Head On at China Camp- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Head On at China Camp

    Last Saturday my friend and I went to ride China Camp, arrived at 8am, and rode up the backside. As the morning passed we saw riders and runners more frequently.
    We ride here for the groove. You really can have some fun on both the Shoreline and Bayview Trails but it is too crowded there to really let loose and there are too many blind turns. We generally run at about 65-70% tops so it's pretty mellow. What I found interesting this weekend were the expressions on the faces of riders we confronted head on.
    Some riders are working pretty hard, due to skill levels, so when you come upon then they are startled and we give them alot of room. Some guys hammer and, while they don't startle they get busy and serious real fast, there is more skidding and closer calls. The funny thing is that while the former group isn't very highly skilled, and the latter is, they are both dangerous.
    We ran into 4 11-12 year old boys doing an pretty nice job down Backranch. It was pretty cute; tennis, knarly t-shirts, helmets, gloves, standing up out of the saddle in attack position, eyes wide open, chains a-bangin' and rocks popping. At that junction near Bayshore where it becomes Owl the trail is wide and there was little danger. Behind them were a couple of dad's, one clearly skilled the other not so, and we kidded them about getting dropped by their boys. Smiles all around.
    The thing which charmed me most, though, was running into the Luna Chix ride. There were about 8-9 of them coming down Owl strung out into a couple of groups. These girls know how to ride as did their guests. What was really cool about it was that the Chix were in their kit and they all, to a gal, were smiling and riding briskly and returned our greeting. It was like a fresh breeze and one of my favorite things to see in this sport. There was no sense that everyone else would have to sacrifice for their ride, that their down was more important than our up, that we had collided with their groove, or that they were working so close to their limits that an encounter with them might become a hazard.
    More of an exaltation than an assault.

  2. #2
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    i ride china camp a lot with my son who's turning 10 soon. he gets a ton of looks and compliments as it's rare to see someone his size doing the full loop. there aren't many going clockwise at all so we see a ton of people and just about everyone's very friendly, even the faster riders coming down as we climb...a great place.

  3. #3
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    China Camp interesting...

    A few rides back I ran into an older couple, probably in their 60's, cranking out a loop. They had a younger guy well in front of them, perhaps a grandson, and what might have been their daughter well behind them. All but the daughter were on current full suspension equipment.

    A couple rides back I passed by a couple of guys waiting on the bridge for their two buds to make their way down from Nike. One of the guys on the bridge I must of pissed off; not 30 seconds after passing by him he's on my ass and trying to pass. I let him. He promptly screams past me and at the next blind turn wallops head-on into a couple coming the opposite direction, sending the guy off his bike and nearly down the embankment and causing his GF to have a fit. Speedy Go-Fast has the nerve to give her attitude when she cautions him to slow down. $hit, that could have been some hiker's kid he hit.

    Got to love the two times I've taken my wife down Miwok and the other fireroad.

    First time, three guys in DH gear fly by, and the third promptly wipes out right in front of my wife. She had fun watching that.

    Second time, she stops short of something rutty she didn't like, and from down below I look back to see another rider approach her, nearly fall off bike due to a panic stop, and turn and say to her, "I crashed here last time." He then hops back on, rides 50' or so down the trail to where I am, and promptly endos. Jeez... you may have guessed it works wonders for my wife's confidence.

    Wish it wern't so dang crowded but we I like the ride there and for the most part everyone is cool. Yeah, weekends on Shoreline can be a drag

  4. #4

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    I just stay away from the front side on weekends. It's way too crowded. The backside is better or better yet, Tamarancho.

  5. #5
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    Even on the weekends the front side isn't too bad is you finish riding by about 10:30AM

  6. #6
    Coors, the american beer.
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    i stopped going to china camp when i heard people were getting their cars broken into ... so its been about 2 months.
    AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melt
    i stopped going to china camp when i heard people were getting their cars broken into
    Wasn't that back in the boonies by the ranger station? Later in the day? I park up front by the main gate with no problems (knock on wood). Gotta tell you though, there is a lot of broken auto glass littering alot of areas I park at. Probably all just a matter of time or timing.

  8. #8
    Coors, the american beer.
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    not sure when i just read a few instances on here and decided forget it, not worth having my stereo stolen.

    I wouldnt go to rockville either if i didnt know about parking at the coffee shop.
    AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever

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