Report from Field Agent Kev-1:
When the NYC crew headed to Marin for a week this June, I had to at least try and get in a ride in the MTB fatherland. We were staying in Olema (pop. 55) and I called up the only shop in town, Cycle Therapy (keeping with the time honored pun-based bike shop naming tradition). The owner, Dave, informed my that yes he was closed and that yes, we could rent bikes... meet him at his shop in 10 minutes. The shop consisted of a battered weed covered tow trailer in an empty lot next to a bakery. Upon arrival he hung a phone on the exterior wall of the bakery, plugged it in, and declared himself open for business. In short order we were equipped with 1991 vintage hardtails (Iron Horse, I think) coupled with first generation Manitou front shocks and some bootleg water courtesy of a pilfered municipal spigot key Dave had acquired.
Dave pointed us in the direction of the Boinas Ridge Trail (which I later discovered is somewhat of a regional classic, Marin even had a "Bolinas Ridge" frame back in the day) and described the trail beginning with an easy climb and then good, easy fun. The climb revealed itself as somewhat of an unrelenting five mile death march on boiler-plate-hard ruts under a scorching treeless sky. After an hour of swearing directed mostly at me, our group finally entered eucalyptus grove on the top of the ridge, stopped to eat some blackberries, and then pushed on into some Endor-like redwood forrest which really was super-fun high speed rollers all the way to the end for an epic view of the ocean and Tomales Bay. Turned around, smoked the mostly downhill return 11 miles in no time, nearly rattling our rides back into their original components along the way and finished back at the ranch for some BBQ oysters and a nap.