Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Details of the Annadel XC race have gone up and I'm pissed. It looks like a perfect day out filled with everything that's good about mountain biking at my favourite haunt. But my feckin' wisdom teeth have thrown a spanner in the cogs so now I can't play. Sucks. Speaking of wisdom, a wise old soul once said "Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living." I was reminded of this tonight as I nursed a fresh gouge on my shin. I'd been out practicing manuals. It's really hard. Way harder than it looks. Catching that perfect balancing point is like chasing a sneeze. Except it can end in a quick flip, arse over man tit, and some minor blood spillage. Still, getting back up and trying again is the important bit. That's the "living" the wise man is talking about. Another wise man probably once said "34 year old grown-ass blokes shouldn't be messing around trying to pull wheelies on bikes." True. It does look feckin' cool when you pull it off though ;o)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Another Weekend of Awesomeness

Yep. Another weekend draws to a close and I spent most of it riding. Fantastic. I'm loving being back in Cali'. Especially as the weather is so predictably gorgeous and the trails are hot and dusty. Not ideal conditions for riding, but I love it. Makes me realise I'm in the great outdoors and enjoying it's fruits. Anyway, Saturday me, Rosson and Spangles headed over to the Java Hut to meet Mike, Adam and Sam for an up and over Pine Mountain, followed by Tamarancho. These boys ride fast (as I've mentioned everytime I've ridden with them.) So it was a good chance to gain a bit more fitness back. The ride was great fun. Pine Mountain threw up it's usual challenges : brutal climbs and loose, rocky descents. Spangles paid homage to last year's face smash by.... smashing his face again. This time we bypassed the emergency room and stuck to uploading pictures of his wounded fissog to Facespace.

Sunday I met up with In Soo and Zach for a blast around Skeggs. We took the now favourite Blue Blossom trail, but some misdirection meant we missed out the awesome Crosscut trail and instead took Gordon Mill..... which is fine, except it ends with a bitch of a climb up to Salamander. Knowing we'd opted for soul sapping anaerobic torture in favour of sloppy grin descent was a real pisser. But that was soon forgotten when we hit South Leaf and Virginia Mill. Such an amazing roller coaster ride. Gets my heart singing with glee everytime.

Next weekend it's the Bike Monkey Annadel Race. I was all set to do it. I even felt pretty confident I'd do much better than last year. But I have a date with the dentist on Friday to have my wisdom teeth yanked out. Apparently it's not a good idea to mix a belly full of vicodin and a mouth full of bleeding holes with 26 miles of strenuous riding. Ah well. There's always Downieville. 3 weeks and counting.....

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Back to Reality

Staycation is over. But not before I squeezed in a lovely morning jaunt around Annadel with Jaime. I was hoping to hit Skeggs too but my China Camp knee injury had other ideas.... Still, the weather in Santa Rosa was beautiful and the trails : perfect. Batter like. Jaime always sets a good click, which was just what I needed to help prepare for the race in 2 weeks. Just over 17 miles in less than 2 hours and I felt good. Those hours sweating over the hotel stationary bike in NYC obviously went some way to stopping my legs from withering.

I also discovered a new trail today : Spring Lake. Amazing..... soooo fast you can barely believe it. Lots of rolling, shaded single track which the locals have augmented with jumps and berms at the side of the trail. Presumably so you can do a better job of dodging/terrifying Sunday hikers. I'll be back next week with Spangles. We'll hit Lawndale and Rough Go in prep for the race. Aaah... I can't wait to get the bib on the bike and hear those cattle bells mixed with knobbly roar!

Friday, 10 June 2011


Another day of staycation, and another day of riding. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and it's true. I'm like an 8 year old with his first BMX and all the time in the world to play in my favorite haunts. So today I took myself off to China Camp for a solo ride. None of my usual cohorts could make it as it's a school day. China' was bone dry, dusty and practically empty of anything apart from countless lizards scurrying frantically away from the Nomad's nobblies.

Great fun. Not without it's spills though. Whilst descending the "Hitler" trail I went - quite suddenly - from a shit eating grin to, well, eating shit. Two big strips of flesh gouged from my leg. Still, all this MTB fun comes with a price and the trail gods do demand the odd blood offering. Mine was overdue.

China Camp is so much fun. And beautiful. Endless sweeping singletrack ripped to the soundtrack of birdsong and freehub clatter. There really is nothing better for the soul. Tomorrow, it's a Skegg Shred with In Soo, then Sunday a trip to Annadel. A warm up for the race in a couple of week's time. Aah, NorCal trails.... getting back on them is like slipping into a hot bath filled with joy ;o)

Thursday, 9 June 2011


...Highly recommended. I'm having one right now and it's lush. Originally I planned on a few cheeky week day rides. But the Nomad needed some TLC so spent most of the week in the shop. Just as well since last Sunday's ride mixed with a chesty cold left me somewhat fa-hooked. Well, today the steed came back all spick and span and I felt tip top again, so me and Aaron took ourselves over to Fairfax for a late afternoon ride at Tamarancho. Gorgeous golden sunshine, cake batter trails and back in time for tea. Perfect.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

New York Pics

If you're interested, here are some pics I took in New York : CLICK HERE

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Torture. Sweet, Sweet Torture

So, I'm finally back in California. It was supposed to be the Annadel XC race today but, fortunately for me and my lack of fitness, it got pushed a few weeks to due a severe rain forecast. I was still keen to get a ride in though. Luckily, the forecasters are just as lame here as they are in New York. As such, it remained dry all day. Not that a little rain was going to stop me riding. Neither was the chesty cold that I caught on the flight home. So, with waterproofs at the ready and lungs full of butter, I headed to Fairfax to meet Dave and Damon for a ride.

We'd talked about a quick blast around Rancho. Perfect for me. Something relatively mild to get me back into the swing of things. As it turned out we instead climbed Mt Tam and rode a bunch of trails I'd never seen before (mainly because they're designed for two feet, not two wheels.) Super technical and challenging. My Kung Fu hasn't suffered too much, but the rasping of my lungs and dizzy head, combined with cramping legs, meant I walked some sections. I saw rocks, not lines, so took it easy. Still, I'm keen to go back once I have a bit more fitness under my belt.

It felt great to be back out on NorCal trails again. And to be on the Nomad. I'd forgotten how plush it is. But the ride did almost kill me. 3 hours and 3000ft after two months of nothing of the like was brutal. My quads looked like a pregnant belly, squirming under the strain of what is normally a "fun" climb. Still, I needed to get the first ride out of the way. Punishing as it was. Now, hopefully I can get a few more like that in the bank and have a decent shot of riding well at Annadel. Let's see.