A Motto to Ride By

by Beth Donovan

Meet Melissa Hall. 
As the saying goes, look at a person's calendar and see what is important them.

Melissa's calendar is surely jam-packed; however, as you'll see below, there's plenty of room for the important things!

Hi Melissa, tell us a little about yourself!

I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. And, I’m still here with my family! Our son has become a bike rider and our daughter is an equestrian. Needless to say, I spend a fair amount of time chauffeuring them to their events.

Family is a priority.

I’ve worked part time for 20 years at a dental office as a front office business manager, and I usually commute to work on my bike. I ride a minimum of 60 minutes a day, mostly in Trione-Annadel State Park, and also some cross road rides. I have a love for animals and an eye for photography.

Being out in nature is essential to my life, so planning my next ride is always on my mind.

You and your son share a special bond formed by trail riding. How did that come about?

Brayden and I have been riding together for over 5 years now. We ride together a couple times a week in Trione-Annnadel State Park a 10 minute ride from our house.

Brayden is on the A-team, a local mountain bike team and I am a ride leader for the group. It is super fun to be out with the kids riding, which is something we have missed due to COVID but are looking forward to starting up again.

I really enjoy having him as my riding buddy - chasing him on the uphill and now him waiting for me on the downhill. He keeps me motivated to go try new trails and is always looking forward to our next ride. 

You’ve put significant time and energy into the community Pump Track. Tell us more about that.

The Santa Rosa pump track was sponsored and funded by REMBA, Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Association. It is located at Northwest Community Park and is a smaller dirt pump track. It is well used by kids and adults, on all different types of bikes.

Creating the pump track involved working with the city for approval to use the land, raising money to support the work, grading and creating the track, providing the tools for work and maintenance, installing a state of the art bench for spectators.

Of course, there is ongoing maintenance and upkeep. My son and I go weekly and help with the maintenance, including raking, watering, sweeping, and compacting with the Bomag.

What adventures do you have in store for 2021?

Weekend adventure gravel rides with my girlfriends, Truckee Bike Park and Downieville with my son, and family trips to Sedona or Moab.

Where is your favorite place to escape to?

My favorite local place of escape is Trione-Annadel State Park. It has the best mountain bike riding trails within riding distance from my home and office. Annadel is beautiful with its trees, rocks, wildflowers, wildlife and variety of terrain and views. Being in nature, riding, is a true escape for me.

My favorite faraway place of escape is in the mountains camping, especially Lake Tahoe and Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. I was lucky enough to be able to go camping with my family at Tuolumne every summer when I was growing up, so it is a very special place to me. I love the mountain lakes and meadows, the high sierra mountain peaks, and the cold, melted snow rivers.

Any parting thoughts?
My motto is “always make plans to get your rides in” and my plan is to get my piles of gear organized before bed.

Melissa's springtime go-to arsenal: