Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Low Key Hill Climbs and Henry Coe, Again (Mississippi Lake)

We did not plan to duplicate last weekend, but it just happened this way.

Saturday: Low Key Hill Climbs, Quimby Road

We were planning to go climbing at Pinnacles today, but last night, we found out that our mountain bikes were not ready for tomorrow's Coe ride that we had committed ourselves to. Since we were going to be in town, we might as well do a hill climb an hour away. I'm glad that we did it. Erik, to some extent, redeemed himself from last weekend's "stunning" performance. I'm happy with my performance again. The ride back via Quimby and Hamilton was quite nice too.  For results, photos, and details, see Low Key website.

Sunday: Henry Coe, Mississippi Lake

Riding to Mississippi Lake had been Erik's dream for many years, but for whatever reason, it never happened. Finally, we decided today was the day.

The  pictures:

Ahhh, the important things first: http://picasaweb.google.com/mudncrud/MTBCoeMississippiLake# . If picasaweb is blocked at work, you can see our photos (unfiltered and un-captioned) at Mud 'n Crud Gallery.

The route:

We started from Hunting Hollow Parking Lot, took a side loop to Timm Trail, went to Mississippi Lake, and then took a different way back. Here is a run-down of our route.

Gilroy Hot Springs Road (paved) -> R: Coit Road (from Coyote Creek Entrance gate, fire road, to the first split) ->  R: Spike Jones Trail (Stay on it. Grizzly Gulch Trail goes left at one point; then at next split where Timm Trail merges in from the right, stay left ) -> R: Timm Trail (fun going down it with many buildup jumps) -> Spike Jones Trail -> R: Grizzly Gulch Trail -> L: Dexter Trail (a couple of tough short climbs followed by mellow climbs) -> L: Wasno Road -> R: Kelly Lake Trail-> R: Coit Road ->L: Willow Ridge Road (8+ miles of rolling hills) -> Mississippi Lake (Yeah!!!) -> back trace Willow Ridge Road (for a short distance) -> L: Pacheco Ridge Road -> R: Coit Road -> L: Live Oak Spring Road (a nice alternative to Coit Road, it goes into Wagon Road) -> L: Wagon Road (follow it for 4-5 miles) -> R: Bowl Trail (towards Willson Camp) -> L: Lyman Willson Ridge Trail (a sweet whoop-de-do single track) -> R: Hunting Hollow Road

The route in Google Earth

The total distance was around 34.65 miles, totaling 7018' of elevation gain (according to the three GPS units, two bicycle computers and one altimeter). (See processed data at Motionbased from Mei's Garmin Edge 305, MTB Guru from Mei's GPS, MTB Guru from Erik's Garmin Edge 301)

The riders:

Derek (Delbomber) — Erik's good buddy for many many years. He is a funny fellow. He rides slowly, yet very steadily.  His slow speed skills are amazing.  Sometimes, it can get pretty hard if you get stuck behind him climbing a hill. Today, he impressed every one by clearing a couple of very steep hills that others pushed.

Dave –A friend Derek introduced to us. He is an adventure racer, preparing for a 10-day race in Australia. Derek had told us that "this guy is fast," and he sure is. He is a well rounded rider because he is strong going uphills and fast going down.  Yet, he is very patient too.

Erik and Mei — enough said.

The ride:

Fabulous!

It was a great idea to throw in the side loop (Spike Jones -> Timm Trail) before we got on our Mississippi Lake business. Tim Trail is a lot fun going down. Instead of doing the ride all on fireroads, we sought out singletrack whenever possible. Grizzly Gulch Trail to Dexter was a nice alternative to Coit Road. Coming back, we took Bowl Trail to Lyman Willson, which gave us a lot of satisfaction. At the end of the ride, When we hit the bottom of Lyman Willson near Hunting Hollow Parking Lot, Dave's altimeter read 6940' of total elevation gain, determined to break 7k, we turned around and rode up Lyman Willson until we hit 7000'. Mind you, we were all pretty tired by then and there is not a patch of flat ground on Lyman Willson. It was silly, but I laughed so hard that I almost fell off the bike.

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