Global Fatbike Day, Reno style

I joined the Nevada Fatbike group’s ride today to celebrate GLOBAL fatbike day outside Reno on some trails around Dry Pond and Whites Creek. About 15 or so showed up on a balmy 55-degree mostly sunny day, most of us overdressed…at least I was. I think snow when I fatbike so dress appropriately. But today i was very inappropriate.

Shawn put together a sweet ride where just a few days prior 7″ of snow had fallen.  Unfortunately, most of that had melted away but the upper reaches of the trail still had a few inches of snow cover and were screaming fun singletrack descents.  I took some random photos of the day. I almost caught Shawn mid-air off a kicker but…i snapped it a bit too soon. I rarely ride my fatbike on dirt and the lower swoopy trail was all tacky dirt…and wow, i gotta do that more often. The cornering traction is insane. Great to meet all you guys and hope we can ride again soon!

Tour de Trash with Sean

Sean led me on a big sweet loop from his house in Foresthill down to Auburn and back up home. He calls it the Tour de Trash because the middle portion of the ride, which follows the train tracks and parallel frontage roads, passes by some “interesting” houses and lots of scattered trash from hobo camps and others dumping it where nobody will see.

We started down the Todd Valley trail that passes right by his backyard, then down to White Oak Flat trail to McKeon Ponderosa fire road to the river. Back up Driver’s Flat right away to the Foresthill Divide trail on the north side of the road.  We ran into some FATRAC trail workers along the trail, clearing sight-lines with some sharp power tools. Good to see you guys and thanks!  We headed to Culvert and down to the river again on the Confluence trail.  From there we rode up Stagecoach into Auburn and rode northeast along the frontage road before dropping into the train tracks.   This section was WAY harder than I thought it’d be with some brutal short climbs out of the tracks, over and over again.  This was the beginning of my demise.

I ran out of water and food at the end of this ‘trail’ section but we headed to the Applegate fire house for a refill at their spigot.  From there he took me to a bit of a hidden trail off a neighborhood road that appeared to service nobody and no place.  Why was it here at all? Seemed amazingly well taken care of, like the parallel universe to the Foresthill Divide trail except on the opposite canyon.  There had been some very recent fire-line clearing the from Applegate Fire which turned the trail into a pretty wide road in spots.

I flatted my Chupacabra rear tire somehow with one of the recent sharp madrone branches laid across the trail. Stan’s did nothing but spew all over the trail out of the puncture. Tube in, we continued down and met up with two equestrians and farther along two ATV dudes before hitting a trail that led us to the Ponderosa bridge over the North Fork of the American River.  Starting up the climb i knew i was done. After around 33 miles and almost 6K of climbing up to this point I wanted to go to bed.  The 3-4 miles up Ponderosa, a really nice graded dirt road, were some of the slowest miles I’ve done this year. The last few miles up Foresthill rd were truly embarrassing. Ending rides on a big climb, like those who live in Foresthill (usually) adapt to, is rough at the end of a long day.  Thanks Sean (again) for waiting up for me! Next time i’ll bring more food and water, i swear.



A classic Foresthill loop

I played hooky on Wednesday to ride before a big rain came in. Never know when the snow will shut if off up higher for the winter.  Where i live outside Foresthill is pretty far out. Heading up higher on Foresthill Road gets you even farther out.  There’s a big OHV park that’s got something crazy like 150 plus miles of trail several miles up from town. Some trails are just ok on a bike, some are damn good. The ones on the southeast side of the road are more remote, more technical, and have a bit of hike-a-bike. But they are pretty cool for the most part. The average grades of some are over 20% so they’re fun going down but up…? It can hurt. Never a mellow ride here it feels like. You start each ride in the opposite orientation than how I’ve always done it – with a downhill. You end the rides climbing a few thousand feet back up. Life on “the Divide.”

The Western States trail is no different. Steep up and down with lots of switchbacks going in and out of the many steep-walled drainages. You have to be wanting to suffer a bit because there’s not a lot of bailout points.

I hadn’t been on the Codfish Point trail (Trail 6) since moving here so I did a loop from China Wall staging area out to Codfish, dropping into Eldorado Creek, up to the WS trail at Deadwood (they’re still logging from last year’s American Fire so trail 6 on the Deadwood side of the ridge is closed), then down back to cross the creek lower down and head up to Michigan Bluff. It’s really not that long of a loop (maybe 30 miles) but the 5500ft of elevation gain just wore me down. But feels like a second fall, the leaves are pretty perfect up there right now.

Isaac’s foothills tourer

I forgot to post some photos up from Isaac’s touring bike build. I was under a self-induced deadline to get this thing built for his annual Chillbilly ride last Saturday so lost track. Some fun old-school things I’ve never done before on this bike like under BB cable routing for the downtube mounted shifters, and the rear Paul racer brake on the chainstays. Geometry is his special blend and I made a higher rake fork for when he has bags on front.

Some photos..

Sean’s all-rounder all dressed up

Sean sent some pictures of his bike all built up!  Jordan Low did the paint work, Sean built it and took the photos.  NAHBS ready even if I’m not.  I already blabbed about it HERE so i’ll refrain and just show his pictures.  Hope you enjoy.



Chillbilly #3

Isaac’s 3rd fall classic called the Chillbilly was yesterday, starting and ending at his house outside of the small Sierra Foothills town of Georgetown.  The 40-mile loop is a mix of hardly used curvaceous paved and dirt roads rolling through huge trees and benching in and out of cold drainages.  Twenty or thirty riders showed up on a pretty spectacular sunny fall day in the low 70’s.
This was Isaac’s first ride on the frameset I had *just* finished last weekend and had rushed to get painted by Wednesday. He built it up Thursday night and was ready to ride Saturday.  Scary going into a 40-miler on the first ride but he’s a top-notch bike mechanic so all was good.   Always great to meet new people passionate about getting out and experiencing this incredible area. Thank you for the great ride, company, and amazing food!


Just some ride shots

Some photos of riding in Truckee and Auburn with my ‘real’ camera (not the iphone).  The extended fall for Auburn is nice, leaves just starting to change! Tahoe got some snow last week but…it’s gone except for the highest elevations. Trails are so damn nice right now up there.