Posts by tom

The latest newbie

We got to ride with Sarah this weekend, a newcomer to the Bay Area and a relative newcomer to MUni, although she's a former national champion at urban (flatland) riding. We took her on one of our standard loops, hitting Big Trees, Chaparral, and heading down to the overlook, because, Oakland, baby. We also did some scouting for locations for the East Bay JAM, and found a great place for flatland and learn-to-uni lessons. June 16, see you there!

Nathan’s birthday ride

Nathan invited us down to Silly Valley for a birthday ride around Lexington Reservoir, with a bonus climb and descent over Montevina Road. We had total of five unicycles, all Schlumpfs, four 36ers. Everybody did the loop around Lexington (which was not full like last year, but not empty like two years ago), and then most of us went for the climb. Great day! 

Fruita day 5: 18 Road

I'd never done five days of MUni in a row before, but here we were on Sunday. Nathan and I were sore but doing generally well, while Chris and Dragon were still itching to ride more. Today’s plan was to go to the 18 Road trails at the foot of the Book Cliffs, which were repored to be mellower, flowy trails. Because it was warmer, and the trails were supposed to be easy, most of us decided to go without armor. (What could go wrong?)

Fruita MiniFest Day 4: Free Lunch

For day 4 we added Chris and Dragon to our riding group. Nate, Jim and Jesse had to leave mid-day, so we made the plan to shuttle up to the top of Ribbon Trail, where those guys could do the slab portion and bail out where it crosses Little Park Road, while the rest of us would take a new route down to the trailhead. We'd had so much turnover in riders that only Nathan and I had been on Ribbon Trail two days before, so we got to share it with a new group, who of course really dug it.

Fruita MiniFest day 3: Palisade Rim

On Day 3 we were riding at Palisade, on the other side of the valley from Fruita, in the Book Cliffs. It's a beautiful area, with stark cliffs leading down to wineries in the river valley. The ride is a climb to the top of a mesa, a double lollipop with a short lower loop and a longer (4 mile) upper loop. The trail system is not as well developed as the ones on the other side of the valley; it's very tight singletrack, with not many trail options, in contrast with the criss-crossing trails at Kokopelli and Lunch Loops.

Fruita MiniFest day 2: Ribbon Trail

On day 2 we were going to shuttle to the top of Ribbon Trail at Aspen Mike's suggestion. The start is almost unbelievable, an enormous rock slab that slopes off for over a mile. We also got some cave MUni, and a bunch of desert singletrack on the Gunny Loop.

Fruita MiniFest day 1: Horsethief Bench

This year's MiniFest started out with me, Nathan, Owen and Nancy taking the train out to Grand Junction, where we met an international group, consisting of Jenni and Emma from Denmark, Adam from the UK, and Benoit from Montreal. After getting in around noon, we headed out for a quick afternoon ride on the Kokopelli Loops system.

Training and raining

Training goals for the last weekend before the event: Have fun, get a good workout, don't get hurt. It had rained all week, so Mount Diablo, which would normally be on the schedule, was out, based on our experience last year with bay mud out there. We did Dimond/Joaquin Miller last week, so we went for Soquel Demo, which has two grinding climbs, good drainage, and skippable injury risks.

All in the family

The latest in our Family MUni series featured our first father/son combo. Scott and Matthew came over from Mill Valley, and Scott's wife Tracy hiked along with Nancy. Scott won Best Biff on one of the chutes, Matthew did a line on the way back that he wasn't willing to do on the way out, we got to see the Oakland DEVO middle school mountain biking team, and everyone had fun, which is of course the whole point. I'll continue to try to do one of these rides monthly, to give newer and less gnarly riders a chance to try things out.

Going epic

One of our standard epics that still works in the wet is the Dimond/Joaquin Miller combo. I always love this ride for its contrasts. You start in flatland Oakland, and just by rolling through a playground wind up in a forested canyon. It's not exactly a wilderness, but it's really impressively secluded for such an urban ride.