That Meet Your Maker deal was a whole lot of fun. I had never bothered to stop and check out Camp Loma on any of my bike trips in that area, be they mountain or road. Aside from the meth-influenced "marauders" who had been surprised in the act of stripping the copper wiring just prior to our arrival, everything was smoooth music. We were very careful to lock up the bike which we weren't riding, though...
Friday saw a quick dirt loop through Demo. We went up via a trail that was new to me. I love to learn new trails, on account of the more trails you know the more opportunities for a Good Time. That's just simple math. Later, I found myself unable to play ping pong or to shoot beer cans. I had contributed too many targets.
Saturday was road riding day. That's a day I enjoy. Speedy climbing and speedier descending through rough pavement under Redwoods is...sublime. I cannot say enough praisey things about it, so leave it at that. I will say that it is a delightful return to the road riding. I haven't had a "real" road bike for mmmm7ish years (been using my cross bike) and a dedicated street machine is FUN. My carbonite rocket was fast as could be, and the robotick shifting was digital. I rode waaay better than all those other guys. I especially enjoyed that evening, when the hippies showed up on their steely cyclotouriste rigs and were heard to comment (and I quote) "There's a lot of mainstream carbon fiber bikes for a custom builders' ride". I laughed. Perfect. There was my wonder bike, a carbon LandShark and one other spacy fibered Cervelo amongst the dozen or so custom bikes.
Those fellas were all wearing what I consider to be "my" style- which is mainly Goodwill Pendelton and dead guy wool- and I don't especially dig seeing it used with such affected posturing (the bare feet were really over the top). What can you do, I guess. It is the fate of the timelessly stylish to see one's taste co-opted and co-rupted repeatedly. I should bite my tongue, anyhow. It takes somebody who has got the right sensiblity to ride their sweet steel tourer to a fine camping spot.
Sunday was more dirt loops through Demo. I love to ride trails. So, it is with some difficulty that I say: Demo kinda sucks right now. I'm not the steepest downhiller in the bunch ever, and as dusty/slippy /loose/straight down the fall-line as it is this time of year, I'm even less inclined to get after it. The fellas I was following were shredding, too, and that makes it tough. I walked some stuff. The demo bike- oh, I took a demo StumpJumper FSR Elite 29er from the shop since none of my rides has suspension anyplace- was pretty great. The 2013 has the Brain suspension set-up, and it climbs well (very well) but it's stiffer than I'd like on the down. I did totally (totally) love the remote activated dropper seatpost. Really. The 2x10 36/24 11-36 was quietly perfect. Makes me really want to check out this 1x11 with the 10-42?!? Simpler drive-train equals better drive-train to me.
Anyhow, the highlight of the weekend, for me, was the old guy jumping the log. Yes, better than the stream-fed swimming pool, the gently swaying beer can target line, the double-fried polenta mush-balls,the undeniable honey dew melon, the excellent company of fellow bike geeks, the fancy bikes, and the lies. Watching that guy very nearly break himself with his super narrow bars with bar-ends and his sandal topped flat pedals, and his extreme nose-down saddle, and his story about how it was his 7th warrantied frame was topped by the easy way his enthusiastic frame inquiries were deflected by a group of custom builders atop their own-made bikes. Slick.
If you are in the market for a sweet custom bike, and you aren't going to break it by riding recklessly and over your head while weighing 260lbs, you could do worse than to contact one of these guys:
Black Cat Bicycles