Another grand opening

Marin is doing a lot of stuff for bikes these days, and we’re along for the ride. After being the featured entertainment at the opening of the Marin Bicycling Hall of Fame, we went up to crash the Stafford Lake Bike Park grand opening.

Stafford Lake is a park way up in Novato that frankly doesn’t get a lot of usage, partly because its trails are all wide and boring, and the weekend parking fee is $10. But now Access4Bikes has worked with the county to build a great bike jump park, and for the grand opening, admission was free. So we hauled up there to see what we could do.

The dual slalom track was probably the most fun; fast and intense. Dragon won Best Biff there with extra points for spectator value. We also had fun on the intermediate jump track, and Josh really like the kiddie track for getting some air.

Stafford Lake also has an expedition disc golf course, which turned out to be quite cool, and a nice change from the intense crowds on the bike tracks.

It’s a long way to go for a playground without any decent natural trails, but it’s pretty cool for a built-in two sport day.

Stafford Lake Bike Park grand opening

Ashley and Jim on the dual slalom course

Josh getting some air

Disc golf at Stafford Lake


Impressing the bikes

We were invited to perform at the opening of the Marin Bicycle Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame over in Fairfax. We brought a mini basketball team and messed around for 45 minutes or so, got free lunch and beer, and then headed up to Camp Tamarancho to crash the Chainless downhill race on the flow trail.

Ricardo took first among the unis at 5:08, but didn’t succeed at his goal of beating at least one bike. Doing that might take someone willing to blast it in high gear (which is Totally Doable but freakin’ scary).

Anyway, because we started late we approached Endor from the counter-clockwise direction, which turns out to be fun and shorter than the whole loop, so now we have another way to enjoy Tamarancho. And we met a new rider, Ned, who lives over there and looks like he’ll be a great addition.

At the finish of the chainless race

At the finish of the chainless race

Up the mountain

Mount Tam is a relative pip-squeak in Himalayan terms, but it’s one of the best training rides we have around here. So a group of us, including four Unipal folks, headed over to Marin on a gorgeous day to crank up Old Railroad and fly down Eldridge Grade. On the last day of standard time, we were out almost until sunset, and got some beautiful light on the still waters of the bay.

Dragon won First Blood, Best Cliffside Retrieval, Best Biff, and Best Injury, in four separate incidents. Dude, leave some awards for everyone else.

On to a double ride next weekend; we’re less than a month away!

Dragon's cliffside retrieval

Climbing Old Railroad Grade

Descending Eldridge Grade


The trails have dried out, so the previously postponed ride in Tamarancho was back on for this weekend. Seven riders joined up to take on the trails, and man, if you do a lot of do-overs on the climb and rock gardens in Tamarancho, it’s a ridiculously tiring ride. Only a few of us had enough energy to go up to the very top of Endor (the flow trail), but it was worth it, because the first berm is the biggest, an impossibly high banked turn, and that’s just the start of the fun.

The unis ranged from Ricardo’s geared 36 down to Chris’ short-crank 24″, along with Ashley’s old-school steel KH boat anchor 24″ with 170s. Everyone had fun. Dragon, of course, won Best Biff and Best Human Cliffside Retrieval, but G beat him out in the Unicycle Cliffside Retrieval and Really, I Started This Ride On A No-Sugar Diet categories.

Fun was had by all, and we may have to revisit the spot for another training ride, it was that butt-kicking.

Playing on the toys

Harrison on the flow trail

China Camp double loop

We’re starting to ramp up the Nepal training series, and with that in mind we headed over to China Camp on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. We had a huge crew, a dozen people, including newcomer Eric from Marin. (Welcome!) Most of the group did one loop, three of us (me, Beau and Nathan) did a double, and one (Dragon) did one loop plus a bonus climb.

Dragon won Best Biff along with Best Human Cliffside Retrieval, unfortunately my fault because I’d installed the wheel backwards on the uni he was borrowing. Oops. We were able to get the pedal reinstalled (one benefit of cheap steel cranks), to give him two or three more opportunities to re-tweak his ankle injury. (Take it easy, dude).

Harrison’s video contribution this week is a compilation of Josh’s attempt (eventually successful) to ride up the side of a tree.

Next week: Beau’s Rob’s Ride down in Santa Cruz.

The group minus Chris


Michelle at the bridge


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!

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

Underwater at China Camp

Never cancel a ride based on a weather forecast. It rained hard in the morning, but by the time we got over to China Camp the sun was out and we had a great time splashing through the trails (and doing a bit of trail maintenance to clear clogged drains). I won Best Biff twice, on nearly identical high gear, high speed crashes caused by hitting soft spots on the trail.

Ricardo and Ashley

Ray fording the stream

Ashley in China Camp

Ashley finishing up the ride

Full set of pics


Wet day in China Camp

Our final Moab training ride was redirected to China Camp from Mount Tam due to the threat of rain.  The threat turned out to be empty, but we had a great day riding in China Camp, with almost no one else in the park.  Never believe the weather forecast.

While it didn’t rain, it was very wet; they got a lot more rain in Marin yesterday than we did in Oakland.  The conditions were more challenging than usual, which is good for China Camp, which tends to be a bit on the tame side (if you’re not in high gear on a 29er, which I was for most of the day).

On to Moab!  See you back here in April.

Splashing through China Camp

Ashley in China Camp

Willy in China Camp

Full set of pics