One of the best parts of mtn biking is just enjoying nature. Today’s weather was the most pleasant so far. The wild flowers are incredible, a patch of yellow, red then blue, iris, daisy, aster, clover even the wild artichokes are flourishing. Everything is green, the hills, oaks, bay, pine tops are all filling in.
Tom Boss from Marin bicycle coalition met me at the bottom of Loma Alta, and we rode San Giacamo together. always nice to have company, lots of talk about trail building, advocacy and bikes.
Tomorrow, Earth day , I’m off to ride the ridge to bridge with 37 riders to benefit the Bay Area ridge trail . I had my first look at the San Francisco today, I will be crossing the Golden gate tomorrow.
A bit wet last night but everything stayed dry in turkey bags, Sonoma mtn was difficult but it went by fast, the top of Sonoma mtn was fast and flowy at the top then it all broke loose. Trees on the trail, ankle deep peanut butter mud, and slippery trails caused the first fall on soft grass, I got up laughing, I shredded a bag mount but there is always a plan b.
Petaluma to Novato, sweet tailwinds, it was a bit of culture shock rolling into Petaluma traffic, I was ready to roll through. It made my day to see a fellow AMBG rider, Micah. He rode with me all the way to mt Burdell summit. This gesture really helped me get up the last hill. 62 miles 5600′ vertical
Had a great ride yesterday, very few people on the trails , trails are pretty muddy, going to take fire road up to Sonoma mtn. Rained last night, my tent held out well clothing choices were well made , it’s warmer than I planned for.
In Glen Ellen now up to Sonoma mtn, Putnam park and finish with Mt Burdell
April 19th, 8:00 starts my Bay Area ridge trail ride,. I have a short photo shoot and interview with REI CoOp, and will ride out with a small group after coffee. REI has been very supportive of the Bay Area ridge trail in thier rewilding initiative. I look forward to hearing from REI team members and riding with them.
The gear fits into the bags and last minute clothing options are finished,
My first day is short on mileage but makes up in altitude, I pass through 5 parks and gain 5900 feet, Mt hood and bald mtn have grades in the 19 to 34% range. I start the ride through Trione Annadel state park ,This is my home turf, I volunteer at the park and ride with Annadel Mountain Bike Group. My first night is camping at Sugarloaf state park, a great group of volunteers help staff this park and it is a great Sonoma county getaway.
I can’t do this alone. I am riding the Bay Area ridge trail with a team. My team is composed of my supportive wife Anne, the very helpful Bay Area ridge trail council, and my families. Close family and my work family. I work as the kitchen collective chef for the Redwood Empire food bank. My team of volunteers have adopted my adventure through attrition of my stories, struggles and triumphs. I look forward to hear support from everyone as my journey unravels.
The decisions are made, carry on clothes picked out, ounces and comfort are important,
tires,✔️gearing ✔️and cockpit✔️grams are important here, happy with my REI co-op bicycle and sleep gear. I love my donated camelbak hydration pack.
How do I feel? I am ready to ride. Weather is cooperating, lets ride! Hope to see you out there!
Every day is getting closer to my Bay Area ridge tour. training days are longer and more intense, riding the routes back to back with the fully loaded rig. The gear is getting dialed. I am thankful for all the support from the Bay Area community. REI Co-Op has helped immensely with a sweet 27 plus touring bike, a superlight Co-op sleeping bag and a pad. I will definitely sleep well. Camelbak from Petaluma has supplied me with a comfortable low rider hydration pack, the Skyline. I am also very appreciative from all the mental support, fellowship and faith from fellow riders, family and followers. April 19th is getting near.
I had to take a short break from training from my Bay Ridge trail ride.The flu has caught up with me and my body is telling me to slow down. At this moment I’m looking for a homeopathic pill or magic potion to cure me of this misery. These thoughts also crossed my mind last weekend on a training ride, my leg abductors had siezed up and I had to walk till it passed., I researched remedies deep into the night. magnesium, zInc, electrolytes, baking soda? quinine? With all the options, I can see how athletes get into performance enhancments.Whats works for me at the moment is to steadily get past the overwhelming pain and fear by talking myself down. relax, loosen the body and mind. Slow down and enjoy “this moment” Seems the bay ridge trail will have many of these life lessons to endure.
Technology and cycling, quite a controversy, Are we better cyclists now that we have power meters, strava and electronic shifting? We might be faster or more knowledgeable but I think we are missing the point. I started mountain biking to get away from it all, to enjoy the solitude
On a training ride, I carry a heart monitor, gps, and a smart phone to capture the beat and record the efforts for social media. On One tough desolate ride all tech failed, I spent the next half hour upset that my epic ride wasn’t recorded. This Left me time to look around. listen to the crunching dirt path under the tires, watch the cool wind rush through the pines and feel the icy chills of raindrops dripping down the collar. Hills were summited, pain came and went, trail rythym and cadence became flow. All this technology was distracting my senses. This is what I ride for, to become a part of our world in its natural state.
My career working as a chef had many miles of driving to work and long days. There was not a chance to commute by bicycle. I wanted to share in this alternate cult culture, to have a beater bike, U locks, hip clothing and messenger bags.
Losing my job as hotel chef was the best thing to happen to me. I couldn’t walk away from the stress filled “positive tension” as it was called, or my selfish ego. Many life lessons were learned and a wonderful opportunity fell into my life. I took a job as the kitchen collective chef at the Redwood Empire food bank. I now lead a team of volunteers preparing meals for our community in need. Our food is distributed throughout our county to seniors, families and anyone in need.
With my new career came the opportunity for a 10 mile bicycle commute. This didn’t turn out as easy as I thought. Now I have to get up an hour earlier to ride in, change clothes three times a day. I didn’t think about the weather in my dream images, frosty mornings, rainy wet days, and the endless head wind on the way home. As a casual cyclist I would routinely pick and choose better times and routes to avoid these pitfalls. How could I imagine flat tires only happen when you are running late. With this are the hidden suprises, beautiful sunrises, fitness, and joy from just enjoying this ride you are on. All this has taught me about myself and the community around me, with support and determination any challenge can be overcome.
Come ride with me and support the bay ridge trail on April 22 at Ridge to bridge event. This will be my third day, I will be loaded up and riding to the Presidio, riders can stay at Rob Hill campground in San Francisco, you can also support me as a rider and funds will go to the Bay Area ridge trail, let’s complete the loop!
We had beautiful weather in Northern California this weekend. I needed to get out to test some equipment, check the trails and push my fitness with the fully loaded Mountain bike. I left from home, the mustard is blooming and the grasses are incredibly green. Unfortunately Northern California still has plenty of mud and waist deep creeks. I stayed to the roads and well graded trails, I travelled 45 miles and 4500 feet of elevation my first day and matched my numbers for the trip home. I am comfortable on the bike and my gear is still being reviewed.
Los Alamos road to Mt Hood
The one thing I did not miss on this trip was unsettling political conversations. Our national parks, open spaces and environment have been threatened. I find it shocking to see our national park employees fighting to keep our protected land free from development and environmental damage. The Sierra club is supporting political groups. There is controversy between outdoor retailers about how to properly represent the industry.
The Bay ridge trail follows A green belt of public space encircling the Bay Area. Northern California encompasses many Grass roots organizations, alliances, open space advocates outdoor retailers and the people who love these spaces. There is a need to unite, show our strength, have a voice in our government and protect our most fundamental need, the earth we walk on.