K wanted a chance to try out a geared uni, which inspired us to go for Tom’s Rob-ish Ride. We hadn’t ridden it as a group in some time, although I often use it to crank out a quickie, so to speak.
The roads were dry but the trails were muddy after the week’s rains. We had fun playing in the mud, including a skidding contest in the meadow (Geronimo won). At Ricardo’s urging we modified the route to go down Cinderella, which was quite tricky given the conditions, but fun. And I was glad to see that the drains I dug at the trail maintenance day a few weeks back are working great.
We took a shortcut on the way back, on a route I had scouted but discarded as the main option for the ride. G won Best Human Cliffside Retrieval on the north part of Sunset Trail, which is also where Harrison won Best Unicycle Cliffside Retrieval. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after we got to the road that K won Best Biff, losing control on super-steep Castle Drive. Road biffing isn’t nearly as fun as mud biffing. No serious injuries, but the new route will be used on an as-required basis only. (It’s a little shorter.)
Our friend Felix made it to the Bay on his international unicycle tour; we saw him at UNICON in Montreal in August, and he’s been riding west since then. To take a break from road riding, we took him out to Rockville to get some real MUni action. He did great, making the chutes in the quarry, the rocks in the rock garden, and linking the cascade.
Dragon won Best Biff, First Blood, and unfortunately Worst Injury, as he tweaked his ankle badly enough that he missed out on a bunch of the fun stuff. RICE it, dude.
From here, Felix heads south along the coast, eventually looking to arrive in Mexico City in a couple of months. What an adventure!
Bernard was in town from Paris, and he needed to get some East Bay dirt. We had a good turnout (8 riders) in Joaquin Miller for a mellow loop on a beautiful day. We did an unusual jaunt down Sunset (we usually go up). Not unusually, Dragon won Best Biff (a relatively scary-looking faceplant into a tree on the rock face on the north fork of Big Trees), and we got back in time to do homework.
We sneaked in one more training ride for California MUni Weekend; Dragon won Best Biff yet again (with another spectacular slide and roll), landed his biggest drop ever (about 3.5 feet) and we hit the trail end while it was lit up by the last rays of sunlight. Ready for El Lay!
There’s some “Sundays in the Park” concert series going on up at Joaquin Miller, so there were hundreds of cars parked near the main entrance. For us, Sundays in the park can start anywhere, so we went up top, hit Chaparral, and tried out Josh’s new brake setup on the chutes by the meadow (worked great). Dragon won Best Biff for the day (and maybe the year) with a spectacular flying faceplant. He also put in the current annual leader in the unicycle bowling category on the same hill. An impressive showing!
Just in time to take some more pictures, I’m finally caught up with the ones I’ve already taken. This batch was from Dimond Canyon last weekend, where Josh got the bright idea to take advantage of the drought to ride up the dry creek bed. Sausal Creek was heavily channelized and segmented back during the end of the WPA era, so there are lots of decaying concrete structures around. We had some cool challenges riding from one to the next through the loose rock gardens of the creek bed.
Dragon won Best Biff (as usual), and all of us wound up banging one part of our body or another on the obstacles, but it was fun to try out a different approach to the park, that we won’t be able to do once the rains start back in (assuming they do). We might ride it that way for the Sunday MUni ride at BACAFest.
Finally getting back onto the local trails, we’ve hit a couple of rides recently. The first one in Joaquin Miller, with old stalwarts Chris and Ricardo, and newcomer Harrison, a freshman both at Cal and on the trails, out there on his 29er. Hard for even a newbie to beat Ricardo for Best Biff, though; he waited until the bonus trail to bust it out, but it was a good one, flying over a boulder he was trying to hop up on.
Good to be back!
After spending some weekends on roads on two wheels, it was time to get back to the dirt on one. It was a hot day so we went for a shaded ride in Dimond Canyon, with a jaunt up to take in part of Joaquin Miller. Josh unfortunately hurt his ankle playing around on the jump right at the start of the ride, but Best Biff was won later by Kevin, trying a highly inadvisable chute near the top of the Dimond switchbacks. That was second blood, though, with First Blood going to Scott’s pedal bite early in the ride.
Full set of pics
I’m late posting this, but I swear that has nothing to do with this ride having been on 4/20.
We went up to Joaquin Miller on that day, zipping around the bonus trail, Cinderella, uphill challenge on Chaparral, and then a bunch of playing around on skinnies at trail end. Dragon won Best Biff, as usual, but Geronimo gave him a run for his money, and took Unicycle Bowling again.
Full set of pics
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!
Full set of pics