Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sunday Feb 10th Big Group in China Camp

Two Sundays ago was one of those warm sunny days we rarely get during these winter days. So everybody was out that day on their bikes to enjoy the weather and celebrate my birthday. Different people started gathering around 1:30 pm, some heard of the ride through my emails, some others through other friends, and some others through the Mike's Bikes website.

Here are some pictures of the bike caravan climbing to the top of China Camp. Here is me first, not because I was the fastest rider but because it was my b-day! followed by Mike, Allie, Danilo and others I can't recognize because I was going so fast!Dan is the first one in this picture below, followed by Justin, Jim and Cowboy.And here below is Fuzzy, Steve and Eddie warming up on the climb.
At the top of China Camp by the Nike site, we were a group of 23 riders. You can see 21 of them in the picture below since Dana and Steve were a bit late that day. From left to right in the back row you can see: Allie, Steve, Rex, Jim, Fuzzy, Cowboy, Justin, Julio, Kristy, Jason, Alan, Brian, Mike, Joe, Hannah, Dan and Eddie. From left to right seating in the front row: Danilo, Celia, Dan and Chad. What a group of handsome people! You can click on the picture for a bigger image to admire our beauty.
While we were waiting for Dana and Steve (a new Steve), some of us were rolling down the round platform doing the steep shoots. Some have been riding them for a while and some others took the challenge and did it for the first time that day. Stay tuned for the story on how Dana and Celia were able to defeat the fear and roll those shoots. I finally got the pictures so the next blog will be about that and hopefully I will inspire others to take the adrenaline challenge and do it!

After that big gathering the group splitted, and the coolest people stay with me of course to do my route. As part of the fun we had Celia's b-day Slow Race where Fuzzy demonstrated his falling skills after being defeated, and Chad demonstrated his incredible balancing skills leaving the rest of us with not a chance to win. You can enjoy the my b-day Slow Race in the video below:

Back in the cars when the ride was over, we went to Marin Brew some for beers and some for dinner, but all of them to celebrate my b-day! My friends Mike, Steve, Joe, Eddie, Cowboy, Kristy, Chad, Alan, Julio, Dana, Steve (the new Steve), Jim (another aquarius who invited me to days earlier to celebrate his b-day with a fun Calistoga ride) and Dan covered for my beer and also for Sally's beer. Yeah.. Sally almost always manages to crash our after ride beer celebrations and I love it! Thank you everyone!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Remembering the good old DRY days: New Year's Day Jan 1 in Calistoga - Oat Hill Mine Trail w/ Tara, Eric, Dana & Celia

With so much rain and mud on the trails I have been practicing power yoga, walking Poncho my dog with Sally and sitting in the computer to look at riding pictures when it used to be dry and nice.

Yesterday Sunday, I got lots of responses from biker friends thanking me for inviting them to ride. They all were wishing me to have a great ride but nobody wanted to ride in the crappy wet and cold weather. So besides going to power yoga again and hanging up with Sally and Poncho, I decided to write this blog story using some of my pictures and also stealing some of Tara's pictures instead of going out for a ride.

This ride has been my ONLY DRY RIDE I have done this year 2008! It was on Tuesday January 1st. Tara, Eric (Tara's boyfriend), Dana and me (Celia) drove to Calistoga to do an out and back loop ride on Oat Hill Mine trail. It was the first time I was going to use DH flat pedals I borrow from Dana. Yeah, flat pedals... so we had to wear skater dudes and dudettes shoes because these shoes have wide and flat surface that grabs better on the DH flat pedals pins. Look at the shoes so sexy and cute.
Dana and almost all my DH friends have been telling me I should get used to ride in flat pedals because is safer, in particular on technical riding and because they will teach me to have the right technique/form when doing dirt jumping.

So far I have hit several technical XC and DH trails on my flat pedals. And I have survived. But I have to say I rather do trail riding on my clip ins. I feel more grounded and balanced. When I hit the jumps (if this rain ever stops!) I will use the flat pedals again to see if I can jump better. My goal this year is to jump doubles and increase the size of drops I can do.

Another goal was going to be to ride the DH shoots from the Nike site top platform, but I did that already, yeah! stay tuned for another blog story where I will share with you how I beat the fear, actually the terror of going down those steep shoots.

Here is Dana showing some style with matching bright yellow/green skater shoe laces and pedals. What a fashion queen! Here is Tara showing some style too!

And here is Eric downloading our sexy Free Ride bikes!
But back to the ride, I was very nervious because I didn't know how I was going to do riding with flat pedals for the first time on that trail which is quite technical, in particular the top half if you are planning on going down fast. So I came with all my protection gear! Gosh am I a hot mama, or what!!!
This ride in Calistoga offers really gorgeous views you can appreciate when you are climbing Oat Hill Mine trail. The combination of the views and technical sections makes the climbing really entertaining. And then flowing down this trail is just exhilarating.
I like the top half of the trail because is rocky and technical. It is really fun to both climb it and descend it. Here is Dana clearing a technical section when she used to have both arms healthy, before the burning with hot water accident
By the way, her arm got so bad, here is a picture from last week!
But back to the ride in Calistoga, here is Eric fixing a flat he got in the top half of the trail:
And here is me showing off my skater dude shoes:
Toward the end of the ride near the bottom of the trail there are a couple of small ramps where you can get some air, here is Tara showing some dirt jumping style:
And here are the three of us being photographed by Eric at the end of the ride.
For more pictures you can click here (These are more pictures from Tara):

We went to the local pizza place for pizza of course and beers. What a fun DRY!!!! day we had!