Lindsey’s B-day romp

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Crew assembles for pre-ride briefing


Sept. 12th was a notable day in the lives of the bikin’ fools. It was one of the few special days of the year, when most rules are suspended and the hard-to-regulate bikers take to the woods for a special gathering of fun and festivity. The ride called would be a Brewpub to Brewpub event. Taking advantage of this special holiday was Shawn, Austin, Eric, Miss Swift and the b-day boy Linz.

The call was for a ride up the Oat then across the ridge to Bell Canyon and on to the St. Helena Brewing Company. The ride started at the Calistoga Brewing Co. with an ample overlay of food and electrolyte beverage. The weather cooperated with a nearly perfect day, warm at the beginning but cooling as altitude was gained.

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Crew heads up the very dry Oat Hill Mine Road

The ride began shortly after noon and progressed up the hill. It had been a long time since any of the group had ridden the Oat. There was little traffic, only a couple of hikers. The ride proceeded easily with several stops taken to enjoy the beauty of the day.

At the top of the ride, the group stopped at the deck cave for lunch. Not only did people bring liquid refreshment, but Linz supplied the four with sandwiches. The late summer sun provided warms and dryness for the break. It was delightful.

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Deck Cave hosts lunch

The next part of the ride descends for a ways, then climbs sharply for a short stretch the comes to the junction of Pickett. There was a possibility of taking the Pickett option. This ride alone is huge. But Linz was on a mission. He didn’t hesitate to indicate his willingness to press on towards the larger Bell Canyon event. Much more climbing is required to get the ride to the rabbit trail through the brush, but eventually the group managed to reach this notable section. Everyone was bloodied by the passage through the brush.

The final climb to the top of Machu Picchu was tiring. At the top the riders again stopped to take in the scenery and prepare for the downhill romp that follows. The road was in excellent shape and the riding was safe and easy. Eventually the group came to the other significant junction, the turn to Bell Canyon. A brief cross hill road leads to a no-road then two fence gates and vineyards. Another large electrically controlled gate opened automatically as the fools approached. The second gate required a G.I. Joe move to climb over, until Austin pushed the four clean numbers on the keypad. Again the gate magically opened, with Shawn balanced on top. It was cool.

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"What the....." as the gate swings open

Miss Swift displayed good manners and discipline throughout the ride. She refrained from her usual dashes into the woods and stayed with the group. She needed all the juice she could find. She did amazingly well on the fast downhill sections, not falling behind at all.

Upon reaching the pavement at the bottom of the ride, Shawn discovered he had flatted. While a half dozen Scottish Terriers yelped and howled behind a nearby fence, Miss Swift looked at them with a sense of “I’m free, you’re not!” Shawn fixed the tire and the group was off again towards the Brewpub. Now Miss Swift had hit the wall. Unable to keep up, the others dashed ahead while Eric and Swift lagged. Shawn jetted ahead, got the vehicle and returned to save the struggling dog.

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Dog Tired

The party raged on at the Brewpub. Much food and beverage was consumed in an atmosphere of happiness and abandon, the sort that comes on the heals of a great adventure. The party moved to Shawn’s house for a final session of partydom before each separated and went their way. It was a long needed ride for the fools in a summer that has been swift in passing. . Happy B-Day Linz, it’s good for the whole month!!

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Birthday Boy at the top of Macchu Picchu