Saturday, January 23, 2010

What is a Grasshopper?

What it is: Fun, hard, non-supported, open roads, no road markings,training ride
What it isn't: Boring, easy, supported, closed/marshaled roads,marked route, sanctioned race

Read Yuri Hauswald's article to get a taste. And here's Dario Fredrick's take on his Hoppers.

When: All rides start at 10:00 A.M.
Where: We will roll out of the Occidental Community Center, Corner of Graton Rd./Bohemian Hwy
Who: One and All
Why: Why not?

The Union Hotel has graciously allowed us to park in their overflow lot behind the restaurant. There is also some parking near the Community Center. We will be renting Port o potties so please use them. All the Union asks in return is to come have a bite to eat. Grasshopper lunch special: $15 Pizza or Pasta and salad.

Please use Portables (i.e. blue/green rooms)

All riders are required to sign a waiver and pay $10 for the event. You must have a current USACycling license or purchase a one day for $5. No exceptions.
If you have a USAC license, you can download and print the waiver in advance, and bring it with you completed. be sure to write legibly!
If you need to buy a 1-day license at registration, you'll fill out your waiver on-site.
You can do the same loop for nothing on Friday or Sunday. Poachers suck and will be excluded from results and will be ex-communicated from West County Church of Bike.You will receive the collectors edition laminated map so you don't get lost, and as much fun or pain as you hope to self inflict.
That's it. There will be no water or food available on the course. If you're taking a casual approach then there's the store in Cazadero and killer bakery in Duncan's Mills.


Be safe. Make sure your bike is in excellent working order before coming out and have fresh rubber. A poorly cared for bike is a hazard for everyone. Do not cross the yellow line. At times early on the pace may slow and the group will swell, stay in one lane.


Make sure you are riding in the group that fits your fitness. There will be a lot of pros in the group. Look around, is this the group of buddies who you usually hang with? This years Old Caz Hopper will be neutral to Monte Rio. Once we get to Moscow road it's on!


What bike to ride, what tires? I won't attempt to answer this. Here's a link to the video Geoff Kabush filmed last year to get a sense of the roads. I did ride my roadbike last year though so anything goes.

See ya Sat.

Friday, January 22, 2010

El Mapa

Just in case you want to study the route ahead of time. No extra climb on Willow Creek, too wet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hopper Poster

Kim has done it again. Can't wait to see what the ride cards look like!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Humboldt Hoppers

Our brothers of the bike in Humboldt are fashioning their own version of the Grasshopper Adventure Series, and why not? Check out the Banana Slug ride schedule.(Don't think they will be able to come up with any David Caradine clips for this series) It was in Arcata that I spent 4 years earning a B.A. in Spanish. It was also my transition from a car driver to bike commuter,tourer, hitch-hiker. The reality of no car in such a wet zone challenged my ideals. It's one thing to say "I'll drive less" and another thing entirely to not have the option. My last year I moved to McKinleyville just north of the Mad River. The place I rented bordered the a bike path with a pedestrian bridge that dropped you conveniently west of Arcata in the bottoms. Appropriately named these flat flood plains are used to raise dairy cows and grow flowers. In committing to a 30 minute commute each day I was forced to carry panniers and a backpack with enough clothes and food to get me through the day. The distance wasn't a challenge but the weather was. My most memorable commute was a raining winter morning, late as usual for school. Somehow my schedule was three Spanish classes in a row in the A.M., beginning at 8. I think I had Latin American Poetry followed by Cervantes where we read, or more acurately were explained to, Don Quijote. The morning was topped off by a survey of Latin American Literature. All classes took place in the same room with 10 min. between. Most people think that everyone who goes to Humboldt smokes week and plays ultimate frisbee. I studied Spanish and rode my bike. (Though some of that other stuff may have happened too) Late as usual I slapped on my Bike Nashbar Special Paniers and immersed myself in the pissing rain. Never could get the clearance just right and if I allowed my heel to rotate while pedaling I would kick the bag off. Usually not a big deal but didn't help the quality of my homework. On this particular day the dairies had transferred their cows from one field to the next accross the road. I didn't see this happening but by the shit-spree coating mixed with torrential rain there was no doubt. We're not talking the occasionl dropping of a nervous beast, we're talking slip and slide. I pursed my lips as tight as possible, squinted my eyes, pedaled on, and... kicked my panier off. Can still see the bag in my minds eye as it rolled though liquid dung to settle in the ditch beside the road. I did my best to rub the shit off in the weeds, slapped it back on and pedaled off to class. With memories like this it seems a luxury to just ride in the rain. Nice rain cape, jersey stuffed with food and a credit card in case things go bad. Memories of having so little and yet so much. It was here that I fell in love with biking on the hills of Kneeland, Maple Creek Korbel Loop, Fickle Hill. I think I'll be up for at least one. Hope to see you up there.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hopper Inspired Visions

Okay. No epic stories but hey, pictures are worth a 1000 words or so they say. Check out this slide show by one of our brothers. Hopper Inspired Images