Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Last night nine pithy MTB'ers gathered at the Knott lot among huge rounds of downed pine in tufts of sawdust and pine needles. I began heckling Bambi for his lack of attendance and he announced that he was going to have to re-learn how to turn the pedals. B was there too, coming off his long work-related hiatus that has kept him off the bike, out of the county, and away from FT3 for too many weeks. He kindly made the rounds with pre-br's just as Mother Rye began chiding us for parking in the lot as if we were supposed to know to park elsewhere. It was something of a reunion, the group of nine including R.G., Cap'n, Bambi, B, Newb, Spawn, C-Man, NoHandle and our D.R.L. - Lars, were present. It could have been the first reunion of the complete 24 hour Team 1 in many months, if not years. This was at least subliminally present in NoHandle's mind, because at one point during the night when his headlamp battery was jettisoned from his jersey pocket, and lost among the bush, he couldn't help but make a reference about how devastating such an incident would be during a 24 hour race. Note to other riders, it appeared to be the empty wrapper in his pocket that gave it just enough 'slip' to provide for ejection during his epic and stylish maneuver off a six inch high log jump.

Stylish maneuvers abounded last night, as Bambi quickly proved he had not forgotten how to ride, he maintained his typical antics and even sang us a country song. Our D.R.L. took us down to the lake and along the lake and on some horse trail to the super steep climb to the bottom of Rufus Rage. During the horse trail part, I took to announcing, in BMX announcer fashion,  the awesomeness of this reunion, riding the wheel of Bambi and Newb who were equally embroiled in antics. At one point I announced some particularly awesome fancy riding of Bambi's and Newb decided to look back to see what was going on. He then rode off the trail, crashed and whacked his nuts. There was little remorse from our group of excited riders, so we rode on while Newb HTFU'd and rode on as well. Our group contained 1 single speed more than geared bikes for a total of 5, each of those riders took to the steep climb with ferocity. We climbed the rage and descended upper skid and skid row and all the riders thoroughly enjoyed the works of the unknown trail builders, not to mention perfect trail conditions.

'Round the lake we went to Hazel Creek where we got on the fireroad that only people who do long runs know how to find. We climbed in that area for a long while, then descended some fireroad back into familiar territory. During the fireroad decent, a wild and ferocious possum crossed the trail forcing some hard braking among the group. The hard braking took place just as Bambi was about to make his move to pass Lars and I by riding swiftly between us. Bambi rode directly into my left ankle, where I was not Bronsoned, rather I was Ardented, and he then took an unplanned dismount into the hillside, narrowly avoiding taking me clean out. It was quite a spectacle from what I hear, but I did not see it, as I was more concerned about the ferocious and obviously rabid marsupial in front of me. We dropped back down to the lake in the vicinity of B is for barf, then rode back up to the qualifier, dropped a little single track section and out to the road where where we could see the Knott shining like a beacon in the night.

We rolled into the tuft lot once again to change out of our cycling panties and headed in for tacos. It looked as if all of the riders partook in some rye, with the exception of the Spawn, who opted for water and a single champagne of beers. During the conversation we learned how chainsaws help us appear more manly to our significant others, how much beard growth is just the right amount, and how absurd it is to try to change your own taco handle.  Alas, we were all thankful for yet another successful FT3. May there be many more to come.


For those of you who are not aware, there is a local, very grassroots and only 'somewhat organized' Turkey Trot run tomorrow at 8:00am. The run starts at the Placerville library and goes down the Forni to Missouri Flat road section of the El Dorado Trail. Two mile, 5K and 10K turnarounds will be marked. This is a fundraiser for the local food bank. If you come, plan to donate what you can, burn off some calories and enjoy this community gathering of friends for a good cause. Hope to see you there. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Firing Squad

It was a balmy 48F when we assembled in the Knott Lot Saturday morning. Though all the Penn alumni had predicted much cooler temps, we were met with sunshine and smiles as we struggled with layers. There would be no question for Safety, surprising us with a visit, and donning his trademark jacket and shoe covers. Yours truly rolled up (on time) to find Rock God in full embro mode.   Our ride organizer and leader, THTH, was joined by P.C. and none other than Orphan. Once we made pleasantries, and received our blessed communion of Mojo and (insert beverage of choice), it was off to the wild.

NoHandle led his minions NE to the qualifier, and then down the now debris-strewn chopping block. Seems the recent high wind advisory left an extra layer or two of twigs, needles and leaves over the damp but firm earth. Our leader both quizzed us on trail names and solicited ideas for future trail work. I wonder if anyone can get us a pro deal on some McClouds. From the block, we veered E and up the newly named Wall back to PC. After some layering changes, we were then directed to Grimangers, and the ridge(name?), eventually making a few last minute tweaks to bring us right round to PC. From the 4 way junction, we headed SE towards MET, with yet more climbing on fire roads. Our destination was Cappy's Cache, and it would not disappoint.

As we whooped and hollered, roosting leaves on every corner, the distinct sound of cannon fire could be heard in the distance. RG predicted, and we quickly discovered, that this cacophony of sounds was not only getting closer, but well within our current path. As we climbed out of the Cache, the rifle report grew louder, and we would soon smell the powder. Just before the beginning of the Bonetti paved road, we dropped into a veritable shooting gallery. Almost a dozen ticket holders stood aiming at targets directly ACROSS the fire road. Like ducks moving across the carnival board, one by one we rolled past the firing squad. They kindly holstered their weapons and allowed us to pass. There was nervous laughter as the lead carny jokingly(?) assured us "don't worry, we're not shooting cyclists, today". Once safely past that maelstrom, we rounded another bend to find a smaller assembly of marksmen. Our group then discussed the irony found in breaking the perfectly tranquil and silent fall morning with gunfire.

As the gallery, and the ringing in our ears, began to fade in the distance, we set our sights on a left lip drop. En route, P.C. performed a splendid log balancing act. This was shortly followed up by this rider's complete stacking over the same obstacle. The folds in the lip enveloped our tires, and I for one would like to have savored it thrice. We then wrapped things up with a CW loop back to the cars.
In all, a nice 3 + hour tour of the greater pollywood complex. I believe Msr. Credite captured a few pics, and can now upload for those who, well, wished they were there but couldn't make it.

Consider this your weekend weather/ride report, and Tuesday's callout. It will be just another perfect evening in the forest....sans gunplay, of course.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Spawn's Ride Report

Just Kidding, but I got your attention right?  Call Out disguised as a RR.

The group all appeared to be in agreement on Tues night during the official Pollywood season opener ride that Spawn would craft his ride report from behind the bar.  He would then email it to NoCa... err strike that; Chicken Wing who would post the ride.

Almost everyone was willing to do the post themselves, but as no one except Spawn knew where the heck we actually road, it was decided that he would write up the post - by "It was decided" I mean Cappy and I strongly encouraged him to.

OK, no real ride report but how about a call out!

Sat 8:30 AM departure
Knot Lot
Back by Noon.

See ya there


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

(Wet) Season Opener . . .

While it wasn't the first rain of the season, you could say it was the first FT3 in the rain for the fall season last Tuesday night. As another noted blogger astutely observed, Providence, it seems, held back the precipitation to coincide with the most important event of the week, beginning with the lightest of mist and increasing almost imperceptibly throughout the evening until our return to the lot, at which point it had become a definite wetness descending from the troposphere.

After a failed Mosquito meet-up, there were once again, shamefully, nearly as many motor vehicles as riders in the Knott lot. Spawn, at least, saw fit to ride to the venue under his own power. We were all glad to see Cappy, as he'd been experiencing some distress in his evacuative mechanism and wasn't sure if a ride was in the cards. P.C. passed out not-quite-expired Mojo bars as riders swapped bull and zipped up layers in anticipation of the evening's uncertain weather conditions. Proudly flaunting his 20 year-old purple-paneled leggings ("leotard"), Buttons lamented some serious brake rub he was having in the rear. Darn it if Newb didn't give it a good go and try to rectify the situation right there in the lot, but it was nothing a 5mm hex could fix, anyway. Nohandle waited patiently for the festivities to begin. Soon enough, under Newb's capable leadership, we were off . . .

It weren't about 5 minutes into the ride before riders were stopping to peel off layers in attempt to adapt to the somewhat wet but not yet rainy, kinda cool but not yet cold conditions. Newb, single gearing for the occasion, went so far as to strip down to his shirt-sleeves ("wife-beater"), drawing admiration from the crew.

We tasted some of the last dust of the year going down Naptime. We squirmed and grunted up freshly slickened climbs. We stopped, removed layers, rode, stopped, added them again. Ride leader reliably enforced the three minute rule at all such delays. We even got separated at one point: Newb, Spawn, and Nohandle took the left fork unbeknownst to Cappy, P.C. and Buttons, who continued descending on the right fork of the trail. Not to worry though, dear reader, the six were shortly after reunited at the top of the hill when good logic and group problem-solving saved the day.

What route did the group take as ride leadership threaded together trail after sweet trail? Well, you weren't there, were you, so it appears you'll never know. Unless you were there, in which case you don't need me to tell you. Guess you'll just have to find out for yourself next FT3.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Incident

It’s boring, but since you asked…
Mrs. Chickenwing and I left the Cozmic a little before midnight. The music was still rocking upstairs and I forgot to pay my tab. Her bike was locked just outside, while mine was still at my office. We agreed that she would start home, and I would catch her somewhere along the way. Just as I turned off Jaquier at the EDT trailhead parking lot, I could see her light up at the top of the climb. Inspired by the thrill of the chase, I accelerated. Where the climb steepens, I looked down to see what gear I was in and WHAMO! drifted off the trail and into the ditch. My fingers instinctively went to my collarbone. Feeling the fracture beneath my skin the first thought in my head was “no baja kayak vacation”. Back on the bike, I grabbed the waist of my pants with the hand from the now useless arm and quickly caught Mrs., explained the scenario, and hurried home before the adrenaline wore out. Back at home I laid on the floor and had Mrs. stand on my shoulder while I tried to line up the two bone ends.

X-ray taken from 35 degrees below.

The same surgeon put another plate in last Tuesday night. Since then I have concentrated on healing, which mostly involves drooling on various pillows throughout the house. Thank you for the Jamaican Pain. That was an extremely thoughtful gift. You should have seen Mrs. Chickenwing go too deep the first night we opened it. I am especially looking forward to collecting all of the “hot and spicy kisses from everyone” promised in the card.

So, take heed to my cautionary tale (in case you missed the last cautionary tale) and sieze the opportunities to crash in soft forest duff when you can. This evening looks primed for a classic FT3. Lord knows, I hate to miss it.   

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nature's Wonderland Bike Park

While the efforts to build a bike park in Placerville quietly gather grassroots support, the rest of us will enjoy's natures wonderland upon our fine 29 inch wheel steeds. If you are still riding some other wheel size, you should probably watch this informative "How to Be a Mountain Biker" video. I will see you dudes, your designer beers and flannel shirts this evening.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

BP3 - Bike Park Project Placerville

It seems the influence of FT3 runs strong through our local community of bicyclists. With no prompting from me, in a democratic vote, the organized group of youth and bike shop leaders selected the name for the committee working to develop a bike park in Placerville: BP3 - Bike Park Project Placerville. The first meeting took place last night and the energy is building, we will need the support of FT3 members, both pithy and fringe. There is a Facebook page, this will be the resource for information for the time being; Next month there will be a movie night, a bike movie (duh), with a suggested donation, this will be a 'light fundraiser." we are just building support at this point. Get involved. If you are not stoked yet, enjoy this great viddy:
Cap'n (Feel free to add this weeks ride report to the thread!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Monday Ride

Anyone want to ride with me up in either polly wood or maybe Auburn.  I have the afternoon off, starting around 1pm, and would like to get some miles in.  I know none of you have the wonderful privilage of working retail, but was hoping someone might be playing hookie or have an afternoon free to spin some miles.   So who's coming with me?

NewB over and out!