Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wait, Where Was I?

Sky Camp Trailhead

I've been laxing on this place, thanks to what my roommate mistakenly calls Indian Summer. The time of year when shorts and a t-shirt at night isn't unheard of in Oakland. As the East Coast buckles down for the winter, we're hitting our stretch and taking it in stride. Instead of sitting inside editing photos and writing words, I've been out in the saddle nabbing miles.

U! S! A!

The last adventure I went on was a bike camping trip up to Point Reyes for a friend's birthday. It was a good repeat of people from the Memorial Day ride, a fantastic crew to ride with, where the booze and people are just as important as the tent and bike. Since my last outings I have made moves to another tent, but the bad news is that I never finished building a tent pole for it, so I had no tent when I finally made a commitment to the ride. So be it. In the pursuit of getting lighter and more B.A. I decided to go tentless and sleep out under the stars.

Tracy Leading the Pack
Tracy has probably navigated half the rides I've ever been on in Marin.

With such a small rack of goods I met with some buds in the Inner Richmond. Being a bike camping trip beers were cracked at 11 AM, as they should be. I was trying to be a civil human being and cut back (that quickly changed in the week after or so). Once we rallied our group of about a dozen off we went.

The ride avoided the same old climbs we've done through Marin a hundred times (I love not having to navigate and just following and complaining about routes, err, not complaining, nevermind). There were fewer aggro Marin dorks, instead there was an ocean of pink, it was the Avon walk, the biggest feel good, do nothing event of the year.

W. Marin Map
If you haven't heard, West Marin rules.

Along the way we picked up a many stragglers to join our merry crew. After Fairfax it was smooth sailing over some climbs before the final Limatour to dirt climb. I beasted this one. I wanted it. So I had it. The final stretch on dirt was the best part. Then we finished up at Sky Camp; a secluded camp up on the ridge overlooking the trees that dropped to the ocean. The clouds rolled in right around sunset dashing our hopes of a good sunset. Then it was a waiting game, because we stupidly decided to rely on someone else to bring our food (and some people's tents and such, good thing I didn't have one). People were getting upset as stomachs growled and heads got sober. We munched on whatever we had, chocolate, Clif Bars, nuts, whatever. It was dark when four of us decided to bomb down to the parking lot to fill up on people's stuff, hoping our rendezvous was there. This descent was fucking awesome. I nearly got impaled by a deer on the way down, but managed to keep rubber down the whole way. We ran into the car crew on the way down at least knowing that we'd have something to bring back up. I was the first one at the bottom by a long shot. I shut off my lights and looked at the dim spots in the sky. It still never ceases to amaze me that a 50 mile bike ride away from the city and I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Pre-sagwagon Plenty 'o Whiskey
So much booze, so little food.

The rest of the crew met up and we began ravaging the car realizing that the camp equipment made it, but the food did not. Somehow there was a fumble in communication, all we had was a bunch of beans and seitan, mixed in with the little bit people carried in by bike we agreed we'd make it work. Cody led the way up the hill, I was chasing his red light the whole time, but he took off and I couldn't even try to compete; one tough rider.

The Bikes at Camp
Woody carried half the things he owns, maybe just to say he could?

From there it was a big communal meal, some frisbee, oh and booze, did I mention booze? I hardly drank, but everyone else did there fair share. People stayed up long past my grandpa clock. I laid out my bag and watched the stars in the warm night. As it is sleeping outside, you never are completely asleep, there is some animal instinct that pulls you in and out of sleep, I pulled in and out a couple of times, waking up to the sound of the tide coming in, the sound of foghorns in the morning, the sight of a crescent moon hiding behind the pines, and then of course, Woody scaring the shit out of me as he passed me at 3AM. Sleeping outside is probably going to become the new norm now.

Home for the Night
It wasn't nearly as wet as this photo makes it look like.
Sky Camp at Dawn
Sky Camp.

The Photographer
Cody shooting the others.

On the ride out we hit Pt. Reyes for some food and coffee treats. Of course getting there by noon, because people who said they were in a hurry were probably lying. Yet, my legs were in a hurry as I killed section after section, what is it that makes some days better than others? What makes my legs spin and spin and spin? I blame the fixie for fixing my cadence. After a quick stop in Fairfax some of us split off toward the ferry, but a few of us cheapskates rode back (oh and we like riding bikes and have little to do in life, we did something right that day I guess).

Loaded Up
Surly babe.
Pt. Reyes Hangs
There were lots of cyclists in Pt. Reyes, but few bikers.

It was somewhere in Marin that I got the phone call from my roommate Estathea, "Oh, hey, house, broken into, shit stolen, shit sucks," I'm heavily paraphrasing, she doesn't talk like a dirtbag like me. I was pretty sure my laptop was gone, I was anxious to get home and see what else, but mostly I was just pissed. Thankfully there was an open bottle of whiskey and beer in front of me right after it happened. Oh and a gnarly climb to the bridge too, that probably helped even more (although disappointingly some bastard friends still beat my Strava on that segment, how!? it felt so good!).

So here I am on a fossil of a laptop with a hipster OS trying to figure out how to use these fandangled computers again. I think I did it right?



  1. Sound like great time. Any trouble with mosquitos at sky camp?

    1. Some when we first got there, but as the night went on it got better.

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