Rockin’ at Rockville

The Moab training series keeps rollin’ on, as we had seven riders and a hiker zipping up to Rockville for a wet and muddy rock festival. (Just what the Cascade trail needed was an actual cascade). Amazing how much the lakes have filled with the rains. We had great weather, though the trails were pretty damp. Dragon won Best Biff with one of the most spectacular stop, drop and rolls we’ve seen, including extra bonus points for landing in a big patch of poison oak. (He claims he’s immune. We’ll see. He also won First Blood, with extra bonus points for facial involvement (bloody nose). But Ricardo skunked him on Best Injury Captured On Camera with a pedal dorsiflexion on an awkward dismount.

Two rides next week, then a Mount Tam epic, then we’re in Moab!

Josh on the skinny

Rock face on Upper Tilley

Rock face on Upper Tilley

Drops on Upper Tilley

Rock Gardens chute

 

 

Full set of pics

Dimond/Joaquin Miller epic

The training series continues to draw big crowds, this week with seven riders and two hikers going for the Dimond/Joaquin Miller loop. This ride is pretty strenuous no matter how it goes (all up and down, with 1200 feet of altitude delta between start and high point), and the crew we had today did a lot of sessioning. The result was a 5.5-hour ride that upon returning home immediately eliminated our entire stash of Girl Scout cookies, followed up by thrashing through three pizzas.

Dragon won Best Biff(s) and Best Unicycle Bowling again (the latter incident nearly taking out your photographer), although Chris submitted for consideration a biff on the Ricardo Wall, when he came off forward and skidded all the way across the road on his armor. Chris also won First Blood on the Dimond switchbacks. Good to see the awards getting spread around a bit.

We’ve got more epic rides coming up as we finalize preparations for Moab; Rockville Hills, Soquel Demo Forest, and Mount Tam in the next three weeks. Get on your MUni shoes!

Climbing in Dimond

Dimond stairs

Joaquin Miller chutes

Palos Colorados

Full set of pics

 

Annadel in the mud

Lots of rain during the week, but Sunday was gorgeous, setting up a great ride with mud pits added to the normal obstacles in Annadel. Josh was out on his new Nimbus Oregon, trying to figure out what the big fatty was better for (one clear winner: rock ramps). We had a total of five riders and two hikers, even after Nathan and Jason got waylaid by Pliny the Younger in downtown Santa Rosa.

Dragon won Best Biff again, but his skills are coming up quickly enough that he’s gone from having the top 5 biffs to only having a few spectacular ones on the ride. Scott, a bit more reserved, didn’t take any big biffs but did work up to trying (and cleaning) a gnarly section on Louis Trail.

The manzanita was in bloom, which means the poison oak is soon to follow. Welcome to spring in the Bay Area.

Just over one month to Moab!

Mud pit

North Burma

Josh on the dam

Rock garden on Rough Go

Dragon and Scott trying a tricky bit on Louis Trail

Full set of pics

 

Mud bath

We hit Joaquin Miller three days into the first real storm of the winter, and conditions were entirely flipped from last week; everything was soaked, and we lost traction not because of loose leaves but because of saturated soil. That was particularly fun in the chutes, which resulted in seriously muddy unicyclists.

The rain didn’t deter many folks, as we wound up with six riders and three hikers. Photos are predictably damp, as it rained the whole time we were there.

Next week: Road trip.

Playing in the chute

Climbing Big Trees

Climbing Big Trees

Kevin on Chaparral

Full set of pics

Keeping it rolling

More pleasant weather brought out another big crew for our Moab training series; 8 riders and 3.5 hikers this time. Despite focusing on technical bits, (and Dragon winning Best Biff again), we had no verified instances of blood on the trails. Josh rode the super-high tree that fell at the bottom of Big Trees. The air was cleaned out by the rain this week, but the park was still pretty dusty; we’ll need a couple of real storms to tamp down the soil up there. Hopefully that’ll happen this week, as we’ll be back in Joaquin Miller next Sunday for the next ride in the series.

Josh on the high skinny

My First Skinny

Mike on Chaparral

Scott on Chaparral

Full set of pics

Even bigger!

We headed over to China Camp for a longer ride, and wound up with an even bigger group than last week; 10 unicycles (ranging from 24″ to geared 36″) and two bikes. Everything’s still dry and powdery, unlike our last visit which included major temporary stream crossings.

This was notably the first time that the entire Totally Doable team had ridden together since Ride The Lobster. Fittingly, Chris won Best Biff on a 36er off-trail tumble, and Mike finished in second with a good elbow plant and roll.

Next week, back to Joaquin Miller for some techy riding.

The climb

Josh trying out Lance's Oregon

Bonus trail

Chris bailing

Full set of pics

Big ride in Joaquin Miller

We had our biggest ride since MUni Weekend, with eight unicyclists and a walker heading up to Joaquin Miller for the second ride in the Moab training series. It was an eclectic mix, from Dragon out on his first-ever MUni ride (bringing lots of MUnitude), to Josh and Ricardo tearing it up on the rocks and skinnies. Dragon won Best Biff many times over, although Ray, Mike, and even Josh managed to put in plausible entries in the contest. Ray also got Best Cliffside Retrieval after a failed mount on Sequoia Bayview, and Marc got My First Skinny for the first (and second) time. Josh also got the uphill challenge on the bonus trail.

A ton of fun as usual!

The group heading down Big Trees

Dragon flying through the woods

The tree

My First Skinny

Full set of pics

Next week: China Camp.

Double MUni

What’s better than a weekend with a MUni ride? A weekend with two MUni rides.

Saturday we went up to Rockville Hills to crash the BTCEB Gala Ride. A slight occasional mist didn’t slow folks down; BTCEB counted 89 riders, and they didn’t even count us because we showed up a few minutes late as the ride was already hitting the trail. We went out via the quarry, which we’d missed the last few times, did Rock Gardens in both directions, and then the cascade. Newcomer Jacob helped Josh goad me and Ricardo into doing a drop we’d never tried before (both successful), and Ricardo had a very impressive Best Biff on the cascade. It was easier than the last time we went (when the ground was frozen), but those trails could really use some rain.

Josh in the quarry

The drop after Cascade Trail

Ricardo winning Best Biff on Cascade Trail

Then on Sunday we went for a Totally Doable MUni ride in Joaquin Miller (part of the Moab training ride series), winding up doing loops on Big Trees and Cinderella. Lots of people out trying to live up to their New Years’ resolutions. Mike won Best Biff on a nifty pivot and sit-down, with bonus spectator points.

Mike on the Cinderella rock face

Next training ride is this Sunday, 1/24. The plan is to do a beginner-friendly one in Joaquin Miller. Get out there!

 

 

Moab MUniFest training series

The newly revived Moab MUniFest is coming up, March 21-23. This has traditionally been the premier mountain unicycling event in the world, drawing over 200 riders the last year it ran. And it’s easy to see why; Moab is a beautiful place, with amazing riding for people of any level. The group will range from expert riders like Kris Holm to people who are just doing their first real MUni ride. It’s a great community event, and there are plenty of outdoor opportunities for friends and family who aren’t part of the uni crowd; some people hike along with the ride or rent bikes, or just go visit the two spectacular national parks outside of town (Arches and Canyonlands).

As anyone who has ridden there can tell you, the trails at Moab are long and strenuous. If you want to do three days of riding, or even two, you’ll need to build up your stamina. With that in mind, I’m running a Moab training ride series, starting this weekend and leading up to the event in March. There will be rides every weekend, sometimes two in one weekend to work on recovery.

We’ll start with easy, non-technical trails to encourage beginners to get out and build up their MUni skills. We’ll work up to longer rides to develop endurance, interspersed with increasingly difficult, technical rides to work on skills. Whether you’re going to Moab or not, this series is a great opportunity to have some fun and improve your riding and fitness.

Here’s the current schedule. All rides will go on regardless of weather, though the location may change on wet days. Dates and locations are subject to change, but there should be at least one ride every weekend until the event. Rides will typically meet at my place at 9:30 AM; make sure you’re on the mailing list to see any updates.

Jan 11 (Sat): Crash the BTCEB Gala Ride at Rockville Hills Park
Jan 12 (Sun): Beginner’s ride in Joaquin Miller
Jan 19 (Sun): Easy ride
Jan 25 (Sat): Longer, non-technical ride in China Camp
Feb 1 (Sat): Intermediate ride with technical features
Feb 9 (Sun): Intermediate ride in Joaquin Miller, focus on technical trails
Feb 15 (Sat): Longer intermediate ride with technical features at Annadel
Feb 23 (Sun): Dimond/Joaquin Miller climb and descent, strenuous
Mar 1 (Sat): Road trip to Soquel Demo Forest, long ride with technical features
Mar 8 (Sat): Short ride in Joaquin Miller focused on fun
Mar 9 (Sun): Rockville Hills technical expedition
Mar 15 (Sat): Mount Tam loop, long, strenuous ride
Mar 21-23: Moab MUniFest

Hope to see y’all there!

Mike on Moab Rim

Winter MUni

Another winter day in the Bay Area. Ricardo and I did one of the most epic MUni rides done in Oakland, starting down at Dimond Park, riding all the way up (with a lot of uphill challenges), doing some extra loops to try chutes at the meadow (extremely slippery because of leaf litter, lots of fun slideouts), and then challenging each other to get down the trails with as few dismounts as possible. (Six for me, seven for Ricardo to the bottom).

We’d been tied for Best Biff, but Ricardo took the title on the stairs in Dimond Canyon. I hate stairs.

Dimond/Joaquin Miller loop

Dimond/Joaquin Miller loop

Full set of pics