Ode to Coleman Valley

250292_811770022193807_1952311599999130852_nOverlooking Salmon Creek Watershed and Solstice Hill, the place of mine and Tera’s wedding 14 years ago. After 4+ hours on the bike it’s really not about the bike. Had a blast and hope you all did too! Next stop…Skaggs!

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Super Sweetwater Start Time

Last minute in case you missed it on the reg page. Our official start is at RiverFront Park at 10:15. Park in Occi,(either at the Community Center or behind the Union if you plan on eating lunch there) register and get your number, Guayaki, ride card, GU and then roll over to River Front Park. The route is marked on the road with yellow arrows and directions are on your ride card. There’s a restroom at the Regional Park. Top off your water and then we’ll gather at the entrance to the park near East Side Rd. Takes 30 min +/- to get there from Occidental. See you in the morn!

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Blessed Be We

Chileno_0011Photo: Paul Miller

Chileno Valley Grasshopper is never easy. Last year with the wind was for me the hardest in 17 years. Perhaps we were blessed this year for having persevered through last years’ massive winds. Congrats to all the warriors out there . Incredible. Here’s some great words from Jeremiah to sum up the day.


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Update for Chileno Valley: Registration, Hydration, Parking Loc-ation

PR-Tomales BayOnline Registration will close Friday evening at 6:00 PM. We are under 300 right now so it’s very likely we’ll have day-of sign ups. $40 day-of. Feed #1 will be at the top of the Marshall “Wall” and NOT Wilson Hill @mile 37. There will be a second Osmo and Gu stop @mile 64. We are challenged with parking. There will be some “NO GRASSHOPPER PARKING” signs. Please respect these. Best bet is to: 1)Car pool 2)Park behind the Union AND grab some lunch there after the ride. There is some parking at the Occidental Community Center if you arrive early. Our understanding with the Union Hotel is that the parking is for folks who will be dining there before or after the Hopper. All pre-registered riders will receive an update Thursday  evening with updates on registration, parking and the awesome ride we’re about to take!

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Chileno Valley

Chaz-Tomales Painting

Smooth before fast. The smoother we ride, corner, climb, the faster we ride. This is especially true on the dirt and I think it can apply to the ins and outs of our daily lives. The trick is to keep focus on the road ahead. Not immediately in front of our wheel or we won’t see what’s coming. Not too far ahead for fear of losing sight of what’s most important. It’s the space between too far and too close. When looking at the painting by Charles Beck this is what I feel. The subtle bend in the creek teases the view downstream toward the great Pacific as my eyes find the subtle glare beyond the bridge. Then, back to the foreground and the melting crimson of some unknown vegetation. As we look forward to the bliss that is suffering of the Chileno Valley Hopper let us remember the gift it is simply to roll up to the start. Our health, our mobility, the wheels beneath, the family and friends that support us, the clean air we’ll be breathing and the beautiful roads we’ll be riding. Let us not diminish the importance of the physical challenge and the sense of accomplishment in reaching and surpassing our goals. This adventure by bike is the glue that keeps it together for most of us. Let’s roll on in appreciation for everything and everyone who as made it possible.  My hope is that at the end of the weekend of bike bliss, your cup will overflow. And your more than half-full cup with help fill anothers’. That your passion will fuel others’ passion; whatever it may be.

Northern Marin is where I first ventured on a road bike. Back in the days when I was able to ride my mtb enough that I actually needed a break, I’d saddle up in Occidental and do the Marshall loop. Newborn calfs, fields of green so intense it could it could soothe the foul temper of the Grinch. And the views of Tomales Bay. The mighty San Andreas unzipping the Pt Reyes peninsula; ribbon roads lightly traveled and crazy tidal fluctuations weaving slippery serpent estuaries and rivulets. Northern Marin is also where Ross Dillon began riding road bikes with his dad Rusty. It’s them I always think of as we approach this iconic Hopper. Riding with my own son these days I appreciate roads quiet enough, yet inspiring, for young riders. Unfortunately Ross was hit from behind doing what he loved, riding his road bike, on Occidental Rd. years ago. His family has stood by him unwaveringly for years but he is destined for a life of physical therapy and home hospice. Our brother, with his dreams and life ahead of him had it taken away. Taken by the momentary thoughtlessness of a driver. It’s my hope that everyone can step up and support Ross Dillon and his family. The Hoppers make a donation but we need your support and contributions. To read about Ross; his story and updates go to: http://www.rossdillon.com

You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Go Home Foundation by sending a check made payable to WaterStone (please write Go Home Foundation-10760 on the memo line) to:

WaterStone Support Foundation, Inc.
10807 New Allegiance Dr., Ste. 240
Colorado Springs, CO  80921

If you wish to make a credit card donation or an electronic check transfer, you may do so at WaterStone’s secure website, www.WaterStone.org. Remember you are making a gift to the Go Home Foundation.

Also if folks just want to write a check without tax fussing, they can fill it out to:

The Dillon Hope Fund

POB 1509  Glen Ellen  CA  95442






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Old Caz Results!

Epic day out there. Can find results HERE. Only by category for now. Will work on “overall” too,  to keep with Hopper tradition. 

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Old Caz is Full! Reg is closed!

weight-2Sorry but Old Caz Grasshopper is full… Estamos llenos…no hay espacio. There will be no on site Reg!! Those of you missed Old Caz but still want some epic So Co dirt adventures, there’s plenty of space for Super Sweetwater and King Ridge! See ya soon!

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Old Caz Route Details

Here’s the link to Old Caz Grasshopper Route/Map Details. I’ve included a few details and where the Osmo hydration and Gu nutrition stops will be. Read it like a book…or better yet…study it like a map and come Jan 31 be ready to rumble!

i-DTpF8DP-X3Erin Timmel crushing in on mtb.! Will we see him this year? After all the years whooping on us is he brave enough to come get crushed like the new sleep-deprived dad he is? :)

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Top 10 for 2014



It’s always been about adventure. My first Stumpjumper in 1988 introduced me to mountain biking. It later became my commuter in college and then a touring bike in the Summer. On to fancier bikes but it’s always been about adventure and friends. The Hoppers have grown organically over the last 17 years and though my Top 10 no longer have to do with my placing in the series (well…I’m not totally over that), there were some real high points in 2014. Most of them have to do with all the help we got in putting together another unforgettable season of Grasshoppers. Being busy teaching, raising my kids and coaching the El Molino Mtb team many of my rides are solo. I live to mix it up with old friends and meet new while doing what I love. It’s an honor to host our local adventure series. Here’s to another awesome Hopper season in 2015!

Top 10 of 2014 (But not in order)

1. Old Caz. Filling up two days before the event was overwhelming. Lotsa’ “Hey bro’” calls we hope to avoid this year. :) Luckily we were able to accommodate most folk and had an amazing day on the bike.

2. Old Caz. All the student athletes from the NorCal Mtb League who made it to their first Hopper. Riders from Redwood High, El Molino, Casa Grande and Drake.Team Swift riders too! Even saw Otis Guy and his son Sterling.

3. Hiring El Molino Mtb Grads to help. Megan, Sierra and Andre were awesome at the start and finish. Couldn’t have done it without them.

4. Occidental Volunteer Fire Dept. Wow! This was a HUGE help. It was great getting help with the staging to keep it safe in town.

5. Sponsors. A true pleasure to be able to share the awesomeness of Sonoma County with everyone at the Start and Finish. Love to stoke the riders. Bike Shops. Takes a village. Fantastic having many of the local shops help with neutral support and at the feed zones: NorCal, Eschelon, BiciSport,SpokeFolk, BreakawayBikes. Thanks!

6. Emergency preparedness. There are sleepless nights thinking about all the details to pull this off. And foremost is safety. Was so thankful to hear how quickly the Monte Rio and Duncan’s Mills FD responded to the Old Caz crash. Followed by AMR, our ambulance service. Very sorry for Joe and Kirk’s injuries and glad they were back up rocking and rolling soon after. (Joe even recovered enough to crush me on Pine Flat! )Wow!

7. Diverge. Was a blast hosting the folks from Specialized and Deux North for the King Ridge Hopper. I’ve always loved creating Hoppers that challenge the rider and the machine. Now there is the perfect bike designed for the “Cross” Grasshoppers. Will enjoy rocking it this year.

8. King Ridge: No warm up before start for me after 95 miles on Friday. Tough start on Coleman Vly. Decided to count how many people I could pass on Willow Creek. Should have known it’s bad Karma to gloat ;). At 33 riders I had just caught the back end of the front group before double flatting. Bummer!

9. King Ridge. Rolling from the very back and riding with different groups throughout the day. Long stop at Kruse. Stoked for the support from Bici Sport and the cold Coke. Rolling with Scot Nichol, Curtis Englis, Chris Wells and Kilgore Trout. Always fun no matter where you are in the pack. Talent is deep at the Hoppers.

10. Finish Line. Nothing like making it to the end of the Hoppers for something cold to drink, share stories and see all the smiling faces. Hollow but happy. Zen mind beginner mind. Empty the cup so it can be filled once again.

Looking Forward, Mig

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17th Annual G.A.S. Grasshopper Kit from Capo! Order Deadline Dec. 19th

GRASSHOPPER BIBS 11.20 GRASSHOPPER 11.20 JERSEYWhat a killer deal! Jersey $95 and bibs $115. ($400 value) Order by Dec. 19th  and pick it up at Grasshopper #2 Chileno Valley. Orders placed after Dec. 19th can be picked up at Skaggs Hopper. To order go to Registration.

If you have already signed up then you must still go to Registration, choose a category, and add billing info. DON’T choose a race. It’s that simple and you’ll look smart for your next adventure!

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