City of Rocks

Rockville always lives up to its literal name. On a great day for MUni, we headed out to Fairfield and played on the manzanita trail, Rock Gardens twice, the Cave Trail (badly eroded), and a bit in the quarry with the little energy we had left. They’ve done some trimming of the manzanita on Upper Tilley (so it’s not nearly as manzanita-y as it used to be), but in general the lines were all pretty challenging. Campbell won Best Biff falling into the bushes on Cave Trail, I won Unicycle Bowling (with spectators!) on one of the bonus chutes off Rock Gardens, and Josh had an awesome three-jump line getting through a washed-out section on Cave Trail. The rocks were all a little pointier than usual, but the good thing about rocks is they don’t wash away, so most of the trails were still in great shape for riding. If you like rocks, which we do.

Campbell and oaks

Upper Tilley Trail

Josh in the quarry

 

Doubling up

We’re just a couple weeks from Moab, so it’s time to test our recovery abilities. After yesterday’s epic, we had a mellow ride in Joaquin Miller with some of the kids from our youth program, including Zeke on his awesome 16″ uni. A few hikers joined us, and we ran into Yu up there, and George missing a wheel.

Dragon not only won Best Biff for the second day in a row, he also beat yesterday’s record for unintentional swimming, this time finding a pool almost perfect for his height. The kids did great, even dropping in on the big chute by the meadow, with Tyree making it almost to the turn. Mack and Tyree both made it down a whole bunch of steep and techy stuff, and Yu got within 10 feet of making the whole chute (he’ll get it next time).

The chute

Sunset Loop

Bridge on Palos Colorados

 

 

Here comes the sun

Finally, a week of sun! Some time for the trails to dry out gave us an opportunity to road trip up to Annadel, which, we were reminded, is a spectacularly beautiful park. And, one with some great riding; ups, downs, sweet singletrack, skinnies, rock gardens, boulders, natural trials, whatever you’re into. We had great fun with the crew that drove up, and Ashley came down from Lake County for a guest appearance.

Dragon won Best Biff, of course, and set our new record for unintentional swimming by dropping chest-deep into a pool in the dam spillway.

It’s too long a drive to Santa Rosa to do every week, but dang, it’s worth it.

North Burma Trail

Chris in the spillway

Rough Go trail

 

 

 

All hail

Redirecting from Tamarancho on a day with unsettled weather, we got hail, rain, and sun with a beautiful double loop in Redwood and Joaquin Miller. We got hailed on in Redwood, almost as much as we got last year in Annadel, which was fun. The trails were definitely a bit more rideable, and we had a great time. I had been in the lead for Best Biff for an early thigh-bruiser, but Josh topped it on the last obstacle of the day, the drop at the bottom of Cinderella.

And I gotta say, I love Oakland and Joaquin Miller Park, and mad props to Stan Dodson and BTCEB for maintaining the trails, but I’ll be looking forward to a little more nice weather and the chance for a road trip or two.

Redwood MUni

Redwood MUni

Redwood MUni

Loving the East Bay

In a recurring theme this spring, we were scheduled to go to Annadel but the trails there are too messed up, so we headed back to Joaquin Miller, where things were beautiful as always. We picked up another Bay Area transplant, Emele, who does a lot of street and impressed us with huge hops. Always good to have fresh blood!

Speaking of blood, I don’t think we even had a First Blood candidate; it was a pretty low-biff ride. We did have First Poison Oak; it’s gonna be a banner year for that stuff. I probably won Best Biff with a leg-bender on Chaparral, though Emele definitely won Best “Oh Crap He’s Gonna Biff Whoa Man I Can’t Believe You Saved That,” several times over.

Skinnies at the top

Cinderella

Chaparral

 

Who needs the West Bay?

We had been scheduled to go to Camp Tamarancho, but the trails there close in the wet. So on a wet day in Oakland we headed over to Dimond and Joaquin Miller.

This ride always sounds a lot easier than it winds up being. 17km and 380m of altitude delta; that’s not that much, right? But add in all the challenges and do-overs and you have over 5 hours of fun on the trails in sloppy conditions. Dragon won Best Biff of course (with a fairly scary-looking roll down a steep slope by the creek), some of us managed the creek crossing (once, at least), and we had a lot of fun on the north fork of Big Trees. Everything with rocks is way harder than usual; the rocky section on Chaparral took everyone several tries.

Bonus video featuring Stan Dodson, steward of many of the trails we rode.

Watch!

Next up: Annadel.

Nope

Chaparral

Chaparral

 

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