Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rough Riders Rally Reconnaissance

Since shortly after publishing "Mountain Bikes: Who Needs Them?" in the February, 1993 issue of Bicycle Guide - when the "love letters" starting pouring in - I've dreamed of hosting a rally to celebrate the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos and lifestyle. Now that dream is really beginning to take shape, as you will see from our beautiful logo above and the fantastic photos on this page and on our website. Read on, check out the photos, and mark your calendar to join us next year!

Over the weekend of August 8 & 9, 2009, I traveled to Marin County to further preparations for the July 23-25, 2010 Rough Riders Rally. As a result, we've finalized the main ride route, made plans with our host bike shop, and much more. Plus we now have over 200 photos to whet your appetite for what will be a truly exciting, memorable, and fun international gathering of Rough Riders. YOU are invited!
Yours truly at West Point Inn, on Railroad Grade, above Mill Valley and the Bay Area. Photo by Ed Levinson.

The Rally is our new annual mixed-surface (road/trail/etc) cycling festival based in Marin County which celebrates the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos. There will be a Friday afternoon ride, followed by a BBQ at Tam Bikes in Mill Valley. Saturday will be the big day: a six hour ride in spectacular terrain. Later that afternoon the bikes will be assembled for a bike show. (To enter a bike in the show, it must have been ridden on the full route, including the photograph. No "for looking only; not for riding" bikes may be shown.) It will be a fantastic evening. Sunday morning we'll ride Railroad Grade to the summit of Mt. Tam, then return to Mill Valley for a social hour or two at The Depot, before we depart town. It promises to be a very fun weekend in an absolutely spectacular cycling paradise. Mark your calendar! (Mountain bikes are welcome, too!)

Click here for a preview slideshow and a very rough route sheet of the Saturday route for the 2010 Rough Riders Rally. The route is approximately 345 miles with approximately 5000' of elevation gain and features single track, double track, fire road, gravel road, abandoned paved road, and newly paved road. Some consider this "mountain bike territory," but this route is 99% rideable by an accomplished Rough Rider on a road bike with 32mm cyclocross tyres (or on a cyclocross bike), and perhaps 90-95% rideable on a road bike with 28mm road tyres.

Special thanks to my long-time friend and local guide, Ed Levinson, a Furnace Creek 508 veteran who owned and operated a bike shop in Mill Valley for over ten years. (Our host shop for the Rally will be Mt. Tam Bikes at 357 Miller Avenue, as pictured in the slideshow.)

This region offers truly superb cycling, with fantastic views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, the Marin Headlands, Mt. Tamalpais ("Mt. Tam"), Tiburon, Mill Valley, the Bay Bridge, a bit of the Golden Gate Bridge, and dramatic, rugged Northern California coastline. Honestly, this is cycling paradise, a region unparalleled for its beauty, diversity of scenery and riding surfaces, and its cycling-friendly trail signage and local population

Above: Ed Levinson, with Mt. Tam behind, on Bobcat Trail in the Marin Headlands.

View the entire slideshow on our website. Every image you will see was taken on the route of the Rough Riders Rally Saturday ride. The riding is truly that fantastic!

Join us July 23-25, 2010 for the first ever Rough Riders Rally! Mark your calendar and stay tuned for further details!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rough Riders at Mt. Shasta

An annual AdventureCORPS tradition at Mt. Shasta - the magical, mystical mountain which stands serenely near the top of California - continued when 15 riders converged for CORPScamp Shasta on July 29 through August 2, 2009. This glacier-laden volcanic peak provided the backdrop for superb cycling in a gorgeous, alpine region with dramatic lakes, rivers, forests, and memorable climbs. The camp concluded with participation in the Shasta Summit Century, an epic and challenging event!

Each day began with the Ron Jones Dynamic Warm Up and featured a wonderful ride in a spectactular setting with little to no traffic. Each afternoon featured a yoga class for cyclists, including those with no yoga background (most of the group), and was designed to help each camper unwind, accelerate recovery for the next day's adventure, minimize the chance of injury, and rejuvenate and restore energy balance. Two wonderful meals catered by Chris & Dena's Deli were hosted outdoors at the beautiful Strawberry Valley Inn and provided more opportunities to socialize, enjoy great food, and win raffle prizes.

One CORPScamp rider was John Marino, the godfather of ultracycling who essentially created the sport of ultracycling as we know it, and also created the Great American Bike Race, Race Across America, and Furnace Creek 508. Now 60, John still rides at the same weight as he did 30 years ago. The first evening of the camp we watched "Psychling," the documentary film about his 1980 Guinness Book transcontinental cycling record, then on Friday we watched the ABC coverage of the 1982 Great American Bike Race, both evenings providing entertaining insights into the past, present, and future of long-distance cycling and the man who brought the sport to life.

Another special guest who also rode the entire camp was Jeannie Ennis, a competitor in the very first Badwater Ultramarathon in 1987. She was inducted into the Badwater Hall of Fame in 2005. She has been a cyclist for many years, riding cross-country from WA to ME as well as from Canada to Mexico on the Continental Divide. Now 62, this living legend of ultra sport has not slowed down and is still pursuing health and fitness and new aspirations and goals. She, and Marino, were a delight to ride with and learn from.

Another legend of ultra sports who was on hand for the duration of the event was local resident Scott Weber, who drove the support vehicle and tended to the riders, dispensing Hammer Nutrition products, water, fruit, and copious, priceless wisdom each day. Scott is a 13-time Badwater Ultramarathon finisher, has been a highly sought out running coach since 1988, and - in his previous life as a cyclist - was a cycling cast member of the cycling film "American Flyers" in 1986!

It was truly a pleasure to ride on and around Mt. Shasta for five days, to get to know a really wonderful group of adventure-athletes, and to socialize in a very special place. To all the riders, and our super supporter Scott Weber, we say "thank you" for supporting this event!

For two slideshows of all the action and adventure, click here.

We hope to see even more Rough Riders there next year!

Above: Jeff Martin and Jo Carmichael ascend Mumbo Summit

Above: Chris Kostman descends Mumbo Summit in his "no-handed tuck" pose he invented during the 1987 Race Across America. (Photo by Jo Carmichael)