Ride Recap: HCC Sunday Mtb Ride – 09/20/2015 – China Camp State Park

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China Camp State Park, San Rafael, Ca
by Durty Dood POV and Dusty D’ highlights

Today’s HCC Durty Ride took the Durty Burds over to the Marin side of the Bay in San Rafael at China Camp State Park.

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Just a little behind the Pre-ride meet-up, but all were able to meet at the selected trailhead parking spot. 7 riders showed up for the ride, but 1 had to stay behind as more of his “other” friends planned on riding the area too. Sooo 6 riders consisting of Myself, Dusty D’, Jerry9, Jesus, Julius, and Ken will be hammering the Marin trails today.

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The usual pre ride antics took part. The riding crowd also started to pick up while we were prepping. Looks like a popular spot… Lets Ride!!! Diego hollered… This place is starting to looks like Cheers.

And so we did… This is my first time on China Camp Trails… So go easy on me… The trail condition is dry, loose, and dusty… with the current temp at 75 degrees. It is starting to warm up as it is forecasted to warm up todsy..

First up on the trail menu is UP! (Literally) A warning yelled out by somebody… This one’s going up, up, up! I was thinking… No warm up??? I guess this is the warm up… We were welcomed right into business with a 3 mile long hill climb starting at 5%, then it shoots up to around 11 to 17% at the end of mile 2.5… The last half mile shoots up even higher. This last section of the hill climb kicked up at around 17 to 20%, I thought I even saw my garmin scaling the clime at 30% at one point (maybe I’m seeing things). I actually got dizzy on the way up, I thought I saw stars. All the mountain goats shined here. Even Jesus was hammering it up with Jerry9. Nah! Total Elevation gain.. 1,280sft in 3 miles… Yay! It hurts!

The climb took us to a really cool landmark called “Nike”… A little bit of history… It’s a de-militarized US Army Missile Platform and Control Site from the Cold War. This will also be our launching site for our looong descent back down to where we came from. At the Nike site, we ran into familiar faces… What a small world… Durty riders from east bay… Mike, Charlie, Dave… All local from East Bay durt trails… While we recovered and chatted with the doods. Diego and Jesus messed around the Short Downhill chutes, chutes that if you tried to stop in the middle of it, you won’t. I think they were daring each other on who can “DO IT”… They eventually rode them chutes … Crazy Kids! Poor bikes…

As we prepare to descend, we picked up more riders to join us… I thought at one point, I counted 15…. Yay… As we point our bikes down. We were greeted with dusty, loose, with a combination of rocky sections that is starting to tickle my skaree bones… Each rider started to bomb the descend… I’m staying at the back and take it easy… Exactly 1 mile of crazy technical descent that my hardtail can handle slowly, but I wished I had a full suspension kind-of moment. Checking on the Strava data feed, Jerry9 actually hit the 25+mph at one point at this knarly section of the downhill. Yours truly was just taking it easy to save skin… at the same time, I was wishing I had a long travel full squish to get me over this section…. Diego added… The climb paid us with a good downhill with flow fun single track and a good train on the way down… Almost like a race. And yours truly, said… hmmm, not for me…

Around mile 5, we enter the nicely groomed easy flowing single track through the woods with lots of bermed switch backs to slowly… I mean, to quickly take us back down to the parking area… 5 more miles of the flowy fun trail… Still in a train… We were going through the wooded section just hammering and having fun. We thought were going fast enough… But then all of a sudden, there were these 5 hammer heads that caught us… and actually passed us going uphill on a single track. Impressive! Awesome passing all 15 of us! On a single track! What a bunch of show offs! Lolz… Must be regulars… We’ll get em next time…

As we hammer along having a fun o’ time…. Around mile 6 at this point, Diego, Jesus, and Ken actually was way ahead of us racing with the train. While Jerry9, Julius, and I, along with the rest of the stragglers were trying to bridge the train to catch up to the lead. Sometime around mile 8.5… Right in front of me… Jerry, washed out on a turn and crashed. Maybe he was trying to drop me… or maybe he thought he was riding his road bike, trying to drop me and took the turn a little too tight… causing his front tire to wash out towards the right… sending him over his bike like a circus seal. He was thrown at least 5 feet from his bike. I quickly pulled to the side to collect the bike and body parts… Just kidding… Assisting Jerry and his bike to the side of the trail to avoid getting ran over by the riders behind us. I signaled oncoming riders to slow and to avoid any further crashes. As Jerry and I were assessing the situation to make sure everything is on its place, body parts, mobility, including the bike, the ahead crew started showing up, coming back to check on us. Diego, Ken, and Jesus came back to check on us HCC Style…

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Final assessment, Jerry is OK. Just in pain, all body parts intact and functional. Bike has a slight or minor damage… Front Brake hose separated… So no Front brakes for the rest of the ride back, about 2 miles to go… Oh o? Final-final assessment on Bike… Bike is ridable, but no front brakes. All decided to go for it. Jerry is OK. He is on his bike… As he remounted and started heading back, Jerry hammered again… Maybe his crash adrenalin kicked in… After that? We’ll now we have to catch him… Maybe he is faster because he does not have any brakes? Or just itching to get back in the car for the barly pop.. Well, he is in good spirits, so we can hammer along again…

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More flowy trail fun on the way back to the parking area… As soon as we can say weee, we are back on the trailhead where we started and ending this ride at mile 11… Too soon! Total elevation gain, 1,600ft, with total ride time of just under 2 hours.

We are done, and I am pooped tired. Time for Barley Pop Treats. I am glad to say, China Camp is now one of my top riding trails. Definitely will be planning for a comeback.

Next Ride!!! JMP in Berkeley Hills!

HCC Durt Dood!

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