Hollister Lower Ranch Trail Map: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1170/files/HollisterHillsMap_LowerRanch_Final-1.pdf
Although the official Faultline/Hollister Redsticker Welcome Back Party isn’t until next Saturday, we decided to ride a little bit this past Sunday since the Season was officially open and I could. I was itching to ride (call it my pre-pre-run) and Shawn installed a new rear shock and wanted to test it out before changing out his forks as well, as a comparison. Honeybadger mentioned he was going to go at around 9 AM so we’d meet him there. I haven’t been on my YZ250F since the end of May, but my CRF150R was ridden by my friend Dani when she went to Oregon recently. It was time to ride.
Tech Tip: BTW This BikeBandit video with Jeremy Coker on how to change out your shock in your Honda is fabulous. It will save you beaucoup time and frustration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bcU_bWw5uU
Shawn and got everything together and loaded up the truck Saturday night after working on his bike and we watched a little F1 qualifying and hit the sack.
We woke up the next morning, had breakfast, and left for Hollister ON TIME—which was a miracle in itself. We saw Honeybadger before we left but he was changing his oil since he had ridden in Idaho the weekend before.
We get there and, as expected, there was a line. It is, afterall, the first day of the season that the fast bikes (hehe) can ride. We parked at the first staging and Shawn unloaded the bikes while I got geared up. And my gear is actually loose compared to last time, YES!! I had to change all of my settings. This is going to be a great day!
He locked my CRF150R to the fence, and Shawn (being the sweetie he is) started my YZ250F for the first time. It runs for a while as he is getting ready and then he pulls it off the stand for me, AND THERE IS FUEL GUSHING OUT. We stop the bike, the fuel looks kinda green so I check to see if it is coolant (do I even have that type of coolant/antifreeze in my bike?? I can’t even recall at this moment). So we start searching around the motor and try to determine where it is pouring out of. He thinks that maybe the floatbowl is stuck so he taps on it and then takes it for a quick run around the vintage track. He comes back and it is still pouring out. Great. What is the Golden Rule?? NO, no, not that one. The Always Start and Check Everything Before You Load Up rule. Can you imagine had we packed everything up and went all the way to Mendocino or Hungry Valley. Even worse, for a race?!
He thinks it is an O ring out of the “nipple” on the side of the carb (what is it and guys calling everything nipples?). Isn’t that brass part called the Carb Fuel Inlet?? I am going with that. So he grabbed the part, covered the hole in the bike, and rode to the Faultline store in the park. He looked at the O rings and bought a few of what “looked like” they would do. Well they didn’t do. It couldn’t even slide back into the carb.
Honeybadger shows up (in new gear, hehe) and says, shoot he has O rings at the house! So I tell Shawn to go ride with HB and I’ll ride my CRF.
So I follow them up Rancho to The Renz Entrance and take Old Ranch up to the Traffic Circle, I didn’t realize they took a left and went to Lights Out. I took a right and went to Four Corners. I can’t keep up with them anyway so it didn’t matter. Plus, I don’t like Lights Out right now anyway as it is pretty whooped. (wah) I rode Four Corners to to Old Ranch again (take a left) where it drops you out above Windmill so I decide to take a break at the picnic table. It was a pain going through Four Corners because I went out flying and had forgotten that my CRF doesn’t really stop very well. It just slides. It slides in and out of corners and I don’t enjoy that. At one point (video to come) I almost slid off of the trail and started laughing saying STOP ALREADY!! It is nonstop work. So I took a break as it was hotter than expected. Who comes riding up? Shawn and HB. I think it was HB that asked “What are the odds, how did you get here?” “Simple. I’m faster than you guys.” Just kidding. He didn’t hear me anyway. They fly through Lights Out and then cross over to Garcia Gullch. I can’t keep up with them on my YZ either. Shawn likes to get out and ride with HB because he can go fast and doesn’t have to wait for me all of the time. I encourage it; I think of it like lunging a horse before you ride. They have to get their ya-yas out or they are a PIA the entire day.
After a quick break, Shawn, HB and I decide to go on OK Corral but I waited a minute after then took off because, A. they are way faster than I am and B. I hate being in that dust. I can’t see anything. It was rough as can be, OMG super whoops everywhere. My little bike hated me. I finally come out of OK Corral and they are long-gone to Dinosaur Loop and then to Windmill Maze. I ride a few various trails, I stay away from High Road North Canyon since it is nothing but a slippery cat box up there anyway when it is this dry. It is like deep pile sand in some areas AND a thin layer of decomposed granite on top of hard pack in other areas. You sometimes find that you are on the bike and then suddenly you are on the ground. But usually not if you stay on the throttle. I head back to the truck to get a drink and decide to just relax. Then I look over an realize that I can see that damnable hill Shawn tricked me into coming down last season on my YZ. I notoriously do not like going down steep hills I will go up but I don’t like riding down a steep hill. I go slow, usually apply too much rear brake, slide down until I realize I have to let go, curse a bit and then my eyes get big as plates and then I go faster downhill, in complete silence. It isn’t near as steep as Twin Hills but I swear it seems like it when you’re at the top looking down. haha
Shawn came back to the truck and HB left, as he usually only rides for an hour or so nonstop and as fast as possible, and then leaves. Shawn said he was tired so I said I didn’t really care to ride much more so we loaded up the truck and took off. Once I got a signal, I called Faultline in Hollister (in town) and they were open!
Notice that RC51 on the left!
Steve was there and looked up the part and we bought a set of three. Shawn asked if I wanted to go back riding and I said SURE! So he changed it in the truck bed and we were off to Hollister OHV again. Steve asked why we didn’t get the O rings at the park store, Shawn didn’t think to ask for model specific O rings and just eyed it with some ones in a bin. You know why? Because there was a young girl at the cash register and he didn’t think she’d know, he said. I looked at him, grrr that’s so sexist. I originally was the one who was going to go to the store to get the O rings while he and HB rode. I would have asked for the part as I already had looked it up in the microfiche using the park’s wifi. Or would have at least said, O ring kit for the YZ250F fuel inlet. Wait a minute. He probably didn’t want to say “nipple” to a young girl he didn’t know. HAHA!
Anyway, back we went to Hollister and unloaded everything, locked the CRF back up to the fence and took off to ride.
Nobody puts Baby in a corner
We took Lower Field and Lower Field Return, then took the road to Harmony Gate, which was practically breaking my wrists it was so rough. There were some squared off ruts and they hurt. We stopped at the picnic table and decided to go back and get the screwdriver and make suspension changes. I was 11 out on rebound and now I am 20 out. It was way better. Which gave me the idea to buy some cheapie tools and a cup and nail the cup to the picnic table, with a sign asking people to return after use. A Community Tool Kit, if you will. We normally do not carry tools at Hollister because the park isn’t that big and someone is always around. It is like a big friendly McDonald’s Playhouse, but not as dirty and less e. coli. Anyway, we did Harmony and North Canyon a few times to test suspension changes.
We hopped over to Toyon Trail which was fun. I hardly ever take Toyon because I forget about it. It is even more fun in the mud. I usually just take Ridge to Jay’s but Toyon is quicker if you are coming from Rancho/Woodcamp area.
Jay’s Way was good; dry as usual this time of year and bumpy on the downhill. But that’s Jay’s Way for you.
After we finished riding, Shawn took off on the vintage track for a little bit because the truck had recently come around and watered it. So I took a pic of him having some fun off a berm.
Shawn on the vintage track
I missed my big bike but I am glad I had the CRF as a back-up. What is funny is I never even noticed that the CRF had a different throttle cam on it. I let my friend, Dani, borrow it to go to Oregon a few weeks ago and didn’t realize Shawn had left the slower one on he had 3-D printed for the kids so it wouldn’t be such a quick turn for them when they came in town. Well, Dani had someone help her start the bike and for whatever reason the guy turned the throttle and it snapped the cam. So she replaced it so she could ride the rest of her trip. Which is why I have different grips on the bike as well. I’m perfectly okay with that throttle setting. I Just grab it more when I want more. I honestly didn’t notice. All that drama for nothin’!
What I do notice is I am unbelievably sore. Here it is Tuesday and my quads feel like I have done a thousand squats. My shoulders, and back are sore, too. I am so out of shape! But I get like this every October. I don’t ride all summer and then I ride like an idiot on the first day back and I pay for it for a few days. I had better heal up because the Red Sticker event is this upcoming Saturday!