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Crazy bikers

2003-06-22 22:09:34.815383+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Today's hike was up at China Camp State Park[Wiki], to the site of the old missile battery at the top. For years I've seen the bike trail down this drop-off, but I've never seen anyone ride it. Today we had a couple of folks willing to show off for the hikers. All three images.

[ related topics: Photography Dan's Life Nature and environment Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-06-23 06:16:02.092721+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

I'm surprised, from some of the things that you've done, that you give the hill such... ominence. I had my first off-road crash on a slope almost exactly the same height and grade. Except that my slope was the topmost in a series of steps, with the next lip beginning at a position just a little inside the left edge of your picture.

The bike shop crew where I was working took me and my brand-spankin' new mtn bike out for a little off-road introduction. After riding through the woods for a bit we came to the steps. There was a rut (water run-off) down the middle of our trail and I thought they had advised me to "just keep your wheels in the rut". (Later I found out they were warning me to stay *out* of the rut.)

I was doing okay until I panicked at the speed and my inability to maneuver. Before long I had locked up my front brake and was diving over my handlebars, with my eyes closing as my butt left the seat. I landed almost straight down on my head and executed a forward somersault - at which point I found myself in the air again. I'd rolled right off the next lip.

Landed on my butt with my bike hitting my back a few seconds later. Thank Odin for helmets and the smart folks who insist on wearing them! I was fine if a little beat up but my comrades were convinced they'd be carrying me out on a stretcher and that my mother was going to kill them. (She worked in the backpacking dept. of the same store.)

#Comment made: 2003-06-23 15:51:33.01347+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think the main thing is that I'm still not used to trusting suspension, and from the top it looks like the front fork has to take a lot of the impact. That image does make it look less scary, which means I need to get up there on my bike.

That, and the surface is fairly bumpy on the way down, which means the rear wheel will be doing a lot of jittering around.

Need to get up there and work up to it, now that I've seen it done.

#Comment made: 2003-06-23 18:59:56.957361+00 by: Shawn

I suppose I'd be a little leary of suspension shocks on such a slope as well. My bike predates them (or rather, they were just starting to show up in stores) and I've never done any serious riding with them. I see now also that the ground in your picture looks more like one big rock than was my situation.

Well, if/when you do get up there to give it a go I hope you have fun and ride away from it :-)