Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And It's That Time Again

6 days have passed and now we find ourselves at the most important day of the week.  FT3 time is so close I can smell the sweet aroma of tacos.  Trails should still be good with minimal amounts of dust.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Conserve Your Joules

A faction started last Tuesday's ride at a non-standard location and time. B, Newb, and I rolled through Camino, then took Cable to Ghost Mountain, to Blain, picked up the canal to Forebay and up to P Pines.

Rather than consenting to ride asphalt, we continued east on Pony Express. Newb and B were doubtful, and as we rolled further east i was obliged to ask a walker to confirm that our planned route existed. He nodded, "turn right at the next fire road that goes straight up the hill." We did that and came out on 50. We sprinted across the Highway and without hesitation continued up the road that was littered with No Trespassing signs.

We passed residents in a jeep who gave us a nervous wave. Another guy driving his trashcan down to the highway in his quad, looked at us sternly but didn't stop. We continued up the road until it became a driveway. Backtracking, here comes that dude, now without his trashcan. Again, he let us pass. Certainly, if we hadn't been wearing matching kits, we would have been shot. We picked up the smaller road that we had missed, which led to a gate and new No Trespassing signs. This was the right way. We climbed a dirt trail up to the radio tower, then down to Park Creek Road, dropped the Power Line Trail and on to the Naught Lot.   

Fortunately, Xteric rolled in the same time we did, so we weren't late. After snacks and tall cans I passed RideLeadership duties to Newb, as we had already discussed that 8a/b have been absent from our rides for too long. He beelined for the horse trail that drops below the first dam and in a fever of rut hopping fury, pinched a tube. Back in action, we charted the express route to Fleming CW and down 8a. After churning back up, I made the call for a visit to Cappy's Cache, since RG had managed to miss it the last dozen or so times we've hit it. I think Cappy took the front at this point, leading us to the Cache, back to the left lip and tacos.

We took our crowd of ten out to the back, where Even Keel started a roaring fire. Cappy dared everyone to play hot sauce roulette.  


Owing to a hiccup in work schedules, I had Wednesday free. Mrs. Nocar had business in Tahoe, so she dropped me off at the Strawberry Lodge. From there I rode Pack Saddle Pass, to Silver Fork Road, to MET, to Light Canyon Rd, to Mill Creek, to the bottom of Plum Creek, to the top of Plum Creek, to Griminger and out Park Creek road to home.Sadly, I must report that Griminger is a logging camp again and the roads through that area have been hammered by heavy equipment.


Anyone want to race? Ride the tracks down and heckle the racers? RG and Newb will be there, so it may be possible to get shuttled back up the hill.

As of this moment, the majority of FT3 is past due on paying for kit orders. These debts have been put out to a collections service (some guy named Guido) for servicing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Day on Dana

Carousing at Squaw Valley isn't going to get you up Squaw Ridge. And with a little coaxing, I convinced B to leave his pool party, last Saturday afternoon. We had a mission to check the high Sierra snow pack. After a night of camping on Lee Vining Creek, complete with Hobo dogs cooked over an open fire, we headed up Tioga Pass. Being on the injured roster, Mrs. Nocar provided shuttle and dog sitting services.

We headed for Mt Dana,

climbed the Solstice Couloir,

skied back down,

 whooped and hollered with joy,

crossed the Dana Plateau,

looked down the frighteningly rocky drop-in to Ellery Bowl,

skied it,

then did some biking, because this is FT3.

Its Tuesday, time to get some miles on the bicycles. Conditions are so good that we may even get back to back appearances from Lars and Bambi. I plan on doing a dirt roll-up, leaving Camino at 4.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ready for Bike Month

When you see someone who works from home out commuting, you have to take notice. This fine fellow was using an alternative transportation mode to commute to jury duty this morning;

Monday, April 15, 2013


Cappy's long anticipated Hobo ride was the stuff of FT3 legend. Depending on whom you ask, the ride stats will be a little different. My personal best guess is 80+ miles with ~6500 feet of elevation over the course of 11 hours.

As we assembled in the Mosquito Lot the riders buzzed with nervous tension. By 3:04 RG was already complaining about the late start. Our rumored seventh rider excused himself, so no hobo fo no sho fro. Cappy was unflappable. He alternated between coach, cheerleader, good dad and bad cop to cajole the crew, who dreaded the mountain bike on asphalt miles. To make everything right, he snuck in a bit of dirt and wildflowers right from the lot.

The 49 stretch was completed without delay, disappointing those eager to begin the hobo'n.

Finally reaching the trailhead, who was waiting with snacks and delicious drinks? Unknown Local!

What's more he had his mountain bike and maintained our race pace all the way out through the first climb of the SF River trail. Apparently, he has been doing some secret recovering.

On the rolling fire road section before the final descent to Salmon Falls, I came into a corner a little overheated. I chose to abandon ship and rolled through the aromatic herbs that lined the trail. Unscratched, I got ready to ride only to discover that my rear wheel had a kink. Councilman rode on, to inform the front that I was dealing with a mechy. B and Xt helped with the repair. Having learned from watching Chief Trailside Mechanic NoHandle, I grabbed the rim and, with the assistance of a second person to brace the wheel, shoved my foot against the warp.

Then Xt settled in and adjusted the spokes. Some time later, the wheel turned true enough to clear the frame and we rolled down to the Salmon Falls TH. We joined our team, who were slumped against the retaining wall, waiting in the shade. From across the parking lot they could see how badly my wheel wiggled. So, the wheel came back off, more rim bending and nipple wrenching, and then the wheel was good for another fifty miles.

 After a quick spin on Salmon Falls, we jumped onto a side road and then more single track. I heard the names Sweet Water and New York Creek. The trails were heavy with poison oak and wind fall.

We hopscotched between dirt and road all the way in to El Dorado Hills. The town didn't know what to do with us. Most looked away, trying to ignore what they couldn't comprehend. The BMX kids give us a holler.

We pitched camp outside of the nugget at sunset. Spread on our table was one and a half pizzas, a hearty salad, a bunch of bananas, a sixer of Black Butte, a fourer of Old Rasputin, gatorades, a jug of water, and two breakfast sandwiches. All ate and drank until stuffed. The left overs were packed for later consumption. Suffice to say no food would be left in any packs by the time the ride concluded.

Councilman used a little local knowledge to get us off Latrobe but not take Cap'n's extended dirt tour. At this point the Ride Producer noticed that we were a tad behind schedule. We took to the tracks with gusto.

The ballast riding was jouncy, and the track side trails were little better, some were worse. After untold miles, Cappy announced that we had passed an important stop. We turned around and rode the South side of the tracks, instead of the north side as we had come. Then we noticed lights and a sign inviting us to beer. We welcomed a sit on comfy chairs before a crackling fire, as our host uncapped beer after beer.

Nobody wanted to leave. The night was warm and lush grass invited slumber. Somehow we managed to motivate, and shortly we were back on familiar trails. Placerville was dark as we rolled through. The Liar's Bench hadn't served last call, but none stopped. I feared if I got off my bike then I wouldn't be able to get back on it and pedal home. Though B did generously offer to let me stay at Newb's.

Friday, April 12, 2013

4-13-13 Hobo Ride Callout

Train leaves from Pville to Cronin to EDH to El Dorado Trail to Pville tomorrow at 3:00pm, Mosquito Lot.

Bring a light or two and some pocket change for one or two of these along the tracks:

Maybe we'll see one of these:

 Should be plenty of time for some quality track riding.

Who's going to be there?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Showers Bring Awesome Trails

My concerns about having to borrow my dog’s car to get up to the Knott Lott were alleviated when I received the following text from Safety, “B and Orphan will pick you up.” Without skipping a week for recovery, Orphan was for more, and thus is the only FT3 rider with a perfect attendance record. Disappointed by the previous week’s businesslike kitting session, Newb made up for past omissions and hoisted the PBR flag for all to salute. NoHandle arrived late, but at rollout, B still earned the Last Man Ready title. Rock God announced a tour of the classics and set off as RideLeader.

Out the back to the Sly Park Guard station, down the trails to the FT3 clubhouse:

Down chin, up the dam horse trail
to a Fleming CCW loop; though skipping A and B which resulted in heckling from the peanut gallery. Dodged the ponds on Blue Gouge Mine to Redneck Rising to Left Lip. Careening down the Lip, I noticed a light ahead that was not pointing in the right direction. Getting nearer, Newb was bent over his bike as if inspecting his wheel and a noise like the release of air from a tire was audible. B assumed Newb was adjusting pressure and rolled on. The situation was actually quite different. Newb was hunched over his frame to take the weight off his knee as he groaned in pain. Thinking his youthful determination was sufficient to match the elan RG has refined over the decades, he wrecked inexplicably, and smashed his knee into a rock. After a brief session of cursing Newb remounted and finished the descent. At the bottom, we turned towards tacos. Near the top of the boat launch road, I implored NoHandle to take the short pitch of dirt that cuts up to Sly Park Road and bypasses the EID entrance gate. “It’s easy” I said, “just stay left.” However, no one tells NH what to do, so he cut right
and, head down as he brushed between two saplings,

This being the last ride before esteemed FT3 member Safety First! moves out of town, he cut loose and ordered a PBR.

We will look forward to your visits, Safety.

Taco quality was remarkably good. And two patrons attempted the record. However, Willy retained his title. 

Cappy's long anticipated Pville to salmon falls loop is saturday. Don't forget to bring an extra battery for your light and whatever change you've managed to panhandle. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lots of gears, no beers

B and I rode into the Knot Lot to find the crew assembled, kitted, and waiting impatiently. How were we to know it was going to be a punctual roll-out? In spite of the HCF teasers and in spite of it being SS night, no pre-BRs were being shared. And the rider who is most fussy about on-time departures hadn't announced himself in the count-off. So, little surprise, the start was late. The blog rumor that Greenfro would be in attendance turned out to be untrue. However, his unchaperoned invite did arrive and was ready to roll. 

With a new rider in the mix, we headed straight for the Qualifier. Qualification was easily established, and the new rider was dubbed Orphan.  

We proceeded to the Chopping Block, which was fluffy, bermed, and fast. After the spirited climb out from the flume, ODRL announced his plan to jettison. We rolled back to the Powerline descent, and at the first intersection, without fanfare, Lars turned right and headed home. The group proceeded down the next leg of the descent. At the bottom, on the brink of anarchy, THTH started riding towards the Qualifier. Turns out the Qualifier was in the other direction. Safety First was nominated for RideLeader. Various, and apparently useless text messages were dispatched to our satellite crew. Owing to the poor quality of said text messages the satellite crew headed out on a lake loop, narrowly missing the larger pack as we rode past the boat launch to the horse camp and dropped below the dams. At this point Orphan confessed "Holy Smokes! My legs are blown." He added that he had no idea where he was and that if he lost site of the other riders he would never make it out of the woods. Taking that in consideration we continued towards Palin's and the regular lake ride back to the Knott.

At the Knot lot who should we find loading a road bike into RG's truck?

A minute later Cappy and Xteric finished their Lake Loop and quickly hit the stop watch. They declined to disclose their time. The taco session was boisterous as we strolled in 10 strong.

Orphan's handle betrayed its lack of staying power as he used his Proper Name to order!?! The QA/QC team wasn't in the kitchen this evening as Greenfro was served a naked taco.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I've got a fever, and the only prescription - is more tacos!

Time for some Tuesday therapy!! Maybe the Counselor will join us for some mind bending. No doubt someone will be there to push the pace for the physical aspect. Are the rumors true, is Green Fro "coming off the road" tonight and bringing with him an offering for the Qualifier? Xteric and I have a ball game but will make an attempt for a post game roll up and short ride, no guarantees on my end, as I am leaving for Idaho tomorrow where I will be seshing the biggest bike park I have ever seen. Visit this link to see the amazing number of trails they have: http://eaglebikepark.org/visiting/maps/ Here's a viddy of their Dual Slalom course, just one of the many, many great features at this park:

Will Colin beat me down the dual slalom course??? Also while I am there I intend to ride the "Hard Guy Trail" if for no other reason than to say I went to Idaho and rode the "Hard Guy Trail" ...on a single speed. I think the vid below is of the decent, apparently the climb is hard? 

Tuesday, TacoStrong!!!