Tour de Bloom – The Kokopelli Trail Done Right

It was certainly an ominous start. Gun metal gray clouds churned out sleet and the intermittent snow flurry, and each rude gust of wind had me retreating turtle-like further into my shell. At the Loma trailhead in Fruita on a late May morning, participants and organizers of the Tour de Bloom were adding layers, shuttling bags …

New Bike Legal Singletrack in Marin: Is It Enough?

Ah, Marin. “The birthplace of mountain biking,” they say. And they speak the truth. The legends of the sport hail from here and can still be spotted on the slopes of Mt. Tam. This place is a cornucopia of landscapes and ecotones.  Dry, stubby chaparral clutches rare serpentine rock, gnarled mahogany fingers around sage-green earth. …

Marin’s Trail King: Profile of a Trail Builder

“The hardest thing about trail building is getting permission.” So says Jim Jacobson of Forest Knolls, CA. And he should know. Jacobson has been building trail in these parts for more than 30 years and is responsible for Tamarancho, Big Rock Ridge, Endor (flow trail at Tamarancho), and many of the trails at China Camp …

Endura Women’s Singletrack Rain Jacket Review

The Endura Women’s Singletrack jacket is a nylon, fully seam-sealed 2.5-layer waterproof, “breathable fabric” rain jacket with under arm zipped vents, and a hood. I put the “breathable” in quotes because everyone says their rain coat is breathable, and then you end up just as wet from your own internal combustion as you’d be if you just …

Forest City, CA: A Ghost Town Renaissance

While trying to sell me on the idea of buying a house in Forest City, 62 miles north of Auburn on Highway 49, my friend Ruedy paused and commented to his friends, “She’s got short hair so it’s not a problem.”  Responding to the quizzical look on my face, he explained that the particular house …

Up a Hill, Down a Beer: The 2016 TransAlp Race

Maureen Gaffney International Womens Mountain Bike Day

When the gun went off on day one in Imst, Austria, a strange sense of relief came over me. I’d done everything I could in the previous eight months to prepare for this seven-day, 323-mile stage race through the European Alps, and now the thing was in the hands of fate and luck. Ever since …