First Appetite Seminar

Barring weather every Thanksgiving in Marin County, California, USA since 1975 for hundreds of mountain bikers has started with a group ride on the historical hallowed trails where it all began. The tradition known as the “Appetite Seminar” is described best by Charlie Kelly, one of the founding fathers of modern day mountain biking, on his dated but informative web page.

This year I was finally able to join the horde of appetite riders with a group of friends and it was terrific. The conditions were soggy at times and a bit chilly (38° F at our 6am start) but once we were moving that was a non-issue.

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Leadville Trail 100 MTB

Saturday, August 15th 2015 at 6:30am a gunshot blast into the gloaming Colorado sky marking the start of my first Leadville Trail 100 race, along with 1648 other riders who had lined up to suffer for up to 12 hours on their mountain bikes.  339 would not complete their adventure that day and very sadly one of them, Scott Ellis of Johnstown, Colorado died on the course.   I was not surprised to learn the timing and location of the incident later the next day following the awards ceremony.  My sincere condolences go out to Scott’s family and friends.

What follows is the detailed account of my experience leading up to, during and following the race. The story is for those who know me, are interested in learning about the race, those who may be considering their first entry into this torturous  event and generally anyone with a fair amount of time on their hands. For anyone else I also have a photo gallery at the end of this post and the following video:

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Leadville Camp of Champs

As a first time participant in the Leadville 100 MTB I’ve been looking for every advantage I can to make sure I have the most successful performance I can. After locking up my charity slot in December I quickly decided to commit to the Camp of Champions where participants ride the entire course (and more) over 2 days with race experienced guides that include former and multi-winners Dave Wiens and Rebecca Rusch.

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Solstice Dirt Fondo

Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s (MCBC) 2015 Dirt Fondo season opened yesterday with the Solstice Fondo featuring some of the best trails in Marin including the ones in “my backyard”.

It was a glorious day, especially the weather. From the activity record in Garmin connect the temp averaged 65.4 °F in a range from 57-75 °F here’s the temperature graph plotted against time (starting at 8am) overlayed with the elevation profile: Continue reading Solstice Dirt Fondo

“Dig deep” and “The Cowboy Way”

Words from the man behind Leadville, Ken Chlouber the self-described “pretty damn good miner and a fair cowboy” with a simple idea to save his town which has since turned into much more than that.

This video is from last year before the 20th running of the Leadville 100 MTB race in 2014 and carries both part of the story and some inspiration.

I’m hoping to meet Ken at either camp this summer or the race.  If I do I’ll share that experience here.

Breathe deep and dig deep.

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.