Monday, December 23, 2013

DATMBA Revision 8..or is it 9?

We've been hosting a DATMBA (dayafterthanksgivingmtbikeadventure) ride for the last 8 years...or maybe it's 9, I can't remember. It's not only an excuse to skip the Black Friday shopping madness and ride, but it's an excuse to eat way more pie on Thanksgiving because you know you'll burn it off the next day.

We've done this ride in a variety of conditions including the first year where it rained so hard our bikes wouldn't even roll due to mud and we had to cut it short for fear of ruining the trails (and our bikes).

This year, it was cold as I loaded the truck.
37 when I left my house and in the high 40s as I waited for the group in the parking lot at China Camp. As soon as the sun crested the hills though, things got nice. Really nice. So nice in fact that most of us rode the majority of the loop in short sleeves.

China Camp is a great place to ride. It's got fun fast singletrack and none of the climbs are so brutal that I regretted being on my single speed (even though I'm way out of shape this year).
The other great thing about China Camp is that it's's lush and green and the trails follow the contour of the hill in and out and around never allowing you to see much more than just the section you're on. It really is a unique place to ride in an area surrounded by people....

There were a couple of decent switchback climbs which sent me into the red zone a bit, but nothing that I actually had to get off the bike for. In years past even the switchbacks were cake, but as I mentioned, there's a bit more of "me" riding with me this year than in previous years.

Once you reach the top of the climbs, the rest of the ride is an amazing swoopy singletrack that follows the ridges and really allows you to rail along and enjoy the previous efforts. There are enough roots and tight turns to keep it interesting and to keep you focused, but it's all pretty much slightly downhill which makes it a single speeders dream....

Eventually though, as all things do, we reached the bottom of the hill and the ride came to an end. Now it was time for post-ride festivities. In years past this has ranged from huddling under a popup avoiding the rain, to sitting near the vehicles shivering in the cold and even on some occasions enjoying the nice day....never though do I think it's been as warm as it was this year.

I know we need the rain and I know there are all the fears about climate change, but I really did enjoy sitting in the sun at the beginning of December and worrying more about sunburn and warm beer than shivering in the cold....

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