Totality Experienced

~ North Coast Squadron: Feb. 08 ~

After about a week of beautiful sunny Humboldt weather, the winds shifted and brought falling

moisture during the days leading up to the forecast lunar eclipse date. Even with current forecasting

technologies there really is no better way to know what the weather is doing than to go outside and

check it out. Therefore the word was set out on Tuesday to alert riders to be prepared for a moonride

either Wednesday to salute the eclipse (if clear) or Thursday.


Wednesday turned out to be only partially cloudy and energies were sent out to rally riders for

an eclipse ride which would disembark into the unknown early in the partial eclipse stage and

commence with a fire/meal session during totality, finishing the ride under the full radiant glory of her

majesty. However with only a few hours of planning and some riders having personal schedules

containing responsibility, it was decided that the ride would happen after the total lunar eclipse

occurred. This allowed more riders to be summoned to the event. Of course we could have also been

rained out and miss the entire heavenly show as we do live in a rain forest.

The evening of Wednesday was remarkably clear, although rather windy, and the lunar eclipse

could be viewed perfectly once the moon rose into view from behind the rolling redwood forest

mountains. As the moon slid through the shadow of planet Earth, riders began to amass while bikes

were wrenched on and cars shuttled. The route selected for the evening would start atop Fickle Hill at

the Edge Of The World and unfold into the backside of Blue Lake. The route is a great blend of

distance, steepness, technicality, and visibility. It offers something to all levels of rider and has been the

de-virginizing lunar experience for many of the North Coast Squadron. Tonights crew would be Auriah,

Lucy, Andy, Jeremiah, Stevie-D, Eric, Micheal Moore, and moonride virgins; Juliette, Jamie, and



The group's energy began to rise as the bikes were loaded into the shuttle truck and packs

double and triple packed with body electrolyte replenishing beverages. The moon was climbing high

away from her encounter with the shadow of Earth and beamed down her bold reflectance promising

epic visibility. The 10 bikes were secured in the truck bed with the required 2 bungee cords and the

crew pointed it towards the Edge Of The World.

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Expanding Frontiers... 10 bikes and 2 bungee cords

Atop the Edge Of The World a remarkable vista unfolds below with the lower Mad River

drainage winding its way through redwood forests on its journey west to the sea. The scenic view spot

provides a great entrance to the ride as you can almost imagine the trail traversing the hills and

descending to meet the river below flowing into the backside of Blue Lake. However it is also one of

those views that presents you with a grand landscape containing many miles of mystery and makes you

acknowledge the wonder of the bicycle and it's possibilities. Such a view is capable of humbling the

experienced moonrider and may instill a sense of fear in some moonride virgins. Hence the Edge Of

The World is an excellent place for the group to get properly in tune for the ride with a healthy safety

meeting and some beverages.

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Gathering of the group atop the Edge Of the World

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Juliette under her majesty at the Edge Of The World

The ride immediately picks up speed descending from the Edge Of The World. The back wood

logging roads of Humboldt county provide the backbone of the local economy in some way or another

and thus are generally in good condition. Over one locked gate and the riders immediately began to

spread out based on downhill speed. The many forks in the route require frequent stopping and regrouping

which allows for the riders to stop, converse, and partake in safety meetings and quench any


At one of the forks the left route was chosen and all the riders headed off being warned to stop

at any intersections for re-grouping. Auriah was repacking and watched all the riders head off; within a

minute or two Auriah had his gloves and pack on and shot down the road to catch the crew and

hopefully shoot past some virgins showing them how it was done... As Auriah rounded a corner he

could see the group all standing in the road and a figure on the ground. Auriah's heart jumped as he had

experienced a similar situation on this route (see Hasheesh Moonfall story...). As Auriah skidded to a

stop he recognized the figure as Lucy and dropped to his knees to inspect the situation. Andy was

already holding Lucy's foot and said she was not responding. Lucy's body was face down with left arm

outstretched, twisted with irregular form, her eyes were closed and she was out cold... mental totality.

Auriah immediately started yelling Lucy's name trying to pull her out of her unconscious state. In the

background Auriah could hear the group telling him that she had been laying there since everybody

pulled up and there was a general energy of panic, which was to be accepted given the sight of Lucy

down, twisted, out cold. In fact Stevie-D had already called 911 and arranged for an ambulance to be at

the top of the logging road since the ride had relatively just started.wpe2.jpg (33148 bytes)

The bright light we have all heard so much about bathed the frightful episode

Auriah continued yelling and Lucy's eyes finally opened and Auriah began a steady stream of

conversation to keep Lucy focused on the situation and to begin to get her to recognize her condition. A

large flood of emotion could be sensed as we all wondered how bad the injuries were. Fear of a broken

neck kept any of the group from moving Lucy's body and as of yet Lucy was not quite coherent enough

to give us a report of how bad her condition was. As Lucy's brain was going through reset mode Auriah

kept talking to her and gently examined all her major parts for serious breaks or cuts. Most everything

seemed to be in decent alignment with the exception of her left hand/wrist and her head. Auriah was

the most knowledgeable about the route and knew how deep they were and behind how many locked

gates they were, and many crazy emotions and thoughts ripped through his head in regards to “what if

the worst has just happened”. In order not to dwell on the unknown Auriah focused on talking Lucy

through a self-guided tour of her physical body and assisting her to gain mental control. She was

talking decently for someone who just received such a body blow and began to wiggle her fingers, then

her feet. Gradually over the course of a few minutes Lucy slowly regained small motion throughout her

body. Simultaneously Auriah was gently pressing on various body sections which had visible signs of

impact looking for a scream response indicating serious injury.

A few minutes later Lucy sat up mostly under her own power and obviously very disoriented

and in shock. The moonlight was clear and bold and offered ample light to test the dilation of Lucy's

pupils which thankfully registered the reflected sunbeams and responded. As of yet Lucy had no nausea

or word slurring which were good signs for someone with a sever concussion, however her sense of

orientation and whereabouts had yet to return. Her malformed left hand/wrist turned out to be due to

the right handed glove she was wearing upside down on her left hand, at first appearance during the

panic the hand seemed to be twisted and bent completely backward...however the extreme plastic

padding from the upside down glove probably saved Lucy from rocks embedded in her palm.

Many more minutes passed and Lucy took to her feet and asked repeatedly where she was

geographically and temporally, also why/where/how she crashed. She was told many times where she

was, what she was doing, and that she was standing in the spot she crashed, while constantly

comforting her... she was obviously not operating within the same dimension as any of the other group

members. But she did have some strength and her balance, so she was given water and the group began

to mobilize. The ambulance dispatch was contacted and called off the emergency assistance. It was

suggested that Lucy walk a awhile but she insisted she ride so we straightened her wheel best we could

(which had mildly taco-ed during the wreck) and the ride was back on.

At some point another stop was made to perform some eradication procedures on the invasive

pampas grass found all across the hills of Humboldt. The scene served to lighten the mood and the

surroundings, it seemed to give Lucy some grounding as she watched the flames lick up into the

moonlit sky.

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Andy demonstrating proper Pampas grass burning techniques

Auriah rode side by side with Lucy and constantly demanded she slow down. Apparently she

felt well enough to try and blast by people on the downhills and still managed to stomp the uphills. She

was told to slow down again and again and not to make her body work too hard for fear of putting too

much pressure on her already abused brain. At one point Auriah had to physically get in front of her

and demand she ride no faster than him. She was in just too vulnerable a condition, no-one knew the

extent of her head trauma, including her. And she definitely did not need to bounce off the ground again

this evening.

A few more forks in the road and the group found themselves overlooking a scenic shot of the

winding Mad River below. Beverages were enjoyed, offerings were made to the universe, pupils were

checked for dilation and riders communicated their experiences so far. It seems Jamie had found

himself tumbling down a section of muddy ruts. Stevie-D had yard-saled himself over the road and was

laughing so hard it must have been a good wreck. Jordan remarked on the beauty of the sight while

Juliette agreed and was amazed at the experience; which was rather amazing as she is fresh from Paris

and was now shredding a bike that was fully assembled only an hour before the ride from

miscellaneous parts in Auriahs garage. Jeremiah, Eric and Andy continued with general non-sensory

behavior and storytelling. The fish hatchery and the outskirts of Blue Lake could be seen a few miles

away and the ride seemed all downhill from here.

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Moonriders soaking up the view.... And the helmet that saved the day night

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Andy's version of the mooner eclipse

A few more mild climbs warmed the riders as the windy evening served to raise the

temperatures somewhat and most riders stripped layers. The last of the ride was a smooth sweeping

descent to the logging gate a the bottom of the trail marking the beginnings of patrolled civilization.

The group cruised the remainder of the route to rendezvous at the Mad River Brewery (closed at this

hour, but perfect karma for a bikinfools event) with the shuttle vehicles. A brief stop aside the rain

swollen Mad encouraged more reflecting and remarking on the miraculous ride that all riders had just


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Swollen Mad River with the Edge Of The World somewhere in the background ridge line

Once at the brewery shuttle area, final celebratory salutes ensued and the bikes were loaded,

again the standard 10 bike and 2 bungee technique was executed. The group assembled for a few photo

shots and the party hit the road back to Auriahs house for car re-shuffling and debriefing. The group

said their thanks and see-you-laters and drifted off into the night to their resting places under the

watchful eye of the lady of the night.

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The crew posing it up after hours at Mad River Brew pub

Lucy spent the remainder of the evening, which by now was 3 in the morning, rinsing,

medicating and healing. The next day she still had some head-aching, as expected from the facial blow

she received (and yes she was wearing a helmet...full face... which probably saved her jaw and many of

her teeth... Thanks Morgan) but was recovering well. The total lunar eclipse moon ride will be

something she will not forget but never quite remember fully. But as the photo shows she sure had a lot

of fun.... as did everyone else. It also seems that the virgins are now hooked on moonriding and are

expected to make repeat appearances.

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All survived and many enjoyed the event... ( can you spot Jeremiah?)

Many thanks to the radiant moon and her brilliant luminescence for guiding the group on

another surreal adventure just slightly out of the ordinary daily grind.