Lonestar Junction Banana Slugging

It was raining hard Saturday morning as we loaded the van to haul the Banana Slug kit to Freshwater Park, but by the time we arrived it had stopped raining. As it turned out, it didn’t rain again until the very end as we packed up the van and headed home. Even with the prevailing weather forecast and challenging ride route, I wasn’t surprised at the relatively large turnout. We had 12 sluggers on the roster; most of them rode to freshwater park from their homes, some as far away as McKinleyville. We had couple riders come all the way up from Petaluma; they’d come a long way to ride, they were gonna ride. Most riders were equipped with fatter CX tires, and Michael Chapman, Robert East, and Grant Lay chose to ride mountain bikes; not a bad choice given the rough nature of the roads out there. We also had a guest appearance; Chris Schinke showed up for the start, but cut out early. I’m not sure how far he rode up the Kneeland Road, but he was already bombing back down as Jenny and I were headed up. We were slow getting started, but we finally got the riders out the gate by ten or so minutes after nine. There was only one mechanical; Andrea Achilli flatted on the final climb up Mountain View Road. All riders finished under five hours, and Mike Paula even turned a faster time than he did on Butler Valley Loop; that is an accomplishment! And happily, there were no reports of aggressive dogs and nobody got lost. The final tally is as follows:

Michael Davies-Hughes   3:15:55
Errin Odell                          3:22:02
Robert East                         3:35:47
Andrea Achilli                    3:41:21
John Bergenske                 3:43:00
Steve Hoffman                   3:43:00
Michael Chapman             3:51:00
Tessa Thralls                      3:51:35
Rik Rieder                          4:00:45
Jess Couch                         4:18:14
Grant Lay                           4:24:32
Mike Paula                         4:52:20

Our fourth Banana Slug, the ever challenging Dyerville Loop will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016. The ride will start and finish at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center just outside of Weott. The ride will begin almost promptly at 10:00 a.m. rain or shine. See you there!.



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