Month: June 2010

Ales and Trails: Bikes, Beer, BBQ & Buddies!

Team Lost Coast Brewery enjoyed a third year at Ales and Trails- one of the most enjoyable days on a bike you can find anywhere. This year the event was pushed back to June after a soggy 2009 event in May. The weather was PERFECT for it- blue skies, sunshine, 80degrees with a nice breeze blowing off the bay, and turnout was impressive. I arrived early and said hello to the Marin Bikes peeps as they set up their tents and enjoyed some bagels and coffee from Noah’s. Mo, myself, and Brian were all scheduled to lead rides and the sign up sheets for our rides were filling up fast. It seemed like more people than I’ve seen before were motivated to do the rides before the BBQ, due in part to the incredible weather I imagine. Before I knew it, practically the entire Marin bikes demo fleet was on the trail with various riders doing test rides and Maureen and Yuri were departing for their co-ed endurance ride with a group of 10. I snapped some quick shots as they discussed their route with their group and rolled out.
Not long after, Matt headed out to help guide a big group of riders departing with Dave Weins. By the time my ride departed at 10:30 there were already at least 50 riders on the trails at China Camp, so we switched up our route a little bit and stopped at the main entrance for more water. I had an awesome group for my ride. Everyone was pretty close in ability so the gaps waiting for people were never very long and everyone had a super positive attitude; smiling, cheering, and yielding respectfully to the other riders on the trail. Folks from all over come to this event to support IMBA (and have a good time). There were people from Auburn, SF, Tracy, and the East Bay on the ride I led. We stopped at the top of the steep climb to the missile site, took a group photo, ate some snacks, and enjoyed the incredible views of the Bay. We then continued downward and enjoyed miles of ripping, flowing singltrack back to the group at miwok meadows. With only one crash and no flats or getting lost, it was one of the most successful rides I’ve been on with a group that size, and so much fun!
Back at the event I eagerly got in line for some amazing food. Catered by the CIA, I filled up my plate with delicious goodies- salad, fruit, couscous, meat, while watching one of their talented chefs hack roasted pork off a pig carcass! I joined Mo at a picnic table and we shared a pint glass of cold Lost Coast beer and noshed on our lunch. At our table we were joined bv such mountain biking luminaries as Dave Weins- 6 time Leadville 100 winner, Austin McInerny- driving force behind high school mountain biking, and Yuri Hauswald- endurance mountain bike racer and newly appointed marketing director of Marin Bikes. I raked Yuri’s brain for last minute advice for the Cascade Creampuff 100 mountain bike race that I’m doing in 2 weeks (!) and found out from Dave how they were able to get such amazing footage for Race Across the Sky (helicopters, foot crews, motorcycles, and lots of planning!). After lunch, Yuri introduced me to Azul, one of the great people at Camelbak and got me outfitted with an Octane XCT, a minimalist pack which has a supportive hip strap with pockets along it to access food or gear while riding. I test rode it on a very HOT ride at Tamaracho Camp on Sunday with Mo, Matt, and Ethan and it works great, very comfortable! Thanks to Yuri and Camelback, hopefully it will help me on upcoming epic adventure! I finished an awesome 2010 Ales and Trails with some more beer tasting, chatting with Nicole and Brian, and spending time with my wonderful team mates. Right before I finally loaded my bike into the car and drove back to mo’s house for some much needed rest, I peeked at the beer voting sheet, and it looked like Lost Coast was pretty much winning the taster’s choice award, but we’ll wait for the official announcement before gloating too much 😉

Brian wins Skyline MTB race and the 2010 Nor Cal State Championships!

Congratulations to Brian Astell on killing it in Napa!! The Marin Bikes/Lost Coast Brewery rider beat the heat and a brutal race course at Skyline Park in Napa, California to take his second consecutive Northern California State XC Champion title this past Sunday.

On a day with temperatures in the mid nineties, energy conservation played a crucial role for riders looking to prevail over rivals and conditions. The Skyline Park course, home to UCI Mountain Bike World Cup rounds in the late 90’s, didn’t make things easy on riders with a combination of singletrack strewn with rock gardens and root sections while gaining 1300 feet of elevation per lap.

Astell’s Race Report:

So the race started at 10am it was a 200 rider field and a world class course to race. We got to the race with enough time to reg and do a short, 10 min warm up. I didn’t want to get too warm as it was going to be a super hot day.

Photo: Napa Valley Register

The gun went off and I sat back in about 3rd or 4th for a bit to see what people were going to do. We started up the fire road climb and people started making moves. i didn’t want to get to excited and waste energy so I continued to sit in until it looked like there would be a decent. I jumped in the lead and waited to see if anyone would jump across. As I pushed the tempo I kept telling myself to stay smooth. It’s going to be a long race-don’t waist energy!

Like last year I chose to compete on my hardtail. The carbon Marin CXR treated me well; I was able to take on the steep climbs on the hardtail while not loosing time on the rough rocky decents. Lap one felt great and by the third lap I was glad I had loaded up on tons of water the days prior and had managed to time my fuel intake properly. I was able to stay away off the front for the rest of the race and bring it in for the over all win!

A big thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who made it possible to race at Skyline again. This is a killer race and if you’ve never raced or ridden there I fully suggest you check it out!


Return on the Jedi

This weekend Team Lost Coast Brewery will be sending Geoff Huber and Matt Wittler to Grants Pass Or. to compete in the Return on the Jedi xc, stxc, and Super-d races. Wish them luck! And look forward to race reports early next week.