Thursday, September 06, 2007

Facility Bike Club

One day last week, we had six riders on the lunch time ride. There was Kristy, Kathy, and the usual cast of characters too...myself, Sandie, Jon, and Scott. I was looking around during the ride, and it occurred to me that none of the riders were from "The Facility"...the place where this blog was born. It also got me thinking that most people that visit this blog have no idea what the heck "The Facility" refers to.

Me on my Haro Escape - January 2002

It started back in 2001 when I worked at a place known as "The Computer Facility". I found myself getting a bit unhealthy, and was at my heaviest weight ever. There was a water club and a coffee club, so I thought I'd start a walking club. After a few weeks of doing that, I was getting bored and thought riding bicycles would be way more fun. Could we ride at lunch, and still make it back in time to start work again? Todd, Robert, and I brought in our neglected bicycles in an attempt to answer this question. And so it began on our rusty 10 speeds, Huffy's, and old hard tails. We were having a bunch of fun. Others soon joined...Bill, Dennis, Casey, and Patrick. A few others joined periodically, but never stuck with it.

Todd - January 2002 (This is where the bike path now runs)

Watching the carnage on "Hamburger Hill" - January 2002

There were a lot of injuries when we were first getting started. Our courage and testosterone were out of balance with our skill level and equipment. Slowly, we all started updating our bikes with updated models. Many of us have bought several bikes since then.

Patrick, Todd, Scott (aka The Sarge) - April 2002

We started off doing some easy road loops with a hint of dirt. The "top" back then is what we consider the beginning of the trails now. We were pretty proud just to get to this point though. That all changed when The Sarge showed up. He pushed us up into the hills further and faster then we've ever been. In fact, we are at the same limits of our domain as when he left several years ago. You just can't ride much further in the lunch hour. I believe Scott was the first non-facility rider we had.

Patrick and Scott(Sarge) on the Creek Trail - May 2002

In 2002, we started getting together for some group rides up at Tahoe on the weekends.

Robert, Casey, Me, Scott, Amy - November 2002

Casey, Robert, Scott - November 2002

Scott (The Sarge), Todd, Me, Bill - May 2003

Bill and Todd @ Hole in the Ground - September 2003

Bill is known for his crazy stories.

Dennis, Robert, Me, Todd - December 2003

Robert, Todd, Me - December 2003

Standing next to this tree (above) is a popular place for a photo shoot!)

Scott (The Sarge) - June 2004

The Sarge left us in the summer of 2004 for the East Coast. This is one of the last rides we did with him, an after work ride. It rained on the climb, but it felt good in the summer heat.

We hope that he may be back someday. He's an awesome rider and an even better friend.

Waterfall Fire - July 2004

Todd - Waterfall Fire 2004

In the spring of 2004, many of us were getting bored of the trails. In July the Waterfall Fire struck, and we were closed out of trails for a long time while the restoration of the mountains was underway. We had taken the trails for granted, and were taught a lesson in appreciation. We slowly crept back into the mountain before it was legal to do so though. We couldn't take it anymore! Casey even made the front page of the paper. It showed him riding one of the trails with the caption, "Keep Out!". I started writing this blog in the Fall of 2004.

Patrick, Todd, Ryan - December 2004

Ryan joined us in November of 2004. His racer skills humbled us quickly. We always enjoy his stories of adventure racing and X-Terra events. Most of us think he's nuts.

The Bike Path - January 2005

The winter of 2004-2005 was rough. It snowed a ton and stayed cold, entombing the trails for a couple months. We had very little to ride. Mostly asphalt loops.

Ash Canyon - May 2005

Spring of 2005 was like a re-birth. A new appreciation was found for the great trails we had. Beauty was coming back to the mountains after the fire.

In June of 2005 we acquired our first female rider, Barbara...also a non Facility worker. I remember everyone being skeptical when she showed up. Could she hang with the guys? She quickly showed us she could, and us guys made sure we were in good shape so we didn't get "beaten by a girl". Barbara is known for her climbing skills.

Patrick and Barbara - November 2005

Sandie joined us in the Fall of 2005. She was a beginning mountain biker, but quickly gained her fitness and skills. It wasn't too long before she was riding all the same trails we were.

Sandie - January 2006

2006 was definitely the year of the girl rider. On any given day in the summer, there'd be more girls than guys on the ride. Sandie joined us full time, while Kristy and Kathy joined as their schedules allowed. The original Facility guys were starting to disappear. People found new jobs, quit riding, or retired.

Dennis, Sandie, and Todd - June 2006

Barbara and Kristy - August 2006

Kristy, my wife, started riding with us periodically beginning in 2006. Our son's new school schedule, and her updated equipment enabled her to get into town to ride with us more often. Her full suspension Stump Jumper opened up a whole new world of riding for her. Kristy has skills and courage from years of riding dirt bikes. It's been my dream come true to start doing some serious cycling with her too.

Sandie met Kathy through soccer, and invited her to join us at lunch. Kathy has been riding for years and has racer fitness and skills. She'll put you into max heart rate on the climbs if you let her. She's also a very skilled downhill and technical rider.

Barbara and Kathy - December 2006

Kristy, Ryan, Sandie, Barbara - January 2007

Sandie broke her ankle at the end of 2006, and rejoined us in January of 07 after a brief hiatus. The picture above is from her first ride back.

Amy and Jeff P, Barbara, Sandie - January 2007

We met the Potter's in the Fall of 2006. We ride with them primarily on the weekends, but they join us at lunch when they can. The Potters are responsible for exposing us to all sorts of new trails and places to ride. They also make the best cup of coffee in Carson City.

In the Fall of 2006, I quit working at the Facility and left for a different agency. Todd, Patrick, and Ryan remained.

Kristy and Kathy - February 2007

By the beginning of 2007 many of us were starting to buy road bikes. We've been adding road rides to the weekly schedule on occasion.

Sandie, Kristy, Barbara, Todd - February 2007

The winter of 2007 was cold, but mild in the amount of snow that we got. We were able to ride almost every day of the winter. When it comes to the cold weather, the girls are just as tough as the guys.

Marcus - May 2007

Marcus found us in the Spring of 2007. He was doing a google search for trails in the Ash Canyon area and found our blog. Since then, Marcus has helped out with lots of cool blog pictures and posts.

Jon - June 2007

We met Jon while riding at lunch this summer. He was a runner that was just getting into cycling. This guy has some natural talent, and was immediately riding our trails with no prior single track skills. He also came with fitness too, thanks to his running.

Scott J. - June 2007

In early 2007 I recruited my new co-worker Scott J. to join us. Scott has been riding for years, and adapted quickly to our trails.

Facility Bike Club - Present Day. Only Todd and Ryan remain as riders from the place where it all started. The Facility doesn't even allow bikes on the property anymore! It's almost silly to even call ourselves by this name, but the history is there, and nobody has really thought about changing the name.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip through FBC history!


wolfy said...

Indeed. Makes me want to get on the trail @ lunch time. I'll have to settle for riding my new RenoBikeProject bike to Quiznos.


lauren said...

that's a cool little walk through history.

i like seeing how it progressed.

Xd said...

bring back the sweat pants! just kidding. nice history.

Jeff said...

Sweat pants and an unbreathable windbreaker! Stifling!

Scott said...

Man ol man...So many good memories. Hopefully I can make it back in 2008. You guys made working for the DMV bearable. I'll never forget the day my manager said, 'Scott, I notice you're not in your seat as much as I would like'...hahaha So for 1 week I made sure my lunch hours were exactly 1 hour. Then I went back to 1 hour, 15 mins.

bluecolnago said...

"Our courage and testosterone were out of balance with our skill level and equipment" that's perfect!

great documentary. great.

oldmanandhisbike said...

As the man Paul Harvey says "and now you know the rest of the story".
Very cool history. Looks like you all have had some fun over the years.
I don't think there is enough memory on my blog for my back story! :^)

Dan said...

They don't allow bikes on the property?

Jeff said...

That's correct. We used to keep bikes in our offices. Then came the remodel. They didn't want bikes in the new building. They had me check into bike lockers. Too expensive. They gave us a utility closet for bike storage, but that was later taken away for other stuff. This happened right around the time I left. They have to keep their bikes in their cars over there now. I work in a different building. I can keep my bike at my desk!

Smudgemo said...

My bike gets its own cube for now. I'm assuming that will change when the next guy gets hired, but for now I don't have to compete for space on the building's rack.
Well, not that anyone else gets there as early as I do, but I do feel guilty about taking the best spot on the rack every day.
Ah the days of a lunch ride. We had one going at one of my former jobs that switched road/mtb each day. The 30+ mile Tuesday road rides with Cat2 & Cat3 guys were brutal and oh so fun. Nowhere to lunch ride these days, but at least now I can commute by bike.

rigtenzin said...

Thanks for providing the history. I bet it's really fun for the members to see the photos. This proves taking photos is worth the effort.

Jeff P said...

Great post J Mo....and two nice photos of Todd and his Daisy Dukes.