Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Night Riding and Covid-19

I haven't written any posts in a long time.  We are a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and have been self isolating.  Trips and vacations have been cancelled.  It's hard to get outside.  But being cooped up inside for so long has made weekly gnar even more important.

We have been self isolating for maybe 2 months now.  So no trips anywhere, no trips to Tahoe, parks all over the Bay Area are either closed or have severe restrictions.  We tried to do a hike on Mt. Sutro on a weekday a few weeks ago.  Mt. Sutro was so crowded and the trails were so narrow that it just felt traumatic.  Trail runners literally breathing on you.  After that I sort of internally dismissed Mt. Sutro as a place to go until this is over.  We did a hike on Lands End recently, and even though the trails are >10 feet wide, there were still a few people crowding us.  At one point we stopped on the side of the trail to admire the view, and a couple literally brushed past us and touched us as they walked by.  This was on a section of trail that was empty and 10 feet wide.  Some people are just inconsiderate and dumb.

But sometimes I'm the idiot.  A few days ago, I finally remembered night riding.  It's like I just totally forgot about it or something.  This is typically the wrong season for it since sunset is currently at 8pm, and it still takes 30 minutes to get dark after that.  I usually go night riding in the Winter, when it gets dark around 5pm.  Then I can get a nice ride on a weekday after work, and still come home for dinner at a reasonable time.

So last night I went for a ride on Mt. Sutro.  It felt so good to get some mountain biking in.  I didn't see ANY people, which was awesome.  I did see a raccoon from a distance, and I had a close encounter with a skunk.  It can be pretty creepy alone in the woods at night, shadows moving around, shiny eyes looking back at you, and the Eucalyptus trees creaking/cracking in the wind.  But man that was fun.

I haven't ridden the trails in a while, but I know the area well enough to see that some parts had been through a little santization.  Some bits were wider, a few tight trees were missing, some trail had been rerouted, and I think someone took a sledgehammer to some of the rocks.  Still a good time though, and it feels like I finally found a good pandemic activity for the outdoors.

That's not a camera flash, that's how bright my helmet light is.  It turns the night into day.

Lots of these signs up throughout the park.