“Did you take any pictures” my friend Yosef asked excitedly as I spoke to him about one of the most amazing rides I had ever done on a mountain bike. “Of course not, I didn’t want to stop and ruin the moment” he readily agrees as we discuss the pure exhilaration of riding a mountain bike down a trail that drops 4,200 feet in 17 miles. I had just ridden the world famous Downieville Downhill and was still high, I completed it pretty quickly, didn’t fall once thank God and rode through some amazing terrain. I took a shuttle to the top and rode downhill on a narrow singletrack trail over rocks, roots, jumps and through trees that passed by like a white picket fence. They call this an epic ride.
The funny thing about last Thursday, was that it was just a normal day in the life of Heshy Fried, living it up and trying to get all it end until the clock changes and snow covers everything above 3,000 feet.
When I was in New York for succos, my father and others expressed their wonders about how people like me and those who live in California do without 4 “regular” seasons. I myself thought I would miss winter and fall, but when I look back on how good of shape and healthy these past two winters have been for me, I wonder how I could have ever felt that way. Sure, when I first got out here I hated having to drive 3 hours to get to snow, but now I marvel at the fact that on Friday it was hot enough to drive my car, redneck style, without a shirt on.
I finished my ride in Downieville earlier than expected, I had left San Francisco that morning at 5am, had one of the best lattes ever in beautiful Nevada City and rode my bike along the beautiful foliage covered trail along the Bullards Bar reservoir. It should have been closer to dark, but alas I had hours of daylight left and plenty of cool spots to check out. I decided to head north towards Chico, because there were some trails I wanted to check out the next day.
Last year I had driven through Chico and I was wondering about the place. It reminded me of the small Northeast college towns I adore and I wanted to take a closer look. By the time I arrived in Chico after wandering the beautiful northern Sierra foothills I was very tired. Still I walked around the quaint downtown and ended up at the Occupy Chico tent, which wasn’t too interesting. I was about to walk back to my car when this really amazing 9 piece ska band started playing in the little park square. Young dressed up punk and ska kids tried to make this really tiny circle pit and I was so into the music. I was marveling at how much fun I was having – how God had given me all these good rides, beautiful weather and now some great music and really happy peeps to enjoy it with. The day could hardly get better, although when I got the chabad of Chico hookup it got better, because I didn’t feel like driving out of town and looking for a place to camp.
The next day, I rode Upper Bidwell Park Canyon and it was amazing, 1000 feet of climbing to some great views that reminded of Texas Hill Country – followed by a screaming fast rocky descent. The ride was super long and tiring, so I just decided to check out the mining town of Oroville and wander around the foothills and look for a place to do some gold panning. Towards the end of the day I decided to do another ride right before shabbos, which I spent at chabad friends of mine in Folsom.
Ironically, this wasn’t planned at all. I had just gotten back from New York late on Sunday night and found out that I would be off Thursday. I was broke, but I knew that if I wanted to do some good riding before the clock change and rainy season this would be my chance. I was also itching to try out my somewhat new mountain bike on some fairly extreme terrain – it performed beautifully.
The month of November looks like a killer month in term of work, I’m going to be working a lot of double shifts, full days and traveling back and forth between San Francisco and Mountain View for my two jobs. On the one hand I love work and cooking, but I hope I can fit some writing into the mix. As of now I haven’t been so motivated to write much and this may have to do with the fact that I’m going to be writing daily for My Jewish Learning and I have to be on top of that in terms of content and editing. I’m super pumped about it, because it’s allowing me to write for a huge audience of non-Orthodox folks and it’s teaching me to write better.
I know already that the next two weeks will be mostly blogging free and probably filled with guest posts and videos. If you wish to write something or give me ideas – please email me at [email protected]
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