Saturday, January 5, 2008

Stump Grinder Dirt Club

Yo Ranchers,
Here's a report from the Stump Grinder Dirt Club inaugural event on New
Year's day near Los Olivos.

The event ran from morning until after 4PM and over 160 folks showed up to
ride throughout the day.
We arrived in the early afternoon and the downhill course was hopping with
about a half dozen shuttle cars running riders up the hill.
The dual slalom course was also rocking with riders walking/running their
bikes back up to the starting line after each run. (crazy kids)

My wife and I rode with our 5 & 7 year old boys around the first half lap of
the Firestone XC course, except for the Vineyard portion of the loop which
is now locked off due to land ownership changes. The XC course trails are
in good condition, similar to when the Firestone event was run in '07 and we
felt like we had the place nearly to ourselves, no hikers or horses, just a
few cows. Very nice!

My 5 year old was able to ride the flat sections on his own, but we hooked
his mini-MTB onto the back of my Cyclo-cross bike for the hills, both up and
down. If you've never ridden a CX bike down a scree covered single track
with switch backs while towing a 5 year old on his bike, you should try it

I also brought along my MTB and after grubbing a couple complimentary
hotdogs for ballast, I took the opportunity to pedal back up the hill (no
shuttle for me) to drop the downhill course. It was a blast being able to
catch air on a few of the doubles and I enjoyed riding the berms, but I'll
confess that I took the "chicken" exit on some of the more manacing launch
ramps. Too bad Jed or Mike Abbot weren't there to show me how to really

I was impressed by the day's event as well as the plan that Mike Hecker has
put together for the Dirt Club. I'm considering joining the Club when it
opens in June because the idea of paying a moderate fee to gain access to
"free" local overnight camping in the midst of lots of well maintained &
conflict free trails is intriquing.

Ride On!

No comments: