Monday, November 9, 2009

Rough Riders Rally Reconnaissance #2

On Monday, November 9, 2009 I spent five hours riding the main route for the July 23-25, 2010 Rough Riders Rally with my good friend Ed Levinson. Here are some photos from that adventure today.

Above: That's Mt. Diablo in distance, east across the Bay. I rode there yesterday, as you can see in this self-portrait from the ride up the mountain:
OK, back to the Rough Riders Rally recon pix:

Above: Ascending Green Gulch Trail, with Mt. Tam in the background.
Above: Descending Miwok Trail to Rodeo Beach, Ed met a friendly coyote.
Above: Ed above Rodeo Beach and its WWII era buildings. Bike: 1993 Bridgestone MB-1.
Above: Yours Truly above Rodeo Beach, en route to Battery Townsley. Bike: 1984 Holdsworth (my 1984 SF-LA record bike) with 32mm Ritchey 'cross tyres and 38/28 not-very-low gear.
Above two pix: Dropping down to Rodeo Beach from Battery Townsley.
Parting shot: Ed and Chris, friends since 1987.

The Rough Riders Rally is our new annual mixed-surface (road / trail/ etc) cycling festival based in Marin County which celebrates the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos. 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 (from the first Rough Riders Rally route recon) and a very rough route sheet of the Saturday route for the 2010 Rough Riders Rally. The route is approximately 45 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!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rough Rider Semi-Epic in the Santa Monica Mountains Planned for November 21: YOU are invited!

Both shots above: That's the view across to Stunt Road and Saddle Peak, the final major climb of this ride. We didn't make it that far back in May, but this time we will!

All are invited to this no-host semi-epic dirt/road ride starting at 26th and San Vicente (the border between Santa Monica and Brentwood. Zip Code 90049). Meet at 8am; Ride Start time 815am, to allow time for cross-towners to ride to the start.

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS RIDE! Tell your friends, post to your blogs, forward to your email groups, and such. Thanks!

Route will head up Mandeville Canyon, Dirt Mulholland, The Hub, Trippet Ranch, Topanga Canyon, two unnamed, semi-secret fire roads, eventually cross the top of Old Topanga, drop onto Stunt Rd., ascend Stunt (the first paved road of the whole ride), down little known trails to the coast, then back on PCH to San Vicente for a pavement finish. Figure about 5 hours and 50 miles, but I can't say for sure. A few bail-out options exist for those in over their head. Pace will be medium-to-high, but stops will be made for scenic overlooks and photos.

We rode this route back on May 17, 2009, but we didn't do the absolute, entire route because it was so hot and we were low on water. That abbreviated route was 40 miles with 4850' of elevation gain, though 4500' of the elevation gain was in the first 25 miles. This time we plan to do the whole thing, which will be about 50-55 miles with perhaps 5500' of elevation gain.

Here's the write-up from May 17 and here are the photos from May 17 (a few samples are here on this page). But that was then and this is now. Come be part of history!

Most Rough Riders would probably want to ride a "mountain bike" on this route, or at least tyres in the 40mm or wider range. (There's a decent amount or loose, rocky stuff.) Definitely bring three bottles, two tubes, patch kit, etc. There is essentially nowhere to buy anything along the route. Be prepared. (I rode a road bike with 32mm tyres on May 17 and may do so again, but most riders would find that inadequate or uncomfortable.)

Trust me, this is a fantastic route in a wondrous area. I LOVE riding these mountains!

Feel free to RSVP by posting a Comment below this page on the blog, but it's not necessary.

Note: This ride is unhosted, unsupported, and everyone who shows up is on their own. Neither we, nor anybody else, is responsible for anyone who rides. If you ride, YOU are responsible for YOU and YOUR bike. This is not an "event" - it is just a ride on dirt roads for like-minded people.

(Remember, we Rough Riders enjoy getting "out there" by riding roads, dirt roads, trails, and paths on whatever bike we happen to be on or have handy. Sometimes the pavement's long gone and we're still on our "road bikes" or some bike that would be commonly considered inadequate for the job - and that's just fine by us! Rough Riding is not defined by the type of bicycle or type of riding surface. Rough Riding is a state of mind, a riding style with limitless freedom and an all-pervasive sense of adventure.)

See you out there!