The Bikin' Fools
The Fall Fun Harvest
Crew: Mike Linz Shawn Jim Korte Jim Wilson Matt Ryan Austin Eric Grant Michel Sean
Although it appeared that eleven people started the ride, twelve were counted at the mid point of the ride. The October full moon was generous in light as she climbed into the fall sky. The chosen ride was the divide between Lake and Sonoma counties; the Maacama Ridge run with the Seidel Play Park option. Formerly known as Seidels Lost Option, it was renamed after the navigation was finally figured out.
The evening started at "6 at the shop" and romped into the wee hours, replete with fun, friendship, baby heads and the awesome benediction of sharing time with the charismatic La Luna.
The bikin fools convened at the top of Ida Clayton. Although the cars were parked close to the road, the fact was that technically, yes, they were on Bill Bounsalls rental property. As the fools prepared for departure, a vehicle came down the driveway. Ominously it stopped about fifty yards away. It sat there for ten minutes. Who was it? Were they calling the Sheriff on the cell phone? Finally Mike decided to talk to the occupants of the vehicle. Another ten minutes passed. During this time, Ambassador Johnson would negotiate passage rights from Bounsall himself.
The ride finally began with a mass start down the Western Mine Road. The smob of bikers trusted the dirt road to be free of hazards. The light was so slim as to be non-existent. The path of the well traveled road could, only, marginally be seen. Faint hints of visual information aided the faithful biker in this high speed quarter-mile. The bikin mob regrouped at the turnoff. Now the ride proceeded on a less traveled road. This part of the ride was in the woods and on the north facing side of the hill. It is in shadow much of the time and under foliage. It is one of the most interesting situations to ride. The first person has the most to lose in the case of adverse, unseen ob-stack-cls.
However, on this outing, the trail was in superb condition. Passage was swift and uneventful. The dark part of the ride lasted only a short while. Eventually the trail came out of the woods and near the spine of the ridge. The scene changed dramatically. The moon was in full view. The landscape opened majestically in all directions. Mt. St. Helena stood tall to the south, reminding us of our relative insignificance.
The entourage made headway across the Back-Breaker, over several hills and many climbs. Eventually the route came to the base of Barbeque Hill. The group gathered to count heads. It was discovered at this point that 12 people were onboard for the adventure. Previous to this time, all head counts totaled 11. It mattered not, for all were present and accounted for.
The event then began the long, long downhill. At first the road was smooth and accommodating. The rolling terrain was scintillating for a half-mile or so. Then at the first gate, a key left turn had to be taken. Shortly thereafter an area of imbedded L-factor took the intrepid bikers across a steep, open area obviously not on a road any more. Although the remnants of a road could be found, it was so insignificant as to be un-navigable. Shortly the trek down the fall-line brought the crew back to the official trail. The trail became overgrown to the point that participants frequently paused to wonder if they were still on course. Those in the know had pressed on forward out of sight and out of earshot. The stragglers struggled to find their way for the next quarter-mile.
Eventually the trail reemerged into a viable road. The dozen bikers assembled as a group and proceeded towards the most challenging part of the ride. The section of steep baby-heads proceeded for a lengthy distance. Infused in the loose rock were occasional big rocks. Dodging such obstacles on the already sketchy descent made for tricky riding and a few bruises. All of the riders survived this dangerous passage. Finally the turn to the corral and the hunting camp signaled the end to the treacherous drop-in.
A head count was taken at the hunting camp. Two were missing. A wrong turn before the corral would send the hapless biker on a long, lonely ride down the mountain. A scout was dispatched to find the m.i.a. bikers. They were found. The group had a leisurely break at the camp. It had taken a relative short time to arrive. Not having the dinner option quickened the passage.
The road was now improved and easily passable. It descended steeply through some woods then came into an open area that required a turn. All of the group was again accounted for as the pack entered the theme park section of the ride. From this point the road dipped and rolled with sweeping turns. It kept the mt. bikers on the edge of thrilling fun tempered by the Korte Factor; the haunting image of traveling at great speed without the bike.
The lower section of the ride consisted of well traveled ranch road. The tires whipped up dust in the moonlight as the 24 wheels rolled out of the mountains. The two miles along Maacama creek passed quickly despite a flat near the finish. The troops loaded into a variety of vehicles and made the shuffle from the environs of La Luna back to civilization. It was one of the most fun and enjoyable rides of the decade.
Fall Fun Photo Gallery