The Populaire is the shortest event in San Francisco Randonneur Brevet series and is known for the more conversational pace amongst the riders and the great post ride barbeque. It serves more as an introductory ride and a social gathering for all the riders, and as I’ve done it multiple times, I didn’t really sweat it on the preparation. But we’ll get more into that later…

Usually each year after the Flèche (an event that is 360 km or approximately 220 miles in 24 hours), the Boyz on the Hoods will take a hiatus from randonneuring and explore other endeavors. Brian dedicated more time to riding his cross bike and doing some S240’s, Carlin picked up some KOM’s, Ian lead a wanderneurring series (walking + randonneuring), and I decided to rest a troublesome ankle and revamp my touring bike.


Unfortunately Ian wasn’t able to attend yesterday’s event due to his Wanderer’s Union commitments but we had honorary Boyz on the Hood member Nathan (and his awesome Frances bike) join Carlin, Brian and me for our adventure. Now onto all the juicy details that made this the populaire of errors.

Camino Alto is usually the first climb on the traditional Point Reyes Populaire route and usually breaks up the group. I saw Carlin charge up ahead and another group of riders followed him up the climb. I strangely found myself in the front of the second group of riders and I was moseying up at a steady pace while Brian and Nathan were hanging back and conversing. I usually don’t like to be in front of a large group while ascending a hill, as I tend to be pretty cautious on my descents (Anthony from Long Leaf Cycles echoes a shared sentiment: “I descend like a man who has two young children, doesn’t make a dime if he can’t get to work, and doesn’t have health insurance”) and don’t like to slow down others with my cautiousness.

As I was coming down the hill, I rounded a blind corner only to see a deer standing in the middle of the road. It’s not uncommon to see such wildlife in the area, but this was my first time facing this sort of pickle. Luckily the deer moved to it’s left and I was able to dodge it but not before letting out a high pitched scream.


As we continued along the route, we veered off the road around Samuel P. Taylor State Park and took the dirt section through the park. Unfortunately as we exited, we took the wrong route into Point Reyes Station and it ended up being a longcut. A few riders gave us some quizzical looks as we came into Point Reyes from the opposite route, but as I was feeling a bit bonky at that moment I was simply glad to have arrived at Bovine Bakery.

Nathan, Brian and I each got the chicken/cheese/pesto croissant and met up with Carlin who had been hanging out for awhile already. We took an extra long lunch break and got to talk to Ely from Ruth Works SF. He just started up his Facebook page, and we told him to get on Instagram, which he replied “that’s the thing with the pictures, right?” We also explained how we could start hashtagging his work so other customers could showcase his work, to which he replied “So when you do the hashtag thing, where does it GO?” The internet truly is amazing…


Soon after we left Point Reyes Station, Brian noticed a flat on his rear tire and cursed the rando gods (old and new) and bemoaned his decision to roll with the Gran Bois Cypres’ rather than Jack Brown Blue’s. We quickly replaced and pumped up the the tube only to shear off the removable valve core due to the thread on mechanism for Lezyne pumps. The second tube we used ended up having a leak as well (Note to self: don’t put punctured tubes in your box bag and forget to patch them) so we just ended up patching the original tube. What originally was supposed to be a five minute flat repair turned into a furious thirty minute session.

We managed to finish the rest of the event without any other errors, but I was definitely feeling tired by the end of the ride. The combination of not riding long distances since the Flèche and the high temperatures during the day really sapped my energy and I’ll have to keep in mind to be more prepared next time. The ride finish was at Crissy Field and the event volunteers put together a tasty barbeque that managed to have food options for all carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. Despite a windy setting, most randonneurs stuck around to converse and enjoy the rest of the day.


RBW SF HQ: The Sub-240-Hour-Storefront

If you haven’t heard already, Rivendell Bicycle Works (RBW) is setting up a temporary headquarters (HQ) in San Francisco (SF). I’ve been to the Walnut Creek flagship store many times already and it’s great place to test ride bikes or just shoot the breeze with some cool dudes. The SF shop is a mix between a show room, art gallery and an eclectic variety store. They’re only there until June 9th, so make sure to stop by and stock up on some pine tar soap or any other knick-knacks you need. Photos courtesy of Nancy, 1/2 of in(still)life (not a girl group, but photo blog), and you can check out some more photos from our friend Manny.







How to Talk Dirty


Many times while riding with the Boyz on the Hoods crew as well as the Box Dog Bikes crew, I catch myself saying some dirt riding specific slang that I’ve picked up through mountain biking and riding with kids. Most of all they’re for fun, but some are useful. Here is a list of some that I use most often:

  • Stoken [s-toh-kuhn] noun: A combination of getting stoked (or excited) and token. One may receive stokens from another riding member or even a stranger for doing a daring act on a bicycle. Ian just earned some stokens for riding through that tough singletrack. 
  • Shred [shred] verb: to plow through or ride hard on a bicycle.  Often times shredding occurs during a trail that is harder to navigate; however, can also be synonymously used with riding on dirt. Note: this word can also be appropriated as a noun by adding a ‘z’ at the end. Bro, that was some sick shredz back there. 
  • Gnar [nahr] adjective: a way to describe a hard section of trail due to bumps, holes, ruts and/or debris. This is often used in conjunction with the verb shred: shredding the gnar. If the trail has multiple difficulties within a short section, one can accentuate the meaning by repeating the word. (maximum of 2 times) With the wind AND the mud, Mt. Sutro was a little gnar gnar today. 
  • Rad [rad] adjective: originally an abbreviated term for radical, this term means to do jumps, to do tricks or to just add a lot of flair to your riding style. Irving got so rad on that jump back there. 
  • Body English [bod-ee ing-glish] noun: refers to the posture of a rider and his bike.
  • Superman Position [soo-per-man puh-zish-uhn]  noun: riding with your butt behind the saddle with your body stretched out in order to prevent an endo.
  • Endo [en-doh] noun: when a bike rider hits the front brake too hard or hits an object with his front wheel and falls forward. Originates from end over end.

Trail features

  • Extra Credit [ek-struh kred-it] noun: this term refers to an optional piece of trail that will lead back to the original trail. Often times the extra credit will have a jump or a berm or just sick single track.
  • Flow [floh] noun: a way to describe a design of a trail. A cyclist on a trail with good flow will mean that he can keep his momentum high without having to pedal or brake too hard.
  • Kicker [kik-er] noun: a small jump that often doesn’t have a landing ramp.
  • Whoop-de-doo [hwoop dee doo] noun: this refers to a camel style hump or dip in a trail that can be pumped and fun to ride.
  • Berm [burm] noun: refers to a ramped sidewall of a trail to help maintain speed through the turn, similar to an embanked turn on a velodrome.
  • Switch back [swich bak] noun: a part of a trail that negotiates a steep climb with a tight turns.