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05-16-2004, 09:36 PM #1
Arty50 and I hit Tamarancho today for the first time. Definitely worth the $5 for the NorCal crew.
Tamarancho is a Boy Scout camp near Fairfax, around which an 8 mile loop of singletrack has been constructed. You are discouraged from parking on the access road: we parked in town as directed, bought our passes at the local bike shop, and headed up the paved road to the trailhead.
This is NOT a good place to learn to mountain bike. The first thing you'll encounter is a bunch of steep singletrack switchbacks getting you up to the main loop, and probably several people bombing down at you.
Once you hit the main loop, you'll discover that Tamarancho isn't very technical: there's only one long rocky section, which I call "Land of 1000 Alien Babyheads", and several weird switchbacks. It's very hardtail-friendly.
However, there are a lot of very narrow or low gaps between trees (don't forget to duck!), and the whole trail system is very narrow. There's almost no room to pass anywhere in Tamarancho without stopping and pulling off the trail, and there are a lot of sections with big exposure -- down steep hillsides into lots of little treetrunks with no soft branches.
You never lose or gain a lot of elevation at once, except in getting there and back. Lots of nice rolling hills that let you crank along in your middle ring, several small bridge crossings, yes, please.
The scenery was beautiful, the trail was well-maintained and kept us alert, and
everything was great until we got to the end of the loop and Arty said "We should go back and try that double teeter we passed at the beginning."
I think you can see what is going to happen here.
We get back there, and after a couple aborted attempts, Arty gets halfway through before falling off the side. No big deal.
Well, I tried it, and fell off in the same place, except for one detail: Arty fell uphill, and I fell downhill. About 6-7 feet straight down, landing flat on my back on some of the hardest dirt I've ever had the displeasure to ingest.
1) Helmets are good.
2) I'm not sure if swearing really helps, but I did a lot of it anyway.
3) Always keep a Vicodin or two in your seatbag.
4) It's really hard to descend singletrack switchbacks when you can't move your lower back.
5) The first feature you try probably shouldn't be an off-camber double teeter about 12" wide on the side of a hill.
Summary: Great ride, skip the teeter.
05-17-2004, 08:34 AM #2
nice! Tamarancho is a great ride. my friends live up there, just down from the entrance (if you passed a big brown house with a for sale sign, that their's).
I've only ridden there once, but loved it. Great switchback practice.
sorry about your back Spats!“Within this furnace of fear, my passion for life burns fiercely. I have consumed all evil. I have overcome my doubt. I am the fire.”
05-17-2004, 12:26 PM #3Originally posted by watersnowdirt
Great switchback practice.
I suck so badly at switchbacks. Going up them isn't so bad. It's going down them that makes me feel so retarded.
That place is awesome. I've never ridden such a narrow trail for so long. I was practically cross-eyed at the end. Such a blast. Tight trees, tight switchbacks, tight rocky sections, long drop offs...
The whole ride was amazingly beautiful too. Each trail section had a completely different micro climate. The forrested sections were all made up of different types of trees and shrubs. Each sorta had it's own theme; one was redwoods. There were also grassy areas and shubbery. The constant change I think helped make the ride go by quickly.
So quickly in fact that Spats suggested riding a few of them again after we finished the loop. My response, "Sure, let's do it. In fact I may hit the double teeter." Stalled in the middle on the first attempt and lost my balance on the second while waiting for the tilt. Luckily my tendency to fall into the hill, which normally kills me when skiing, served a fine purpose here. Then Spats went for it. Here's the reply in my mind, "Nice...nice...he's got it...he's got it....yeah!!!!...Oh shit!!!" Seriously though, he was lookin' really good. I thought he was going to make it.
Heal up, bro! Thanks for the place to crash and the great ride!
Oh, almost forgot. There's a little burger joint that is at the beginning/end of the ride. M & G Burgers. Awesome charbroiled burgers and good shakes. That hit the spot after a nice ride."I knew in an instant that the three dollars I had spent on wine would not go to waste."
05-17-2004, 04:08 PM #4
So, when you going back?"if the city is visibly one of humankind's greatest achievements, its uncontrolled evolution also can lead to desecration of both nature and the human spirit."
-- Melvin G. Marcus 1979
05-17-2004, 04:44 PM #5
I've heard teeters are harder on a recumbent. Way to get after it Spats!
05-18-2004, 12:01 PM #6
AHH, wish I had known you guys were riding there, would have met ya. It's my local track, plus I know the super-duper-secret single tracks and connectors that allow you to link this up into an epic, esp if you include Pine Mtn and Paradigm in the mix...
OK, now I will lecture: good on you guys for buying your day passes for this!!! Bravo! I have a season pass for the area, and the Trails ACouncil of Marin rents/leases this land from the Boy Scouts (no kidding) and maintains the trails, and builds new ones, etc. So these fees go to pay for all of this.
Too many people poach this area, they don't buy a pass or pay the day fee, which pisses me off to no end.
So to all mags that may hit this area, please, prettty please be cool like Arty and crew and buya day pass @ Sunshine Bike Shop in Fairfax.
That is all....