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.