Dolphin Dirt Baggin' with Freehub - Sea Otter Style
7 May 2012
Like many other aspects of our business, we do things a bit differently at Freehub. As many know, we are young company that sometimes works on a tight budget, which forces us to live a dirt bag lifestyle at times... but rest assured, even if we were millionaires, we'd still be living the same way. Because of our community values, we thought we'd put together some photos from our Sea Otter journey that involved business, fun, riding and living in the dirt.
Like any good trip, you always have to start with a good crew and appropriate mode of transportation. Our crew was small at times and big at others, and we were well equipped with a 1985 Toyota Dolphin camper and a small quiver of bikes.
From Bellingham, WA we headed south towards Monterey, CA for the kickoff event of the season; the Sea Otter Classic. As dirt baggers do, we arrived to Monterey equipped with the essentials: riding gear and a 600 count of the new issue to pass out at the Strength In Numbers World Premiere. Our first prerogative was to investigate our surroundings for the next week, as shown above.
After a good assessment and talk with our friend Tori, we decided we would set up shop at the local Holiday Inn Express. As you can see in the collage, we had everything we needed: 1) A personal hot tub and pool. 2) Outdoor beach shower less than 2 miles away. 3) A stellar continental breakfast with pancake assembly line. 4) A really close location to our booth at the event: the Dolphin. After the first night of our free stay at the Holiday Inn, we were confronted with a letter from the manager saying we needed to leave unless we had a room. What to do? We decided to sit in the hot tub and drink a beer. To no surprise, we saw some more dirt bags making their way to the pool on the second story... they didn't use the stairs, they just jumped off the second story balcony into the pool. As they were flying through the air, I realized we knew these bags from a trip we did last year with the Hayes Bicycle group. Needless to say, these guys almost instantaneously secured our legitimacy for parking lot camping by registering the camper under their room number. Perfect dirt bag destiny!
This was a business trip, so we got straight to business as you can see. 1) Proficiently cutting business cards for our marketing intern that wasn't there outside the media center. 2) Stuffing 500 giveaway bags with magazines for the Strength In Numbers World Premiere. 3) Eating... we are men that are driven by our bellies, so we ate, a lot. The business doesn’t stop with our hard work at Sea Otter - we had to ride our bikes and work on an in-depth review on the Specialized Stump Jumper EVO and the Norco Shinobi. So we headed north for some well deserved riding.
Our first stop on the riding list was Fairfax, CA in the heart of Marin County. In San Francisco, we enjoyed some delicious Thai food on Haight Street at a little second story restaurant called Ploy II then went to check out the DJ scene and drop our buddy Little John off at some dirt jumps in Golden Gate Park. Upon our arrival to the jumps, both Steve and I stepped in human shit, which made for a stinky night of camping on the street in SF (1). From Golden Gate Park, we crossed the bridge and headed north into Marin. As soon as we crossed the bridge we realized the bikes and rack were pulling the bumper off the dolphin, so we fixed it up with a cam-strap (2), made an entire pound of Bacon (3), and pushed off heading north to the trails (4).
We had a successful day riding in Marin, then pushed east to Chico, with a quick stop in Sacramento to take our second shower of the trip and do some laundry with Lilly the dog (1). With clean chamois we pushed over to Chico, CA and pumped out some fun rides in Bidwell Park (2). Chico is also the home on Sierra Nevada Brewery, so we stopped through for some tasty bevies (3). As you all know, we always start the day with some chronic food homemade in the galley of our '85 Dolphin (4). We realized that Chico is an amazing place to ride, and is blessed with varying terrain that flows throughout the lava-capped mountains and makes for a great testing ground for the Stumpy EVO and Shinobi. We pushed northwest back to Oregon and ended up in Talent for our next ride...
Steve got after it on the Norco Shinobi, which proved to be an awesome bike for the flowy and fluid trails in Talent...
...until Steve ate shit on the road 100 feet from the Dolphin.
We pushed on to the Oregon coast and found ourselves at Cape Perpetua, a favorite of ours here at Freehub Magazine. It’s an amazing technical trail that flows from 1,800 feet down to the Pacific and has some scenic vistas along the way.
With the Pacific in the background, we decided to take a quick breather before dropping into the upper Cummins Creek trail.
As seen here, the Cummins Creek is a multi use trail, so you might see some hikers that want to shoot photos as you shred by.
The grassy pasture at the top of the trail turns into a root filled ridgeline that weaves through amazing fir and cedar trees until it spits you onto a fire road to the ocean. This was our last stop on the dirt bag journey, and we accomplished some great business while keeping it classy, Freehub style. We pursued the open road until we hit home turf in Bellingham for a morning ride on Galbraith. It’s tough being a dirt bag, but we hope this little recap of our trip inspires you to go out and get dirty!