By Joh Rathbun. Photos by Jason Van Horn.
Most ladies I know wouldn’t be too happy if you told them they “ride like a girl” — unless you’re one of the ladies from the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, that is.
On February 1, I joined up with ladies from the BTCEB for the monthly Ride Like a Girl event. Ride Like a Girl is the first Saturday of the month, and is ladies-only. According to the group’s meetup.com page, “The emphasis of these rides will be [to have] fun and to meet other women who love to ride. We have rides geared towards all level of riders with experienced leaders.” This was my first time riding with them, but not my first time at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, commonly known as Skegg’s. It’s part of a green belt just south of San Francisco comprised of 62,000 acres of land, in 26 open space preserves.
BTCEB was founded in 1987, and is a founding member of IMBA. From its website, “BTCEB has been a leader in encouraging low-impact environmentally friendly riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and grass roots advocacy. Of course we also love to ride bikes and have fun!”
While the sun was out, the temperature was low compared to our recent weather—about 50 degrees. After introductions, Amy Arcus led while Jane Moorehead swept the eight of us. We entered the park on a downward singletrack. The redwood forest welcomed us with the hush of wind through the trees and the smell of wet earth. The singletrack led us past the redwoods and lush bracken ferns, to tight madrone and tanoak groves. After the dryness we experienced in Santa Cruz, the forest felt fecund.
“Strava clocked us at 10.5 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing, I think the elevation gain is a little high but I’ll take it,” Amy said, but it didn’t feel like 2,400 feet of climbing, as the downhill and uphill changed frequently. We rode trails like Sierra Morena, Methuselah, Giant Salamander, Blue Blossom Trail, and rode the Fir Trail back out—which was a nice graded fire road. Ten women, one crash, lots of laughs, and 10 miles later, we exited the park, blissed out.
BTECB stoked us out on snacks after the ride—and there was even beer. Big ups to Inga Beck for arranging the Ride Like a Girl Ride, and to Amy and Jane, who may not have known the names of all the trails, but knew how to have fun. Lastly, here’s a big thank you to Family Cycling Center for the loaner bike—the Santa Cruz Blur LTC was built for Skegg’s! Like my carpool buddy, Donna Riggs said, “It was worth the drive.”
Joh Rathbun is a freelance writer, and columnist and ride leader for Shine Riders Co. To stay up to date on West Coast events, like her Facebook page, or contact her at johrathbun.wix.com/freelancewriter.
The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is now offering a three-day stage race alternative called TS3 during the Epic targeted towards racers who can’t be away for an entire week. TS3 racers get the same benefits as the 7-day Epic competitors (since they will be riding the same courses) including fully stocked aid stations, mechanical supplies at each checkpoint, a daily quick bike check by Freeze Thaw Cycles from State College, back up mechanical assistance from SRAM and BMC’s neutral support bikes available at each checkpoint.
TS3 also includes special prizes from event partners tossed in at random through the weekend. Overall TS3 GC and enduro awards include $10,000 in prizes. TS3 will start on Sunday, May 25 and finish Tuesday, May 27 (the first three days of the 7-day race.)
TS3 racers will mass start separately on Sunday and instead of racing the classic ITT they will do two cross-country style laps on the time trial course. The next two days will be the Coopers Gap epic stage followed by the Galbraith Enduro on Tuesday to decide final TS3 GC.
We sat down with Trans-Sylvania Epic promoter Mike Kuhn as asked him a few questions about the new event. Read our interview here.Tweet Print
Southwest Airlines has always been the most bike-friendly of the bunch. Now it’s added New Belgium to its list of in-flight beverages. Now you can reminisce on your favorite ride with a tasty Fat Tire Amber or Shift Pale Lager at 35,000 feet when flying Southwest or AirTran.
It’s hard to imagine a more unassuming guy than Joe Breeze. Unlike his contemporaries Gary Fisher or Tom Ritchey, who are easy to spot in a crowd, Breeze could be the guy standing in line in front of you at the grocery store, or your friendly neighbor who always greets you with a wave and a smile. Of course, if you live in Fairfax, California, there’s a good chance he is both of these things.Tweet Print
Think you’re tough for riding through the winter? Check out this documentary about the 2001 Iditasport adventure race along the Iditarod Trail on foot, ski or bike. Covering up to 1,100 miles across Alaska in the winter could be life-changing or deadly, depending on how it goes. Watch for endurance race legend Mike Curiak on what appears to be an early version of a home-grown fat bike. I’m sure the bikes ridden these days look a lot different!Tweet Print
I was just dreaming about this the other day. Now my winter just got a little brighter.
The Dirksen Derby is a snowboard rally race held every year at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon to raise money for paralyzed snowboarder Tyler Eklund.
Kirt Voreis and Carson Storch seem to have forgoten their snowboards but luckily they brought their mountain bikes. The rest is history.
Via Tae Likes Bikes.Tweet Print
Ladies, there’s no reason to park your bike for winter if you live near one of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Parks. Especially with the hugely popular Women’s Weekend coming up quick.
On the Friday of each weekend the ENTIRE park is closed to men from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and pro rider Leigh Donovan will be hosting clinics and instruction. Plus there’s free lunch from Chipotle, door prizes, goodie bags and more. After 4 p.m. the party continues, but you’ll have to share the park with the dudes.
Then on Saturday and Sunday women will enjoy half price admission. Tickets are $25 for Friday’s activities and half off normal prices for Saturday and Sunday.
Women’s weekend will be February 7-9 at Rays Cleveland and March 7-9 in Milwaukee.
See you there!
This is Chapter Two of the five-part short film “Cold Rolled: Marquette Michigan’s Snow Bike Route”, an action documentary from Clear & Cold Cinema, Salsa Cycles and TravelMarquetteMichigan.com that will explore the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the adventure-loving Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan.
Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind–but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.
Chapter Two features an interview with Marquette, Michigan native and Noquemanon Trails Network volunteer Mike Brunet who led development of the new Snow Bike Route. Archival newscasts, photos and home video demonstrate the long history of winter riding in Marquette that led to development of the new SBR.Tweet Print
The sounds that a bike makes are music to any riders’ ears, but watch as freeride legend Wade Simmons and the crew from Rocky Mountain Bikes take it to a whole new level.Tweet Print
It’s a little late for Halloween, but HELLTRACK is coming to Portland’s Lumberyard indoor bike park November 23.
The first ever race will wind through the park and out in the parking lot with jumps, obstacles, wooden features, and even a costume contest. Any kind of bikes are welcome, though there are special classes for DJ and BMX bikes. Read the full storyTweet Print