Friday, 28 November 2014


Riding twenty five miles and climbing over 3600ft earns you a lot of post ride food stuffing and chocolate binging. Yep, it's Thanksgiving again! My favourite time of year to ride the NorCal trails, anchored by one of the most fun and challenging rides in the area - the Annual Thanksgiving Appetite Seminar. This year marks the fifth time I've done it. A mixture of better conditioning and beautiful weather meant it was the best yet.

My regular road riding commutes have boosted my cycling fitness and technique by a decent amount. Pedaling feels different. My cadence is smoother, my breathing steady and deep and power is delivered from the core. I rode the tough, loose, endless fireroads of Pine Mountain with a level of strength I've not felt in previous years. That being said, my new found physical prowess was completely overshadowed - as usual - by Rosson. He rode the whole thing on a solid steel, single speed, fat-fucking bike. And I still had to work hard to keep up! Impressive to behold. Especially on the steep and fast descents where those chunky rubbers looked like a moto bike as they tore up the dirt.

The turkey ride is always a great experience. It embodies much of what I love about mountain biking : stunning views, beautiful California weather and tough climbs leading to fast, loose and thrilling descents. Sharing this with friends and strangers, all joined in the common pleasure of mountain  bicycling is a real treat. This annual event also marks the end (almost) of another year living and riding in the USA. Last Thanksgiving, I could never have anticipated what the year ahead had in store. Cycling has been one of the constants that has kept me sane and given me some happiness through the  overwhelming sadness of personal loss. I'll always be grateful to the sport for that. And I hope to keep the tradition of riding the Pine Mountain loop each November alive for many years to come.