Riding with people – totally unrelated to framebuilding

This week I actually rode with 2, count em, TWO people…! Pretty crazy I know. I got to ride with an old friend of Mrs. Meriwether’s from 25 years ago. She had no idea he rode bikes. Turns out he’s kind of a honch and works at one of the 4 bike shops in Auburn. He offered to take me on a ride on some of the G-town trails around his house. Around 5 and a half hours later we ended up back at his house more or less wrecked and quickly grabbed a chair refueled with cold IPA. The ride was right around 36 miles and over 30 of those were singletrack. An awesome loop and apparently it only scratched the surface of what’s out his back door.
In good newb fashion, I started the ride off strong. I was trying to take a picture (right hand) of the trail and scenery while keeping up with him and the trail dove left. Being that I only had the front brake to use (left hand), I tried to feather it to make the turn but instead flipped off the side of the trail. Camera, bike, and I were ok and luckily there was no poison oak at the spot I landed. After some readjustment of the seat and bars we were off again. For some reason I was bragging how cool the Knard 29plus tire platform is and how ‘i haven’t flatted yet and run 8psi!’ I then went on about how I don’t “need” suspension with the fat tires especially because it’s not rocky here compared to Colorado. (This is where I think we changed routes for some reason.) So what happens next of course is that I front flat after a rocky section. It was the slowest pinch flat i’ve ever had since I could ride it for awhile, but I did have to take my foot out of my mouth. We made it the rest of the way unharmed but bringing only two water bottles and it being over 80 degrees out trying to follow a local on his trails I was pretty wrecked.

A few days later I met with a friend of a friend from Truckee (whom i’ve actually ridden once with before on Mt. Tam years ago) who was down here for work. We tried to hook up this winter to go fatbiking but it just didn’t happen unfortunately. For this ride, he was riding a 6″ travel Santa Cruz Nomad and I was on my hardtail 29er with a 100mm fork. I had him on the uphills but man he was hard to keep up with going down the Culvert Trail and Confluence. Even with the new work on Culvert (it’s pretty smooth and bermy now instead of fast and rocky) I barely kept up. Stopping for pictures didn’t help but at least I stopped to shoot this time!

Riding with these guys made me feel like there’s hope yet for this new homeland. Even if there’s nobody (as far as I can tell) in the town I can ride with, the Auburn, Truckee, and Nevada City areas have great riding communities to patch into and offer endless miles of trails to explore.

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