Chileno Valley Update

This amazing painting is by Charles Beck. His studio is at the top of Joy where we’ll be finishing our ride.

The ride is on!
Ready or not time to rock and roll. This year we again have heavy rainfall and flooding leading up to Chileno Valley. The good news is that it looks like we will have a break in the storm, unlike like last year’s torrential downpour.

We have openings for day of reg (Cost is $60) or you can reg online until Friday at 6.

Now pack your gear, tune up your bike, and get ready for stage two of the 2017 Grasshopper Adventure Series.
See ya’ on Sat. Mig

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Old Caz Results 2017

Old Caz Results 2017

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Good morning. We’ve been getting lots of questions about transfers so here are your options.

1. You can transfer to another Hopper for free. Just let us know which one.

2. You can transfer to a friend, and they can reimburse you for the ticket. If you wish to do that, please email us and provide the following information:

1. Registered rider’s name

2. New rider’s: Name, Age (or Pro), email and phone number

3. Transfer fee is $10 via Paypal.

It is best to do this before Saturday. We have a full field and it’s going to be hectic. If it’s last minute, please bring a printout of the rider’s registration confirmation and we can do day-of transfers.

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Do you daydream about riding your bike while at work? Of course you do. Join us for and adventure or 2 or 5 or 6 this year.

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What Matters Most? Bike, Wheels or Tires?

Bikes, tires and wheels do matter. But it turns out that perhaps the most important factor in speed, comfort, handling and efficiency on the bike is tire pressure. I’m not one to follow every new advancement in bicycle innovation but this interview really caused me to rethink how I roll. I come from a background where we raced 26″ 2.0 tires at 50 psi on the dirt. And on the road it was assumed that smaller tires 20-23 c, at pressures as high as 110 psi was the fastest. Listen to this fascinating interview with Patrick Brady from RKP and Josh Portner of Silca. If you are now running 28c on your road bike instead of 23 or 25, and have decreased psi to 90 psi it’s still less compliant than 25 at 100 psi. When asked for a “general rule” for riders, he pauses and says that’s difficult. A pure number is tough to go by. If it feels smooth it’s probably right, if it’s stiff and rough, probably too high. Listen to the whole Podcast or go to minute #21 to hear the interview.

The Paceline Podcast #39

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2017 Grasshopper Capo Jersey

Don’t miss out on this year’s  custom, limited edition Grasshopper Jersey. Brought to you by the good folk at Capo! Order closes Jan 30th for April 8th (Skaggs! delivery) Jersey $95 bibs $115. Click the link about “Sponsors” to the right or go to Capo Custom to order  

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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Chileno Valley Feb. 11th… (Just too much fun to miss!)

I know most of you are foaming for Old Caz; figuring out the perfect bike and tire, matching your socks to your bar tape, debating what size cassette to run (I say as big as they come) and stalking other’s Strava. But did you know Chileno Valley is 3 weeks after Old Caz? And it’s all road. This means you don’t even have to wash your gravel bike, just hang’er up and start getting some road miles in. This year we have a “shorter” version of the loop in case 80 miles is just too much for Feb. 11th.  Last year only 100 brave souls endured racing in the biggest storm of the year but we expect a solid turn out in the men’s and women’s field. You can read about Patrick Brady’s take on the day at RKP.


For now, let me dangle a few images that will tempt and inspire you.


Photo: Paul C Miller

1662336_10202731567364676_1804505253_nChaz-Tomales PaintingPainting by Charles BeckPR-Tomales Bayimage_4

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RKP-Red Kit Prayer-Gravel Riding and the Grasshopper

Michael Hotten and Patrick Brady left the Sea Otter early to make it up to Super Sweetwater this year. Here’s the interview on RKP Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow all their interesting talks and adventures. Starts at minute 42

The Paceline Podcast #22

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Hopper Candy (Videos!)

Late Summer and early Fall are strange for me here in Northern California. The “end” of Summer means going back to work (doing my “real” job of teaching high school Spanish). It also means I’m ready for a break from working on my house. This was my 13th Summer project. Our 1914 farmhouse sloped 2 inches in every direction from the center to the sides of each room. I had to “shim” it up and put in another 3/4″ subfloor and then Cali bamboo. Sometimes going to work seems like getting time off. Weird. The change in season also means I go back to commuting to work. As much as I love to shred the dirt in Occidental, Tam, Annadel or far away places, and ride our crazy Sonoma County back roads, there’s something innately satisfying about using my bike for transportation. My first mtb., a Specialized Stumpjumper, was my commuter, explorer and weekend mtb fun bike at Humboldt State from 88-92. It’s on these early morning commutes and rides home that my Grasshopper gears start turning. We’ve got a great series of adventures planned for you and hope to open Reg on Nov. 1st. In the meanwhile, here’s a few videos to get the juices flowing.




Hunt 4 from Deux North on Vimeo.

2009 Old Caz Grasshopper Pt. 1 from Geoff Kabush on Vimeo.

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King Ridge Dirt Supreme June 25th


As Sonoma County continues to grow, the NorthWest County stays wild. Living in the small town of Sebastopol I still find myself in the busy streets of Santa Rosa at least a couple of times a week. SR has become a hub of cycling in Sonoma County but it’s a hectic place at times. When we moved here in 1977 Santa Rosa had just over 40,000 people. Now it’s up to 4x that. Windsor was all but non-existent and Rohnert Park had just been formed. I would never trade where I live, but the change is undeniable. Still, there’s always the exploration and escape via bicycle to remind me of the beauty and remoteness of the North Coast. West of Occidental and north of Jenner it’s as if my entire being exhales; relaxes into a more simple, slower way of being. June 25th marks the final stage of this year’s Grasshopper Adventure Series. We began this journey together Feb 13 with Old Caz. with 400 plus riders on a crazy loop that symbolizes Grasshoppers. Next followed a smaller,but hardy group that faced floods and torrential rains at Chileno Valley. Super Sweetwater provided the challenging mix of road and dirt that included Old Caz, Meyers Grade and Chileno Valley. On the ticket this year was Lake Sonoma MTB and the trails were minty. At 25 miles this was by far the shortest Hopper and was a great social gathering afterward. Nearly 100 riders battled and survived Skaggs! last weekend in what is truly the hardest 100 miles you can do in Sonoma County. And 20 riders reached Jedi status by enduring and finishing the last 10 miles on Lake Sonoma single track. Here’s a little piece from Kitsbow that sums up the history of Hopper explorations and the day on Skaggs.


This leads us to King Ridge Dirt Supreme…


It’s been an honor to choose, organize and present these challenging rides over the last 18 years. When we first started doing King Ridge “in reverse” people had a hard time wrapping their heads around the loop. As a mountain biker I love riding up the “downs” and down the “ups”. Kinda’ like my favorite quote “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. In terms of cycling this means that if you mix it up, you have at least double the options. This has become one of my favorite Hoppers. Descending dirt on Willow Creek on a road bike, riding up Hwy 1 to Fort Ross, the dirt decent to Hwy 1 via Salt Point, climbing Kruse on gravel, ripping down Hauser, and the never ending climb west to east on King Ridge. Oh, and the finish up Willow Creek.  Here’s a few shots of the days adventure to get the juices flowing!


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See you on June 25th.

Yours in adventure,


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