goddess eve expanding her intellect
The September 02 moonride would go down in the record books as yet another unparalleled, unique event. Thirteen Lunatistas convened to perform a feat of extreme mountain biking. This undertaking would be recorded as one of the most burly and daring rides in the annals of the Bikin Fools. Shawn had suggested the Ranch Camp route. This ride would require a monster climb up the entire Oat Hill mine road, part of the Pickett route and then a climb over the towering Machu Pichu. Finally, as if this wasnt enough under the best of circumstances, the ride would proceed into serious L-zone, the lost link from the ridge to the Ranch Camp, an unknown area. For two thousand vertical feet the lunatistas would have to wing it through possible miles of nasty terrain, buck brush and vegetation so thick that only voles would consider travel and, they would miss the Ranch Camp by an entire mountain.
Mass of lunatistas assemble
The Alpha group Mike, Lindsey, Shawn, Jim Korte, Sean and Michel were joined by rookie Matt (from the bike shop) and the two single speeders Matt and Chris. Austin, Auriah, Ryan and Eric composed the Bravo group who would ride an abbreviated version, unable to summon the mojo required for the entire outing. After a protracted readiness meeting at the shop, the group headed out, but not before Ryan discovered a flat. A quick fix put the mass in motion up the hill. The moon was just peaking over the horizon as the bikers began the long, arduous ascent. Ambient light from town helped to illuminate the early part of the trail. The riding went smoothly to the Rock where the two groups split.
A&B groups at the Rock
The Bravo group remained at the rock for an hour and a half, taking in the scintillating beauty of the night, enjoying the warmth of the evening and basking in the glow of the moon. At one point they heard distant voices. The sounds grew closer until a group of six or so hiked past the bikers, but not before getting temporarily blinded by the flash of the camera. Calls to Beef Waddel returned no answer. The Alpha group had proceeded into the zone. They climbed to the top of Oat Hill, climbed the first leg of the Picket route then took a break before crossing the ridge towards Machu Pichu. This ride in normal circumstances is huge. At night a different sense of time emerges. The group of nine pressed forward. They climbed several more significant hills before coming to the brushy trail. One by one they made their way through the thick brush and emerged back onto the road at Potato Hill.
Eventually, well after midnight, the A-team came to the fabled turn. This route would hopefully descend past the camp where the lunatistas were shot at years ago, down the ridge and eventually connect with the Ranch Camp road. For a short distance the ride proceeded on course, then suddenly the road quit. The group retraced their tracks to try to find the lost road. Confusion began to settle in. The ride was entering being visited by major L-Factor. With several options available, the blob of cycling humanity began to ooze down the fall line, with Linz babbling something about "this is the right way..."
For the next two hours the Bikin Fools would employ extreme boony thrash skills as they picked the path of least resistance through the nearly impenetrable, scratchy and unyielding bush. Occasional areas of loose rock and slippery grass speeded the snails pace. This gargantuan effort produced a rare event, the bike toss. At one point it became expedient to simply throw the bikes over the brush. The moon was high overhead while the rest of California was in deep sleep, clueless that anyone could be having this much fun.
mike headed to glory
The goal of reaching the Ranch Camp was long abandoned in lieu of simply getting out of the boonies and hopefully to bed before the first light of the new day. Eventually the sound of a barking dog indicated the proximity of civilization and the end of the tortuous descent from the high ridge of the Maacama Mts. that stand high over the Napa Valley. The Lunatistas broke out of the hazardous terrain and into infamy. This ride would be known only by those who had the strength and courage to face the unknown, the L-Factor. With determination they attained what few can claim: Lunacy.
For the Bravo Group, the evening was equally enjoyable. Their task was to be present in the moment, to answer to the presence of the current energy and to be faithful to the spirit of the evening. They too entered the zone of rarified gray matter where thinking is replaced by experiencing and where time is supplanted by entry into the zone.
The Alpha group those who venture well beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary experiences of life, those whose spirit is un-tethered and vast, those who revel in the unknown and laugh in the face of disaster
the bravo group - those who experienced benediction of the spirit in the presence la luna without the immersion into the extreme zone. their experience was of the ephemeral, the artistic and of the universal contact with the beyond
Austin Pedaling into the night rays