The Need for Speed: Facilities Employees Find Adrenaline Rush on Two Wheels

By Robert Hood on July 05, 2022

Facilities employees mountain biking.
Joe Huang

If you happen to be in Fairfax on the Camp Tamarancho bike trailhead and you see three guys fly by, there’s a chance that it’s UC San Francisco Facilities Services employees Sonny Nguyen (red shorts), Ken Gong (not photographed), and Joe Huang (white tank top).

The 10.8-mile trail, a favorite of Bay Area mountain bikers, has a 475-feet elevation gain that splits into three trails – Alchemist, Goldman and Serpentine. The trails are a daunting challenge for the most experienced mountain biker.

“Sonny and Ken first introduced Orlando Sanchez to mountain biking,’ Huang said. “I would always hear them talk about how fun and challenging it was. They kept asking me to join them but I was always hesitant because of my riding skills.”

Huang, an inventory warehouse supervisor for Facilities Services, eventually gave in and agreed to ride with Nguyen at China Camp Trail in Marin. “I was definitely not prepared on that ride,” he said. “I didn’t even have a helmet. Luckily, Sonny had an extra helmet and insisted I wear it. Sure enough, mid-way down the trail, I crashed, flew over the handlebars, and landed head first in the gravel. Thankfully, it was Sonny’s helmet that had a big crack and not my head.”

Nguyen, an HVAC technician, and Gong, a recently retired carpenter assistant supervisor, now have a regular riding partner in Huang. “It’s always a blast riding with Sonny and Ken,” Huang said. “They always make me feel 30 years older because they don’t break a sweat going up the hills while I’m huffing and puffing and drenched in sweat.”

Huang is currently riding a 29-inch YT Jeffsy full-suspension mountain bike.  “I love the looks and components of this bike.”

In addition to mountain biking, Huang also rides motorcycles. He is currently riding a 2017 Honda CBR600RR. For a supersport bike, Huang said the motorcycle is very reliable with good ergonomics. “I’ve been riding motorcycles since my twenties,” Huang said. “The speed is addicting!”

Huang said he joins friends on motorcycle rides up to Four Corners by Alice’s Restaurant on Highway 35. “Hanging through the corners is always fun,” he said.

Whether it’s mountain biking or motorcycle riding, Huang encourages people to ride safely. “Know your limits, ride with proper gears, and go out and have a blast!”