Sunday, March 15th, 2009

MTB: Oat Hill Mine Road, Boggs, and Angwin

We went up to Napa Valley for a mountain biking action packed weekend.  The weather was perfect on Saturday. It drizzled on Sunday, but as people say, when it rains, ride at Boggs and Angwin; that's exactly what we did and the trails were just fine.

I did not take many pictures on the rides because I was too busy riding. I have uploaded all the photos to our gallery.

Oat Hill Mine Road

I had heard good things, or scary things, about this climb, and all turned out to be true. You get very good scenery on this 4.5 mile climb. On the first 3.6 miles, I started feeling good about myself thinking "what's the big deal about this climb?" The grade is very moderate; and it is not very technical. Yes, there are rocks and ruts here any there, but it's fairly easy to pick a good line. When we reached a flat spot with a gorgeous view, I thought that was the top and was ready to pat myself on the back. Then we saw a sharp right turn. The road continues up, so up we went. Suddenly, the road turned into a bitch. Either really loose, or scattered with big broken rocks, or both. I pushed quite a bit. Mud rode more than I did, but I could tell he did not push himself very hard. He admitted he could have pushed himself harder, but it probably takes a riding buddy like Delbomber to arouse the competitive side of him. Delbomber is a very skillful rider. We would like to bring him out here some day.

Boggs Mountain

The trails were in perfect condition. Last time when we were here, our bikes got very muddy, but not this time. The two trails covered under snow two weeks ago, Karen's and Bear Bones, were snow free and nice this weekend. We did two laps both days with variations here and there. On Saturday, we were pleasantly surprised to see a mini van with Maherajah decal and in it was indeed Bob whom we met on our last ride. He just rode with his daughter. They both will be in Boggs IV 8-hour endurance race in two weeks. Mud and I will be in it too, but we would ride solo. I told people jokingly that's because we were not team players, but really I just wanted to get as much action as I can out of the event.

Edie's Resort

Edie's Resort is where we stayed for the night near Boggs Mountain. It's a very small cozy cabin, but it got everything we needed. We saw some interesting architectural features near our cabin.

Angwin

I hesitated whether I should even mention it or not. Some people say because the trails are on private land (owned by Pacific Union College, a private Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts college), mountain bikers should be as stealth as possible. Well, I agree that mountain bikers need to be especially sensitive while riding here because access is never guaranteed, but I believe anyone has as much right to ride there as the locals and me as long as it is not illegal, so I do not want to pretend that we had never been here. I did my homework though.  I asked questions on MTBR; I called the college administration and Angwin Public Safety. I got very a warm welcome from both departments. However, Mud convinced me to respect the local culture and avoid riding there on their Sabbath.  When we were gearing up on Sunday afternoon in the drizzle at the airport parking lot, it felt almost a little miserable. However, as soon as we started riding, it was great. We enjoyed ourselves exploring the maze of the singletracks like two big kids.

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