Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday Dec 2 - Rockville with the Ladies

We were all behaving as ladies should by the beginning of our hot mamas ride in Rockville. You can appreciate our distinguished poses in the picture above. From left to right: Celia, Dana, Lisa, our ride leader Karen, and Jackie.

By the end of the ride though, our behavior was unspeakable and shameful. As you can appreciate in the picture below, we were behaving like cheap drunk street women. From left to right: Celia a.k.a. Puff the Venezuelan; Karen a.k.a. Godess Saheeenna; Jackie a.k.a. Fearless Jumper; Dana a.k.a. Crossdresser; and Lisa a.k.a. Common Sense Wannabe. Everything started by some weird feather ritual our leader asked us to do just a few minutes into our ride. (I actually think she probably arrived to Rockville a few minutes earlier, sacrificed a bird, ate it and left the feathers around for the ritual). Karen told us to place the feathers in our helmets so we could "fly" the trails. Since she was the ride leader, we just obeyed her and did so. Here is Karen placing magic feathers on Lisa's helmet. Lisa already looks weird... Dana already with her feathers with a weird shape jacket on her backpack. Here is Jackie putting her feathers on her helmet. Weird... Celia with hers as well, feeling weird with a funny smile already. We then proceeded to look at that rock Dana has been dreaming about for months. A rock in the shape of a perfect ramp about 3 feet and a half high. Look how high Dana's right foot is!!! And Dana is a quite tall woman! Karen, Celia and Jackie's feathers helped them jump over the rock several times. But one of Jackie's feathers fell from her helmet right before her last jump and DAAANG!!$#@^% she felt on her ribs. Fortunately she was able to keep going with the ride, although she was more conservative on her riding. Wise decision. Here is Jackie lauching the rock right before her crash. After jumping the rock, we went playing in the rock garden while invoking Saheeenna's powers and repeating the ride's mottos: "Saheeenna!", "pedal like a dyke", "lean back like the pooping position" when jumping and riding downhill shoots. Here is Dana tangled on a tree after a crash. We finally took time off to rest and eat... and humm ooops show some butt. And toward the end of the ride Karen showed us how to ride down a quite technical section, very steep, rockie and with roots. See Celia below walking the section up so you can appreciate how steep that section is!. Now this is Celia cleaning the section! Followed by Dana also cleaning the section! And I wanted to end this ride report with the super smooth style of our ride leader and teacher Karen Saheeenna going down the same section. What a rider!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Vote Today for More Acces to Mountain Bike Trails on Mt. Tam

Hey Hot Mamas it's time to vote!

Should there be more opportunities for mountain biking on Mt. Tam?
Read the article and vote today at: The Marin IJ
(Deadline December 1st)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weight Loss Ride in the Headlands

My body reached the 135 pounds mark and Dana told me she wanted to do some climbing to get in shape, so I planned this Friday ride in the Headlands with training and weight loss in mind. It was raining and foggy so I bribed Dana with hot chocolate after the ride plus assured her and she was going to ride some fun trails for the first time.

This is me deciding what rain gear to bring.

This is the map with the route and the prize after the ride, yummy hot chocolate. The route consisted basically going to the Golden Gate bridge and back home via Hill 88. Dana didn't realize what she was getting into...

This is Dana finally committing to the weight loss ride.

This is Poncho telling us we are nuts for riding in this weather and very sad because Dana didn't bring his big strong handsome boyfriend Hawk.

This is a mountain lion's poop we found during the ride.

I promise we didn't eat it because I knew about Dana's cinnamon roll with peanut butter jelly. I always beg her for a couple of bites. She wasn't so mad at me for taking her to this ride yet, so she let me have a big bite. Behind the cinnamon roll is Rodeo beach at the Headlands.

We found rescue teams practicing rescuing people from big cliffs and we were amazed by all the equipment they use.

And by now, after riding 19 miles and climbing 4,652 feet under the rain for about 6 hours Dana was really mad at me.

The fun trails we did and the hot chocolate, beer and pizza after the ride didn't snap Dana out of her bad mood. Before she left the house she told me: "I won't ride the Headlands in 20 years!"

But after some days in another ride, she told me she lost 4 pounds. I lost one pound only! That wasn't fair!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Last Women's Ride of 2007: Wed Sep 19th

Seven women showed up this last time! yeah! Celia, Francine, Dolores, Suzie, Lornita, Karen and Nicole. But only 6 of us gathered by the kiosk at San Pedro Road around 5:30 pm to ride the last Women's Ride of the year around the front side of China Camp. And yes, there are only 5 women in the picture above.... What about the 6th and the 7th women? Well, the picture above was taken at the end of the ride and only 5 of us finished the ride together, from left to right: Francine, Dolores, Suzie, Celia and Nicole. So what happened?! Do we still have two women lost in China Camp from last night?!! Keep reading if you want to know what happened.

Karen took off after half an hour for some back-to-school night event leaving her daughter Nicole with us who showed us how fast she is riding around those switchbacks and singletracks. Watch out for this 8th grader girl who is going to be kicking butts next year when she gets into her highschool mountain bike team.

Yesterday was a end of season day, practically the first day of the Fall. The day was cold and very windy, and somehow people went crazy around the 101 because it was literally a parking lot which was the reason why Lornita couldn't join us on time. We decided not to wait for Lornita as she was stuck in the 101, but we agreed to have her start the loop counterclockwise to meet us at some point as we were riding it clockwise.

Because the sun was rapidly setting, we decided to take the Oat Ridge fireroad shortcut to get back to the cars faster. So Francine called Lornita to let her know. Good for cell phones! Lornita made an U-turn to come back to meet with us and good she thought about bringing a night light because by the time she got to the car it was totally dark. She rode by herself but she was happy she got on her bike and actually enjoyed doing some night riding to start practicing for winter and stay in shape like a Hot Mama.

As I was fearing, none of us went anywhere to have beers afterwards. (This is why I miss having boys on the rides!). But I went home and drank my favorite non-alcoholic beer Dark Clausterhauler. It relaxes me like beer does, it tates like a good lager beer tastes and best of all, it has way less calories than a beer so it keeps me like a Hot Mama!!!
We will resume these rides next year in Spring 08. Stay tuned and stay Hot Mama!!!

A BIG thank you to Mike's Bikes for promoting this ride by spreading the voice and offering good discounts to the Hot Mamas.
And CONGRATULATIONS to Dolores, who placed 2nd on an important and competitive gokart race at Infineon. Her sponsor gave her a new machine to race faster. The trophe she got is bigger than her!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wed Sep 5th Women's Ride w/ Sue, Clare & Celia

Last Wednesday Sep 5th, Clare, Sue and Celia showed up for the Women's Ride. As usual, we did the front loop of China Camp. Click in the MotionBased map below to view the ride stats, ride Google map and even the ride Google Earth!

Map of CHina Camp Front Loop

Clare was a first timer, she came to say goodbye as she is heading up to Cambridge for college. But I am sure we will see her again.

Toward the end of the ride, Sue became a true mountain biker. She hit some dry roots or something on the trail that made her loose control of her bike to go over the handlebars. She scratched her elbow, her shoulder and her face. The wounds were superficial but enough to be considered the initiation of her mountain biking path. After making sure Sue and her bike were all right, we continued on with the ride on a nice steady pace to finish right before sunset.

See you all on Wednesday Sep 19th at 5:30 pm at San Pedro Rd by the kiosk. Be ready to roll and 6:00 pm.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wed August 9 Hot Mama Ride Report

A group of 9 hot mamas showed up last night for the women's ride supported by Mike's Bikes. The hotties from left to right (click on the picture for a close up): Nicole, Celia, Suzie, Karen, Francine, Sue, Lorna, Dana and Maria.

We enjoyed climbs, descends, switchbacks and practiced balancing riding over "skinnies" and other obstacles Dana built with some wooden blocks and boards. Dana is becoming an expert on skinnies and obstacles building. I think she is planning on converting her house into a mountain biking balancing center, as every week she sends me pictures of new constructions on her backyard, garage, front yard and the last one was a ramp over the stairs to the living room....

Below is a picture of Dana helping Lorna to master switchbacks technique!!!



Monday, August 06, 2007

Next Women's Ride Wed August 8th

Dear Hot Mamas,
Time to have fun again!!! Come to a mellow ride filled with fun and female energy. Some of you can jump, go fast or try to beat Celia on the uphill steep climb... and some of you can go slower, enjoy the views better or get some switchbacks down.

And of course, everyone can chat about boyfriends, husbands, partners, children, grandchildren, pets and lovers!

When: Wed August 8th
Where: Meet at China Camp by the Kiosk on San Pedro Rd.
When: 5:30 pm to roll at 6:00 pm
About 2 hours ride.


PS. For more info get in touch with Mike's Bikes San Rafael or visit their website http://mikesbikes.com and click on group ride directory

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Wednesday June 27 Women's Ride

Last June 27th was another warm beautiful Wednesday, perfect for a hot mama ride. This time I was the dork getting really early to make sure I wouldn't miss the ride. The hot mamas this time were Lindley, Suzie, Dominica, Sue, Dolores, Celia and Dana.

We started the ride with the warm up climb while chatting away as usual, you know this is what women do when we ride.

Then we tried getting some air at a jump, and was able to take a picture of Dolores in the air!

We continued our ride and practice some switchbacks techniques after Celia gave a demonstration of what NOT to do. Suzie, Sue, Lindley and Dominica cleared some good ones!

Click here to see more pictures

Next ride is on Wednesday July 11, 2007 at China Camp. Meeting at 5:30 pm to roll at 6:00 pm. Bring your friends!

Thanks to Mike's Bikes San Rafael for helping organized these rides!

Click in the link below to see the stats, the route, the map and more!
Map of China Camp Front Loop

Friday, June 15, 2007

First Mike's Bikes Women Ride June 5, 2007

A total of 13 women showed up to our first gals' ride! Leigh, Tracey, Judy, Suzie, Sam, Linda, Lisa, Jennifer, Sue, Corienne, Allie, Dolores and Heidi! With Dana and me Celia, we were 15 women! oh yeah baby!

Dana was so excited to lead this first ride, she decided to camp and sleep in China Camp near the meeting place the night before to make sure she was on time. Well... maybe not.. but she was there ready to go way before 6:00 pm.

Around 5:30 pm we started gathering, getting ready to roll at 6:00 pm. We rode the front loop of China Camp in about 2 hours chatting while pedaling and regrouping once in a while to make sure we all stayed together. Tracey and Cori had to leave early, Heidi joined us half way and the rest of us did the whole ride.

A big thank you to Jason from Mike's Bikes who came to our first ride as the sweeper!

After the ride, some of us decided to celebrate with beers and dinner at the Marin Brewery Co in Larskpur Landing. We got to know each other a little better!

Next ride is next Wednesday June 20th!
Meeting time: 5:30 pm
Rolling time: 6:00 pm
Meeting place: San Pedro Rd by the parking lot kiosk
Ride route: China Camp

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Celia's Birthday Present

The end result of being sick, travelling for work and working long hours for the last two weeks was only three mountain bike rides. I was pretty cranky and moody, snappy, didn't want to deal with work, etc.. so Sally, the kids and I knew it was time for me to go biking, despite the rain.

Last Friday Feb 9th in the morning I put on all my usual winter layers (what a normal person will wear to ski in the cold snow) plus all my rain gear. I was looking like as astronaut. See below a picture Sally took before the ride:

I wanted to ride from my house all the way to Slacker to admire one of the most gorgeous views of the Golden Gate and the San Francisco Bay. I went down to the Tennessea Valley stables via Coastal, then climbed Marincello, did some secret trails that connected me with Alta, then went to Slacker via other secret trails. Once in Slacker, I did some secret trails to Coastal, where I descended to the bottom of Bob Cat to climb back Marincello. At the top of Marincello, I went down back to the stables via another secret trail, and ended the ride with the hard steep Coastal climb from the stables.

I was out there for 3 hours, climbed about 3,500 ft, was soaking wet and muddy with my spirit renewed, my peace of mind re-established and my self re-centered. It was the best birthday gift I could give to myself.

Here is how I was looking after the ride:

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Very Last 2006 Hot Mama Ride Dec 30 w/ Karen & Celia

Last December 30th, I headed to Karen's house by China Camp early morning. We made the deal that we were going to ride slow, keeping a relaxed very mellow pace to keep a zone 1 heart rate, kind of a recovery ride. Sure...

It was really cold, I could see frozen cars, streets, roofs, etc... but since I committed to be at her house and the ride was going to be easy I just went for it. After bundle up in many warm layers, Karen and I went for our "mellow, zone 1, recovery" ride that started with a "very mild mellow" climb directly to the top of the Nike site! Karen is nuts! In less than 20 minutes we were already at the top of China Camp. These cross country racers are a royal pain in the #$%@!!!

Back at the more challening side of China Camp, we joined Jon riding with a friend for a little while, and ended up riding a section of the "M&M trail". That section (an "easy" section) was so steep that in order to ride it with no dabs I had my chin/face on top of my saddle! These downhillers design some challenging trails! They are nuts!

Sand Hill Ranch & the UPS Connection

I am very pleased with UPS not only for its delivery service but also for connecting me with Tara...

Everything started with Tara asking Sally (my partner) if there was any biker living in the house as she has been delivering bike parts for quite some time. Sally told her about me, got her email and the UPS connection happened!

Since then, Tara (who is an awesome rider) and I have been in races and rides together. Hot Mamas: Dana, Becky and Wendy have ridden with Tara plus her sweet boyfriend Eric and good friend Jason who are also great riders.

Last December 17th, Dana and I got invited by Tara to go with Eric, Jason and other friends to Sand Hill Ranch to check out the mountain cross, slalom and free ride jumps.

The UPS connection made it possible for me and Dana to experience the unlimited thrill, incredible joy, powerful adrenaline rush and deep accomplishment feeling one experiences when having the cojones or the cocoya to move your bike against gravity and fly using your wheels as wings.

One of the most fascinating phenomena to me is how free riding connects people across the age spectrum. Regardless of how young or old you are, if you are there to fly with your wheels you are in! (Although your older body takes a little longer to heal when you crash...).

Jason is also a photographer, a painter and a graphic designer. He is the author of the blog I Hate Bikes, a collection of riding photos and stories about friends riding bikes.

Click below to read the story Jason wrote and check out the awesome pictures he fortunately took so I have a proof that Dana and I actually did jump over that car in the picture!.

Girl Power at Sand Hill Ranch