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!
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