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organically fed
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was fid'n to ride Skyline (the Napa one) today, but I changed my mind and did Oat Hill Mine Trail for the second time. The last time I rolled the Oat, I was in 32/16 and I got owned hard. It was a great day to take my bike for a walk. This time, I rolled 32/18 and thrived, relatively speaking.

I set out to clean everything on the way up, analyzing and redoing every place I dabbed. In most cases, by "dabbed" I mean "got knocked to a gut-busting halt". This is how I learned how to ride the rough stuff earlier this year in Chico. That practice broke down toward the top of the trail, as my will to live was zapped out of me, but I'm very happy with today's ride.

It started out foggy, but Mr. Sun was already putting up a good fight and would soon concquer most of the valley...





This was my first dab. It's pretty weaksauce, I just lost my mind for a sec and got off my line and hit one of those rocks. No big deal.



Unlike last time, I was doing very well on the climb and this was a voluntary stop just for the photo opp...



The next dab. I left my bike there to show the general line I was taking, then the next few pics show what lies ahead and the view back down toward my bike. I was debating on whether to stick with the loose, rocky line on the right or try and go high on the firm stuff to the left. I had forgotten to air down, so I did that and climbed up the loose stuff with ease...









Another weaksauce stop. This trail will do that to ya. I passed through with ease on the second attempt.



These next two pics don't capture the difficulty of this section. On the right, it's loose and rocky with a sharp uphill at the end. On the left, it's big, solid rock with a sharp uphill at the beginning, then flat until the end of the section. I opted for the left, but it took three attempts to clean it.





Another voluntary stop, just for the photo...



This is a very steep, but small hill at the end of a short, semi-fast section. The key is to hit it with as much speed as possible because you can't climb it, but I missed on the first attempt...



These next two pics are the same location, were the trail starts to get really "moon rockish". The way through this piece is to hop up on the left and float over the larger stuff...





I didn't get stopped here, I just wanted this picture...



At this point, the trail is just jacked and it had long-since sucked my will to live, so I was just hiking and taking pictures.









I didn't feel like messing around with Aetna Springs this time. I was out of water and I had a hella-mad cravin' for some Red Vines...



Chinese rock wall...



Gather 'round the fire pit and tell some ghost stories?



Holm Place?





I just learned how to do this today...





The end. :)

Thanks!
 

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One of the best trails!! I've cleaned the whole thing but never all at once. I usually have a dab or two in the last half mile, because I'm getting tired pedaling a 48 lb. bike. ;)

Of course all that travel and big grippy DH tires are an advantage in many ways but the weight certainly isn't. However the return trip is a blast on an 8" bike!! I wish I lived closer....
 

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NedwannaB
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Don't be aSShamed on gearing...

.......lower parts heading up have their subtle challanges, upper section does tend to school yah on a single. I think one needs a rock crawler gear to really enjoy the technical aSSpects of this trail.

w00t! said:
did Oat Hill Mine Trail for the second time. The last time I rolled the Oat, I was in 32/16 and I got owned hard. It was a great day to take my bike for a walk. This time, I rolled 32/18 and thrived, relatively speaking.

Another voluntary stop, just for the photo...

This is always a refreshing view to get up to that justifies the altitude gain during the initial climb, but quickly drops from memory when working the final aSSault to the top, huh? Great shot to see Mt. Tam in the distance. What program did you use to post this pano??

w00t! said:
I just learned how to do this today...



The end. :)

Thanks!
Great ride report, pix and effort wOOt on that 32/18! Might try a 20t on your next venture and you may SSummit to the camp realatively unSScathed. :thumbsup: Have to say you need to show a little more reSSpect though to your truSSty SStead then leaving it flayling on the terra firma, I saw plenty of pedal props in those photos!:nono:
 

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organically fed
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the kind words, y'all.

JMac47 said:
What program did you use to post this pano??
Canon's software that came with the camera.

JMac47 said:
Great ride report, pix and effort wOOt on that 32/18! Might try a 20t on your next venture and you may SSummit to the camp realatively unSScathed. :thumbsup:
It's hard to imagine anybody cleaning that last really nasty section. I'm tempted to just push my bike up the trail and focus solely on that area sometime with a fresh pair of legs. On second thought, nah...better to just ride it regularly and get to the point where my legs are still fresh by the time I get up there.

JMac47 said:
Have to say you need to show a little more reSSpect though to your truSSty SStead then leaving it flayling on the terra firma, I saw plenty of pedal props in those photos!:nono:
lmaonade
 

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nice write up and pics, I've never attempted Oat Hill on an SS but am now a bit more tempted.

I've only been from Calistoga up to the top. What is the ride like down to Aetna and back? How does it compare to the ride up from Calistoga?
 

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organically fed
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
2clueless said:
which program did you use to make the panorama pictures?
Canon PhotoStitch...it came with the camera.

In the second pano, you can clearly see where all five frames were put together. I'm sure I could have fixed that with the software provided, but I didn't realize the need for it until later. Guess I'll have to go back soon and shoot some more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
grundy said:
I've only been from Calistoga up to the top. What is the ride like down to Aetna and back? How does it compare to the ride up from Calistoga?
I haven't done Aetna yet, but this guy has:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=471637

Hopefully next time I'll make it there. I think it would actually be a refreshing ride after the climb and probably make the DH back to Calistoga a little easier.
 

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Birthday Collector
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Been wanting to head up and do that ride someday. Esp interested now that I see some other !d!ot has done it on an SS!!! :) Don't know how many stops it would take me... Might be a reason to try to find a 22t for the rear... 33 x 22 on a 29'er - anyone else tried that? JMac47 - what do you use - 32 x 14 on your 26? Have you started to breathe hard before you get to the top, or do you start on the second trip up?
 

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NedwannaB
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Easy now ATB.......

ATBScott said:
Esp interested now that I see some other !d!ot has done it on an SS!!! :) JMac47 - what do you use - 32 x 14 on your 26? Have you started to breathe hard before you get to the top, or do you start on the second trip up?
Hey Scott, no contrary to the alien reputation you've beSStowed on me, I am still of the flesh and presently running 34/18 :D. I finally wore out my 17t cog and bumped it up a knotch (or would that be down :confused: ) anticipating a 650b SS set up on the Bizango in the near future, in the meantime I'm putting a big cushy 26" 2.4 Mutano on back, theoretically getting back to the magic 2:1 ratio. We'll see how it goes.

Not sure how I'd do up "that little hill" on the SS nowadays, have not been up it with said setup for quite some time, '04 maybe.
 

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ATBScott said:
Been wanting to head up and do that ride someday. Esp interested now that I see some other !d!ot has done it on an SS!!! :) Don't know how many stops it would take me... Might be a reason to try to find a 22t for the rear... 33 x 22 on a 29'er - anyone else tried that? JMac47 - what do you use - 32 x 14 on your 26? Have you started to breathe hard before you get to the top, or do you start on the second trip up?
I did 33x22 on my xxix for awhile. It was really nice when climbing stuff in Colorado -- I really wasn't used to the altitude, new to SS, and needed any help I could get. I took it off when I got home, and put on a 21 instead. But, I sit more than I should (at places like the legal parts of china camp), so probably should go to a 20 and just stand more. At a place like oat mine, I'd be willing to bet that you would love to rock it 33x22. That place looks tough -- especially with the rigid fork. The ride down looks really fun - lots of challenges.
 

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Oat Hill is my favourite trail in NorCal. I take my hat off to anyone that gets to the top, especially on a hardtail SS. I've only seen two SSers on the trail and neither got to top. I'll stick with my gears, thanks.

The Aetna Springs is not a bad ride, it is flatter than the Calistoga side and not as rough, but there are three or four spots where you are flying down the trail you suddenly find yourself getting into a bit of a pickle. I do the Aetna Springs every time when it not closed. It is still better than many trails in NorCal.

And for any of you wondering what the trail is like from Holm(?) Place to Robert Louis Stephenson, forget it. Parts are illegal. But seriously, I hiked my bike for about ten minutes. Then put it down and hiked on foot for another ten minutes. Not worth it in my opinion. The rideable parts between the unridable parts are not worth the hike-a-bike. One day I will hike the whole trail with my Wife for the sake of hiking and I will know for sure.

I took a Pro dowhiller friend to Oat Hill and he cleaned it from bottom to top on his first go (Anthem Advanced). Another friend of mine cleaned it on his third go (4" Niner). I've had about six ascents (Giant Reign) and half were with only one dab and it kills me inside because each time I dab in a different spot so I know I can clean the whole thing. The pressure of trying to ride it no dabs is too much. My other goal is to ride to Holm Place and back to Calistoga in under an hour. In that case I will ignore how many dabs I do because I usually ride the first four miles slow to conserve energy for the fight in the last mile.
 
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