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.


  1. Epic. Another amazing LRP event that I had to miss. Thanks for the great write up NoCar and photog work B.
    I didn't see a roll call. I think I know, but for good record keeping can we get a minor update.
    What time was the fire pit stop and what time was the final arrival time in P'Ville.
    Did B eat any pickles.

    1. 10:30-11pm fire stop, 1:30am P'ville arrival. I got 72.1 miles and ~6000 ft of elevation gain. Average speed just a little under Cappy's Strava times.

  2. Oh and to avoid any post tomorrow trumping this, I suggest this be the call out for tomorrow.


  3. Great Ride Lead Cappy, that was an EPIC adventure. Good summary NoCar, if ride reports were proportional to ride lengths we'd nominate you for a non-fiction short story Pulitzer.

    Outside of the pretzeled wheel, everything went smooth. NoCar, I think you picked the softest spot on the whole ride to tumble.

    Gotta mention the cowboy camp we rolled through. First we spotted the hobo packs, then sleeping cowboys, then the tethered horses, just like Pony Express days.


  4. Stuck trying to fly back home. Expected eta, at this moment, is 10 pm

  5. Stuck trying to fly back home. Eta in pville is around 10 pm, but weather in Denver seems to want to delay that. Hate to say it, but I'm out. Attendence from here on out should be greatly improved. Also, specialized finally came to their senses and sent me a set of bars and a new frame. And since they 'felt bad', they sent a pair of s works shoes too. Still going to trade her in for a giant. New wheels are a brewin! B, what's ur bike status?

  6. Let's not forget to mention the FT3 etched in the dirt at the pine hill preserve fence line, just before we made the drop to Salmon Falls. That was stuff of legend. Our own squish read the blog then made the early morning ride effort to mark our territory in advance of our arrival. Spot on mate.

  7. There is now legit science behind Part 2 of our FT3 gatherings, Part 1 has already been well documented.

  8. Xteric is trying to make it up after tonight's game. There is a possibility I will join him.

  9. Well done on the RR, NC! Cap'n kept us inline, on task, and mostly on time. The wrong-side-of-the-tracks roll by MK's was classic, "hey, somebody left a lantern out, we must have Hobo spotters!....oh wait, I think that was our stop." Nothing beats a hearty welcome, warm fire, and cold beverage when you're a dusty longrider. A grand time, indeed.

    My wife has a meeting tonight, so I'm out. Enjoy the recovery ride, for those that haven't already been sliding or spinning...