Here’s what we did on our January group ride:
For a little over a year, we’ve been trying to get together once a month for a
Northern California group MUni ride. We try to set dates a maximum number of
people can make, and alternate between the general Bay area, and the general
Our January ride organization was spurred by contact with David Lockhart from
Ziff Davis TV (ZDTV). He wanted to do a piece on MUni, and feature my web site
on the show Internet Tonight. My site was also featured a little over a year ago
on the show, but without any video. So we arranged for a ride on trails most of
us had not yet been to.
Mt. Diablo is in the East Bay, south of Walnut Creek and near Danville. Scot
Cooper, the giraffe ridin’ guy from MUni Weekend '98
familiar with all the Diablo trails and invited guys up to do a pre-ride a
few weeks before. They mapped out some great filming locations, and a ride
for that day.
This group ride was a record for us, with as many as 15 riders (depending how
you count)! I think our previous record was maybe 7. We grouped up near the
freeway in Danville, then drove up in a string of vehicles. Scot tried the
gambit of getting the unicyclists into the State Park for free, but it didn’t
work. No matter, we’re using and enjoying the park too. We parked at a location
near the summit, near a spot that would provide some beautiful visuals.
Our cameraman filmed us riding down the steep trail as a group, and struggling
(or hopping, or walking) over the difficult spots. Then he spent a while getting
shots of Bruce Bundy and David Poznanter hopping from rock to rock, with nothing
but fog (and a very long drop!) as a back"drop". Also a little bit of 7 year old
Beau Hoover idling on top of the big rock. There were also some shots of Bruce
and David doing huge drops. They each tried jumping off a rock that was about
66" high. Wow! It’s all on tape, and a bunch of us got pictures too.
More filming of groups of people riding the trail, then a bunch of interviews.
We were asked the usual stuff, like why we do it, how long we’ve been riding,
etc. But since this is a computer-based show, it was also asking about
lifestyle, how we found out about each other (Internet mostly), and what web
sites there were to read all about it.
It was estimated that this will air on Wednesday, Feb. 9. I will give more
precise details when I know. ZDTV is a channel that may only be available on
satellite networks in your area, but they also have a web site, which may have a
video clip, and will at least have lots of URLS (but you already know those).
Then it was off on our ride. We headed uphill to a point almost at the summit,
then down a trail that was a way lot of fun! All legal trails, by the way.
This trail had a lot of steep spots, which can tire you out even going
downhill. There were lots of sharp switchbacks, rocks, and erosion barriers,
which are railroad ties or pieces of rubber across the trail. Those are fun to
catch air over.
We rode 3-4 miles downhill, stopping occasionally to regroup and rest. There was
very little equipment breakage on this ride, though one rider lost his crank
nut. Fortunately I had a spare (always carry one!). At one point, we came out at
a campground where a number of hang glider enthusiasts were setting up and
taking off. We got to watch at least one of them soar above us later.
Eventually we came back out onto the twisty road that goes up the mountain. It
was time to ride back to the cars, up about 4 miles of steep pavement. Or back
up the trail, but it was awfully steep and we’d already been out several hours.
Next time we’ll ride farther down the trail, and do a car shuttle. The
uphill-lovers are always welcome to ride back up…
Not too many miles this time, but we did our part to grow the sport (and get our
mugs on TV). It was also nice to be near the cars, to not have to carry
everything and to be able to switch clothing and equipment. Clothing especially,
as clouds kept passing over and around us, and the next day it poured rain and
pretty much hasn’t stopped yet!
I will try to put some pictures up soon. Now that I have a digital camera, I
have less excuse for being slow. But I’m just rebuilding my new computer…
We are planning our next group ride for the Sacramento area in February. John
Hooten may lead a ride at the Granite Bay side of Folsom Lake on Sat. Feb 19,
and invite the press. I won’t bore the whole group with the details of that…
“I’m not a Level 9, but I play one on TV” - John Foss, who demonstrates IUF
Skill Level 9 on the video but in real life has only passed Level 7
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