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January 2, 2010

Bye 2009, hi 2010

Filed under: General MTBGuru stuff,Riding and racing — mtbguru @ 10:44 am

A happy 2010 and new decade to everyone, and we wish you keep the passion burning, for whatever it is you have some! 2009 for me was a ‘grand cru’ year for riding: I think I rode more than I was hoping to, explored new places, as well as many familiar ones – with towards the end of the year a little reminder not ever to take things for granted. And we got plenty of inspiration by fantastic trips and rides I see posted on the site all the time (Plymmer’s unparallelled Coe explorations or Skyline35′s awesome photos and trip reports come to mind). Here’s twelve pics, one a month, to hand a proper farewell to the year.

January offered plenty of evidence of why it’s great living in the golden state: you could chose to go snowshoe or ski in the Sierras with your sweetheart, or ride some trails with her in balmy and sunny conditions.
Long Ridge, Saratoga

February was wet at times, but that’s what makes the abundance of rocky creek crossings and streams in Henry Coe interesting.
The hike-a-bike through the Narrows in Coe

Spring! That means: more Coe riding – we were able to enjoy and gawk at a spectacular display of wildflowers in March… and of course the riding rocks.
Hoover air strip in Coe

April is Fort Ord and Sea Otter classic time. I love this annual bike ‘circus’, and though I don’t venture out to the Fort that often, each time I look at the trails I see a lot worth loving!
Part of the Sea Otter Classic XC course in Fort Ord

My Moab-pilgrimage happened in May this year… I need this place, for spiritual renewal, or something. Or it could be for the incredible riding experiences, vistas, vibes, the overwhelming light and sound spectacle of a thundering desert storm (I hit quite a few of those this time around), and finally fulfill an old promise/resolution: ride the slickrock with my dad. Unfortunately in May there was also an immense loss – I didn’t know Anthony personally but had learned about Moab and was ‘primed’ to it, and many other places he visited and rode, through his lens.
Bar M and Circle O trails in Moab

I met new and awesome people in June – that’s what trail work days are really good for. Take Paul for instance, who devised this fantastic ‘devious’ Coe epic that I thoroughly enjoyed. The high lasted for days after!
Late spring ride in Coe, along some 'devious' trails

Summer time – this means Tahoe riding season, and the chunky granite goodness that comes with it. Magical moments in July, and we were delighted with the new (to us) stuff we were able to discover…
Rocky Tahoe goodness!

In August I tackled one of the challenges I set myself for the year: do a ‘hard’ (i.e. with ‘technical’ course) 100 mile endurance race. It was harder than I imagined and I found myself in strange places (physically and mentally), but that’s of course what makes it interesting and worthwile. Oh and the high afterwards, it lasts for weeks!

(photo credit: anonymous friendly trail runner from Bend)
During the inaugural High Cascades 100 in Bend, OR

The sunny season is winding down, summer travels are being wrapped up: this means Coe – scorched by the long hot days – comes back in my sight. I had signed up for a local race in September – the first one held here in ages – and to my own surprise won the sport class. Yay to yet another new experience, though I thought I’d gotten too old for that; I still think the rest of the field probably took a wrong turn somewhere…

(photo credit on this one: sir C. Kortman)
During the Henry Coe MTB challenge

October brought some new and needed rain to the Bay Area, enough to fill up China Hole in Coe and make it a crystal clear refuge from the occasional Indian summer heat…
Another magical Coe moment, in China Hole

A beautiful fall day in November was lit up by some improvised trail work and fun…
Pacheco Creek trail fun

Finally, December brought some injury and illness, enough to make me fully appreciate all the good days. And there were plenty this month too, in very magic places…

Nounou Ridge trail in Kauai

Cheers, and here’s to 2010, and the ‘tens’ (‘noughties’ sounded akward, seems it’s not improving much yet)!

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