Bernard was in town from Paris, and he needed to get some East Bay dirt. We had a good turnout (8 riders) in Joaquin Miller for a mellow loop on a beautiful day. We did an unusual jaunt down Sunset (we usually go up). Not unusually, Dragon won Best Biff (a relatively scary-looking faceplant into a tree on the rock face on the north fork of Big Trees), and we got back in time to do homework.
On a gorgeous autumn day up in Napa, we went for a two-sporter at Skyline Park. We headed up Upper Skyline Trail, which we’d only ever come down before; lots of interesting uphill challenges, with some sessioning on the rock gardens. A zip down to the top of Manzanita Trail led to big drops and rocks, with everyone having fun on the super-techy bits. Dragon won Best Biff yet again, but I had a pretty good one that resulted in Most Broken Equipment, which was the LCD screen on my camera. So for most of the ride I was shooting mostly blind; got some good shots nevertheless. Not hard on such a beautiful day.
After a picnic and shower, 15 holes of disc golf was a great way to finish into a beautiful sunset.
For Dia de los Muertos, Ashley brought us a collection of cowls for a Death ride in Joaquin Miller. ’twas a beautiful autumn day, and everyone was out there; a ton of hikers and dogs, and even another group of unicyclists we met up near Sequoia Arena. Great to see more folks out there!
Ricardo with his new 125mm cranks edged out Dragon for Best Biff, though Dragon still took Worst Injury, landing hard on his ribs coming off the diving board on Chaparral. Faye managed Most Broken Unicycle as well as Best Cliffside Retrieval when her crank fired off her uni and down the hill. Tristan one-footed it for a while before they turned back.
My MUni hadn’t made it back from MUni Weekend last week, so we went over to Camp Tamarancho, which is fun 29er territory. It’s actually fine for real MUnis too (Tristan was on a 24″), with some cool rock gardens, some trail toys, and a really fun flow trail with huge berms.
The loop is longer than I remembered it, we were all pretty tired by the end of it. But definitely fun stuff, and a good alternative in Marin County where bikes are mostly not allowed on singletrack. Land managers take note!
We sneaked in one more training ride for California MUni Weekend; Dragon won Best Biff yet again (with another spectacular slide and roll), landed his biggest drop ever (about 3.5 feet) and we hit the trail end while it was lit up by the last rays of sunlight. Ready for El Lay!
BACAFest was fun, even though we got skunked out of playing basketball on Friday night (Alameda High, I’m looking at you: changing the rules 48 hours before the event is not cool). Corbin had probably the coolest act in the show (does a cyr wheel count as a unicycle?) and we had fun rides on Saturday and Sunday.
There’s some “Sundays in the Park” concert series going on up at Joaquin Miller, so there were hundreds of cars parked near the main entrance. For us, Sundays in the park can start anywhere, so we went up top, hit Chaparral, and tried out Josh’s new brake setup on the chutes by the meadow (worked great). Dragon won Best Biff for the day (and maybe the year) with a spectacular flying faceplant. He also put in the current annual leader in the unicycle bowling category on the same hill. An impressive showing!
Just in time to take some more pictures, I’m finally caught up with the ones I’ve already taken. This batch was from Dimond Canyon last weekend, where Josh got the bright idea to take advantage of the drought to ride up the dry creek bed. Sausal Creek was heavily channelized and segmented back during the end of the WPA era, so there are lots of decaying concrete structures around. We had some cool challenges riding from one to the next through the loose rock gardens of the creek bed.
Dragon won Best Biff (as usual), and all of us wound up banging one part of our body or another on the obstacles, but it was fun to try out a different approach to the park, that we won’t be able to do once the rains start back in (assuming they do). We might ride it that way for the Sunday MUni ride at BACAFest.
Finally getting back onto the local trails, we’ve hit a couple of rides recently. The first one in Joaquin Miller, with old stalwarts Chris and Ricardo, and newcomer Harrison, a freshman both at Cal and on the trails, out there on his 29er. Hard for even a newbie to beat Ricardo for Best Biff, though; he waited until the bonus trail to bust it out, but it was a good one, flying over a boulder he was trying to hop up on.
Good to be back!
After spending some weekends on roads on two wheels, it was time to get back to the dirt on one. It was a hot day so we went for a shaded ride in Dimond Canyon, with a jaunt up to take in part of Joaquin Miller. Josh unfortunately hurt his ankle playing around on the jump right at the start of the ride, but Best Biff was won later by Kevin, trying a highly inadvisable chute near the top of the Dimond switchbacks. That was second blood, though, with First Blood going to Scott’s pedal bite early in the ride.
Full set of pics