April 6th, 2001


All Downhill

Eight mentally challenged bikers showed up to prove that things don’t always go well. Despite overwhelming evidence that the night was trending towards a bummer, the jaded Bikin’ Fools, once again, came away from the experience feeling grateful and euphoric. It was an event that would have caused others to drop the sport. Even bruises and injuries too numerous to count didn’t dispel the Lunatistas from sharing grace and beauty in the cold, dark, wet night.

The ride was an epic bummer. The B/D ratio was at a record high. It was one of the sharpest spikes on the Bikin’ Fools C.O.R.E. experience. This continues the long, long trend of extra-ordinary events experienced by these riders who just don’t seem to "get it". All indications were negative for this event. It was cold, cloudy and rainy. A general funk had been present in some, and others were clever enough to not show up. And yet, as always, the most generous Lady of the Night provided the Fools with an event of unparalleled magnitude, an experience so transcendental that no amount of stackage could affect the glorious nature of the passage.

The original plan was set for Harbin, then changed to the St. Helena Downhill, changed back, changed back again and finally the planners gave up. Dinner was set for the outdoors, then changed to the shop with the advent of rain. When the rain stopped slightly before the ride, dinner was changed back to the outdoor mode. Somehow all of the eight riders packed two small trucks and reconvened at RLS. (Robert Louis Stevenson Park). Excitement surged in Lindsey’s truck as an interesting highway encounter put Linz in a dead-heat race with the Casita. The Casita refused to pull over in the passing lane, causing an instant adrenaline surge in the usually demure L-Factor. For several miles the Toyota was whipped and spurred to excessive speeds. Finally in the next-to-last passing zone, Linz shredded sideways past the galloping Casita. The tires were still smoking at RLS.






The frisky ‘Casita’


The ride up the single track was a harbinger of things to come. There were many obstacles from the winter storms. The light was adequate and the ground provided decent traction except for the numerous logs that crossed the path at just the proper angle to slide one’s tire off the edge of the hill. The eight moved swiftly up to the turn-off at Silver St.






Dr. J. pushing uphill

A meeting took place to insure that all of the participants were on the same page. Two riders, Ryan and Michel had not done this ride previously. The entourage continued out the Ranch Road until they reached the Napa River crossing. There, the crew set about the task of finding enough dry firewood to cook this evening’s gourmet offering. A small pile of sticks and twigs smoked, smoldered and did every thing but burn. It took a long time for anything in the pile to catch fire. But eventually, a small glow appeared deep in the pile. Slowly the fire grew in size until it eventually climbed onto the chart of Daveworthy Conflagrations. Although Dave was not present, his essence was noted as the fire continued to rage. Jim Wilson was also MIA, but his influence would also be noted as later in the ride, a severe succession of notable stacks took place in the ranks.

As the dining event unfolded, so also did the feeling of benediction arise in the group. The fire roared, creating an immense amount of heat and radiation. Even the hail that occurred seemed of little significance. The campers cooked a variety of sumptuous goodies that would insure a culinary overload that would carry the Fool’s through the rest of the evening. Steak, sausage, garlic bread, quesodillas, candied baby carrots, fire roasted asparagus, apples stuffed with brown sugar and much more thundered across the pleasure palettes of the Bikin’ Fools. For some reason, there is a multiplier effect with eating food over a campfire. The same food would not taste nearly as fine in any other setting.

By the time dinner was complete, the fire was raging. It had finally reached the critical glow and would burn anything put near it. The fire was put to rest and the entourage continued the ride. Immediately upon putting out the fire, one noticed that it was actually pretty cold outside. Not only that, but the rain continued. It was light, but made for slippery riding on the grass. This part of the ride would be notable for an intense series of crashes that nearly everyone experienced. One would be riding with great abandon, only to find themselves following the ghost of Jim Wilson as he plowed into the earth in spectacular fashion. Jim Wilson, at home, no doubt twitched with each stack, much like sticking pins in a voodoo doll.

It is unlikely that the several sixers of beer brought along caused any of the problems. The mojo of the night clearly pointed towards pain, punishment and all of the malevolent juju that accompanies bad decisions. Yet, beyond the seeming disaster, there appeared erectile activity on the funnometer. It was inescapable. It was still a great time beyond all of the trauma. Amazing things can happen. For instance, Lindsey wow’d the troops by walking across the red-hot fire coals with his shoes on!!!.







A daveworthy offering to the fire gods

As Michel started his sub orbital flight over the handlebars, he was likely trying to find the logic for driving all the way from Berkeley for this. "OOO," he exclaimed. "Zees was a bad one!" No kidding. Actually it was nearly a perfect wreck. The judges saw at least a 9.5 as Michel thought he could ride the Slide-For-Life section. While the seven others didn’t even attempt to ride this un-rideable feature, they were all in attendance as they watched Michel rocket down the slippery bank, perform a gymnastic pommel horse maneuver and then cartwheel over the hill. The telltale silence followed this death-defying performance. Someone finally asked, "You OK, Michel?" No immediate answer. Shortly there was movement from the heap on the ground. The shallow grave wouldn’t be necessary.

The rest of the ride was a succession of stacks, dabs and all that can go wrong. The cows had done bovine overtime in preparing certain sections to be absolutely miserable. As the group stopped at one point, a discussion of cow shit ensued.

"Man, I stepped right in one." Brent admitted, "It was squishy."

"That’s better than getting cowshit on your bite valve." Jim Korte said.

"I’ve had cowshit fly into my face." Shawn added.

Not to be out done, Jim added this story. "I was riding with Morgan once," Jim said, "Azule (Morgan’s dog) was with us. He had been eating cat shit all day and then went with us on a ride. On the way to the ride, Azule blew chunks all over my pack including the bite valve."

"That’s the worst story I’ve ever heard." Eric said. "I don’t think anything could be more gross than that!"

So also was this ride a standard of sorts. Some rides are so cool; a person not there wouldn't believe it. Others are more ordinary. This one was sub-ordinary. However, they all share a similar quality. None are lacking. They all provide an escape to a higher plane, a diversion from normality. Being in the presence of La Luna’s light and with friends provides a medium for great experience. Even at its worst, it is still better than the rest of life. It can even make cat shit dog puke seem acceptable. Well, maybe not.