Butler Valley, Banana Slug #2

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.

Riders listen as Tim Daniels reminds them that there will not be a neutral start.

Riders listen as Tim Daniels reminds them that there will not be a neutral start.

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!

Steve Hoffman


Geoff Huber


Mark Severy


Humberto Faria


Sten Tjaden


Andrea Achilli


Rick Rieder


Rick Beale


Chris Schinke


Sid Noyes


Robert East


Flat tire
Sky McKinley


Frank Demling


Flat tire
Chris Daugherty


Tom Phillips


Trevor Goff


Wally Coppini


Todd Kraemer


Mike Woychak


Sandra Rosas


Jacky Schuler


Jim Christopher


Joe Kurtz


Sean McDevitt


Alternate Route

One Comment on “Butler Valley, Banana Slug #2

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