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 Post subject: Oldest Annual Ride
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Location: California
Since 1975 riders have assembled in Fairfax on the fourth Thursday of November, the American Thanksgiving holiday, to ride the Pine Mountain Loop. And every year I post the same notice and the same post-ride story about the Appetite Seminar.

The Java Hut where everyone assembles puts out free coffee and pastry. All the legendary locals make the event, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Jacquie Phelan (and banjo), Scot Nicol, Steve "Gravy" Gravenites, and upwards of 1000 of their close personal friends.

That sounds like a lot of riders, but people start any time between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 and take as much as four or five hours to ride the 18 miles and over 1100 meters of climbing, with more time spent off the bike than on it.

It's more a moving picnic and party than a ride, but it covers a great route and finishes with a dash down Repack to the free beer back in town and then home for a big dinner.

All the hills have names. This photo taken from Smoker's Knoll shows riders lining up before the plunge off the back of Pine Mountain, a brake burning, ear-popping drop that will be followed by the grueling climb up Scorcher to Repack. But you can count on Josh from the LBS to have a fully stocked bar at Stonehenge before the final assault. Just what you need before hitting Repack.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:28 am 
East Midlands AEC
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Location: Derby, UK
what a great tradition :D


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 Post subject: .
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:07 pm 
aka Leo Swayer
aka Leo Swayer
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:15 pm
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Location: Wales.UK
"moving picnic and party" sounds right up my street :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:48 pm 
East Midlands Deputy AEC
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Location: Ashby-de-la-Zouch
Quote:
"moving picnic and party"


Sounds like a great template for all retrobike rides. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Location: California
I took a recon ride with friends today in preparation for the event. On the way up the hill we were greeted with a rainbow, so I took a snap.

Here are Mr. Kawasaki's friends Megan and FairfaxPat, along with Joe Breeze on his new Fuji FS, and...my bike. Sorry fellows, it's new and FS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:02 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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super cool, love every one of your posts man 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Location: Fairfax, California
Just got back from the Appetite Seminar, did the ride with Charlie Kelly and about 6 other guys and one girl (Megan). We started out in downtown Fairfax at 6:40 am, which allowed us to be up on top of Pine Mountain (1760 feet, about halfway thru the ride) before 99% of the other riders got up there. We made the usual stop for refreshment on top of Smoker's Knoll just past the top. Then it was bomb down to the back of Kent Lake at 450 feet and then the brutal climb up to and across the ridge to Repack at 1500 feet. On the way we pass by the triangle, an intersection on the ridge top where everybody gathers to hang out and get free hot toddies and pancakes from Josh of the LBS. Josh and his guys tow a trailer up the ridge and fire up the stove and coffee maker for everyone's enjoyment. After a pleasant break, we continue up and across the ridge to the top of Repack for the Traditional Lap down to Fairfax and home. Including stops, it took about 4 hours. I had a wonderful time and wish you guys could have been there to share the experience!
Pat


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:26 pm 
Gold Trader
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Location: The Admiral Benbow
Smoker's Knoll 8) every trail should have one


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:16 am 
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The two coffee houses in Fairfax do great business on Thanksgiving. The Java Hut is conveniently located in the centre of the car park where riders who arrive by means other than their bikes gather. The Hut puts out free coffee and pastry on the day of the big ride, their way of saying thanks for the fact that the lot is filled every weekend with mountain bikers spending money in the tiny kiosk.

The Iron Springs Brewery is the usual apres-ride stop, but on this day they have competition from the Broken Drum Brewery a few miles further away, sponsors of a MTB team. The Drum supplies kegs of free beer in a car park that the riders have to pass before they get to the place where they would have to pay for their beer if they passed the free beer, which they don't.

This blogger has video and photos of the Appetite Seminar. The "Drake" jerseys are team jerseys from Sir Francis Drake High School, which is less than a mile from my house. Drake is the Northern California high school MTB champion this year. One of the Drake riders shown is obviously a woman coach.

All the high schools in the local school athletic league field MTB teams, and the teams are composed of both male and female riders. Today I also saw team jerseys from Berkeley High School across the bay.

This blogger has photos of the course eerily without bikes, from a pre-ride.

The Marin County Sheriff's Department was out in full force, with rescue and first aid equipment. I told them we didn't mean to cost taxpayers money, and I was told they were volunteers, assisted by every forest ranger in the county who had duty that day. One ranger who knows me told me he had printed out my website page about the ride as background for the rescue squads.

A couple of years ago I saw a sheriff's vehicle drive over the wheel of a bike lying on the ground. Today I saw it happen again, to one of the three tandems on the ride. Ouch.

I got separated from FairfaxPat because I was waiting for a friend who was on my second bike and had started after FairfaxPat and I were the first up the hill. My friend was on his third mountain bike ride, but on the first two much shorter rides he had turned out to be pretty tough, so I expected him to move with the flow. He never caught up with me even though I waited so long I barely got a beer back in Fairfax before it ran out around noon.

Although we didn't have cell phone contact in the hilly country, my friend and I could text message each other. He couldn't tell me where he was on a trail he had never seen, although he couldn't get lost as long as he followed hundreds of other cyclists. I asked riders I knew whether they had seen him, and when I had a report he was on course but far back, I moved on. Later I got a one word text from him, "BAD." As I sipped a refreshing brew from the Broken Drum Brewery ("You can't beat a Broken Drum"), I got a report that he had been struggling on the last climb when last seen nearly an hour earlier. His last message, long after I got home was that he had dropped off my bike and was catching a bus. And that he had learned something about cramps. I left a full bottle on the bike for him, and I TOLD him to bring a lunch, but it was only his third ride and some things you learn the hard way.

Got a text after the ride from Gary Fisher that he had started an hour behind me along with his son and hadn't seen me, but I waited so long for my friend that it is likely he passed me while I hung out in a large crowd at Smoker's Knoll, the gathering spot for the plunge down Pine Mountain about a third of the way through the ride.

Because some very nice retro bikes come out for the ride, I photographed a few of them, and you can see them in the main forum here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Location: California
Bumping the thread with a link to other photos from the ride.

Excellent shot of Jacquie Phelan is among them.


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