Waking up early Friday morning my better half said, “pack your bags, open your mind to adventure and step into the party bus.”
Apparently months ago she had planned a short little get away for us, and I had been in the dark the entire time. This is note worthy for two reasons. One, because I am an excellent detective and can sniff out even the most secretive of plan. Two is because she can’t plan a surprise to save her life.
We loaded up bikes, and clothing suitable for swimming and made our way northward to the valley of Napa. Aside from wine production, this region is known for many things, chief among them is drunk, middle aged, upper class white people roaming the streets in packs and blowing money on knickknacks and chotskies. Though we are just shy of middle age, and hell and gone from upper class, we can be drunk in public with the best of them, so between staggering around at a wine tasting (I find that I prefer a nice Cabernet, and generally nothing else), we spent a bulk of our time floating in a swimming pool.
After a restful night’s sleep, we loaded up on some breakfast, then returned to the pool and eventually made our way to a place called Skyline Park. While some of you may remember Skyline Park as being the home of the very first ’50 Yards Of Hell’ during the 1997 Mountain Bike World Championships, the following year’s version of which resulted in a magazine advertisement;
as well as a police escort off the premises;
I suspect the bulk of you would remember it as being the venue for the 2008 Single Speed World Championships, while a few of people have possibly never heard of it at all.
It matters not, as the only thing that is important for all people to recognize is that it is a fantastically enjoyable place to ride a mountain bicycle type of bicycle, the grounds of which butt up next to one of the state’s oldest me(n)tal hospitals.
Should you be out in the wilds and between wild turkey and deer sightings, see a wild eyed individual wearing fuzzy slippers and a hospital gown, you’ll know you’re in the right place.
Anyway, it was a right special treat Demonika planned for us, and we took the opportunity for some rad getting;
We walked away from our day with only a few snake bikes and a little bit of poison oak.
As a friend (who is a father) and will remain unnamed said in a phone conversation “you got a Father’s Day weekend, without all of the unpleasantness of actually having a kid.”
After spending months and months riding the road and/or fire roads (except for when I wasn’t), it feels good to be able to finally reach for a fat tired bike whenever I want to, and now that the trails have all dried up, that’s been the call.
Why, just last week Jordi accompanied me on a loop which I’ve dubbed ‘the adventure ride’;
The loop is comprised of a fourteen mile climb, and then four individual segments of single track descent back into civilization.
A substantial stretch of the third leg of said descent washed out a couple of years ago, and someone took it upon themselves to run climbing rigging over the void. Besides that obstacle, the trail is dotted with a few sheer drops, numbers of downed trees, and random other hazards. Doing it alone might not be the wisest choice, so I was glad to have the company;
I’ve hiked the loop in its present state only once before, and had ridden it previous to that just a hand full of times. To capture the scope and varying points of intensity with a camera is beyond my capabilities, and doubly so when I’m hanging precariously above an 80 foot abyss with one hands and snapping pictures with the other.
Finally nearing the conclusion of our ride, I honored the adventure by braining myself on a down tree, which took my off my feet momentarily.
Tree-1, helmet-1, brain, and neck-0.
With sore feet and blazing scalps, we eventually fell headlong into a cold and extraordinarily welcome soak;
It’s days like these that I long for all winter.
In closing of today’s mountain styled bicycle themed rant, I would like to remind those near and far of this coming weekend’s Bike Monkey race in Annadel State Park;
Of course I don’t have to mention that this race also coincides with the first ever Wizard Staffs Across The World event. This was a conflict for possibly no one other than myself, but I’ve decided in the spirt of profhessianalisim I would both compete in said mountain bicycle styled athletic pursuit, as well as simultaneously construct my staff.
The only question left to ask would be ‘what could possibly go wrong?’
Also I should note that the following day Bruce Gordon is hosting a swap of sorts at his shop in Petaluma, California;
For more information on the matter, check out Grandpa Bruce’s bloggins.
While the results of this coming weekend’s Caligulan scaled debauchery might result in a state of shock, awe, and most certainly, injury, there’s a 90% chance that it will be safer than entering the confines of a creepy van.
2008 sswc where I did 4 out of the 3 laps required. yep, I was too excited to count and They (who ever They were) at the line were too drunk to notice. The good of that is I still beat a bunch of people. The not as good but still good of that is if you’re not 1st at the sswc you’re just out for a bike ride. still pissed I didn’t get a bottle opener though.
What fun! Remember to wipe the van down with bleach, gotta get that dang DNA evidence out ;-P
Nice to finally see some “rad-getting” photos of trails I actually ride on. You’ve got a good better half there, Stevil. However, I was hoping you might be there on the 12th to ruin the race for everyone. Still, it was a pretty decent time.
Cary, I just heard from the mgr at my LBS this morning about your escapade and all I can say is good on ya. That story will live on a lot longer than a bottle opener.
I had no idea that is how you spell chotskie. One truly does learn something new every day. Sounds like Demonica is in the words of Charlie Sheen a “Winner”
Tell us more about this Metal Hospital. What types o’maladies do they treat?
It’s the kind that’s filled with people who derive great pleasure in pointing out typos they find on web logs. You’d love it there.
oh Stevil… *sigh*
ohyA napa, where Curtis held the pre race party in the olive garden and we were to fashionable to get in. . and where we won the right to bring it to Durango where stevils comfort zone did not extend, and where we threw a sweet post race dance party in a custom treehouse made out of pallets and tie downs that the cops and the park staff couldn’t reach cuz it was up the single track about five minutes. I had a sweet moment of ripping back down to sleep with the boom box on the big dummy past the cops and co who had finally decided to walk towards the terribly loud music and they ended u
having to turn around and chase me back out to camp where I drunkely informed them to stfu because we had only been trying to wrest the sswc from the middle age white guys and bring it to durango so the significantly more energetic slightly younger white guys could host.. and I was so slow I got two bottle openers
Say, younger and more energetic.. Why weren’t you wrestling it from Bob in ’97, or Mark in ’99, or from the Mafia in 2000, or from Chipps and dr.jOn in 2001 or from us in 2002? Oh, that’s right, because you were still in diapers and training wheels. Mind your Ps and Qs, son.
leaving this comment page lest my words spill out. slappy.
You had no idea how to spell “chotskie” because it’s actually spelled “tchotchske,” and you are a loveable retard like Stevil for believing he could spell it.
I have forwarded this link to my lady in hopes that she will continue her radness and surprise me with a trail weekend when I least expect it.
CAST IS OFF, BITCHES!! I AM COMING TO SANTA CROCE (TIME IN A BOTTLE!) AND DESTROYING YOU AND DANNY B IN A BEER SOAKED DESCENDING COMPETITION!!!
Climbing is for dudes in Lycra with a high fitness level.
Hey Duncan, suckit. “A wide variety of spellings exist for the English usage of the term, e.g. tshotshke, tshatshke, tchachke, chachke, tsotchke, chotski, or chochke, because there is no standardized transliteration.”