Archive for the ‘Ride’ Category:

Back to Work

Back to Work, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Ohmigawsh! What a gorgeous day it was in NorCal today. Whoever ordered up this weather for my birthday, thank you! Much appreciated.

This is the vista I get at the end of my little lunch loop. I work down in that valley below, but today, it was more tempting than normal, to skip the valley and keep pedaling in the hills.

If you wanna geek out for a bit, you can check out my lunch loop here, complete with geotagged pics:
Lunch ride at Harvey Bear

This ride normally takes only 45 minutes, but I dawdled today. A lot.

It was a good day for dawdling.

January 13th, 2009 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

yay, Friday, yay~

As the world rushes by, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

For half of the day today, I totally thought it was Thursday. And then, when I realized it was actually Friday, it was like finding $20 in my pocket that I didn’t know I had.

Yay again.

Ann and I have started a Thursday night ride. We started it, like 3 weeks ago. Ann has stood me up each time. Thats okay though, because I am brave.

Except for sometimes.

And I need to add another animal that I am scared of to my list.

4. Crazy mating Tom Turkeys

I went out to Santa Theresa last night for a quick romp around the rocks. (alone…cough cough Ann in case you are listening) It was another wonderful spring evening with the poppies a bloomin and birdies a twitterin

and the turkeys a gobblin.

The turkeys were in rare form. The males were all Thanksgivinged out. You know, that full plumage like when you used to draw them at school by tracing your hand.

They were like that. Strutting all over the place. And they were rowdy. Kind of spooky rowdy. And, anyone who has watched “The Birds” or heard Laura tell her tale of how she was almost pecked to death by wild turkeys, knows to take that seriously.

So when a badass wild turkey crossed my path (unlike the last time when I was sixteen and woke up in my car at the edge of a cliff – wish I was making that up and maybe I’ll tell you the story one day) I took notice.

Unlike the piggy encounter, I had my wits about me and took a picture. Except my cameraphone isn’t so good and you couldn’t really see the big mean Tom in the corner. So I photoshopped it just a little tiny bit.

This Tom was serious about protecting his hens. So, I let them have the right of way. And I am quite certain it was not my lonely imagination, but I think he gave me the stinkeye, even after they strutted up the hill.

Maybe I will start posting my Thursday night rides to the board from now on.

April 4th, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

Live from the Poop Trails

Camphone 26, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I have to maximize my lunch time riding time, which means, I only have time for a euro shower before returning to work.

So, that means, I could very well have little driplets of cow poop still stuck to me somewhere as I type this.

There is this one section of trail, that as long as no one is coming in the other direction, I like to hit at super fast speeds. As so, I did that today, but then found myself headed straight for a big ol pileopoop. Kerplush.

At least I am not afraid of the cows at Harvey Bear anymore. Even the ones who try to be all badass and stand in front of me and try to punk me and stuff. Its all bluff. I just give them a hearty “heeya!” and they scamper. Thats right, I made those cows my bitch. (says the lady who shops for orthopedic shoes)

But I am afraid of some things at Harvey Bear. Three things actually:

1. Mountain lions (for obvious reasons)
2. Ticks (ewwwwwwww!)
3. Mama pigs

Kenny and I were riding down one of the Harvey Bear trails last Friday. We had just finished showing those cows who was boss, when we spotted a little calf about to cross the trail. It was the ugliest calf I had ever seen. And, it didn’t scamper to our Heeyahs. Instead, it squared its shoulders to us and stood its ground.

Thats when I realized, it wasn’t an ugly calf, but an ugly wild pig. I didn’t take a picture, but I found one on the internet that looks EXACTLY like the pig we saw.

And when I saw how this pig was holding her ground against us, I knew what that meant. I told Kenny, “we better back up…slowly and calmly”. I think we took two small calm steps back, and the pig took one step towards us, and then we ran back up the hill. Kenny might have even screamed. Can’t remember.

Once we backed up, the pig started to cross the trail, and sure enough, right behind her were 5 or 6 wee little ugly pigs. They were sooo uglycute. Their little pig tails stuck straight out behind them and their little pig hair was all wiry and piggly.

We waited a good and long time before we finished our ride down the trail…just in case. But at least we lived to tell the tale.


So, sort of a side story. In my search for a pic of a “wild boar” I had to sift through endless pictures of guys posing with dead boars, with the mouth all open so you can see the tusks. I mean, endless pictures of this. Why do men like to pose with dead animals like that? Just wonderin.


I think my Sidi mtb shoes are the culprit by the way….this is very sad.

April 2nd, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

Wild Flower

The wildflower display going on right now at Coe is unbelievable (I almost typed “off the hook”, but then remembered that I am 41 years old)

I didn’t have a camera, and even the cellphone pooped out on me, so I borrowed a pic from Michael.

And although I didn’t have a camera, I think, all this recent photo action I have been doing, has really heightened by visual awareness. I was almost overwhelmed by the scenery during our ride. Several times.

What a perfect way to celebrate the equinox and a birthday and the bunny holiday.


SO, while climbing one of the descents at Coe (you’ll understand that in a few seconds…) , I came up with the following:

Guide to Trail Riding at Coe with Natasha:

Descent = Rolling hills
Rolling hills = Climb
Climb = get off your bike and walk

I am not even exagerrating. I’ve never climbed so much on a descent. It was all totally worth it of course, I am just putting this up as a public service.


And just because its the funniest thing in a while:

March 25th, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine


Camphone 25, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I have turned into a mountain bikeaholic

The Bucolic bikeaholic.

I seriously can’t get enough of it. My days are spent either mountain bike riding, or planning my next mountain bike ride.

Even riding sploosh splash right through a giant wet pile of cow poop can’t undermine my enthusiasm. (although it does make me wonder what in the world those Harvey bear cows are eating thats given them all the runs)

So, yeah…I won’t be at Copperopolis this year.


March 21st, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Summertime and the livins easy

Evening Stretch, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

It totally feels like summer time right now. It might just be a tease, but I’ll take it.


I am soooooo not a winter person. If I could do that endless summer thing, I would totally do it.

Winter depresses me. And this past winter has been one of the toughest. And we don’t even have harsh winters here. I’m certain that if I lived someplace like Canada or Alaska (lord have mercy) that I would be a raving maniac loon by January.

So, I’m riding more these days. And that means more unknown bruises. I’ve got a whopper of a bruise above my knee. One of those bruises thats got like six layers of colors that change daily and a little hard nugget inside. And its pretty horrific looking (which is why there is a pretty picture of the hill instead of my knee)

And I have no idea how I got i. (The bruise, not the picture). I might have gotten it when I did the touchdown almost crash into the puddle at campus this weekend.

But I was too concerned about keeping myself upright to worry about bruising at the time. Literally, my face was inches away from nasty week old puddle mud. The only thing saving me from complete ruin were my two fingertips that were propping me and my dawg up. And when you come that close to malaria/giardia/dysentary mud water, you don’t think about the bruises.

Damn I love this sport.

March 6th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

My IQ just went up by like 57 points

That there photo up above is the radar image at just about the time that the Cat 3 women were finishing off their last lap at Snelling.

I kissed Michael goodbye as he left this morning for Snelling, and I headed out for a happy trails ride instead. Dawn, Beth, Steve, Brent and I zigged and zagged and had a rocking good time on the nicely packed but not muddy trails. And about fifteen minutes after our lovely 3+ hour ride was over, it started to pour. But for our ride, we were dry and even saw some goody sunshine.

Now I am sitting here eating roasted tomato soup, drinking a Hoeegarden, skippily dippilying around the internet, all while encased in the furry comfort of warm kitties.

I’m just sayin

February 24th, 2008 / 15 Comments » / by sabine

Livin la Vida

Crossing, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Ohmigosh what a fabulous weekend.

And now I face a foggy Monday at work, while the rest of the world (the world I know anyway) plays at the Tour of CA on El Presidente day.

But, after my dreamy weekend, I can hardly complain.

And its funny, when I think back on the fun I had this weekend, very little of it had to do with racing. I didn’t even race at all, and felt only a teeny tiny twinge of regret over that.

I have really tried to be motivated to race this season, but as of yet, I have not quite struck it. I have not yet been able to give up the things you gotta give up to do it. Things like sleep, that second glass of wine, Kobe burgers, and simply not riding when I don’t much feel like it. Or, not riding hard.

I dunno. Maybe I will find the motivation later. But for now, I am enjoying la vida.


Some more pics of the beautiful race down in Los Olivos are here

The promotor, Mike Hecker, of that race is doing something interesting. Ever go driving down the highway, and look off into all that Cattle ranchland thats here in California, and see a little dirt road and wish you could go ride it?

I do that all the time. Well, Mike must have done that too. He’s gotten in touch with the owners of the Chamberlin Cattle Ranch and they’ve allowed a network of trails to be built on that land. Hecker’s group plans on holding about 8 races there this year, including a Norba National as well as downhill and dual slalom races.

Sometime this summer, the ranch will be open for riding outside of races for like a $5 fee or something.

Its a lot of work forming a partnership like this. And you have to ride alongside cowpatties and the occasionally ornery bull, but if this past weekend was any indication, the work is well worth it.

While not technical, the singletrack was stunning. There was one trail, in particular, that was along the top of the ridge, offering fabulous views of Foxen on one side, and Vaca Station on the other. I did not get a picture of this piece, because I was too busy enjoying it in person. (its hard to be both photographer and do-er).

And when in Los Olivos, you just HAVE to visit American Flatbread in Los Alamos. YUM!

February 18th, 2008 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

We’re smarter than we look

NO, thats not Cherry Pie, its Ollalieberry Pie.

And its better than Cherry Pie because we didn’t have to race to eat it. We just pedaled our bikes on sunshiney roads at whatever pace we felt like.

We didn’t plan on pie. Didn’t even think about it. Until we came up on the Gizdich ranch sign and Stella said “blah blah blah blah pie?”

So we all searched our pockets for whatever chumpchange we might have with us, and between all of our jersey pockets we had enough for one pie and 5 forks.

Erika complained that we couldn’t possibly buy and eat a WHOLE pie. “A WHOLE pie???”, she exclaimed.

This picture was taken right before (or maybe after) she helped herself to seconds.

February 12th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Fuck Chicken

CamPhone 13, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Oh yeah! I totally cleaned Rocky Ridge today. No bobbles, no dabs.

There were a few “oh shit” moments though.

Now, for those who aren’t so wussy at mountain biking, Rocky Ridge is probably no big deal. But I am from the land of soft sand and redwood needled carpet trails and the rocks just foul me up something fierce with their pointy obtrusiveness.

I trusted in the Dawg (and in only about 17psi in my moto tires) and rolled right over everything. It wasn’t pretty, but it got ‘er done.

At the bottom of the trail, when I stopped to finally catch my breath and regain and reflect, I was all full of giddy glee and was sort of bummed that no one was around that I could fling my glee on.

So I patted myself on the back and granny ringed it back to the car.

January 18th, 2008 / 4 Comments » / by sabine

Coe Legs

Camphone 11, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


They still hurt.

But man, was that worth it. Nine of us headed out to Coe on Saturday. It was an incredible Juneuary day. Birds a twitterin and streams a flowin.

And hills a rising. Lordy there are some hills to climb in that park. Ann mentioned that Serpentine trail would be a tough climb and we might have to walk a little.

A little?

I’m quite sure I push walked more than I rode. I even had time to stop and take a picture with the phone.

But it was so very much worth it to get to the top and see nothing. Well, not really nothing, but nothing man made, save for the observatory on top of Hamilton.

At 90,000 acres, Coe is the largest state park in No California. Because it is so large a park, it can maintain its wild habitat, with very little influence from encroaching populations. I imagine it is what California used to be, back when the Ohlones migrated seasonally to harvest the rich wildflowers.

How precious to have preserved such a chunk.

Unfortunately, it is on the list of parks to get the axe under Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal.

48 State Parks to be CLOSED.


In the history of our state park system, no Governor has ever closed a state park to meet a budget. What an utterly dreadful legacy we would leave to actually CLOSE a state park.

The cut would “save” $13.3 million from the state budget, as part of an effort to fill a $16 billion gap. That is less than 1% of the shortfall.

Just seems a stupid way to save some chump change.

Many its just an act on the Governor’s part, or maybe the State Parks is just gesturing, or maybe it would really happen.

Sure, we’d probably still get to ride in these parks, but thats not really the point, is it?

More info on the proposed closures here. And a sign it and send it thingie is here.


January 15th, 2008 / 15 Comments » / by sabine