Friday, December 22, 2006
I was bummed I didn't have plans to ride on Solstice day but at the same time going to hot yoga the next morning was starting to sound more and more attractive. But when I was going to let go of biking, then I remembered that Dana was organizing a ride starting in Mill Valley around 10:30 am. I called her to confirm and yes! Dana, Sam and Al had plans to ride since Al wanted very badly to test his brand new Nomad.
Because of the rain, we decided to start and end the ride at my house. It was raining so hard I was wishing Dana could go riding with Sam and Al somewhere else and leave me alone so I could go to my hot yoga. But Dana would not let me off the hook.
And it turned out that despite the rain, we had an awesome 2.5 hours ride around the Headlands. It made me so happy that Sam and Al, who I met that day, really enjoyed my favorite trails around this area, including Celia's Ridge Trail, one of the best trail in the Headlands.
After the very wet ride, we all took hot showers... well stinky Dana didn't...and leave the house to go on with our lives. I hope Dana finally took a shower...
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Last Sunday December 10th a bunch of mountain biker friends got together to ride the Headlands to then watch an awesome film produced by Jason and Wendy, Singletrack Minds, about the political battle between bikers and non-bikers for singletrack use in Marin County.
The 15 Headland riders were: Becky, Julie, Joe, Julio, Lisa, Chris, Steve, Mike, Erik, Lorna, Cowboy, Wendy, Jason, Allie and Celia.
14 other friends(most of them riders as well) joined the group to enjoy yummy potluck dinner and watch the movie. They were: Nancy, Marty, Dannie, Leslie, Shanti, Nancy V., Steve J., Tom, Dolores, Michael, Rene, Joey, Amy and Sally, the love of my life.
Click on this link to view all the pictures Becky, Joe and Sally sent me.
If you want to check out the ride stats and even download it to Google Earth just click on the map below.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I finally got to go back to Pacifica for the second time. This time Tara, Erik and Brent picked me up with Erik's big truck at the Manzanita parking lot. They loaded my bike and all of my bags as older ladies like me need to clean themselves and put themselves together after doing this downhill and jumping stuff. But fitting all of my belongings was not a major deal since Erik's truck is way bigger than mine.
Our next stop was in San Francisco in Clemente street to pick up Jason. Once Jason and Brent bought 7/11 "delicious" coffee and loaded Jason's bike, we headed to Pacifica for the most fun riding ever! (By the way, delicious is in quotes because Jason says that if you drink enough of that 7/11 coffee you can get used to it and end up enjoying it... oh well... I don't know if I can believe that...).
We started pedaling up, climbing the old hwy and carrying up our heavy bikes up The Crack, we did our fast descend down that trail, but ended up having even more fun going down The Mile and then trying the smaller jumps of Boy Scouts (I think that is the name of that last trail). We did Boys Scout twice, so I got to do some jumps I missed the first time I went down on that trail.
Click below to see some awesome jumping pictures I took of these super awesome riders that don't mind bringing with them this older werid lady... By the way, Brent was doing all kind of jumps, even the double jumps!! even though this was only his second time on a bike!
Click here for the pictures link
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
We headed to Tamarancho for a half clockwide loop. Before going out to the ridge Becky bailed to go back home. When we hit the fire road, Wendy and Amy bail toward the new trail. The rest of the group headed to Horse Junction where Julio bailed to go back home to his new wife and baby!. The rest of us headed to a super fun downhill trail for one of the most fun descend in the county. Allie not only is a great DHiller but also a strong climber! We then spend some time at the jumps and tracks at the bottom of that super fun trail where Mike, Devan and Steve were showing awesome balance and jumping skills. I didn't get inspired to try any jump until I saw how Allie could do it and encouraged me to try. It is so much fun to have both wheels on air!!! Steve took a picture so I have proof I did it!
After playing on the tracks we headed to the bottom of Loma Alta to try some more ramps and jumps. Mike gave us a good lesson on how bail without braking bones. And finally at White Hills school we spent more time playing on the stairs and benches.
What a fun day! It is so cool to be a kid again!
Click here to see some pictures
About a month ago, I finally got organized to take on Eric's offer to ride Pacifica. I invited my friend Dana and Tara to join us so the four of us met at Manzanita in Mill Valley, loaded our free ride bikes on my very sexy blue truck and headed toward one of the most fun trails in the planet! Tara's friend, Parker, was able to meet with us on the trails after a wondering around trying to locate us using our cell phones.
Eric not only showed us some fun technical DH trails, but also his great biking skills followed by Tara's and Parker's. Dana and I, the old fart moms were also showing some skills although being more cautious as bones in this age are a little harder to heal from fractures.
Thank you Eric for showing us Pacifica and that great Mexican burritos place!
Click here for some pictures
Some weeks ago my friend Jason came to the Bay Area and stay a couple of days longer to do somr riding in Marin. Steve, Eric, Lorna and I showed him one of the most fun trail loops in the Headlands. The day was warm, goprgeou and clear so we could appreciate views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge, Mt. Tam, the Bay, the Ocean, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mt. Diablo and the Fairland Islands.
Click here to view some pictures
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
But let’s move to 2006, Cougar for more stories for my grandchildren. I qualified one more time for the Championships at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. But this time I got in the Downhill Sport category and I placed 1st out of 4 women. Which means gravity, unlike cross country climbs, favors my mom's legs and butt. I have to confess, I never imagined I was going to end up racing Downhill at this point in my life when I am supposed to get a rocking chair and learn how to knit for grand-motherhood… But I got sucked to the dark side by my friend Dana, who got sucked herself due to some on-line dating she did with the downhill dude Michael from Team No Brakes.
For me, the Downhill experience is quite different from the Cross Country. I actually get to enjoy it more, doing DH practice runs and racing DH is like going to the amusement park for roller coasters. I don’t have to work hard on the climbs; the shuttles do that job for my legs, but rather get adrenaline rushes every time I go down on steep loose hills and tight switchbacks. I get to be a kid again having fun fun fun.
I am not becoming a total lazy rider going only downhill. I also raced Super D which included some climbing, and placed 5th overall among 11 women (2nd out of 2 on my age group). That Super D race was a good training for the Downieville Classic but that will be another story.
And in some years, when my three children have grandchildren, I will have many stories for them when I was the US National Champion Grandma of the Universe and Beyond.
Click here for pictures of the event. (READ THE CAPTIONS!)
Click here to go to my team Garmin MotionBased site for more stories about the Championships. (SCROLL DOWN).
Monday, July 17, 2006
Washington is a little town by the South Yuba River located really close to Nevada City. From the Bay Area it usually takes to normal folks no more than 3 hours to drive there, but with the Stooges: Larry, Curly and Mo, it took us 10 hours due to challenges they faced placing their 3 bikes on their car, deciding where to meet along the 80 hwy, stopping to buy groceries, stopping to meet a friend with safety materials for the trip, stopping to pee along the road, etc... For a better idea just rent a couple of DVDs of the Stooges at your local video store.
Finally we arrived to a very nice house by one of the most beautiful sections of the Yuba River. Gorgeous water falls and really nice beaches to rest and swim.
Besides the river, the other attraction of this trip was a mountain bike ride planned by Larry that was supposed to take us 6 hours to complete. I should have warned everybody of the hell of an epic ride Larry wanted to achieve in just one day based on the time it took us to arrive to the house! This ride ended up being about 18 miles of technical (and dangerous with lots of poison oak!) single track along the Yuba River with another 10 miles of fire road climbing in a very hot day of about 100 degrees that made poor Mo bunk really bad...
To have some more female energy I invited Nadine for the ride since she lives nearby Nevada City. Probably this is the last time Nadine will ride with me again... oh well but not only she had the opportunity to meet the Stooges but also Super Mario got out of the video games to join us on the ride. To learn about the ride and the rest of the trip through the captions of the pictures, click here
And to view the stats (distance, elevation, feet climbed, etc.) click below:
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sunday morning, I was driving my car to meet the Freaks at Deer Park around 9:15 am to celebrate Nick's 40th b-day. The ride, although somehow eclectic, ended up being fun for everyone (well.. almost everyone with the exeption of some pendejo Germans... but this story comes later on).
Nancy and Marty were the first ones arriving to Deer Park. I was bummed because my GPS ran out of battery, but better off that way so I don't have to pay attention to heart rates which it is not the case of Nancy who is on a mission to kick everybody's butt on any XC race that gets in her way. Nancy, currently training for the Infineon Marathon race (70 miles!!!) started with us but we didn't see her again until she was done with the ride in about half the time it took the whole group to do it. I would imagine Marty should be having some widow experiences during the rides...
But back to the beginning of the ride, after some minutes, the birthday boy came along with the rest of the Freaks: Brent, Kris, Randy, Barb, Chuy, Franco (Micolito), and Larry. Nick had a great ride plan to cover 40 miles, one per each year, that included a stop at the German Tourist Club for beers and head back to Fairfax to celebrate his b-day with more beers and pizza.
Climbing up Deer Park, the first eclectic incidence happened with a horse that almost threw his rider to the floor freaking out with the b-day baloon we made Nick carry along the ride. Nick placed the baloon under his jersey so horserider and freaked horse were able to continue their desdend. At the top of the pavement, we did the usual cruising race with Barb and Celia finishing up as the winners. Barb knew that everyone was going to be so focused on their own aerodynamic position that we could pedal through the pack and declare ourselves winners without anybody noticing the cheating. She was right.
The Elderidge climb ended at the intersection with Hoo-Koo-E-Koo where Danny joined us for a while in an attractive blue jersey. We were wondering why he didn't have his cute Freak one... we learned why later...
At West Point Inn, Randy displayed why his backpack was so heavy: a 40 oz of Miller Draft, and some other few bottles of beer to share with the group. Click here for more pictures
Descending down Coastal View, we learned there was a duathlon and runners were racing down Coastal trail. So at the bottom of the trail Larry took off to climb Middle Green Gulch and meet us later at the German's Club. Danny also took off to the nude beach in Muir Beach to check out for babes. He feels 25 again and looks hot in blue.
Nick's b-day ride had 3 riders down by now (Nancy to training, Larry to Green Gulch and Danny to the nude beach and the babes). We climbed back to Pantol, West Point Inn and descended via Old Rail Road. We found Sutat who was doing his own ride, said hi and kept going toward the germen Tourist Club where biscuits are called bitches and bikers are not welcomed. That German guy was lucky he was with his kid, because otherwise Kris, Celia and Barb would have beat the shit out of him after calling Kris a bitch. The Freaks, to avoid further confrontation, made a U-turn to climb back that very steep fire road and left behind a whole pitcher of beer Larry (already there after his brakeaway) got for Nick. I couldn't leave Larry alone with that much beer and not say hi to Sally and Lenore who planned their hike to arrive at 2:00 pm to hang with the Freaks. So I became the 4th rider to brake from Nick's b-day ride, and stayed with Larry and watched him trying to get an apology from the stubborn Germans. Larry had all the confrontations in the name of the Freaks fighting with every German in the club, and he was inviting me to join in but I stayed out of it visiting with Sally and Lenore and drinking the beer. After several failed attempts to get some apologies from the Germans for calling Kris a bitch, Larry gave up and invited me to ride back with him. Stupid of me, I said okay instead of staying with Sally and Lenore and get a ride back home for a nice refreshing shower before the pizza party. Instead I was pedaling in zone 10 trying to catch up the Freaks who had an hour and a pitcher of beer of advantage! I never had climbed Hoo-Koo-E-Koo and Indian FR so fast in my life trying to keep up with this maniac. Almost in Deer Park, I decided to call Franco (Micolito) to learn about the Freaks location. When I told Larry they went down Woodland trail or something like that the maniac grabbed me and made me fly down to the lake, then pedal through roads again in zone 10 so we could intersect the Freaks again near Ross. Larry had too much to say, he couldn't wait until the pizza party.
Finally, we all gathered at Nick's and Kris' adorable house, and thanks to the Germans, the Freaks that didn't ride (Nanette, Molly, Stev-O, Karen, Sally, Albert and little Sarah) got to enjoy after-ride conversations that were not about bike parts or bike accidents, but about biscuits and bitches, and about planning substituting the German Club for a more fun Italian Tourist Club. Happy b-day Nick!!!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Thanks to Mt. Tam, this challenge was easy to overcome. Mt. Tam is a very special mountain, it is not very tall but its surroundings extent in all directions providing a web of gorgeous trail around beautiful lakes. These trails are not only challenging but they also offer spectacular views of Marin, dark pine tree forests and tricky rocky sections.
-- Don't worry, Dana we can show him the Mt. Tam Delight loop.
-- That sounds great Celia, said Dana, Michael will love that loop.
-- okay, I said, but you have to promise me you won't flake this time (FYI, last Friday, Dana flaked on a cool ride we were going to do because some sport store was having its annual sale! Straight girls! What am I going to do with them!?)
My friend Joe decided to drop his Friday ride to come along with us to complete a nice group of 4 riders. At 8:45 am we were pedaling up Elderidge to the top of the mountain and after 5 hours of awesome riding we were drinking beers and having lunch at Iron Springs Brew in Fairfax. I could tell Dana, Michael, and Joe were happy and satisfied with the ride, and of course so was I!!. We just had a blast.
Unfortunately, my Garmin GPS Edge broke last week so I don't have stats available.
Monday, June 05, 2006
We started at Tamarancho, and went out to the ridge to have our first semi long stop at horse shoe junction. From there we went down a super fun downhill trail, hit the road to climb back via fire road to go down again but this time on another fun downhill trail. After that, we hit the road back to White Hills and I was able to convince them to climb Gun Shot to the top of Loma Alta to end the ride going down a 3rd downhill fun trail after stopping at the local market for some fuel and by offering them free beers later on at Iron Springs Brew. We ended up doing a really awesome ride!
* Joe and James got some cuts falling on some rocks and bushes
* Mike and Celia wiped out got cuts and scrathes as well (although I was wearing my downhilling protective gear which save me from leaving lots of skin on that big rock!).
* My MotionBased GPS broke during my crash <:-( Back on Iron Springs Brew, we were enjoying our stories, and comparing and counting out cuts and bruises from the ride.. yes we are dorks but Marin trails just rock!
We started in San Pedro Rd by the Kiosk, climbed to the top of the mountain to proceed to the web of awesome singletracks of the Dominican Side. Mike wiped out in one of the trails and didn't get hurt bladly thanks to his agility. I followed Steve's and Mike's wheels over a nice jump in one of the fireroads and I got some air as well. It feels good. We also explored some trails and found a very interesting downhill famous one M&M. It needs some clean up work and we may be able to ride some sections of it because it has really big jumps. It is hard to believe somebody can ride that! I followed Mike and Steve down a downhill technical descend singletrack I have been wanting to do for years but didn't have the guts to do! Finally I did it and I cleared it. It feels good!
After 3 hours and 20 something miles of singletrack delight we went back to the cars, drove to Marin Brew Co. and had beer while listening to a live band playing in the plaza while married women and children danced all over the place.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Tamarancho No Dab Race
Around 9:30 am I called Julio: -- Hey Julio, can you pick me up on your way to Fairfax?
-- Okay, but call Joe and tell him we will be late, he replied (He is a good friend, for once Julio could have been at Deer Park on time but he sacrificed his punctuality and the possibility to get coffee to pick me up in Mill Valley)
-- Did you call Joe? Julio asked when he arrived at my house.
-- Fuck! I forgot to call him!
-- Chinga tu madre! Julio replied, now Joe will think we are late again because of me!
We arrived to Deer Parl at 10:15 am instead of 10:00 am. I thought they were going to be there since we usually wait for about 30 minutes. But nobody was waiting at the parking lot.
-- Oh well, I told Julio, probably Philip and Joe didn't want to wait any longer and took off already so let's forget about them and and do our own Tamarancho ride.
-- Chinga tu madre! (you know the mother is always blamed for everything) it's your fault!, said Julio. But I thought it was okay since we could be the Latin representation on the "Tamarancho No Dabs Race"
On our way to the camp while climbing Iron Spring road, I got a phone call from Philip (who was supposed to be with Joe). -- You turrrrrist! why you didn't wait forrrrr us? (Philip trying to imitate my accent).
-- What?!, I replied, I saw Joe's car at the parking lot and thought you took off with him.
-- You turrrrrist!, Philip yelled, don't underrrrrstand English! Wait forrrrr us.
When we rendevouz, it turned out Philip was with Steve and his brother Kurt.
-- Wherrrrre is Joe?, was Philip's first question, after a good laugh, we all said: -- Probably Joe had some coffee this morning, saw some girls going toward Tamarancho and just took off following them.
-- It is 11:00 am already so why don't you do my ride?, asked Steve, so we all decided to ride with Steve and Kurt.
In the meantime, we all were trying not to dab to see if we could get a free beer from Danny later on at the Iron Spring Brew b-day party. I was on my single speed so I was not taking my no dabbing very seriously, but after clearing the face rock and the rock garden wihtout any dabs then I was really paying attention to every detail on the trails.
Right before the rock garden, we finally found Joe with two girls, Drew and Terry, and with Jim. So for a while we all rode together, some of us trying not to dab although some like Joe and Philip were putting their feet or their whole bodies on the floor a.k.a. dabbing.
Before the ride was over, Joe joined Steve, Philip and Kurt. Jim stayed with Drew and Terry. And Julio and I ended up finishing the camp together. I dabbed on a tight left stwichback on the last climb before the last dirt road. I was bummed. But Julio's flat made me forget about my dab. We put some air so the stan could seal the tire, swap bikes since the tire was still loosing some air and I weigh a little less than Julio. Barbara's friends lent us a pump at Iron Spring road so we could finish the ride, go back to the cars and get ready for beers.
Click on the map to see ride stats, and other GPS goodies!
Tamarancho 5th B-day Party
Iron Springs Brew was filled with bikers, their families and friends. I can't mention everybody I saw because the list will fill pages and pages of this blog. But I remember Michael Moore, my favorite plumber, who got a free beer from me because he saved my family from a week of not having hot water. Eric Muhler, the Maestro, playing the piano who didn't get a free beer from me because he was sick. My neighbors the Colombians: Julio Leon with his son Juan and nephew Jorge playing congas and the tambora drum (yes, they got free beers too). Julio's wife, Ellen with their other two kids David and Daniel and niece Alejandra (Juan's daughter). Sally, my partner, chatting away with every biker at the place. My kids Alejandro, Nicole and Andrea, trying not to be too bored. Dana and Cowboy who were flirting with each other while Sally was jealous. Eric Sayetta and Lena who was filled with poison oak! Dolores and Tom who donated cute mini-skirts and arm warmers. Karen and Russell, John Sarter who was covered with mud from head to toe, Ron, Pete and Mo, Susan missing his boyfriend Rob. All the friends I rode with mentioned above plus Dave and Wayne who did their own ride too. Other Freewheelers Robyn (who will probably kick my butt at the Tamarancho race this July), Vernon, Larry, Molly, Barbara (who drunk Sally forgot she was at the last book club), Randy (who thought I was Sally's husband), Val (who I also hugged at Deer Park), Matt, Jim (who is coming to a focus group with me today to talk about Headlands trails) and Michael Kelly and Lloyd (who even danced to the music!).
And the best part of the party (besides the beers, seeing friends and playing drums of course) was the 2007 free Tamarancho pass Danny gave me since there were no females with no dabs present at the time!
Monday, May 15, 2006
For some time, I have been flirting with the idea of a bike with enough travel to help me clear more technical sections, race Super D and Downhill while keeping it light enough to to ride it all over Marin trails with all its climbs and descends.
I wasn't sure a hybrid bike like that was possible but after riding in Santa Cruz with my friend and MotionBased team member Dan O'Connor (he rides a Nomad), and also hearing that Mark Weir rides his Nomad as a trail XC bike all over the place, I decided to give it a try...
About 32 hours of research later (gosh the equivalent of 3 full working days!) I was able to come up with a list of components to go with my brand new Santa Cruz Nomad frame.
The end result is a hybrid mountain bike with 6.5 " rear travel and 6.3" front travel that weights only 29 pounds, light enough for XC and Super D riding and also for lots of Down Hill riding!!! That is what I call VERSATILE.
To give you a better idea, here is the weight of my 3 mountain bikes with equivalent tires:
* Hardtail SS bike, Seven Ti Sola frame, 22 lbs (it could be 20 lbs with a lighter fork, but got a Fox Talas perfect for technical riding)
* Full suspension Santa Cruz Blur XC: 25 lbs (it is 23 lbs when I swap to my racing wheels Olivier built for me with lighter racing tires)
* Full suspension Santa Cruz Nomad XC, Super D & DH: 29 lbs!!!
(I also got a road bike, Seven Sola Ti frame, 17.5 lbs and I hope this is it for me!)
But before I tell you the components, I have to thank 3 guys (and good friends) that knowing how I ride helped me so much to give birth to this awesome hybrid bike:
* Joe Towbis, the guy in the picture below building my bike, who besides advice and deals, built the bike with me in his garage. He actually has built 3 of my bikes and I know how to maintain and work on my bikes mainly thanks to him. (Tom, Olivier and Frank have also taught me and encouraged me to work on my bikes).
* Olivier Bock, my favorite MotionBased team captain and the one encouraging me to keep training hard and stay in shape for XC races. He actually sent me the original list of components he would put on the bike which is not very different from the list I ended up with!
* Michael Yares, Dana's boyfriend, who gave me critical advice for the DH components I ended up putting on the bike e.g. awesome gravity dropper!!!
Olivier and Joe's advice based on XC riding got balanced by Michael's advice based on DH riding. This was critical for the creation of the hybrid versatile Nomad.
I also wanted to thank Eric Admunson from Pleasant Cyclery, for his business and my bro the Puertorican Frank who I am already missing at Sunshine Bicycles.
Santa Cruz Nomad Components list:
Frame: Nomad Anodize Small w/ DHX 5 Air rear shock http://www.santacruzbikes.com
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X0 Rear Med Derailleur http://www.sram.com/
Front Derailleur: my old SHIMANO XTR (the SRAM doesn't work for that frame!)
Trigger Shifters: SRAM X0 front & back http://www.sram.com/
Cassette: SRAM 9-speed PG-990 11-34T option http://www.sram.com/
Chain: SRAM 991 http://www.sram.com/
Pedals: SHIMANO Shimano PD-M647
Chainguide: e-13 DRS Dual Ring Security http://www.e13components.com/product_drs.html
Handlebar: Easton MonkeyLite SL riser handlebar http://eastonbike.com/
Brakes: Magura Marta SL Brakes w/ 160 rotor in front & back http://www.magura.com/
Wheels & Hubs: Stan’s Rims ZTR 355 light with silver revolution spokes, front WTB 20 mm thru-axle hub, back wheel American Classic hub http://www.notubes.com/
Seatpost: Gravity dropper with 30.9 shims, 3 inches drop, 350 mm long http://www.gravitydropper.com/
Fork: 36 Van RC2 http://www.foxracingshox.com/
Crankset & Bottom bracket: 3 rings Truvativ Stylo Team Giga X Pipe 44/32/22T 165 mm arms
Stem: Thompson Elite 0° x 50 x 25.4 mm http://www.lhthomson.com/
Headset: Chris King Black http://www.chrisking.com/
Tires for XC: front Kenda Nevegal 2.35, back Kenda Karma 2.0 or Kenda Short Tracker 2.1
Tires for Super D/DH: front Kenda Nevegal 2.5, back Kenda Karma 2.2