Saturday August 8th
Lacks Creek Trail day canceled! Sorry folks, due to the smoke from nearby fires a hazardous conditions warning has been issued for the area. We also are running short on areas of work that are ready for the crew, but we expect to have a lot of need for the next trail day so stay posted. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for the short notice.
Friday afternoon the weather outlook for Humboldt Bay was showing some warmer than usual temperatures. From this I could only surmise that it was going to be hot in Siskiyou County, and in particular Scott Valley. I was not wrong. RCMBA riders were gathered at Forks of Salmon Post Office in the cool morning shadows as we took down names, briefed the riders on the route, and made sure everybody had their will filled out.
It was probably in the sixties as we rolled away from the post office and followed the North Fork Salmon River toward Sawyers Bar, and then up to Etna Summit. This was also the last time any of us but the support vehicle driver saw Errin Odell, and Shaun Lyle. They rocketed out ahead and the last time the support crew saw them was at Etna Summit. They stayed together, and gave the support driver the okay to not bother coming back to check on them. They wound up finishing almost five hours ahead of the more leisurely crowd.
Almost all of the first twenty five miles of amazingly well maintained pavement are in the shade of a beautiful forest canopy, and the steep walls of the deep valley help keep the sun from turning it into a furnace, at least until later in the day. Fortunately, by the time the trees thin out, the road has reached near the summit, and the oxygen deprived elevations offer a little respite from the heat. Of course, by that time, the road has reached a pitch sometimes exceeding twelve percent, and it doesn’t relent for the last seven miles to the summit. The temperatures escalated quickly after we crested the summit, but it wasn’t really that noticeable at speeds exceeding forty miles per hour as we rapidly descended to the tiny burg of Etna, and their quaint little brewery.
The stop at the brewery took longer than expected. Seems Etna was holding its First Annual City Wide Garage/Yard Sale Extravaganza. The brewery was packed, and it didn’t appear they were ready for the crowd. Eventually we got some lunch and a tasty beer (or two) and were ready to move along to the next challenge of the day.
Refueled, and ready to ride, I jumped back on my bike and experienced the toughest hill of the day; the short hill from the brewery back up to the main road was fifty yards of pure adrenaline, and beer pumping through my veins. My head was spinning from the effort as I turned onto Highway 3 and headed toward Callahan. It was in Callahan that I assumed the duties of SAG driver. I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to do the whole ride, but my disappointment was tempered by the 100 degree heat on the twelve mile, six percent climb to the next summit. We had similar conditions last year, and at least two, maybe three riders opted to catch a ride to the summit. This year everybody rode the entire twelve miles, but not without guzzling almost all of what was left of our drinking water, and at least a couple riders stopped to soak their shirt in a creek. The smiles on the riders’ faces were priceless as they crested the summit. As well, many of the smiles were accompanied by whoops of joy; they knew the hardest parts of the ride were over. The temperatures were significantly milder at the summit, and the riders took the opportunity to rehydrate and refuel for the final leg of the journey.
The ride down from the last big summit is mostly downhill for the first twenty five miles as we followed South Fork Salmon River, and surprisingly, even as the afternoon shadows deepened, the temperatures climbed steadily as we dropped in elevation. By the time we were all back at Forks of Salmon Post Office, the sun was barely above the distant hills, but the temperatures were still in the high eighties. Some of our intrepid riders took the short hike down to enjoy a brief dip in the frigid waters of the North Fork Salmon River. We stayed in the parking lot for a short spell discussing the events of the day, and refueling and rehydrating our depleted bodies. The recovery drink of choice was obvious, and there was even some bartering for ice cold beer.
Many thanks for Errin Odell and his family for helping facilitate our accommodations. Special thanks to Dave and Glenna Atwood for their warm hospitality and opening their private campsite up for us to enjoy.
It was a marvelous weekend adventure, and we’re already planning the event for next year. Tentatively we will be riding this with shorter options on the weekend of June 4, 2016. Mark your calendars now. Don’t miss another year.
Greetings Fellow Cyclists,
First, but not last, RCMBA Board of Directors is meeting Monday, June 1, 2015 at Mad River Brewery. The meeting will start almost promptly at 6:30 p.m. Members, and the general public are invited to join us.
Next up – Forks of Salmon Century – Saturday, June 6, 2015. This is a SAG supported ride on some of the most amazing back roads in northern CA. For insurance purposes, this event is for RCMBA members only and there is no entry fee. Next year we are planning on partnering with Mid Klamath Watershed Council; the event will be open to the public, and there will be an entry fee.
We’ll ride in a clockwise direction heading out Sawyers Bar Road over Etna Summit to Etna. Right turn on Highway 3 to Callahan, and a right turn on Callahan – Cecilville Road. That will bring us back to Forks of Salmon. It is about 100 miles with around 10,000 feet of climbing. It’s not an easy ride, but it is less effort than the Tour of the Unknown Coast if for no other reason than the pavement is in such excellent condition. Did we mention that Etna Brewery is about mid-point of the ride, just in time for lunch? Riders need to be ready to ride from the Forks of Salmon Post Office at 8:00 a.m. There is camping available at Somes Bar, with showers, and cooking facilities Friday and Saturday night. For directions to camping, or more information about this event contact us at RCMBA.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Tim at 707-668-1716.
And finally – Lacks Creek Trail Work Schedule. Our partners in trail love, Humboldt Trail Council Trail Stewards, have set a schedule for regular trail work days in Lacks Creek starting June 13, 2015. The new trail construction is on the east ridge of the valley, and though they are multi-use trails, they are being build with cycling in mind; meaning more smiles per mile. So mark your calendars as far ahead as you dare. Here they are: June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12. November and December days are weather dependent. Details for the June 13 trail work day will be coming soon.
Keep on ridin’
Out beyond the coastal fog, and passed the reminders of our day to day grind, there hides a special trail system ready for any adventurous soul to explore. Lacks Creek, BLM managed land in Redwood Valley, is a unique area undergoing some big changes. A group of dedicated trail builders have been working on a mountain bike specific multi-use trail system that offers a new flavor to the biking scene of Humboldt County. With flow-tech descents, precious single-track, and the most epic views, it is the perfect place to bring all levels of mountain bikers to have a good time. So that’s what happened on May 2nd… The RCMBA promoted a group ride out at Lacks with food and beer and a big group of happy bikers to share it all with. Being the evolving reporter that I am, I couldn’t help but document…Check out the podcast…and scroll down to see some fun photos and videos while it plays!
Dear Fellow Cyclists, and Trail Enthusiasts,
As a reminder, this coming Saturday, April 18, 2015 Humboldt Trails Council (HTC) is hosting a trail work day at Lacks Creek. We’re working on the east ridge on trails designed with mountain biking in mind. If you haven’t been out there yet, I encourage you to join us to see what the future holds for what will be a premier mountain biking destination in Humboldt County. There are already trails in place, but only a fraction of what is planned has been constructed. If you have been out there, you already know what is in store, and are likely eager to join us if you can.
For trail work, I recommend long sleeves, long pants, sturdy shoes, and some work gloves. There were some reported cases of poison oak this past winter, but this time of year it’s easy to spot because it has its leaves by now; be prepared. HTC has stated they will provide tools necessary, but if you have a Pulaski, or McCleod, feel free to bring them along.
Humboldt Trails Council has arranged for coffee and bagels in the morning, and lunch in the afternoon. I recommend you carry water with you during the trail work, but we (RCMBA) will have refreshments for afterward.
Hope to see you all there!
P.S. Bring a bike so you can sample some of the sweet single track that is ready to ride; you know you want to.
The Dyerville Loop has been a staple of the Banana Slug Series Training Rides since the Series’ inception. Its epic proportions of vertical inclination, mix of dirt, gravel, and roughly paved roads, palpable lack of motor traffic, scenery from the ridge, and the home stretch of majestic redwoods along the Eel River all combine to make it one of my favorite road rides of all time. For these reasons, it’s likely here to stay for a spell longer.
I didn’t think the gray skies looked too threatening as I loaded the car this morning. I didn’t bother loading the Easy-Up to contend with rain. My hunch proved to be reasonable. While the sky spit at us on occasion, it never amounted to a real soaking.
I wasn’t the first to arrive this morning; I had to do a double-take at my clock to see if I was running late. Nope, just some early arrivals, so I was off and running. Frantically, I broke out the food and coffee as riders got ready. Nobody else seemed to be in a hurry; everybody seemed really relaxed, moving slowly, but steadily. I didn’t think we were going to be starting even close to ten, but things seemed to magically come together; the ride started as promoted, almost promptly at 10:00 a.m. Ten riders took off at 10:03 to be more precise.
I packed up the van and was on the road within five minutes of the rest of the riders, but I chose to do the shorter version so I could be back before the fast riders. Turns out Jim Christopher rolled in and followed me around the short loop after we had all left.
Other than a couple flat tires, there were no major mechanical mishaps, and only one of us got turned around, and everybody rolled in within five hours sporting a big ol’ a smile on their face. What’s not to love?
Finally, Many thanks to Los Bagels for their generous donations for all four Banana Slug Rides this year. I hope this wonderful relationship stands the test of time.
The impressive results are as follows:
Mark Severy 3:49
Geoff Huber 3:49
Sten Tjaden 4:09
Rik Rieder 4:15
Andrea Achilli 4:19 Multiple flats
Jeff Aguiar 4:19 Off the track
Robert East 4:22 Flat too
Rick Beale 4:35
André Guimarães 4:35
Grant Lay 5:00
Tim Daniels Alt. Rte.
Jim Christopher Alt. Rte.
Greetings Fellow Cyclists,
With everything else going on this coming weekend, I’ve neglected to remind you about the final Banana Slug.
This weekend, Saturday, April 11, 2014 we’re meeting at Humboldt Redwoods State Park Headquarters and Visitor Center. The ride will start almost promptly at 10:00 a.m.
The Dyerville Loop is about 64 miles with around 6200 feet of climbing. About 18 miles of the ride are on dirt/gravel road. For a more detailed description of the ride visit Jim Robbins North Coast Bike Rides blog
Last I looked National Weather Service was calling for 40% chance of rain and temperatures in the 60s (F) As always, be self sufficient, and know your limitations.
See you there.