I missed the boat on writing a ride report on SuperSweetwater. Suffice it to say that the whole day was perhaps my favorite…ever. Why, you may ask. It seems that when dirt is involved the fun-cream rises to the top. We are of course out to whoop on and be whooped by our buddies but all come out to have a good time, ride hard and bring home well earned stories. Another plus was having some help from the El Molino High School team who are having a blast riding and racing in the dirt this year. Many of the kids live in the Occidental area and are enjoying ripping up the local trails with their buddies. I think the true high-light of the day for me was having my kids at the start and finish. It’s been a real stretch for us since the kids were born managing the pre-ride, day of, and day after details of the Hopper. Some may say there isn’t much to it, but we just make it look easy I’ve learned that when my cup overflows it’s like a rainy day ride; put on another layer and enjoy getting wet. By turning “have to’s: into “get to’s” my attitude changes to gratitude and this give me latitude to enjoy the perfection of imperfection. To top the day off, I managed to dig deep at the right time and hook up with a solid group in Caz and finished inside the top 20. At the finish Zander and Josie were running around and at least they gave me 5 minutes to pull it together before challenging me to a heated game of tag. Oh, the fatherly cross training never ends. Another high of the day was having Pete Stetina join us. It’s great having him join our Sonoma County bike community. Pete told me later it was the most fun he’d had on his bike all year. So it’s not just us local folks having our bike-fire stoked by the Hoppers. Pete took the days honors but was followed close by John Teeter. Jonathan is an El Molino grad and was a successful runner in high school. Great to see local talent rise to the top. We’ll be seeing him do great things so keep track.
Also present for the last ride was Sag Monkey. Here’s an article in 3/GO a tri magazine about his services. Nick and his family helped out at the start and feed zone along with Wade from NorCal. We appreciate the local support and help at the feed zones. At the finish 1 in every 3 riders got a prize from the raffle box! Don’t forget to look for the small goods. NorCal has been donating 4 $25 gift certificates and ForkCatering 5 $10 lunch coupons. It’s been great having Sara and Chris at the finish dishing up the goods. As always Terry Curly from Capo arrives with delicious soft goods in hand and I’m sure those are some of the first prizes to go.
I was lucky to get the green light to ride on Monday and just so happened to be in Santa Cruz. I’ve been meaning to visit Rick Hunter at his place in Bonny Doone for years and finally made time. We spent several hours ripping from one secret trail to another and ended up behind UCSC. Fun to ride with a brother I first met racing mtb with 20 yrs ago. Make sure to pick up a recent copy of Paved Magazine as Rick has an article about his recent trip to Japan. Continuing with our local steel theme I just received a package from Sean Walling and Soulcraft so we’ll have some new soft goods from Hunter and Soulcraft. I’m a bit nostalgic for simpler times and simpler bikes. Don’t think I would trade in my Epic, shock and disc brakes but I do miss being able to fix everything myself. Rick and I were remembering crazy days riding the Shute at Shasta Lemurian; rain and snow, no brakes, no way to stop…being blown by on the down hill by Greg Herbold.
You’ve had to read through all my rambling to get to the King Ridge details so here goes:
We’re going clockwise. Yep. That’s right. North. Need you ask why the answer is why not? and because it’s a Hopper. After having included King Ridge in every Hopper Series for the last 13 years it’s become a bit predictable. By this I don’t mean that it’s easy, but we have all the climbs and descents memorized and know where to go hard and when to hold back. This year will be different. I rode the loop with Todd Weitzenberg a few weeks ago and it was 75 miles and 7k of climbing. Not ridiculously hard but a beast none the less.
I would love nothing more than to surprise everyone the day of but want to give people who travel from far away have a chance to research the route and avoid getting lost. Like always you will receive a map laminate that has directions on it but the course is not marked. There will be one neutral feed zone. Stay tuned for last minute details and reminders next week. Pura vida, Mig.
King Ridge: March 31st
Route: Bohemian Hwy, Lft. Moscow Rd., Lft on River Rd/Hwy 116, Rt. on Hwy 1, Rt. on Meyers Grade,Continue on Sea View Rd, Lft Timber Cove Rd., Rt Hwy 1, Rt Kruse Ranch Rd, Lft Seaview/Hauser Bridge, Rt. King Ridge, Continue Straight on Cazadero Hwy, Rt. River Rd/Hwy 116, Left. Moscow Rd, Rt. Bohemian Hwy. Finish in Occidental