On Saturday, February 14, RCMBA members met in the morning for the second stage of the Banana Slug Ride Series. Conditions fared well as the morning fog lifted. Cyclists registered with Tim Daniels and Jenny Mason as they prepped their bikes, sipped coffee, and greeted one another. RCMBA also welcomed 9 new members to its ranks.
The group of 24 departed just after 9am heading east towards blue lake. The main pack held together until the infamous climb up Korbel, an 1,100ft climb with an average 8% grade. As Robert East said after the ride,”Once you start climbing Korbel, it’s a race!”
The ride lures riders in with its beautiful taste of wild Humboldt County. For most, the ride through Butler Valley is the perfect chance to enjoy a sunny day on two wheels, and for a few, an awesome opportunity to combine birding with biking (cough* Jenny* cough). The gravel roads claimed a few tubes, including Steve Hoffmans’, who held the fastest time of the day. Fortunately for Steve, he ran tubeless tires, so a quick pump up allowed him to carry on ever so swiftly.
Riders came back into Arcata by means of the wild and twisty descent down Kneeland road. They are then left with the final pedal back into town…a deceivingly flat ascent and a lonely 7 miles. Geoff Huber had Hoffman in his view as they pedaled along Old Arcata Road. By this point Hoffman was bonking and knew his victory was in danger. He glanced back a few times to find Geoff closing the gap. But it wasn’t enough to pass him.
Steve Hoffman finished to be greeted by his happy family, shortly followed by Geoff. Mark Severy rolled in about a minute and half after. As riders finished they all wore expressions of exhaustion and satisfaction…ah that familiar dichotomy of the masochistic cyclist, how it drives us all to our most insane yet enlightened state of mind. As the pain wore off and the endorphins comforted their weary muscles, members shared their experiences on the course and partook in friendly chit chat.
And that, folks, is why we do it. Because what better way is there to spend a Saturday than riding your beloved bicycle through tall trees and clean streams, up grueling mountains and back down them, and all along knowing that you have friends to enjoy it with. If you, perhaps, find yourself intrigued by this concept, or maybe feel a little left out…never fear! There are two more rides left in this super duper fun ride series and we want you to join us! We will be happily torturing ourselves with a group of like-minded folks on Saturday March 14 as we conquer the Lonestar Junction Ride! Be there or be…ah, you know the rest.
Thanks to Tim Daniels, Jenny Mason, Los Bagels, and that Red-Shouldered Hawk who kept me entertained while I sadly sat this ride out. See Results Below!
Greetings Fellow Cyclists,
The weather this weekend is looking good for our second Banana Slug Winter Training ride. We will be riding the Butler Valley Loop clockwise.
We’re meeting Saturday morning, February 14, 2015 in the parking lot of the Arcata Community Center (near HealthSport). The ride will leave almost promptly at 9:00 a.m.
As usual, we’ll have coffee, bagels, and fresh fruit at the start and finish.
See you there.
Saturday, the 24th of January, greeted racers and spectators of the 2015 Stomach Churn with a warm sun and a damp track. The short-track style mountain bike race offered a 1 hour race and a 30 minute race along with a kid’s race and the Humboldt premiere of an event called crailing.
As the remainder of the morning fog was melted by the sun, racers registered for their events, greeted fellow cyclist friends, and caught a few warm-up laps on the track. The course was about a 5 minute loop that led riders over roots, up steep ascents, down grassy hillsides, and into the main field where the start and finish would be. All the while weaving in and out of dark wooded areas into sunny openings. Race director, Justin Graves, put thoughtful effort into allowing opportunities for various line choices throughout the course, which encouraged strategic racing.
The hour long race brought over 30 racers which allowed a consistent flow of riders through the main event area during the race, providing spectators with the opportunity to ring their cowbells and heckle their friends on course for most of the hour. As the riders settled into their paces, Steven Pearl held his lead with a comfortable gap in front of second place. Pearl finished the race with a gold and a rightfully earned PBR offered by some wild spectators caught tempting racers with refreshments in an unofficially designated feed zone. Dylan Wright of Revolution Bicycles (Revo) settled into second place followed by Chris Johnson (AE) in third, all three of which completing a total of 11 laps within the hour. Kaydee Raths (Revo) used her super human powers to hold off her competitors for the duration of the race, bringing in a well deserved win and completely a grueling 10 laps.
Following the hour long race was the kids’ churn, a miniature version of the main race track that still offered much of the notorious flavor those woods offered. The racers faced one or two laps depending on their age and enjoyed the challenge of the course. All finishers were awarded with a tasty treat from Arcata Scoop.
As the kids rode their post-race highs, racers now prepared for the 30 minute race. The sun was high in the sky and Tim Daniels had an awesome selection of food prepared along with a keg of home-brew, and a keg of Mad River Steelhead XP donated by Revolution Bicycle Repair. As spectators sipped beer and enjoyed tri-tip sandwiches and veggie chili, the 30 minute racers charged down the start lane and onto the course. Stakes were high as some of the racers on course were competing for most laps in the day and had already raced the hour long course. When riders first came around the timers booth to begin their second lap, the gaps between racers were small, leaving good chance for placement changes. However, by lap three Maceo Gienger, of Whitethorn, CA, still had some energy on reserve as he pulled away from his competition and remained in the lead. Steve Pearl was on course for his second race of the day, finishing in 5th for the 30 minute but in first for most laps of the day, completing a total of 16 laps! Kaydee Raths (revo) won the female title of the day finishing 15 laps for the day, and kicking most of her male competitors’ butts too.
Post race socializing had those who could stick around in good spirits. Bryan Buswell and Dan Trout had coordinated with Graves in creating Humboldts first ever crailing competition. The race consisted of a twisty course leading into a short straight away, spanning about 60 yards. The course featured a series of hand constructed obstacles including a teeter-totter, a skinny log which riders had to ride the length of, a rock garden, a suspension bridge, and even a “mustache ride”! Riders were then asked to attempt their slowest run without taking their feet of the pedals and never allowing their wheels to stop turning. Crailing stands for trail crawling, so you essentially get the point. Buswell and Trout created a masterpiece course, and riders had a fun time struggling with the skill required to ride at a sluggishly slow pace and still manage to overcome awkward obstacles. The results of the crailing competition are featured below.
Overall, the event was a success. The course required a lot of time leading up to race day, and those who worked on it feel satisfied with the end result. Big thank you to RCMBA for the food and sponsorship, Revolution Bicycles for their support, to Arcata Scoop for providing the kids with sugary prizes, Los Bagels for the bagel and coffee donation, Bryan Buswell for the artwork, and Dean with Miranda’s Rescue for his encouraging support and for the awesome work he is doing at his and his partners no-kill animal shelter. Also, thank you to Justin Graves for organizing such a fun event!
Photos and Results listed below:
Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association is proud to announce we will be providing food to share with the crowd at the annual Stomach Churn event in Arcata this coming weekend, Saturday, January 24. We will not be charging for the food, but will have a donation jar out to help defray the cost of buying and preparing it.
On the menu are cold sliced barbecue tri-tip sandwiches, homemade vegetarian black bean chili, and homemade potato salad.
See you there!
This past Saturday, January 10th, produced an exciting number of eager riders for the Banana Slug Series kick off. As new and returning members gathered at the start of the ride, friendly conversation was enjoyed over fresh brewed coffee, fruit, and bagels (thanks Los Bagels!). Tim provided easy to follow course instructions, and the riders settled into groups as they set off towards Blue Lake on West End Rd.
The ride took cyclists to Blue Lake with a climb up to the scales on 299, down through Fieldbrook with another climb over Murray, and into Mckinleyville where they followed the Hammond Trail back to their starting point on West End Rd. About a 40 mile loop with 2,044 ft of climbing kept the ride under 3 hours on the cool, overcast Humboldt morning. The route provided a scenic environment and enough oxygen to allow some conversation, friend making, and, of course, heckling. It is safe to say, a good time was had by all.
Overall, this modified Fieldbrook loop was a great way to kick off the 2015 season. We look forward to an even bigger roster at Banana Slug #2, the Butler Valley loop, on Saturday February 14th. Oh! and don’t forget, the Stomach Churn is just around the corner and the RCMBA will be providing food in the form of BBQ, with vegetarian options. So come on out, race hard and play even harder! Details can be found in the previous blog post.
And so, without further or do, here are the finish times for Saturdays ride in order of fastest to slowest:
Mark Severy 2:02
Sten Tjaden 2:03
Rik Reider 2:03
Sean Robertson 2:03
Robert East 2:09
Jim Robbins 2:09
Sky Mckinley 2:13
Grant Lay 2:20 flatted
Trevor Goff 2:21
Todd Kraemer 2:28
Rick Beale 2:31
Frank Demling 2:31
Ali Osgood 2:31
Jason Barr 2:31
Jim Christopher 2:45
Dave Loya 2:57
Jenny Mason 1:35
Joe Kurtz 2:31
The classic Stomach Churn returns to the well raced Alder Grove Rd. course. Two races, a 30 minute and hour, will be held on the legacy short track course, with a few fresh lines to maximize fun and flow. This year we will recognize not only the fastest women and men of each race, but also the fastest women and men who do both races!
There will be a free Kid race in between the hour and 30 minute race. Then stick around for the world premiere of Crailing following the 30 minute race. The Crailing competition will be free to all who wish to partake. The competition consists of a timed obstacle course, slowest time wins, no track stands and no foot downs. Major points for slow style. There will also be a prize raffle for participants.
In keeping with 14 years of Stomach Churn tradition, this years race will be a benefit. Bring a new packaged pet food donation to support Miranda’s Rescue in Fortuna and save $10 off event entry. Let’s make a mountain of pet meals!
13:00-30 minute Race
Onsight parking is limited, and available space is in the grassy bumpy field. It is appreciated if racers and spectators can plan to carpool to the venue and/or park at the base of Alder Grove Rd. and ride up to race course. Thanks for your consideration.
questions or comments please email: email@example.com
Saturday, January 10, Banana Slug Winter Training Ride Series will kick off. The ride will start almost promptly at 9:00 a.m. on the corner of West End Road, and Ericson Way near North Coast Laboratories.
If you have not yet joined RCMBA, we will have membership forms on hand. Basic membership is $30.
The loop will be ridden counter clockwise. Route slips will be provided at the start.
As usual, we’ll have hot coffee, bagels, and fresh fruit at the start/finish.
Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association is hosting the Banana Slug Winter Training Ride series this year, and in the years to come.
These rides are designed to progressively get more challenging as the winter wears on. They are open to all members of Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association. These rides are fun whether you are in full race mode, or like to take your sweet time and enjoy the ride. The participants of these rides seem to run the gamut, and all RCMBA members are encouraged to join us.
Saturday, January 10 we’ll be riding a variation of the Fieldbrook loop starting and ending in Arcata.
Saturday, February 14 we’re riding Butler Valley starting and ending in Arcata
Saturday March 14 we’re riding Lonestar Junction starting and ending at Freshwater Park
Saturday April 11 we’re riding Dyerville loop. Start and finish are yet to be determined.
Stay tuned for details.
P.S. a lot of our memberships will be expiring shortly. Don’t wait until the last minute; renew your membership now!
Thank you all very much for your continued participation.
I started this over a month ago. I don’t know where the time has gone, but this is long overdue. Just pretend the trail work day in King Range just happened last weekend as you read this…
I don’t know where to start. I got goosebumps more than once last weekend. Our trail work party was unprecedented, and will be hard to follow. The bar is set in the stratosphere. Where to start.
Let’s start with the weather. Early in the week, forecasts were calling for a significant amount of rain; we got it, and the timing could not have been better. The heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday made for uncomfortable conditions, but the machines chugged on under the command of master trail builder Joey Kline.
Thursday the heavy rain tapered off to scattered showers, and a handful of volunteers managed to get in several hours of trail work. Already a significant amount of work had been done. BLM folks had prepared for a small army of trail workers, and I was only hoping we could fulfill their expectations.
By Friday the weather was warm and sunny, and the raw, freshly cut trail was ripe for shaping. Volunteers started rolling in mid morning while a few of us were setting everything up in the campground. By around nine o’clock Friday night, the campground was almost full with trail volunteers. My fears of a small turnout were gone.
Saturday morning I was wakened by cars rumbling up King Peak Road into Tolkan campground much earlier than I expected. You all just kept rolling in. I’m sitting here with a silly grin on my face thinking about it.
Over fifty of you were there to help finish cutting the missing link in what Joey Kline affectionately calls “Pacific Rim Trail” on Saturday. The post trail work party at Tolkan campground was classic Humboldt County. We had great food, great beer, great friends, and great homegrown music.
Sunday was the bonus round. It was asking a lot, and I wasn’t expecting many to show up. I was feeling pretty dogged by Sunday morning myself, but a dozen or so of us went out and shaped at least a half dozen berms, and cleaned the tread in between them in just a few short hours.
Yes, legs wobbling and grinning a huge grin is how I left King Range Monday afternoon. I returned to my life back in Blue Lake on Monday night around ten o’clock. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about last weekend; I’m sure I will for many years to come.
Thank you. Thank you to Geoff Huber, and the local businesses who matched his contributions for some incredible drawing prizes; Humboldt Undergrown Bicycle Repair who contributed to the $250 prize, to Adventure’s Edge who contributed to the $500 prize, and to Revolution Bicycle Repair who contributed to the $1000 prize. As the barbecue wound down, we drew names from a jar. The winner of the $250 was Cathy Crandell; the $500 prize went to Tom Phillips, and the $1000 went to Carolyn Richter.
Thank you to KMUD for getting a bunch of Lagunitas beer donated for the event and for helping promote the event. Thank you to Mad River Brewing Company for donating a keg of their award winning Steelhead Extra Pale Ale. And thank you to Chautauqua Natural Foods in Garberville for the goodies they provided for the trail workers.
Thank you to Justin Graves and all who helped put together the awesome promotional video. I believe it went a long way to encourage people to come out and help.
A HUGE thank you to Gary and his crew at the Whitethorn BLM office. They’re the most awesome land management team a mountain biker could ever hope for.
A HUGER thank you to IMBA Trail Solutions’ Joey Kline. Joey worked through the wet weather and cut the trail through some of the roughest terrain King Range has to offer, and that’s saying a lot. And, beyond his superhuman trail building skills, when Joey reached the contractually allotted time, he continued to work using his vacation time. Joey, you are awesome! Thank you.
Finally, but most important, thank you to all who showed up and put forth such an amazing effort to see this project come to fruition. You all ROCK!