First annual FLEA ride with pix (very long)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    zon
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    First annual FLEA ride with pix (very long)

    It's been a dream of mine for a few years to tie together several of our local trails in one epic ride to circumnavigate Folsom Lake in northern California. I knew this would be an all day adventure of epic proportions however it needed to be done because it was "there". Ninety percent of the ride was very rolly single track with an estimated distance of 50 miles including about 18 miles of well,, how do you say,, poaching, all some of the best single track to be found in NorCal.
    The biggest logistical issue would be how to get across the lake for Doton point to Peninsula Campground, a span of about ½ mile of frigid water. This was solved by a friend at work who offered his boat as shuttle service. Once the lake crossing was solved it was of to the races for planning the ride. Thanks to MTBR it was easy to float the idea and line up victims, uh,, riders for the first annual Folsom Lake Epic Adventure (FLEA). Plans were made, the date was set, and the dream was launched.
    March 4 was chosen as the day as long as the weather cooperated. It has been raining buckets here during the past couple of weeks so hope for a break in the weather was fading. Up until Friday night it was not certain if we would be able to ride as planed. When I woke up Saturday AM and looked out the window and saw nothing but blue skies I was stoked!! A quick check of Weather Underground dot com verified that it would remain rain free for at least the next 12 hours. We were on!!
    As planned everyone arrived early at Bicycles + in Folsom to gear up for an 8:30AM start. A total of 17 riders showed up for the punishment to come with several members of the Folsom Breakouts in attendance along with a large contingent of MTBR'ers. The spirits were high and everyone was really stoked for the ride. After loading our lunch supplies into the "chuck wagon" graciously offered and driven by Brad (Evel4bc), of Nemesis Project bicycles, we hit the trail promptly at 8:30.
    The plan was to keep a moderate pace so as to conserve energy for and all day effort. That lasted about 10 pedal strokes, then testosterone kicked in and hammerfest began! Dang was this going to be a great ride! We kept a brisk pace along the northern shore of Folsom Lake that included the Granite Bay Trails and Beals Point Trails.
    Our boat captain, Jeff, was to meet us at Doton Point at 10:00 which was about 17 miles of sweet single track into the ride. We arrived right on schedule and were then shuttled across the lake in three trips. It was definitely the most unique shuttle experience I have ever had. Shuttle?,, in this case you needed a stinkin' shuttle!
    Once across the lake we hit the trail for the next and progressively most difficult leg of the trip. We followed the meandering double track around the peninsula for about 4 miles before picking up the Darrington Trail and the ride into the lunch break at Salmon Falls trailhead. It was in this section that our first casualty occurred when Dennis had the crank fall off his Maverick unexpectedly. That sucked big time. Dennis had been looking forward to this ride for some time and after repeated efforts to MacGyver a fix, he finally had to bail. He ended his day by walking the remaining 7 miles to the Salmon Falls trailhead to be picked up by his wife.
    Brad met us at the Salmon Falls trailhead as planed and we attacked the lunches we had packed with a vengeance. We were a little over half way into the ride and were beginning to feel the effects of the pace we had been keeping. The burritos, pb&jays, fruit, and various other snacks packed were quickly devoured re-energizing us for the final and most difficult half of the ride. It started with the Sweetwater Trail and led to our first major creek crossing of the day. It's amazing what a few days of rain will do to a normally shallow hop-across-on-rocks crossing. The rocks were completely submerged and it there place was a fast flowing knee deep torrent. Everyone made it across without any mishaps and we were off to Falcon Crest on and overgrown, steep, rocky, muddy trail. Fortunately this section was only a mile or so long and we quickly entered the no named poach from Falcon Crest to Dyke 8. This is a great section of very rugged single track that has been on again off again to mountain bikers for years. So much so that I have lost track as to it's current status. So when in doubt,, ride.
    By now we were definitely feeling the effects of the hours in the saddle. Normally easy climbs were now becoming arduous accents. Technical sections were easily given up on and walked. It was getting tough! The first bonk of the day occurred in this section forcing one rider and one escort to bail and cruise the remainder of the way in on pavement.
    The remaining 14 riders plugged on spread out over a mile or so in small groups or solo. Everyone picked their own pace now, the hammerfest was over. The mud, the water, and even the poison oak became more prevalent all contributing to everyone getting just a bit tired,, well maybe exhausted would be a better description. Another knee deep creek crossing and we were on the final leg of the journey, a bunch off rollers over the next 12 miles to Dyke 8. By now the 200 foot "hills" were beginning to feel like 9000 foot mountains. Some folks rode them, some tried, and some said screw it and pushed the bike up. We were wet, muddy, hungry, tired, and enjoying every minute of it.
    Finally we roll by Browns Ravine Marina and the final stretch into town. With about 6 miles remaining we found a second wind, kinda like a horse smelling the oats in the barn. We picked up the pace and hammered as well as we could back to the parking lot where dry cloths, beer, and Chicago Fire Pizza awaited us.
    It had been one hell of a day. The toughest ride I had ever done and everyone else had done as well. It was a true epic. We were completely spent but had smiles from ear to ear. And we were all ready to do it again.
    Many thanks to all who participated in making this a great adventure and a special thanks to our boat captain Jeff, and our chuck wagon driver Brad.
    A few pix follow for your enjoyment. See you next year for FLEA 2.

    Gearing up


    Damn temperamental single speeds!


    Let's roll!


    Shuttle service


    Sailing sailing...


    Waiting paitiently for the next shuttle


    Yeehaa!!


    Re-grouping on the Peninsuala


    Real cross counrty


    No horses, no beach cruisers, mountain bikes OK.


    Darrington single track


    Ditto


    The dreaded "Mud spot disease"


    A pictures worth a thousand words,, I just don't know what to say about this one.


    Advanced form of "Mud spot disease"


    Sweet poach


    The carnage


    Better than Stan's!!


    Making pavement angels in joy of completion


    Only a little mud


    One tired but happy zon
    Last edited by zon; 10-10-2006 at 09:42 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Killer write up and killer ride. Thanks for putting that together. When I awoke yesterday at 6am I almost bailed - as I was on 3-4 hours sleep and already exhausted before going anywhere. Guilt was the tie breaking vote - I had promised Dan'ger a ride up to Folsom from Walnut Creek and not being able to find a decent excuse, decided to go for it.

    Yesterday's ride was beyond fun - it was really an accomplishment!

    Can't wait till FLEA 2!

  3. #3
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    Man-epic riding, epic writing! Great write-up! Talk about inspiring! Great photos, and congrats on an awesome ride guys.
    You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.

    -Joe Louis

  4. #4
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    Killer Ride!!!

    Great ride and fun times. Glad to see you make it imridingmybike and to all of the other mtbr gang FP, the ogre and others. That ride was awesome. I cannot wait until flea 2!!!!

  5. #5
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    those are some awesome shots, z. some really amusing. the pics are so good they practically tell the story on their own! how bout editing the group shot photo with mtbr handles so we know who every1 else is (provided of course there r other mtbr'ers/passionites in the group)?

  6. #6
    Duck Fonald
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    Great writeup, but...

    ...I have to disagree with your statement, "Everyone picked there (sic) own pace now, the hammerfest was over."

    For me, it had just begun. Several of us were behind the main group(s) because we had stuck with Dennis, trying to coax him and his disabled steed along. So, we got punished for that, as we showed up in the lunchtime parking lot to find the hammerheads had gone, and others were just waiting for us to show, only to take off as soon as we got there. I was pissed, yet I would have done the same thing- they were waiting for a long time, I'm sure.

    Towards the end of the Darrington trail, I had barely kept the bonk at bay, and seriously needed the burrito I had packed in the lunch wagon. Energy bars weren't cutting it any more, and besides, I was almost out of the damn things.

    So, during "lunch" I decided I would do my damnest to catch at least Jilm and Big Boulder, who probably had a 1/2 hour lead on us, leaving from the Salmon Falls bridge. I crammed as much burrito in my mouth as I could (I'm a very slow eater), and we set off on Sweetwater. I didn't know where the trail took off from Falcon Crest, so I hung back a bit and the group reformed. Dan was hurting badly at this point- neck & back was bothering him. He popped a couple of ibuprofen (?) imjps had given him. He cramped badly on a short steep grunter, and imjps volunteered to stick with him. That's all I needed to hear, and I took off with a vengeance, the scent (ewww!) of Jilm and Big Boulder in my flared nostrils. The trail has mile makers so you know how much farther it is, and everytime I saw one, I despaired for Dan & imjps, as I knew they had a long way to go at the speed they were going. But I pushed on, selfishly, still hoping to catch my targets. Mile after mile rolled under my On-One (it performed flawlessly, btw, w/ nary a mechanical), and to my astonishment, I found myself growing stronger and stronger. Oh sure, there were steep hills I had to push up, and I stopped often to suck the marrow out of the GU packs imridingmybike had offered up at the SF parking lot (thanks!), but I felt like at least a hunnerd bucks.

    After many miles, I saw a flash of blue through the trees. Could it be? Yup, it was Jilm. He was plugging along, and I was able to pass. I made sure he was doing ok ("tired"), and pressed on. Maybe, with a little luck I could catch BB at this point, I thought. Onward!

    More miles rolled by, and I felt no pain. My legs felt good, the bike was working and my butt still didn't hurt. I rounded a corner at the base of a small hill, and at the top was a group of 3 riders. One was Big Boulder! Woohoo! He was fixing a ripped sidewall on the Cinder I had given him many moons ago (RIP), and I was about to pass him! As I rode thru the trio, I yelled AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! in vindication. I rode on, feeling their questioning stares burning into my back.

    After a while, another hill, another group at the top. This was the lead group, I realized as I rode by- I'd caught the leaders! I was pretty proud of myself, but I was this close to being out of gas. I passed, then pulled over to suck another GU, and they passed me. I caught back up, then dueled with one of them (also on an SS), but he kept pulling away, and beat me to the dike. Oh, well. Next year! Mooahaahaahaahaa!!

    Thanks for the effort you put into the ride, Zon, and thanks for hanging back with us, the slower group and making sure we all got out ok. Great pics, too!

    fp

    Someone needs to get Mary signed up to the Velo Bella race team. That grrl hammers on a singlespeed, and she would be gorgeous on one of their new Kona rides.
    “The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

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  7. #7
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    Finch I was suprised

    I was super suprised to see you pass me about a mile from Dyke 8. You were pulling in at Salmon falls when we left. You flew by me and Big boulder at the site of the flat. What was funny is that he was commenting on the fact that he hadnt flatted since July when we passed the Breakout guys and gal. what a jinx. Super strong ride by you and the rest of the SSers. Maybe next year i will join you guys in the torture and SS it.

  8. #8
    zon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    ...I have to disagree with your statement, "Everyone picked there (sic) own pace now.
    Fixed

    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    ...
    For me, it had just begun. Several of us were behind the main group(s) because we had stuck with Dennis, trying to coax him and his disabled steed along. So, we got punished for that, as we showed up in the lunchtime parking lot to find the hammerheads had gone, and others were just waiting for us to show, only to take off as soon as we got there. I was pissed, yet I would have done the same thing- they were waiting for a long time, I'm sure.

    .
    The only reason people headed out before we had all re-grouped is they were getting real cold waiting. The shivers couldn't be tolerated any longer.


    Good color commentary Finch.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    After a while, another hill, another group at the top. This was the lead group, I realized as I rode by- I'd caught the leaders! I was pretty proud of myself, but I was this close to being out of gas. I passed, then pulled over to suck another GU, and they passed me. I caught back up, then dueled with one of them (also on an SS), but he kept pulling away, and beat me to the dike.
    I didn't realize it was a race.

    If you were the guy on the white SS, you were f-ing ripping it heading into Dyke 8. More powah to ya. Awesome. And don't be pissed cause some of us left Salmon Falls parking lot earlier than others... we were gettin' cold, stiffening up and needed to get rolling so nobody would have to wait for us.

    Nice reports, everyone.

  10. #10
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    Outstanding day Zon. Thanks for putting it together.

    JPS

  11. #11
    Duck Fonald
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    Quote Originally Posted by otbp_nocal
    I didn't realize it was a race.

    If you were the guy on the white SS, you were f-ing ripping it heading into Dyke 8. More powah to ya. Awesome. And don't be pissed cause some of us left Salmon Falls parking lot earlier than others... we were gettin' cold, stiffening up and needed to get rolling so nobody would have to wait for us.

    Nice reports, everyone.
    It wasn't a race, it was a challenge to myself.

    "we were gettin' cold, stiffening up and needed to get rolling so nobody would have to wait for us."

    Understood.

    "...you were f-ing ripping it heading into Dyke 8."

    Thanks! Not bad for a 50-year-old, eh?

    fp
    Last edited by Finch Platte; 03-06-2006 at 05:32 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks MTBR group for a great ride. Us "motley hammers" had a great time and had a date with some Icy Hot after.

    More pics here http://epicride.shutterfly.com/

    Someone needs to get Mary signed up to the Velo Bella race team. That grrl hammers on a singlespeed, and she would be gorgeous on one of their new Kona rides.
    I'll be sure to let her know. BTW, she was at 2/10 form due to being sick for the previous 2weeks. ya, I know- scary.

    Come ride with us anytime on Tuesday nights at 6pm, 52 weeks a year or check our Let's Ride info at www.folsombreakouts.com

  13. #13
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    Great writeup Zon, to bad the pictures for some reason are not showing up for me.


    Ryan

  14. #14
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    Am I the only one having trouble viewing pics??

  15. #15
    zon
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    Quote Originally Posted by imridingmybike
    Am I the only one having trouble viewing pics??
    Hmmm,,, looks OK here. Hit refresh.
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  16. #16
    I like Squishy Bikes
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    mmm

    Quote Originally Posted by imridingmybike
    Am I the only one having trouble viewing pics??
    I see the pics just fine
    A dirty book is rarely dusty

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    Hmmm,,, looks OK here. Hit refresh.
    It's working now... thanks!

  18. #18

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    shouldn't you keep poaching hush hush and out of a public forum?

  19. #19
    zon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyson45
    shouldn't you keep poaching hush hush and out of a public forum?

    Done deal ,,moot point.
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  20. #20
    OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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    Eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyson45
    shouldn't you keep poaching hush hush and out of a public forum?
    Is there something wrong with poached eggs? This isn't some avian flu thing is it? I was only kidding about my wifes chicken's having avian flu honest!

  21. #21
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    Great ride Bob. I WILL be in shape for next year.

    BTW, some of the pics seem to still not be working.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  22. #22
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    Thanks for posting this in passion instead of a regional forum.
    Great write up and great pics.

  23. #23
    Ebo
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    Really sweet write up Zon. If there is a Flea 2 ride ever, it would be great to join in on the pain. Cheers...

  24. #24
    zon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebo
    Really sweet write up Zon. If there is a Flea 2 ride ever, it would be great to join in on the pain. Cheers...
    Stay tuned for a fall (October) event.
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