Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Day ride at The Ranch

Friday I was able to ride in the annual New Years Day ride at the ranch.  It was an amazing day. (Thanks to Adam for the pictures)

I arrived at 9am and was on the trail not long after.  It's basically a 14 mile loop and it's some of the nicest singletrack I've ever ridden.   There are lots of challenging sections and tons of variety, but what stands out the most is the way the trails flow.  It's just a lot of fun.

I rode with Zednek Palecek; me on my epic and him on his single speed salsa.

After the first couple miles I took the lead tried to set a nice fast pace.  It was pretty cold and I needed the effort to build up some warmth.  Not long into the ride I noticed my rear tire was going flat so we stopped to check it out.  I had a small slit in my sidewall and it wasn't sealing.  We shot some CO2 into the tire and got it to hold air and took off again.  A couple miles later it was going flat again.  I took the tire off, put on a tube and after airing it up a little, ran out of CO2.  Neither one of us was carrying a pump.

We were near a bailout road so Z went back to the cars to get a pump and after a few minutes a couple guys came by and they let me use their pump to air up my tire.  The standing around was taking it's toll on my feet and my toes were getting pretty cold.  I rode out to meet Z, used hit pump to put a little more air in my tire and we got back on the trail and picked up where we left off.

Before we finished the lap Z got a flat on his front tire; it looked like a piece of shale rock went through his tread and the stans didn't seal it.  When he took the tire off there was a snowflake of rubber inside.  He put in a tube, aired it up and we were back in action.

Here's one of the obstacles near the end of the lap:

After we finished the lap we ate a little and waited while I warmed my toes.  I couldn't believe how many people were there; at least 60 on a very cold day.

We decided to head out for a second lap going the opposite direction, with Z in the lead.  He worked me really hard that lap.  He knows the trails there pretty well and would pull away on the downhills and I'd have to work really hard to catch him going up the next hill.  Z is a very strong rider and I was happy to keep pace with him.  Near the end we caught up with Chris Ploch and David Frei and finished the lap with them.  It was funny because on the hills David kept telling me I could pass and I kept telling him I didn't want to.  My legs were feeling pretty burnt and I didn't want to go any harder.

So after about 30 miles of hard riding we were done for the day and ate pretty much everything that was left of the food people had brought.   It was a really nice way to spend a day.

UPDATE:  The pictures Adam Rybar took that day are on SnapFish. You'll have to register to see them (for some reason). Here's the link:


  1. I was at the Ranch that day too, and was wondering where to get the pictures. Is the a Flicker site or something?

  2. Ben; I updated the post with a link.