In this issue:
1. Toad Festival Wrap-up
2. Bob “Howls At The Moon” McCarter – My experience at the Toad Festival
3. Switchback Cyclery to host a Woman’s only riding clinic this Saturday June 21st
4. March of Dimes Race for Babies
1. TOAD FESTIVAL WRAP-UP
The wrap-up on the Toad Festival can be found on our web site at:
Thanks again to all our sponsors, support personnel and event participants who have made our 2008 Series of events a success!
2. BOB “HOWLS AT THE MOON” MCCARTER - MY EXPERIENCE AT THE TOAD FESTIVAL
2008 Warrior’s Society Toad Festival
Report from the Game Station at the top of Holy Jim
By Bob “Howls At The Moon” McCarter
Edited for Political Correctness and public consumption by Chris Vargas
What an awesome day it turned out to be for the Toad Festival. From my days before membership in the Society, I have always loved that loop. From the scenic and enjoyable climb up Holy Jim, to the near epic traverse of the southern end of the Main Divide, to the uplifting fun of screaming down the Trabuco Trail, this is a course that truly has it all; probably why the Toad is always my fun ride of the Warriors’ events.
This one was no exception. It is always a fun honor to be involved as part of the event staff that helps run the show, all of the other Warriors that are part of the event on either side of the show, and the multitude of participants that are the “mom and pop” of mountain biking enthusiasm make the day of the Toad one that is so filled with fun, laughter, and camaraderie among the ever epic efforts against one’s own limitations that it becomes a day indelibly engraved in what living gray matter remains in this old head.
I picked up Treve “Keeps Good Spirit” Misemer at the entrance to Trabuco Canyon in the FJ and in we drove to the bottom of Holy Jim trailhead. I took my time, really wanting to actually have my bike still on the rack when we arrived (another story for another day). At the end of the day, I always like having the comfort of the vehicle to get me back out that godforsaken road (which I have never considered part of the proper Holy Jim to Trabuco loop). We bounced out the road to the parking lot, suited up and were off.
Riding through the morning cool of the shaded trail through the trees, crossing the creek, still flowing sweetly, we passed a group of hikers at about the fork to the falls. We advised of the riders to come as a courtesy. Climbing up onto the switchbacks and into the morning sun, it started warming quickly. In no time the temperature had leapt 10 degrees, and we settled in to the climb up Holy Jim.
We weren’t that far up, not that many switchbacks into it when Gerry “Beats the Trail” Huth came up behind me as I was spun out from a corner and catching my breath, and just rode by with hardly a word, intent I think on trying to be Lare-Dog to the checkpoint. Don’t know if he did or not, but in typical “Beats The Trail” fashion, he was just strong-arming (beating?) the trail into submission. Next time I got a glimpse of him through the brush and across the canyon, he had to be a mile ahead.
By the time I reached the spot of our earlier trail stabilization work, the temperature had cooled a bit, being at a higher elevation. The feel of the brisk air on the skin was sweet. The trail work we had done was holding up very nicely and looks like it will be there for a good many years.
We were commissioned to re install the sign at the top of Holy Jim and when I reached the top of the trail, “Beats The Trail” was already hard at work busting off the old concrete base of the sign so it could be brought up out of the stream bed. You could hear him the last half mile or so of the trail just beating the daylights out of the concrete that was solidified around the base of the signpost. “Beats The Trail” is a man that when he puts his mind to something, that something will happen, no question. Cleaned up and lighter, the sign was brought up to the road where “Keeps Good Spirit”, Matt “Soaring Falcon” Nourmohamadian and I went to work planting it in the hard ground of the Main Divide. I carried the breaker bar that Lare-Dog had brought up with him, and, except for holding the tools between use – I didn’t figure much into the repair other than to issue comment and instruction. Taking full advantage of my old man status, I let the younger “Soaring Falcon” and “Keeps Good Spirit” enjoy the hard physical work of placing the sign, digging, prodding, working feverishly to excavate the hole in the unforgiving dirt and rock. It didn’t take too long and the sign was in its place again, informing travelers yet to come of their location in the Forest.
As we milled about the dice table at the checkpoint, we regaled each other with past tales of rides and adventures. In one particular story, “Beats The Trail” told us, in way too much detail, of a gay pride event on a ride he took one time on the Fullerton Loop. Never having actually ridden Fullerton, nor wanted to, I took this tale of scandalous sordid sodomy to be a warning against visiting this trail (Editor’s Political Correct Disclaimer: not that there’s anything wrong with that and we love the Fullerton Loop).
At the dice table, the last toad I had carried a special significance. I declared to all that reached to take it that, take it you may, but that was a special toad and whomever took that frog would be my date. Confusingly, more of the guys grabbed it (I had a hard time getting it back out of Chip’s hand) than the women and I’ll be in therapy for a few more years now as I search for the missing shreds of my masculinity. Kristine Early (whom I had not had the pleasure of meeting before) picked it up, and quickly put it back down when I told her of the caveat. But, this opened up a conversation that resulted in the offer from her of one of John’s “Keeps What Happens” beers at the park, and he had offered one the night before.
About 11, still 30 minutes before the cut off, we started warning riders off from continuing on. Our logic with them was: that if it took them 3 hours to get up Holy Jim, they sure didn’t want to continue along the Main Divide in the growing heat. Some took our advice immediately while others pushed onward, only to return shortly. After the last rider turned to head down, Regina “Happy Rabbit” and I followed to make sure everyone got out OK. I was impressed, no frightened, by that girl’s skill at handling a bike. She rode down Holy Jim like a demon and, try as I might, I could not keep up. I was going so fast at times, trying to keep her in sight, that I was absolutely certain I was about to suffer a catastrophic endo. Luckily, no, and “Happy Rabbit”, sweet girl that she is, stopped often to let this old man catch up, as she was sagging me, too.
When I arrived at the end of Trabuco Creek Road, I slaked my thirst from the trail with a couple of adult beverages. On an empty stomach, the relaxation settled in quick. Having been promised beers by both “Keeps What Happens” and Kristine Early, I looked at “Keeps What Happens,” Connoisseur and Purveyor of Fine Beers; from the back of his SUV he rummaged through his cooler and selected an IPA. Pouring, he noted that it was 9% and remarked that I will feel it.
Well, I drank that down far too quickly and sure enough, found myself in a very, um, “loose” state. Having quaffed that, and still thirsty, I looked for “Keeps What Happens” again. I found him making what must have been one of many treks back to his truck. As I walked alongside him, I asked for “the wife his beer promised me”. He shot me a quizzical look to which I asked if I had actually said what I just heard come out of my mouth. Yes, I had. We laughed (thanks, “Keeps What Happens,” for not punching me!) and he deftly obliged with a tasty barley brew.
When I arrived back at O’Neill the festivities were then in full swing with the raffle and such, when Lare-Dog announced that he had to leave to go back on the Main Divide to pick up the trash he left behind in order to fit the crash contestant and his bike into his jeep. I wasn’t about to let him go back out on there alone, so gathering some provisions, we left to grab the trash. On the way down Ortega, we stopped at the Candy Store where Lare-Dog’s $2.35 bought us 3 not 2 bottles of water (I begged for the 3rd); which was gone quickly. And, of course, safety was always on our mind as we drove across the spine of the mighty Santa Ana’s. Lare-Dog had had the brilliance to bring a cantaloupe with him and it was the tastiest thing one could have wished for at the time. You’re always in first class when traveling with the Dog. We grabbed the trash up on the road, and as the sun was sinking low in the sky towards the Pacific Ocean, we exited the Santa Ana’s.
Another beautiful ending to a glorious day.
3. SWITCHBACK CYCLERY TO HOST WOMEN’S ONLY RIDING CLINIC THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 21ST
The clinic will be free of Charge. Here are the details:
Time – 8:00 am to 12:00pm
For – Beginners and Intermediate only
Where – Staging at Irvine Park
We will cover:
1. Handling Skills
4. How to change a Flat
5. Obstacle Course
Please RSVP to Switchback Cyclery (714) 628-3913 so we make sure we have enough instructors.
Water and snacks will be provided by the Warrior’s Society
4. MARCH OF DIMES RACE FOR BABIES
Officiated by “Racers & Chasers”
Join local mountain bike enthusiast in a race to raise $5000 in a day to help prevent premature birth.
Vail Lake August 2nd registration starts 6:30am Races start 9am
Entry fee donation of $35.00 and up suggested. Entry will include one free meal ticket and entry into one race class. Donations will be tax deductible.
Awards ceremony for all 9 race classes with local prizes and gifts.
BBQ hosted by (Local food chain or market TBD).
Class:Men Women 16-29, 30-39, 40-49.Expert 3laps, Intermediate 2 laps, Beginner 1 lap
Race contact Robert at:
Sponsors contact John at (951) 676-3057
Shimano is the Major Component Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society
Rock N Road Bike Shops, Sho-Air Racing, El Pollo Loco and Switchback Cyclery are Major Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society
Clif Bar is the Official Energy Bar and Gel of the Warrior’s Society
The Warrior’s Society is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization
The Warrior’s Society is a Tax Exempt Organization under 501© 4 of the IRS Code
“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take the ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”