Mendocino: A Hidden Gem

My wife and I spent the weekend in Mendocino a couple years ago and while waiting for a table at a restaurant we were perusing the mini-book store that was in the lobby and I stumbled across this mountain biking trail guidebook.  Of course I was intrigued and purchased the book.

Fast forward a year or so to last fall and I finally found some brave souls to go on this adventure with me and we had a hell of a day trip from Marin: met up before 5am, on the trails just past 9am after stopping for breakfast in Willits, rode until about 4pm, stuffing faces with pizza in Fort Bragg by sunset, home by 9:30pm.

There’s a lot more that could be written about that trip but all you really need to know beyond that succinct paragraph is that the riding was phoenomenal and we barely scratched the surface of Jackson Demo forest and that’s only one area in Mendocino!

Anyway, bike mag just put up a nice article about the area so maybe it won’t be hidden for long. Even still, there is so much there it will be a long, long time before it “feels” crowded, relative to Marin and other popular Bay Area locations anyway.

Skyline Wilderness Park (Napa)

Yesterday I made my way back to this great spot in Napa for a ride. The trails here are maintained as well as any spot I’ve ridden in Marin. If you like Camp Tamarancho, you will certainly enjoy the Skyline Wilderness Park.

Didn’t capture a lot of footage but did get a little when I had a view. This should give you a flavor for the higher terrain:

There are many technical sections you will encounter here and all but a couple can be cleaned with the right line, gear selection and of course speed.  There are climbs but none last too long and the payoff is there as it should be.

I found this spot through one of my goto bay area ride websites for rides.

Riding with Power

Thursday I officially became a bike geek. I now have a power meter on my bike. This is an important element to my training effort for the Leadville 100 MTB race (exactly 16 weeks from today). Using a power meter is much more effective than a heart rate monitor for at least two reasons:

  1. Power measures current output, heart rate measures body reaction to output.
  2. Heart rate levels should decline with fitness and are also subject to other variables which don’t translate to output: excitement, caffeine, etc.

And for an 8-10 hour ride one needs to maximize efficiency which means higher power:heart rate ratio which can only be measured with both devices. Continue reading Riding with Power

Strava Flyby

Not quite sure how long this has been around but I just noticed this on my brother-in-law’s activity today. See the gray button circled in the activity page that has been highlighted:

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Meet someone on a ride and forget their name? Did someone pass you and you wonder to yourself, “How far did/will s/he ride?”. Now you can find out with Strava Flybys.  Learn more from their project page here.

Greetings

Hello internet.

You might begin by checking out the brief about page as I don’t want to repeat myself and may update that separately anyway.

A couple of things I didn’t mention there are specific motivations for creating this site. First, I’m training for the Leadville 100 MTB Race in August of this year and there is so much information that I’ve been searching and consuming that I thought documenting my experience as a first time rider might help others down the road.  Second, I tend to capture many of my experiences with photos and video and while I will share in a limited way on social networks I prefer to do more of that here.

Everything I post here is my own. I’m not sponsored by anyone and what I do professionally has very little if anything to do with what I publish here.