Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Headlands - Sunday November 25th


The picture above shows "almost" all of the riding group of seven from last Sunday. From left to right, the cast members were: Kevin; Chad; Dan; Alan (leaning on his then healthy right knee); Celia; Dana (who left the ride due to climbs but left Cowboy with a helmet videocamera behind instead); and Kristy (a so called "beginner" rider who was doing an intermediate/advance ride for the first time).

When Dana found out about the route and realized we were going to climb the steep Coastal fire road she decided to leave. I was quite surprised as she did a great weight loss ride with me in the Headlands area before Thanksgiving. Even though she lost 4 pounds during that ride she was not happy about the 4,000 feet of climbing we did in that 19 miles/5 hours ride. But we got Cowboy instead who was wearing his Fuzzy shorts, so we went on with the ride.

I noticed everybody in the ride were loving me after every downhill section but in between the climbs I could feel their I-am-gonna-kill-you vibes. Because in the Headlands you either go downhill or uphill, there are not flat or rolling hills sections, I made sure we were going to end the ride with a fun downhill so they were going to be loving me after the ride. It turned out everybody was indeed loving me at the end of the ride but Alan, despite his last name is Loving...

Here is Dan after one of those happy climbs

Here is Cowboy showing his Fuzzy duds and videotaping the whole ride:

Here is Kevin (who never complaint about the climbing)

Here is Alan showing strong climbing skills

Here is Kristy showing she is not a beginner anymore!

Here is Chad showing his pectoral and arm muscles

After descending Diaz Ridge near the Pelican Inn, we met Julio (drinking from his water bottle like a drunken guy) and his nephew Oscar who is visiting from Mexico and already kicking Julio's butt.

Unfortunately, on the last downhill section, coming down Miwok near the stables parking lot, Alan lost control at a high speed resulting on a crash. Fortunately he didn't break any bones but he cut his right knee. My partner Sally and I drove him to the hospital where he got 7 stitches on his knee. We then picked up Thai food and had dinner and beers with Alan at his place. So hopefully he will be loving me again. :-)

Send Alan an email wishing for a fast recovery so he can ride with us again. His email is rideinpeace@sbcglobal.net

Stay tuned for the next Mike's Bikes riding series Chad, Dana and Celia will schedule for everyone. We have to do it again so we can have the celebration dinner with white lager beer and flat bread in Mill Valley we missed due to Alan's crash.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Ride 2007 - Did it hit the 1,000 riders mark?

Around 9:00 am, Fairfax Java Hut parking lot was packed and so the Post Office parking lot across the street. Lines of cars were also parked along both sides of the streets. I have never seen so many cars gathering in Fairfax for a ride. But this was not just any ride, the Turkey Ride also called Appetite Seminar Ride or Thanksgiving Ride is an annual ride going on since 1975, quite a tradition. Based on the counting some rangers were doing at the bottom of Pine Mountain loop, I think we may have reached 1,000 riders that day. (They counted 750 around 10:00 am when we rode by).

But back to the beginning of our ride, Alan and I ended up parking across the street from Fairfax theater, got ready for the ride and pedaled back to Java Hut where we agreed to meet other friends that decided to sleep a little longer that day before the ride.

Alan and I first saw Chris.

Amy showed up with Dave (from Colorado). Greg (on a single speed), Chris brought three friends: another Chris, Cameron and Justin. Lori also showed up after a whole year without riding with her! Mario from Tahoe also decided to sleep a little longer.

My friend and neighbor Jerry sent another neighbor Greg to ride with us (great to meet another neighbor that rides!).

Lina, Susan and Ernest stopped by to say hello. Lina and Susan were doing a shorter (and probably smarter) version of the Turkey ride. And Ernest was warming up to hammer the whole Pine Mountain loop. Here is a picture of fashion queens Lina and Celia:

Also Chad and Jeff joined us to ride.

Julia stopped by to say hello, she is another one of those crazy single speeders!

I think at the start our group had about 19 riders and at the end we were just 6.

After gathering everybody, we started pedaling at 9:45 am! quite late! and did our first detour of the loop. Instead of climbing Bolinas Road from Fairfax, we went up via Deer Park to do some fire road climbing to the country club. We lost our first couple of riders so the group shrinking started right away. After some hard climbing and some fun exhilarating downhill we reached the spot where Freewheelers Jim Jacobsen and Danny Forer who were giving away Clif Shots. Our group was reduced to just 8 or 9 of us.

We finally got down to six riders at Horse Shoe Junction when we headed to finish the ride via Tamarancho to ride some singletrack instead of descending via Repack. Here is a picture of the hot sexy girls that hanged on together 'til the end: Lori, Amy and Celia:

And here is a group picture of the six of us that finished together, from left to right: Mario, Celia, Amy, Dave, Lori and Alan:

What a great tradition!!! Too bad the Marin IJ was not around to have an article of the ride. About 1,000 riders! wow! They missed a great opportunity for a great article about how much popularity mountain biking is gaining in Marin.


Monday, November 19, 2007

China Camp Ride Sunday Nov 18, 2007

This time five riders showed up for the ride. Celia, Chad, Danilo, Eugene and Hannah.

Danilo who has come to several of the rides, showed up with his brand new full suspension bike ready to ride with us for a while as he already has been riding earlier to test his bike. I think he wanted to show off his bike. Eugene and Hannah were first timers, they both learned about the rides via Mike's Bikes site.

We said hi to Karen who was going to ride with some of her high school bike team members and Staci who was going for a run as she is training for a marathon. These two ladies are moms and can kick many butts all right! Karen is a cross country racer and Staci also races cross country, triathlons and marathons!

After introductions, Danilo, Eugene, Hannah, Chad and I started climbing to the top where Danilo said goodbye. Even though the scheduled ride was at the beginner level we decided to go for a more challenging ride after assessing Eugene and Hannah's riding levels. Chad and I guided them through technical singletracks that included drops and switchbacks. With just a few tips and explanations on descending techniques they rode safely and succesfully some challenging trails for the first time. Awesome!

The last scheduled Mike's Bikes ride is next Sunday November 25th in the Headlands. We meet at 1:30 pm at the Tennessea Valley Stables parking lot located in Mill Valley at the end of Tennessea Valley Road. WARNING! Expect lots of fun and lost of Thansgiving pounds gained during the week!!! COME AND JOIN US!!!

The end.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Vote Today for More Acces to Mountain Bike Trails on Mt. Tam

Should there be more opportunities for mountain biking on Mt. Tam?
Read the article and vote today at: The Marin IJ
(Deadline December 1st)