Just say no to Crack

We were scheduled to go down to Soquel Demo, but there are no roads left in Santa Cruz, so we headed out to Pacifica instead. There are also a couple of slides on the Planet of the Apes road, but the main trails were accessible. But man, those things are badly built. In some places water running down the trail has created tire-width-wide channels, several inches deep. Crack had eroded out terribly and we were all slamming into walls. And then Boy Scout was a complete muddy mess.

I won Best Biff with an impressive face-plant that broke my helmet visor. Chris came in a close second with an awkward full-body slot wedge on Mile.

It was beautiful out there but I think it’s gonna be a while before we’re back in Pacifica. Anyone wanna head out there with a work team and a shovel?

High on Crack

Boy Scout

 

Celebrating the end of the drought

The California snowpack is at a 22-year high, the reservoirs are full, and we got to celebrate with a beautifully wet and muddy MUni ride. Newcomer Campbell got his first taste of redwood MUni; much different than the trails in Georgia. Ray also got a taste of MUni when he won Best Biff with a sprawling fall that ended with him biting my uni. (Sorry about that, man).

Another great time; next week, Soquel Demo.

Josh

Campbell

Ray and Ricardo

China Camp on the Lunar New Year

I hadn’t planned it this way, but we were scheduled to ride in China Camp on the day of the Lunar New Year. It provided a good reminder that China Camp isn’t just a name; the place itself is one result of America’s long history of racial segregation and exclusion. We should not forget.

We had a group of five, including Victor visiting us from the southland, out on his third-ever MUni ride. He started out on a 36″, but swapped with Dragon’s 29er. Dragon had a lot of fun on his first big 36er ride, and of course won Best Biff somewhere in there. As a group we had a number of unicycle cliffside retrievals, but no big problems.

Beautiful weather, fun riding! Next week, back to Joaquin Miller for some more technical MUni.

Shoreline Trail

Shoreline Trail

Caution to the wind

One of my principles in organizing rides is to never cancel the ride based on a weather forecast. (For that matter, I won’t cancel the ride when the weather is actually bad, but that’s another thing).

It turned out that this Sunday we hit a gap in the storm and had a ride in gorgeous conditions in Joaquin Miller. Yu, Ricardo and I had the park almost to ourselves as we splashed through temporary streams and tested our tires. (Actually, traction was fairly good except in the mud pits; many thanks to Stan Dodson and BTCEB for all the work they do to keep the trails draining well). I won Best Biff just 10 seconds into the ride, trying the chute down to the meadow (we all made it eventually).

Next week, China Camp!

Big Trees Trail

Big Trees Trail

Big Trees Trail

It’s a start

We got our training series going with a reasonably mellow ride up in Joaquin Miller. No major biffing (Best Biff was a toss-up between Harrison’s awkard step in the stream, and George’s mount failure pedal smack). Everything was pretty damp up there, and I even did a bit of trail work (armoring a pothole in the middle of Sequoia Bayview that was draining underneath the trail).

It was beautiful up there, and great to get back on the trail. More rides to come!

George

Harrison

 

 

MUni with Ben

Ben Soja, one of the top MUni downhillers in the world, was visiting Santa Cruz for a conference, so Corbin called a ride. We wound up with a great crew, a dozen riders on a chilly but beautiful day. The ground was super-soft, but unfortunately for Ricardo and Chris, the wood wasn’t. Ricardo won Best Biff(*) trying to get over an off-kilter log stack (I’m sure his thigh is lighting up in all kinds of Christmas colors), and Chris won Best Injury by dislocating his finger on a goofy fall on the train tracks.

It was fun to watch Ben and Josh pushed each other to go big on the jumps, which I’d say they split. Ben was amazing on the steep downhills, which there are a lot of on Chupacabra.

(*) Yes, even with Dragon on the ride!)

Video from Nathan:

Pogonip MUni

Pogonip MUni

Pogonip MUni

Josh going airborne

Bringing Josh to Endor

Shockingly, Josh had never been to Tamarancho with us. We finally rectified that oversight in early November. All three of us on the ride (Harrison being the other) were out of shape, and Tamarancho is a long ride if you’re out of shape, but it’s great riding, and there’s not anything quite like Endor (the flow trail) anywhere else. (There are other flow trails around, but most of them don’t work well for unicycles).

Camp Tamarancho MUni

Camp Tamarancho MUni

Endor (flow trail)

First-ever uni ride to Treasure Island

I can’t verify it, but I think it’s safe to assume that no one had ever ridden a unicycle to Treasure Island. The old Bay Bridge had no bike path, and while some intrepid cyclists had ridden there on the road, I’m pretty sure they all had at least two wheels. The new East Span has a bike path, but until October it hadn’t been connected to the island.

Now it is, so, it had to be uni’ed. A group of four of us, plus a handful of bikes, made the trip over to Yerba Buena Island, rode down the road, did a lap of the island and hung out at the marina, drinking wine and eating empanadas.

It’s a pretty mellow ride, and seeing the departing remnants of the old bridge was cool. And we got a bonus photo from a guy (John K) who was out shooting the bridge.

Treasure Island uni ride

Yerba Buena Island uni ride

Fifteen minutes of “fame”

We’re big in West Marin; this morning I got interviewed for the “Off-Center Sports” radio show by Steve Sarrafzadeh of KWMR (West Marin Radio). We talked about uni basketball, MUni, and other uni sports. I think they were pretty impressed, and there wasn’t a single clown or circus reference.

Not sure whether they leave these archives up indefinitely, but the link right now is at: http://kwmr.org/broadcasts/5619

 

Psychos

Chris invited us down to Psycho, and we had a good group flailing and tumbling all over the hill. Vicente came out on his first MUni event (he’s not riding…yet), and we had a pretty spectacular array of biffs. Josh nominated my fall off the Overpass (caused when the small branch I was holding on to broke) for Best Biff, and Dragon of course had a number of contributions, but I think the award has to go to our first ever Tandem Best Biff, where Dragon pushed Ned backwards over a stump while still flying another 20 feet down the trail.

Video from Chris and Dragon.