Monday, March 30, 2015

Majority Rules with FT3!

A few weeks ago there was an initiative set in motion for a Happy Valley area long ride. While I was not one of the original invitees, (or present at the taco table when it came to be...?) I managed to wiggle my way into possible attendance by circumstantial run in with an in-the-know FT3er. I was able to determine who the ring leader was, and contacted him directly. While I was uncertain if I was going to attend, there was a possibility. Ultimately, since this ride wasn't pre-planned with more than 2 days notice, I was unable to carve out an entire day on such short notice.

I wasn't present last Tuesday, but apparently, there was a taco table discussion about a similar long ride in a different location. This one was to be embarked from the home of the great chicken provider Green Fro. As far as I know the 'present at the taco table or semi back channel' count was holding at 2, right up until the eve of the embarkation of this ride. At that same time, other rides were set in motion and the tailwind took, a small but feisty road group was meeting at the bagel shop at 8:00am.

At the 8:00am ride, our DRL was going to be present, and he was to bring his own replacement, whom all who were present now have as a contact, and as such, we too have proceeded to delete the contact information of the late-great and soon to be departing one formerly known as "Lars."

The road group was surprised to see the presence of Green Fro, the great chicken provider, as all present were under impression there was a long ride taking place that none of our time schedules could afford. It turns out the great chicken provider too was unable to commit to a lengthy ride on such short notice (less than one week is short notice for many of us), and as such he opted to join the road group and meet Lars' own replacement. As for the second rider of the 'present at the taco table or semi back channel' count off, he went for his own long ride. Alone.

Those of us remaining included myself, Xteric, Lars and his replacement, Stryker. We, er, I, competitively rejected many of the DRL's ride options until we finally landed on a reasonable compromise and embarked on a road ride through the new sharrows and trails to Forni, Davidson, French Creek, Ponderosa, Meder, Starbuck, Deer Valley, Jergens, Luneman, Springvale, Greenstone, Missouri Flat and back on the new sharrows and trails. "You know it's a good ride when you go hub deep in water on a road bike."

And so it goes. FT3 should calendar some summer long rides like we did last year. Any takers on hosting? Throw out some routes and some dates, those who can will, those who can't won't. NoHandle, when is your long ride? 

It's Spring Break in Pollock Pines!


The Minority Opinion

Monday, March 16, 2015

"I Think I Bit Off More Than I Can Chew"

Last Tuesday seems so far away. I think we rode a new trail. Spawn registered a KOM on Strava, but everyone plainly saw that B beat him up 8A. Barely Legal returned. We welcomed hime back. Buttons was so excited to see him that he knocked him down on the first descent.

But, something bad happened at the Taco Table last Tuesday, an experience that none will soon forget, no matter how hard we wish it never happened. We were munching contentedly, nearly done with dinner, when Mother Rye announced that we had received all of our tacos. Near every man at the table expected another taco, and Newb was short at least two. "Dammit! I'm never doing family tacos again!" exclaimed a hungry Newb, tears welling in his eyes. Ever the peace maker, B picked up the tab for another round, and we finished dinner over a roar of accusations and cross examinations. A thorough after action review has determined that Mother Rye committed Taco Fraud and shorted us a full tray. My memory was unclear from the multiple Ace beers, but it seems like the only plausible explanation for the confusion.

Many mountain biking communities debate how much hike-a-bike is acceptable on a ride. Some FT3 long ride producers are famous for including miles of unrideable scrambles. Not Cappy though. He produced a ride this past Saturday that contained a full 75% asphalt.  The proposed route was clever, sneaking onto the Auburn trails by fording the Middle Fork American River. In Spring.
After surviving the crush of 193 traffic, we turned onto Sliger Mine Road. We climbed past No Trespassing and Private Property and shouts and gun shots. The road turned to dirt and we reached the edge of the precipice. The great canyon of the Middle Fork was spread before us, the bottom seemed impossibly far below. Cappy apologized for choosing a bad route and suggested we turn back. Xteric would have none of it and led the crew on a long, long descent.

Long story short, the river was totally uncrossable. We did enjoy a magical moment. Two river otters were playing in the pool where we reached the river. When Xteric waded into the flow, they swam away, wrestling with each other as they darted and tumbled through the rapids like quicksilver. We returned the way we came. I got home at 1:15am.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


It's Newb's birthday today. So, I'm pretty sure nothing will stop him from riding tonight.

Other riders may offer excuses. Our Dear RideLeader is afraid of threatening the authority of the Supreme RideLeader if he shows up. Such perceived insurrection could land one in a taco-less death camp.

In fact, Team One (remember that clique), has made a poor showing of late. Fortunately, NoHandle provided a sufficient quorum at the Taco Table for a Modification of Normal Taco Protocol to pass. Baskets are now served family style. This system should reduce acts of aggressive taco grabbing.

Balmy temps, pre-dark start, and give-it-all-you-got trail conditions, should be a mighty fine night.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Been all manner of quality bicycle riding lately.
Few remember the details of Fat Tuesday FT3. But, I have been scolded for encouraging such wanton recklessness, so, it must have been pretty good.

The following week saw a sharp uptick in difficulty. An attempt was made at one of Cappy's KOMs, Spawn ultimately concluded that his GPS didn't connect properly from the deep canyon, and therefore he couldn't overtake the record. Most importantly, no one present beat Spawn.

(NoHandle Edit: Didn't like the less than flattering image of my mug, so I swapped it out for the trail side extraction of B's wittle baby splinter)

The latest run at Happy Valley included a few new twists. First, a morning descent of Clear Creek Road that resulted in emergency hand warming as fingers went too numb to hold the handle bars. After taking the highest route over Baltic Peak, we turned right at Bonnetti and proceeded east to Camp Creek. We took a break and collected water

then added a healthy portion of disinfectant

then continued east past North South road onto 10N75. Here we encountered the hardest climbs of the day. The route was covered in snow and mud, steep and loose.

By the time we reached MET, Newb was already busted for being late, so we scrapped our plans to fully circumnavigate the Pollywood perimeter.

Big moon, clear skies, cool temps, freshly buffed trails....
Anyone riding tonight?