home city, San Diego. 

Robin is no latecomer to leavening, no parvenu of proving - he has in fact been baking his own sourdough for more than four years, and sharing it with an exclusive ring of friends and acquaintances. Now though, the Circle of Treast (yeast + trust) has gotten a little bit wider. 

To spread the love and lift the spirits of his fellow San Diegans, Carpenter created a Strava challenge. The concept is simple; go ride a specified Strava segment somewhere near San Diego - solo, naturally - and the fastest and tenth fastest riders in the challenge will win a tasty sourdough loaf, personally delivered by Carpenter himself. Why tenth fastest? It's a great way of rewarding participation, not just those he describes as "VO2 monsters" doing battle for first place. 

He's setting a new segment roughly every week, although things have slowed down a little since he got a new dog - priorities, Robin! With a prize for men and women, that's a total of four hand-made and hand-delivered loaves per week. And to make things even spicer, if a rider taking part in the bread challenge takes the KOM on that week's segment, he or she will be added to Carpenter's permanent bread delivery rotation. That's free sourdough for life. Or until his starter gives up the ghost. 

Bread Grid - Rally Cycling

Photos by Todd Glaser, Jenna Glaser, and Robin Carpenter.

Carpenter ordered a hundred-pound bag of flour a few weeks ago for his bread-making activities - the delivery charge alone for which was $75 - so the challenge should be running for some weeks yet. Visit his Instagram page for the latest - as well as some cute vids of that new pup we mentioned - or give episode 12 of Off Course a listen, where he talks in a bit more detail about his love of bread and the role it plays within his life. 


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