Monday, 29 November 2010

Turkey Jerkey

As a signed-up vegetarian I can't quite appreciate the whole thanksgiving turkey eating fest these 'mericans enjoy each year. UNLESS it involves a collective jaunt up a mountain - on bikes! So this year me, Spangles, Rosson, Aaron and Lee met up with a few hundred other like-minded folks on a cold and frosty Thursday am in Fairfax. The plan was to ride up and around Mt Tam taking in sections of the Pine Mountain loop and finishing with a spirited descent down the infamous Repack trail. Thus committing to history the 35th Annual Appetite Seminar, or Turkey Ride as some call it.

Wrapped in thermals and full of coffee, we left the Java hut around 8:00am. The whole thing is definitely not a race. More a regular ride with buddies, where you stop every now and again to chat, eat Cliff bars and take in the view/cough up a lung. Except there's about 3 or 4 hundred other people all doing the same thing, on the same trail. Excellent! Starting up the Bollinas Fairfax road we eventually hit the Pine Mountain loop trailhead. The climb was cold and hard. Lee and Aaron set a good pace from the off. Me and Spangles, being slightly older, creaked up the hill until we hit sunlight and the blood started to thaw. From there, I can't recall exactly what trails we did. Some I remember from riding Pine Mountain before. Others were new. But along the way we saw riders and rigs of all shapes and sizes. Retro bikes, clearly more used to commuting, sharing dirt with state of the art carbon beasts. Everyone joined in the common pleasure of hitting the trails with great company in the crisp NorCal air.

After 20 miles (or thereabouts) of peanut buttery mud and rocky climbs, we hit the legendary Repack trail for a fun, roller coaster descent back to Fairfax. I won't go into the history of the trail here. Click on the name for a link to googlepediard and learn all about it. Anyway. With hydraulic brakes and dual suspension - not to mention helmets being de rigueur - Repack is basically a steep fireroad by modern trail standards. But its a lot of fun. Twisty turns, tight corners and big ruts mean you really do have to keep your wits about you. Especially when sharing it with a few dozen other locals. By the time we hit the bottom of Repak our disks were smoking and our faces grinning. Those old hippies from back in the day earning a little more respect from those of us with fancier toys to play with.

The long weekend was rounded off by a ride up and down Mt Tam with Aaron and Scott. Luckily we rode mainly fireroad trails. My brain, pickled in alchopops from the night before, couldn't do technical without inevitable spillage. But we rode some stunning trails that I haven't done before. Fast, sweeping, lots of jumps. And the inevitable stunning views that never fail to impress whenever you take the mellow climb up Tam. The weekend's riding was a great way to end November and definitely the start of a new annual tradition on my biking calendar!

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos as always, especially the last photo, that view must have taken your breath away.