The road to ranger camp
We began our journey in San Jose airport carpark, meeting, greeting, and getting to know the gear the bikes and the bike industry people we'd be spending the next few days with. After packing our bikes and making a few adjustments we had lunch and then headed straight out of the airport carpark and headed for the hills. We took in some excellent cycling paths negotiating the hustle and bustle of San Jose.
It was a great feeling being back on a bike after a 12 hour flight, and in the midst of a large bikepacking convoy that definitely turned a few heads.
This has been my first trip to the U.S so cycling through the town and backroads was a great way to see and experience this strange yet familiar environment. Though, I was more than happy when we began leaving the concrete confines of the city and heading for hills and into the beautiful Californian countryside.
After a long road haul we left the tarmac and began our route off-road working our way up an extremely scenic, single track climb. And what a climb! A seemingly endless accent, but an extremely well carved and constructed section of trail, boasting some amazing views.
I even ended up riding down a few sections of the climb and then back up as it was just to fun to miss. I also ended up getting separated from the group after, missing a turning and taking a detour before eventually realising I hadn't seen anyone for a good 20 minutes. Fortunately, I backtracked and managed to rendezvous with Chips who was sent back to find me after they realised I was missing. I did see an interesting lizard though.
After an unexpectedly long day we arrived at our destination in the late afternoon. RANGER CAMP! Greeted with a prebuilt fire, a much needed table of food, a cool-box full of beers, and a mini cocktail bar!
Food throughout ranger camp was absolutely on point.
After some glorious food and fire lit conversation we woke the second day to a cold and yet atmospheric mist covering the camp. We spent the best part of the day being educated on the whole programme, learning about the kit and everyone involved, plus some interesting history on the Blackburn brand. We were also introduced to Adam who gave us the low-down on the exquisitely designed Kitsbow clothing line.
The day was finished off with more amazing food, fire, beer and of course: a hatchet throwing contest.
More to follow.