Posted Jul 21, 2013
Skyline Park in Napa is like a sucker-punch to the gut; the word “park” suggests that it might be a playful place with green grass and maybe an ounce of moisture somewhere. Instead, the wind is immediately knocked out of you with a climb right out of the gate that lets up only to pitch you down a craggy, steep, dusty downhill littered with treacherous rock outcroppings. So what better way to enjoy the company of other local framebuilders than to camp out at Skyline and race each other? Curtis Inglis has been helping put on the Skyline Park Mountain Bike Race for quite a few years and suggested we make this year’s race a stop on the Meet Your Maker Tour. Thankfully we’re a hearty bunch and had a great turnout for the builders: Rex, Hunter, Sycip, Black Cat, Falconer, Soulcraft, Paragon and of course, Retrotec. The Saturday night before the race started with a lap around the course which served as a reminder that this place is the real deal, and that maybe a singlespeed wasn’t the best choice of bike. After the ride while most were carefully preparing pre-race meals, we were gorging on fajitas, beer, chips, and whatever else was in arm’s reach, and having decidedly juvenile conversations in Silverek’s restored ’65 travel trailer lasting way past any semi-serious racer’s bed time.
Sunday started with pancakes, coffee, and what looked like garage sale of single burner camp stoves resting on tailgates, tree stumps, and fold up tables. Adequately stuffed and without a proper (or any) warm up, it was to the starting line and off to the races. Some of us did one lap, some two, and a few did three. Especially challenging was the “Rick Hunter Extreme Section”, if not for the rocks then just for the distraction of seeing a giant picture of Rick’s face tacked to a tree right before charging into the rocks. At the finish Michael Gyetvan of Pizza Azzuro and Norman Rose Tavern cooked up thin crust pizzas for us in his trailer-mounted, wood-fired oven. Talk of the next gathering didn’t take long to commence. So let’s see; great riding, great people, great food? Yeah, I’ll have that.
Down and dirty with local framebuilders in Napa by Gary J Boulanger on DirtRag