Heidelberg Ridge Run
Headless bikeman prepares for ride
The first moonride of September was an interesting confluence of confusion, confabulation and confundity. Sebastian called for the Thursday event by driving his motorcycle all the way from Portland. It would be hard to refuse the guy some action. However, there was a dearth of volunteers on this short notice and week night event. Lindsey would be willing to shirk the standard responsibilities such as his job and wife. Mike was out for Friday, paving the way for his ill fated ride into the darkness that hides all things with sharp points. Eric pulled himself from a state of premature inebriation to volunteer to attend the event.
There was discussion up until the point of departure about which ride was going to occur. Suggestions varied all over the map, from Harbin to a seaside run. The choice fell on the Old Heidelberg route, a point of departure for several previous rides. After an inordinate amount of time to get ready, the four eventually piled into Mikes's van and headed up the hill. Some more time was taken as the riders made final preparations.
Riders prepare for event
There was some some concern at the beginning. There is a house immediately adjacent to the drive that has to be transited. It is usually empty, but lights were on suggesting that someone might actually be there. The riders proceeded with trepidation. As they approached the building a security light came on. There were no barking dogs and no other indication that the place was inhabited. Just past the house, another security light illuminated. Still no sounds from the house. The riders rode by the outgoing gate and proceeded into the dark.
The moon was high in the sky as the group began the steep climb into the high hills between Napa and Sonoma counties. A creek chattered pleasantly next to the trail. The ride proceeded past the remote old house that was once occupied by a long term tenant, then sat abandoned for many years. The road climbed steeply past the turn to Lindsey's lost trail. Eventually the climb reached the high ridge between the two counties. Traveling west along the ridge, the road eventually comes to open areas of the hills. This affords beautiful view of Mt. St. Helena and points to the west. Towns in Sonoma County illuminated the Russian River corridor.
Riders lounge high in the hills above Napa Valley
At some point in the evening, Sebastian noticed a leak in his tire. By the time the ride was over, at least five flats occurred. Somewhere along the trail was a prime patch of Goat Head thorns. They managed to find fat tires to flatten. It wasn't all bad. It required the 'fools to linger in prime country just a little longer. The serenity of the evening and the natural beauty of the moonlit night made it easy to spend time there.
At some point a decision had to be made as to where the ride was going. Several options existed as to how to end the event. One was to descend into the Sonoma County side off the hill, but that would require a fair distance of road riding. Another option would drop the riders back to the van in short order. The group consensus was to return along the same route. There would be no pavement, and the ride could remain longer in the desireable territory.
The ride downhill was thrilling but safe. No one paid fun tax and the ride eventually exited the woods and returned to a less civilized area. The riders would be in bed early, Sebastian would get a full nights sleep for his return to Portland on the motorcycle. Lindsey would return home to prepare for his b-day party and Eric would consider another moonride the next night. The event successfully tapped into the joy and beauty of the full moon. It was a full, fall harvest event that nourished the spirits of the moonlight riders.
Hey, quit kidding around