To finish out our awesome training camp weekend our group ventured back out into the Southern Humboldt backcountry to ride one of the best trails in the country! The Paradise Trail along with the weather was determined to send our group scurrying back to the comfort of Emma’s and Tsering’s homes but Team LCB and company would not be swayed from our goal of riding this beautiful twelve mile loop of wooded single-track and dual-slalom/ four-cross style descents. Instead of griping about the down-pouring rain and the epic winds that were blowing it sideways, we warmed up with a little impromptu dance party, club music and all, upon arrival at the trailhead!! The group continued to warm-up on the first single-track climb through the forest which led us to a fun bermed dual slalom style trail with berms and jumps, then another short climb, then a fun forested s.t. descent. At the bottom we had a team building challenge in the form of a swollen river crossing. Ethan ‘tall order’ Black was the first to fjord the river, and everybody groaned when he promptly was up to his junk in cold river water. Being that he was the tallest by about four or five inches, nobody was looking forward to following his lead. Tsering manned up to the challenge next and was unlucky to lose his footing and was nearly submerged in the creek before he new it. The bike remained safely over his head though and out of the water. Ethan waded back to the middle of the river and we began to pass bikes across in a bucket brigade fashion. Mark ventured up river a little ways and found a shallower more docile spot to cross and Maureen and Annand followed his lead. The rest of the group eventually braved the cold rapids and made it safely across. Luckily we had a four and a half mile s.t. climb to get to the top of Paradise ridge to warm back up after the crossing. Nearing the top the wind was howling and trying it’s best to sour people’s moods but nobody gave in. Good thing too, because to finish the ride off is a wild and woolly four-cross style descent to the bottom with jumps, alternate lines to cliff drops and amazing bermed switchbacks that had me laughing almost hysterically at one point from the fun of it all! Tsering and I raced down the last mile or so where Tsering took a sweet secret line on the second to last switchback to take the lead. I tried to counter with a similar move on the last switchback nearly t-boning Tsering in the process, but was unsuccessful in the attempt. Brian, Tsering and I waded back across the creek, not nearly as daunting this time though, and waited for the rest of the group. After about five minutes Tsering crossed back through the creek to start riding back up the trail to check if everything was OK. The moment he made it to the other side the rest of the group, who had stopped for photo ops, rode into sight and we had a good laugh about Tsering’s unnecessary river crossing. We finished the ride with a short climb to the trail head then rapidly changed in the rain trying to keep our dry clothes dry for the drive back to the house. We all regrouped at Emma’s pad and started making warm food immediately while the group started the rotation through the showers. We all reminisced about the fun had during the weekend and slowly people started to pack up and leave to make their journeys back home. Day four wrapped up a great weekend of getting to know sponsors, riding and just plain fun with new and old friends! Here’s looking forward to the good times to be had during the upcoming season!
Month: March 2009
8:00Saturday everyone got up to cloudy skies, with a 100% chance of pain, with a slight chance of suffering. The night before Tsering had everyone talked into deviating from our schedule to do an amazing ride by the coast.
We got up to Mo contemplating what Kinetic Coffee’s to brew, and Emma making sure everyone knew what food was up for grabs. Before we knew it we were in the cars, some of us half awake, and off to the trailhead; an early start for most.
After the short drive, suiting up, some team pictures, and a quick warm-up the group headed up a very steep switchback climb. The trail was riddled with leaves, loose rock, and twigs, basically anything and everything to spoil your traction. Pete was suffering up this climb on a 30 lbs bike! Not fair since the rest of us were on low to mid twenty lbs bikes from Marin’s demo fleet.(Thanks Mark)
After regrouping at the top, and navigating the rolling ridge line came the first epic loose downhill which immediately claimed its first victim. “The muscle” as he is affectionately referred to punctured, after repairing his bike, the mountain swiftly claimed its second victim. Tsering slid around a corner going a little too fast and roundhouse kicked a tree. (He was ok, just a little swollen)
On Friday, Feb 20, Team LCB minus Emma 🙁 met up with Nigel Hill for an awesome ride in his backyard of McKinleyville. First our host treated us to some homemade waffles from his waffle iron. Tasty! Then we headed for the woods, which are within a mile of Nigel’s house. The trails reminded me of the upper campus trails in Santa Cruz: tight, twisty-turny singletrack through beautiful redwoods. Steep punchy climbs and fast descents. One section (called Lopes trail) evoked the type of gleeful feeling that only a pumptrack can. I have no idea what our route looked like; we were lost in a maze of moto trails that Nigel has worked hard to maintain. Thanks for all your hard work!!
After our ride we cleaned up and headed to Kinetic Koffee, where we met up with Mark Vanek from Marin Bikes. Yes, in an unassuming warehouse in Arcata is the source of the best roasted beans ever! It was a privilege to see the workspace of our favorite roastmaster, Mark Ritz. He gave us a tour of his space and walked us through the experience of a typical bag of green beans under his care. After some cajoling by yours truly, we were treated to a demonstration of the Aero Press, a genius invention that brews espresso (complete with crema!) without that pesky $1000 machine. Made with the new Espresso Nero beans, this espresso was extremely tasty! I’m definitely planning to get one of these… Someone made the hilarious joke about the resemblance of the Aero Press to a needle and syringe. I still contend that caffeine is harmless fun.
Sufficiently caffeniated (though espresso has less caffeine than drip!), we headed down the 101 to Eureka to visit THE Lost Coast Brewery. This was my first trip to the epicenter of awesome beer–turns out the food is awesome too! We were treated to our drinks by the one and only Barbara Groom, brewmaster extraordinare. She even took the time to hang out with us for dinner! Like any good first-time visitor, I got the massive beer Sampler. One little glass of ALL the beers. I’m happy to report they are all tasty! I especially liked the Raspberry Brown and the Eightball Stout. But my favorite was the Great White (I’m not just making that up, either!).
After our splendid dinner, we headed back to Redway. Later we were joined by Pete Black from Marin Bikes. Pete and Mark came up to do some epic riding and hang out with their favorite team 😉 Saturday we planned to do a tough ride that climbs up one ridge, descends to the ocean, and climbs back up and over to the start. Yay mountain biking! -Maureen
This past weekend I was thrilled and honored to have my little house on the river packed full of bikes, spandex, water bottles, and awesome mountain biker friends and team mates for four days of riding in Humboldt County. Tsering and I planned out a weekend packed with the best mountain bike rides across the county and meetings with sponsors and friends:
Day 1 (Thursday)
2:00 pm – Arrive to Redway, Ca (
3:30 pm – Local group ride- Community park, Kimtu, campground loop
6:00 pm – Bike check & maintenance (Amon)
7:30 pm – Dinner and team meeting at Emma’s
Day 2 (Friday)
9:00 am – Depart for
10:00 am – MTB ride in McKinleyville w/ Nigel Hill
1:30 pm – Tour of Kinetic Koffee w/ Mark Ritz
3:00 pm – Group lunch @
Friday Night – Dancing or a show?
Day 3 (Saturday)
11:00 am – MTB ride:
Option 1: Founders Grove, Look Prairie,
Option 2: Homegrown Single track w/ Tyce Fraser (Salmon Creek)
6:00 pm – Dinner at Tsering’s
7:00 pm – Group stretch and massage exchange
Day 4 (Sunday)
8:00 am – Group breakfast at Emma’s
10:00 am – Paradise Trail at
Of course we didn’t stick exactly to schedule, but in a show of their commitment to the team, all of the team mates come to Southern Humboldt from as far away as Ashland, Oregon as well as Mark and Pete from Marin Bikes, Ethan from Santa Rosa, and Anand who traveled from Berkeley with Mo to take awesome pictures for us!
On Thursday I sat around my house anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new and old team mates. Almost all at once Brian, Amon, Matt and Ethan showed up to 24 Barnes Lane and we took off for a tour of the local trails. We rode from Redway to the Community Park in Garberville, over to Benbow through Kimtu, through the state park in Benbow, and back to Redway. None of us had a camera on our little ride, but we all had a good time cruising around the local trails, especially the network of singletrack that weaves through the Community Park. Sadly our local trails at the Community Park are now closed as the county has determined that the park is zoned for agricultural use only and any recreational use of the park is illegal. We had a very emotional community meeting the week following our team training camp and we are really hoping to re-open the park to the hikers, bikers, dog walkers, frisbee golfers, picnickers, and bird-watchers who have been using the park peacefully for years.
We got back from our ride and met up with Tsering, who had been up in Eureka for a work meeting all day, as well as Anand and Mo. My lovely friend Sara came over and we all made homemade pizzas together with a smorgasbord of toppings. Later in the evening some of us went to Tophs House in Benbow for a good, but tragically short show by K’Naan, a hip-hop artist from Somalia who’s touring all over the country right now.