Going to the mountaintop

The Moab training series concluded this weekend with the longest and tallest ride of the year, climbing to the peak of Mount Tam in an all-day epic ride. The Bay Area was on display, with beautiful riding weather, outstanding views, and an only-in-the-Bay sunset with wisps of fog spilling through the Golden Gate.

In addition to Bill, who just jumped on the Moab bandwagon and wanted to get in some practice, we a new Chris on his first ride with us, along with Scott, Dragon, and Sabrina.5 hiking along. Dragon won Best Biff (with bonus Unintentional Coasting points), but Bill beat him out for unicycle bowling, both on the roots at the top of Tenderfoot.

The training series turned out to be really popular; I think we probably had at least 15 different riders over the course of the past couple of months, and double-digit participants on most rides. After Moab I’ll be switching into bike training mode for Strawberry Fields, but as usual I’m up for MUni rides in any free moments.

Next stop, the promised land!

Yin and yang rides

We had our biggest training weekend of the winter, with a ride in Joaquin Miller Saturday followed by an expedition to Soquel Demo Forest in Santa Cruz on Sunday. The rides were severely contrasting; in Joaquin Miller we had four local riders, a hiker and a couple of dogs, all solid riding, no biffs. In Santa Cruz we had eight riders from all over, three hikers (including Andy and Irene from Minnesota), and a massive biff-fest.

At home I managed to win Unicycle Bowling, narrowly escaping Best Biff. In Santa Cruz, everyone had spectacular biffs. Particularly notable were Corbin’s brake gliding failure, Josh managing to glance off a tree at incredible high speed after failing to land a huge jump, and Chris eating it off a drop. But Best Biff clearly went to Dragon (as usual) who managed to go down face-first between two elevated logs.

Braille Trail has a brutal fire road climb at the beginning and end. If that weren’t true, we would ride it all the time, because the trail is a beautiful MUni playground that goes on forever. Josh was getting some amazing air on his Oregon, including one slopestyle jump that ended up being at least four feet of vertical, clearing a root eight feet down the trail.

Two weeks to Moab!

Joaquin Miller:

The railing at Sequoia Bayview

End of Cinderella

Marc and Juli Ann

Soquel Demo:

On the climb

Teeter-totter

Uphill challenge

Drop sequence

Stupid-high skinny

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

 

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

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!

 

 

Final MUni Weekend pre-ride

We went up to Annadel for our last scouting ride for California MUni Weekend (next weekend! Registration $10 in advance, $20 on site, get signed up now!). Finding: It rocks! And it has rocks, tons of them, all the way up, all the way along the ridge, and all the way down. Should be a really fun ride and a great way to end the weekend (well, not counting the pool party afterwards).

I won Best Biff trying to get up and over a boulder (chest-plant), though Josh tried to beat me by Supermanning over the last rock on the trail.

It should be a great weekend; hope y’all can make it, and thanks to Chris and Josh for helping scout.

Chris in the rocks

Josh dancing

Josh one-footing the skinny

Chris is not impressed

Josh in the wash

Full set of pics

Pacifica MUni

I’m finally caught up on photos, this set from our trip to Pacifica with Chris a few weeks ago. Gnarly trails, lots of biffs into the walls, no serious injuries this time. Things were fogged in (it’s Pacific) so we didn’t get much of a view from the top.

Bevan doing the big drop

Kevin on the drop

Stefan in the fog

Full set of pics

Stefan also provided some pics and video:

https://plus.google.com/photos/105854844212300679052/albums/5915948527291290785?gpinv=AMIXal9_0lhfHdpHeyhmVDh1XZhY7nmIMN2anc6gVEWoJBq2yrTU3x4BRfZlEOMtATcIPNtEr27BNn-IngOv-keL-fRa9CwfXQ38imobVOdX4jUNZ38Zh-k&cfem=1&authkey=CPGajJXdqKeQdQ

(Anyone know how to make G+ embed in WordPress?)