Mid-Summer's Daydream


The first e-mail from Eric S. was something along the line; “Hey I could use a good ride this weekend.” It was originally going to be just two people, but as the weekend approached it turned into a massive, well populated assault on the concept of normality. Eric (A.D.) was looking to escape the oven-like conditions of the Calistoga area. Once Lisa was involved, the social floodgate opened to nearly a dozen participants. Nix, Joy, Amy, Heide, Peter, Danny and Paul were the other conspirators in this attempt to thwart boredom and convention.

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Riders begin swarming at the start

People and bikes began arriving at Lisa’s groovy nest in the woods. By the time the squad left for the hills, ten bikin’ enthusiasts had made the call to pedal to the outer fringes of fun and frivolity. The ride mercilessly started with a massive climb. This feature, though not popular at the start of a ride, succeeded in warming up the crew rapidly. As the energy levels rose, so also did the sense of abandon, benediction and beauty.


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The day was fogless and cool at the start. Once high in the hills the group took a break at the conjunction of trails. This would be the top of the first of two major climbs for the day. After a pleasant interlude, the group dropped the Shoemaker trail. This is one of mt. bikin’s supreme treats. The dense, narrow trail sweeps down the steep hills above Inverness. It is so entertaining that it seems to end quickly even though it is quite long.

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Joy with the magic number

The group made its was to the bottom and had a leisurely lunch at bayside. Heide indulged in barbecued oysters while the rest snacked on a variety of bikin' approved goodies.

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Leisurely Lunch by the bay

Then the group again climbed into the high hills. For the better part of an hour the riders worked higher into the terrain. The view expanded and added to the sense of a very special day. The temperature was approaching hot. By the time all of the riders made it to the open areas of the ridgeline, a pleasant breeze moderated the heat.

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Amy kickin' it during a flat fix

After an extended break, and some minor fragmentation the group reconstituted itself and proceeded along the ridgeline to Ground Zero, the point of the disastrous fire that occurred ten years ago. Riders blazed further to the radio antennas, dropped a thrilling downhill and proceeded back towards the junction of the Shumaker/Rainforest trail. Along the way, an elderly hiker accosted the group with refrains of “Bikes aren’t allowed on this trail!” She got a variety of responses as the gaggle of riders filed past. Lisa informed the lady that she was simply wrong, after which she changed her tune.

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Local biker sighting

Another flat caused the group to take an unscheduled but welcome break. There was no sense of being in a hurry. The day, though hot at times, was more in the nature of wanting to linger in the pleasant zone.

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A happy Heide

The last drop down the Rain Forest trail was the best of the day. This challenging trail offered a variety of treats for the riders. In places it was overgrown to the extent of making the rider employ rugby moves to power through the thicket. Everyone eventually made the drop and regrouped for the road ride back to Lisa’s pad.

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Paceline to Glory

The day passed with great speed. The funnometer pegged early as the group energy conspired to push the limits of enjoyable experience. At each stop the friendly banter maintained a special sense of having fun. The unique blend of personalities created a rainbow of pleasure for everyone. The following barbecue raged into the evening until people were finally forced to extricate themselves from the exposure to extreme fun.

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Into Epic Party Mode

For a ride that was originally intended to be an ordinary outing, it was amazing to watch it grow into an epic, spontaneous experience that spiked high on the charts of great bike rides.

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End of the day: Pleasantly wasted bikers