Tamarancho = China Camp? Strangely crowded today- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tamarancho = China Camp? Strangely crowded today

    I'm on my 5th Tamarancho pass now, and ride there at least 2x per month. A few things stood out as odd today:

    B.A.O.C. was in the hizzouse:
    http://baoc.org/wiki/Schedule/2010/Tamarancho
    This equated to lots of normal looking people walking alone or in small groups, on and off of trails.

    Trail runners: I get it, and sure it's a great place to run if you don't mind having to step off the trail every time a bike comes through. But I have to think that most of the "illegal for bikes" single track in the area would be more enjoyable to run.

    Noobs!: We crossed paths with a few large groups of riders that were either visibly or admittedly very new to the sport. The leader of one group was told by a shop employee somewhere that Tamarancho was "a great place to take beginners" (quoting the rider, not the shop employee). As we neared the bottom of Alchemist after our double loop, yielding to a group of 8 or 9 that were on their way up. At least two of them were walking their bikes up, looking quite miserable, while most of the others seemed to have just enough juice to proceed while pedaling. Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that they didn't look ready for what was in store them. Alarms were going off in my head "Jeez, they look that miserable and they haven't even reached the loop yet!?! I hope they survive..."), but in the end I was just happy to be leaving as they were entering.

    Hoping that things at Tamarancho aren't heading in the wrong direction. Anyone else leave there today feeling like they were at China Camp?

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    OMG, those mufuggers!

    The Orienteering folks... I ran into them at China Camp once. They were all over the place, off trail, stomping all over the native plants, making new trails with so much traffic trying to find their little prizes or whatever. The ranger at CC was pissed, too. She was about to shut them down when the organizer lipped off to her about how that's how their game is played.

    I mean, looks like a fun sport, but they have to design their events so they don't fricking destroy the parks so much.

    Tamarancho for beginners? I mean, it isn't that tough if you can accept walking in a couple places, but you have to have some basic bike handling skillz and some minimal aerobic base to make it around the loop without killing yourself, and actually enjoy the ride. I would never take a n003 there.

    Yeah, Tamarancho is super busy on the weekends during summer. I generally try to get an early start up there to avoid the majority of the midday traffic.

    What do you bet the trail runners didn't have a day or season pass?

  3. #3
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    What time did you pass this group at Tamarancho? There was a group (6 or 7 riders) congregating at the Alchemist trailhead on Ironsprings super late (5p?). Moments later as I road up Alchemist I passed two individuals walking down with operational bikes. Seemed almost as if they were "done" and a bit over their heads.

  4. #4
    Master of '80s BMX tricks
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    -We were just there during prime time and had a lot of lag because of our group size. 10:30ish witha group 7 deep at tamarancho on a sunday in august? i'm surprised we didn't pass soemone we knew!
    -the BOAC people were just annoying, they were everywhere including off-trail. As long as they paid the price of admission like the rest of us did and didn't mind the constant 'Hiker UPS' and knew in advance that it was a popular MTB trail, it dont' matter!
    -the trail runners were all on Wagon wheel, which is MCOSD land, IIRC they did seem out of place on a Sunday.
    What got me was the amount of people going counter clockwise. not all were noobs.
    I dont' know, the last few times we've been there, we've owned the place passing maybe 1 group along the way (granted that one of those times was in the driving rain but still). i'd just write it off to prime time in a popular spot.

  5. #5
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    Possibly the same group

    Quote Originally Posted by markj2k4
    What time did you pass this group at Tamarancho? There was a group (6 or 7 riders) congregating at the Alchemist trailhead on Ironsprings super late (5p?). Moments later as I road up Alchemist I passed two individuals walking down with operational bikes. Seemed almost as if they were "done" and a bit over their heads.
    We were coming down Alchemist while they were ascending @ ~2pm. Guessing they spent ~3 hours making their way around, and you caught them on their way back down.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=pimpbot]The Orienteering folks... I ran into them at China Camp once. They were all over the place, off trail, stomping all over the native plants, making new trails with so much traffic trying to find their little prizes or whatever. The ranger at CC was pissed, too. She was about to shut them down when the organizer lipped off to her about how that's how their game is played.

    I mean, looks like a fun sport, but they have to design their events so they don't fricking destroy the parks so much.
    /QUOTE]

    There's a brief mention about mt. bikers on the event organizer's notes on the BAOC site, curiously listed under "HAZARDS" :

    "Some of the trails are heavily used by mountain bikers. It will be obvious which ones. Most advanced orienteers will use these trails for at least some part of their run. Watch out for, and give way to, bikers." Fair enough.

    They weren't in the way, and aside from one guy (a participant that bee lined straight down the side of hill on Broken Dam IIRC, bypassing several switchbacks. He looked like he was in a hurry to find his next... thingy? Basically the equivalent of a cyclists short-cutting a section I suppose. I'm not a huge fan of either practice.), they were treading pretty easily around the area.

    There's mention of a participation fee for the event, so hopefully some of that dough went into the Camp Tamarancho pot. Maybe D4er or someone of similar persuasion will chime in.

  7. #7
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    "What got me was the amount of people going counter clockwise. not all were noobs."

    What's wrong with going counter clockwise?

  8. #8
    Uncle
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    I think that was a dig at me

    Quote Originally Posted by tmaster12000
    "What got me was the amount of people going counter clockwise. not all were noobs."

    What's wrong with going counter clockwise?
    Three of us rode it both directions today. Tongue in cheek, Sparky?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmaster12000
    What's wrong with going counter clockwise?
    nothing really. but i usually only encounter a handful of people even on the busiest day going that way. it just seemed out of the ordinary to me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Three of us rode it both directions today. Tongue in cheek, Sparky?
    Sparky fizzled.
    wait till next weekend buddy.

  11. #11
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    Oh, OK I thought maybe there was some unwritten rule...like "clockwise-only on weekends". Actually, an official rule like that wouldn't be such a bad idea at the busiest times, except I would vote for "counter clockwise-only".

  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    Nah..

    Quote Originally Posted by tmaster12000
    Oh, OK I thought maybe there was some unwritten rule...like "clockwise-only on weekends". Actually, an official rule like that wouldn't be such a bad idea at the busiest times, except I would vote for "counter clockwise-only".
    The loop is only 9 miles. Hardly worth the drive out. Its a different trail in the opposite direction... its a twofer!

  13. #13
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    I have noticed it being "china camp" crowded on at least one occasion in the last month, it was a Sunday though so not a surprise too me. Also i one time saw several groups of army rangers orienteering through the under brush and some commanders observing, it was pretty strange, they where chill and stepped off the trail.

  14. #14
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    Any park manager that allows orienteering knows that it means they will have many off-trail users, and BAOC runs all of their events on the up and up, so the land mangers know (even if that particular ranger wasn't aware).

    I'm surprised to hear whinging about damage, they cycle their events so they usually won't hit the same park more than once or twice in a year.

  15. #15
    ballbuster
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    No really...

    Quote Originally Posted by rkt88edmo
    Any park manager that allows orienteering knows that it means they will have many off-trail users, and BAOC runs all of their events on the up and up, so the land mangers know (even if that particular ranger wasn't aware).

    I'm surprised to hear whinging about damage, they cycle their events so they usually won't hit the same park more than once or twice in a year.
    ... there was lots of visible damage after a couple hours of these guys tramping around. It wasn't even subtle. They were even going into the inland marsh area where they are restoring native plants, and left trails there.


    View Larger Map


    The Ranger I talked to about this basically said she had no idea of what she was in for, but assumed they would know to follow the park rules (and it is their responsibility to know the rules)... as in... stay on the trail.

    I'm not whining (if that's what you meant) for the sake of whining. They really did trash the park pretty good. It took a while to recover. I go to China Camp like 2 to 3 times a month, and largely stay on the same trails.

  16. #16
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    New to the forum not new to single track.


    My China Camp Report from Sunday

    It was relatively crowded. On our trip down shoreline back to the car we came across 10+ people riding. A bunch of younger kids with adults and one probably 12 years old not even wearing a helmet? I must mention the whole group was asian. Not saying they can't ride but needed to be said for a description

    I think China Camp is the proper place for people to start their mountain biking career and shoreline is about as mellow a trail there is. Still no excuse for not wearing a helmet.

  17. #17
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    My China Camp Report from Sunday

    I see many white trash riding Napa Skyline without a helmet as well...


    re: I must mention the whole group was asian. Not saying they can'tride but needed to be said for a description.

    My China Camp Report from Sunday

    It was relatively crowded. On our trip down shoreline back to the car we came across 10+ people riding. A bunch of younger kids with adults and one probably 12 years old not even wearing a helmet? I must mention the whole group was asian. Not saying they can't ride but needed to be said for a description

    I think China Camp is the proper place for people to start their mountain biking career and shoreline is about as mellow a trail there is. Still no excuse for not wearing a helmet.[/QUOTE]

  18. #18
    Uncle
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    unnecessary

    Quote Originally Posted by jepp
    I see many white trash riding Napa Skyline without a helmet as well..
    1) Lots of folks ride without helmets.
    2) This is a thread about Tamarancho and how busy it was last Sunday.
    3) I don't care what the helmetless look like.
    4) I don't care much for the term "white trash"; there are lots of similar derogatory terms out there that we all know, and that we avoid using on mtbr, so please skip this one in the future.

    Feel free to lock this one, mods. It's run its course.

  19. #19
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    1

    Feel free to lock this one, mods. It's run its course.
    105 millimetersofpleasure has spoken for the people.
    I guess?

  20. #20
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    Seems like speed enforcement is way way up at China Camp. I typically ride early on weekday mornings and have been nabbed twice this week on the Oak Ridge Trail, near the switchbacks. I was even riding slower today, watching way ahead through turns, and came to a quick controlled stop when I came upon the ranger around a corner. He still gave me a good finger wagging and tongue lashing. No ticket for me... yet.

    I rarely run across more than a couple of other trail users early in the morning, even then I try to slow down enough to offer a "good morning, have a nice hike/run/ride." I often come off the trail covered in spider webs, I assume since I'm first on the trail. Is it really getting so bad that they need to set up speed traps at the crack of dawn?

    It might be time to move my dawn rides to Tamarancho.

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