Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunday June 25, 2006: Nick's b-day w/ the Freaks

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

Friday June 9th Mt. Tam Delight

A week ago, my friend Dana asked me what good trails we could show off to her honey, Michael, who was going to visit us from Arizona. Michael is one of those hard core downhillers from Team No Brakes, so the challenge to show him something good, fun, and technical was definitely on my shoulders.

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

Sunday June 4 West Marin Technical Delight

Mike, Joe and James were really great companions last Sunday. They went along and rode every downhill trail I wanted to do (I am testing my new Nomad so I have to go down on technical trails to check out this big Vanilla 36 fork). The price to pay though were almost 6,000 ft of climbing on my now 31 lbs Nomad rather than my very light 25 lbs Blur since we were not shuttling like smart dowhillers do.

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!

Ride Crashes:
* 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!

Friday June 2nd in China Camp

Last Friday Mike and Steve let me tag along to their Friday ride around China Camp and the Dominican side. Although I was riding my heavy Nomad I was able to keep up... although they were waiting for me in every climb. They are just good friends that didn't mind slowing down a little to hang and ride with me.

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.