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(slight return)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I gave in. I caved on a lifetime of avoiding fees at any, uh, price, and bought a Tamarancho pass for 2006. I'm all psyched about Tamarancho now (to justify the $40) and wanted to start a thread about everything Tamarancho.

What's your favorite part of the trail?

What part gives you the most trouble?

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

How long does the loop take you?

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

I've ridden there 3 times now. In the last 2 visits my switchback technique has improved 2-fold on the downhills and 10-fold on the uphills. There's one switchback around a big rock will be a long project, uphill at least. I have a small mental block on the rock garden on Wagonwheel after almost endo-ing there on my first visit. My biggest fear - getting clotheslined while riding into the sun shortly after sunrise.

-slide
 

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aka baycat
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8,480 Posts
Favorite part is the whole trail, techie singletrack but I really enjoy it being a new rider out there.

Hardest part is the switchbacks and those wood bridges, and the one where you gottas climb up some big ass slab of rock. I have enough trouble clearing all switches but I am getting much better like you said you are. Those 3 damn bridges, jeez are hard cannot keep my tire straight and fell off two of tem.

Nope still working on cleaning the entire loop, I wish I could hammer it like China Camp, but that is a different type of trail. Guess I just want to be able to ride Tamarancho a bit faster.

Done it both ways!
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
Rancho is fun

What's your favorite part of the trail?

The rock garden. Either up or down, its a blast.

What part gives you the most trouble?

The boulder in the uphill direction (clockwise around the loop). I got up it once, and have no idea how I did it. I can't get up it again.

The bridges I can clean, but it is major pucker factor for me for some reason.

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

Not in the same ride :)

How long does the loop take you?

about 1.5 hours to and from the car parked at the Java Hut. I once smoked it in 1:23, but I think that was out of sheer luck.

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

Both have good points. Clockwise gets you down the rock garden and makes for a nice roller coaster ride on B17 (I think, I never got the trail names straight), but counterclockwise gets you down the boulder, and a good workout.

A good ride out there is one lap each direction. It makes for a nice 19-20 mile ride to and from the car in 2.5-3 hours.

Yeah, I think imonna pony up for a pass this year. I haven't ridden rancho much, and was recovering from being un- and under-employed for so long, so I was doing $5 day passes. This last year I found myself out there once every few weeks, and loving it again. I musta spent $60 in day passes this year.
 

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Old man on a bike
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12,395 Posts
The rock on Serpentine sounds like what's getting you guys. That is a fun one, I make that unless it's slimy (but it used to get me regularly in the past). The rock garden section on Wagon Wheel has bitten me on occasion when I'm not paying attention (technically Wagon Wheel's no longer part of Tamarancho, the Boy Scouts having dealt the land off to the Marin Open Space folks a while back). The bridges can be slick when slimy, too. Just wish we had more of the techy sections.

When I just ride Tamarancho proper I go from the Java Hut, up Iron Springs Rd to Alchemist, then left on Goldman to start my first loop clockwise; when Broken Dam ends at Iron Springs Rd at the top I reverse my loop (but do that B17 extension up to the fireroad just once); I can get back to the Java Hut in 2 hours if I push myself a bit, but I usually take more time to enjoy the ride. Tamarancho's also a great launching point for rides off San Geronimo Ridge to make bigger loops, Pine Mtn being a good example. Of course a beer at Iron Springs Brewery at the end is a good thing...

I've helped build and maintain trail there and encourage you to put in some maintenance time, too; a pass is but a good start (and puts you on the mailing list). Welcome aboard.
 

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What's your favorite part of the trail?

B17. Great flow, reminds me a little of Lawndale @ Annadel

What part gives you the most trouble?

The rock on Serpentine.

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

Cleaned it all except the rock yesterday. Legs were too roasted after a fast loop at China Camp. Got the rock last time tho!

How long does the loop take you?

From the start of the Alchemist singletrack, right around an hour.

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

Seems like it would be fun either way, but I had to stop way too many times for oncoming cyclists the one time I went counter clockwise. In that sense, it just seems to flow better when I run it clockwise.

I only went about three times last year, as I'm willing to drive to places like Demo, Auburn, and Annadel to get some good riding in. China Camp (my regular loop involves both sides with three fun downhill chutes) is still an unbeatable combination of flowing singletrack, technical downhill chutes, and convenience, but I'm looking to change it up a little more this year. Might be worth it to buy a pass, my rides out there the last few weeks were good ones.
 

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bridges

Whoever built those bridges either only looked in one direction or only rides in one direction!

slide mon said:
Well, I gave in. I caved on a lifetime of avoiding fees at any, uh, price, and bought a Tamarancho pass for 2006. I'm all psyched about Tamarancho now (to justify the $40) and wanted to start a thread about everything Tamarancho.

What's your favorite part of the trail?

What part gives you the most trouble?

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

How long does the loop take you?

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

I've ridden there 3 times now. In the last 2 visits my switchback technique has improved 2-fold on the downhills and 10-fold on the uphills. There's one switchback around a big rock will be a long project, uphill at least. I have a small mental block on the rock garden on Wagonwheel after almost endo-ing there on my first visit. My biggest fear - getting clotheslined while riding into the sun shortly after sunrise.

-slide
 

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It's about showing up.
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12,738 Posts
My favorite part

is the cuties that make coffee at the Java Hut.

I like the ride clockwise and have always felt as I encountered riders cooming the other direction that they were "going the wrong way." I generally clean the rock on Serpentine but not always. I think my favorite section is B-17 after the split and bridges or B-17 just after it starts and after the Manzanita; I call that The Hobbit Run.
I generally clean the entire loop in about , I dont kow , 1-1.5 hours or so;depending upon the smell of the roses. The part that givs me the most "trouble" is Alchemist. I guess that is because, while is itsn't very hard, it feels awkward as I am not loose and it can be sloppy. I love it coming down.

To any and all:

Don't be an ass, buy a pass!

It's got kind of a ring, doncha think?
 

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Trip the Bike Fantastic
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588 Posts
What's your favorite part of the trail?

Navigating the madrones, the views on wagonwheel, chillin' under redwoods at the b-17 junction, meeting friends everywhere

What part gives you the most trouble?

weekends.

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

yes - but the slab taunts me clockwise and wagonwheel's rocks spite me cclockwise.

How long does the loop take you?

Never timed just the loop, but from my house a whole tour takes about 1:15

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

see above.

4 me, Boy Scouts is usually the sweet pie after a bigger area ride, or a quick escape during a busy day. An awesome trail system, a big win and showpiece for mtb in a county that's had a love/hate relationship with fat tires. Thank ewe.

Buy a pass - a gold one if you can afford it. They're oh-so fashionable. Check out the upcoming volunteer trail days too.
 

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gimme friction
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1,133 Posts
Ahh, Tamarancho...

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

- I typically ride the loop clockwise. This affords riding the Wagon Wheel rock garden downhill, and you get to rail on B-17. IMO, the overall flow is just better.

- I've never cleaned The Rock. I've watched people do it, and I think it is all in the gearing. I don't think the rock itself would give me that much trouble, it's just the approach, wiggling through those first two tight spots, then standing up on the bike to make the rock.

- My favorite section is probably B-17 downhill. Like someone else wrote, it has flavors of Lawndale, just not as long. But I also really love the views of Cascade Canyon and Mt. Tam from Wagon Wheel. I also really like the climb through the trees near the top of Serpentine.

- When several months have gone by between loops at Tamarancho, each section has me thinking 'This is my favorite part'; 'No wait, this is my favorite part', 'No wait, I like this the best'...really, the whole thing is special. Part of what makes it so great is the variety.

- I usually take about 2 to 2.5 hours to and from Java Hut, with lots of stops to lollygag. I typically take several stops for views on the front side of the loop (before the saddle below White's Hill), and then hammer through the rest.

- I've never cleaned the whole loop, but I don't care. I've just recently gotten to where I can get through all of Serpentine and Wagon Wheel without dabbing (except The Rock, of course). I never ride the bridges, they give me the heebie jeebies, especially when wet. I never rode the old stunts on Goldman, either.

I've had annual passes for the last two years, and will of course re-up for 2006.

edit: one thing Tamarancho has helped me with tremendously is navigating switchbacks. And that is a good thing.
 

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Tamarancho Passion

I love riding the trails at Tamarancho. It's always been one of my favorites. Seems to have just the right combination of ascents, descents, flow, and backwoods feel to it to always fuel my passion for great singletrack. My favorite part is the climb up Serpentine through all the sometimes slippery Madrone roots. I usually do the loop clockwise, seems to be most popular, but the other way is great fun on weekdays on my slacker rides. I almost always clean "the rock", but getting around the roots with my tires and my handlebars between the trees on the Serpentine climb always gives me the most trouble. I have cleaned the whole thing on numerous occasions. I haven't really timed it, but I usually allow a couple of hours, including breaks. Gotta stop at the bench at the big dam bridge to honor Jim Jacobson and those folks in the Forest Knolls Freewheelers who did the legwork and the trailwork that made thie wonderful place possible. Did I cover all the questions? By the way, I think the bridges are great in both directions. Thank you IMBA trail crew. I cleaned the old double teeter totter a couple of times. Watched my buddy go off the high side and break his collarbone once. Made it feel a liitle bit "haunted" after that and I never even attempted it again. That stunt could not survive without regulat maintenence. Great idea for a thread! Many fond memories and great feelings for that place. See y'all out there again real soon.
 

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Own a piece of Tamarancho!

Hey Slackernaughts!!! All ye who profess love of Tamarancho trails -now's your chance to PROVE IT! Trail work starts this Saturday @ 10 AM (but better check to be sure: http://www.btcmarin.org/ (navigate to events & look for contact info.) BTW- I'm just another volunteer -not a recruiter. Usaully meet by the ranger's HQ -but contact BTC for best info.

This is how all the damage done by trail shredders and storms magically disappears. Become one of the blessed elves. These trails were built by vounteers -and MAINTAINED by same. Next time you ride past a beautifully repaired section of trail -you can say: "Look Honey, I built that"

Trail workers usually put in about 4 hrs work (unless BIG rain hits) bring work gloves & your camelback (hiking boots are good too -esp when rainy). All tools provided. Usually ride after. Meet the original crew! Its always fun & rewarding -AND you get to build some upper body strength!

If you REALLY want to be a star, join the BTC Marin (bicycle trails council) They are folks who created & maintain the Tamarancho trails & many others in Marin. Cool people & many top riders.
http://www.btcmarin.org/
 

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bike geek
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1,051 Posts
slide mon said:
What's your favorite part of the trail?

What part gives you the most trouble?

Have you cleaned the entire loop?

How long does the loop take you?

Clockwise or counterclockwise?

-slide
Great thread! I was out there Sunday morning, man was it cold! The thermometer in my car said 35 degrees at 8am in the parking lot. Bundled up good and was still freezingazzz on the ride from Java Hut up Iron Springs, but by the time I got up Alchemist, I was so warmed up I nearly puked!

Made my usual left turn onto Goldman, since I prefer to ride it clockwise. I feel like I'm going the wrong way if I go counterclockwise, having so much oncoming traffic really breaks up the flow. I've gone ccw only twice, and I must admit cleaning that rock slab people keep talking about is pretty fun going down.

My record time from the bottom of Alchemist and back was somewhere under an hour. Barely stopped to rest, since I was preparing for a race, but usually I take 1:15-1:30 from The Hut with a couple/few stops.

My favorite section is B-17 and the first part of Broken Dam. Wagon Wheel is fun too. And I like Serpentine. Well heck, I guess I like it all!

One of these days I plan to check out Porcupine Trail and the new White's Hill Trail as part of a bigger Tamarancho ride day.

And in comparison to China Camp, well, there really isn't any. Tamarancho is much more fun, even when including that back-side trail China Camp.
 

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WWYD?
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1,603 Posts
Ditto (see above)

Just chiming in. I agree with everything stated on the thread, but here is the new twist:

Everybody now has to try the new Loma Alta Connector starting from behind White Hill School off of Glen Dr. If anyones interested I'll post a detailed thread and will set up a ride to show it off. The trail is a nice (legal) doubletrack to (legal) singletrack and has a few technical drops that will challenge your skills too. The loop runs under 3 hours for people that are comfortable with Tamarancho with breaks and is 18 miles. You make a lap and a half on Tama and hit all the trails because you enter the loop by B-17 at the log bridges. Guaranteed fun, great trail got greater.
 

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(slight return)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
tamjam said:
Great thread! I was out there Sunday morning, man was it cold! The thermometer in my car said 35 degrees at 8am in the parking lot.
Hey, I must have just missed you, I was probably freezing my @ss off 10 minutes ahead of you. I left my car on SFD at 8am and did the loop clockwise in a bit over an hour, 1:30 car to car . You must have also been passed by the super-human in blue. I have never been so thoroughly dusted by anyone on any trail...

tamjam said:
One of these days I plan to check out Porcupine Trail and the new White's Hill Trail as part of a bigger Tamarancho ride day.
My second time to Tamarancho I turned around after one loop, rode back up the to the B-17 connector and then out to the Pine Mountain loop. Came back down the new ridge trail through White's Hill OSP. A good ride, 4:20 car to car :) It's hard to go back to fire roads though after riding a lot of single track lately - even Pine Mountain.

tamjam said:
And in comparison to China Camp, well, there really isn't any. Tamarancho is much more fun, even when including that back-side trail China Camp.
My backyard... I don't think you've discovered it all yet :)

-slide
 

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bike geek
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slide mon said:
Hey, I must have just missed you, I was probably freezing my @ss off 10 minutes ahead of you. I left my car on SFD at 8am and did the loop clockwise in a bit over an hour, 1:30 car to car . You must have also been passed by the super-human in blue. I have never been so thoroughly dusted by anyone on any trail...
I know exactly who you're talking about! I left Java Hut before he did, and the next thing I know, halfway up Alchemist, he's within striking distance of me. So I downshifted, and tried to ride a bit faster (and I don't consider myself a slacker by any means), and he still gained on me. I "let" him pass me at the Goldman intersection as I shed a layer. :rolleyes:

I never saw him again.

slide mon said:
My second time to Tamarancho I turned around after one loop, rode back up the to the B-17 connector and then out to the Pine Mountain loop. Came back down the new ridge trail through White's Hill OSP. A good ride, 4:20 car to car :) It's hard to go back to fire roads though after riding a lot of single track lately - even Pine Mountain....
This is kind of what I had in mind, except skipping the Pine Mountain part, as fun as Pine Mountain can be. Just do something like what johnnyb has written about.

slide mon said:
My backyard... I don't think you've discovered it all yet :)
-slide
I'm sure you're right. I've only ever ridden CC once with people who actually know their way around. I pretty much do the same ride every time when I go on my own since it's all I know .
 
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