I did it! Here is the proof:
A few days ago after our last weekend's ride, Skyline35/Charlie brought up this Everything Skeggs (aka All of Skeggs) ride, conceived by Biking Brazilian. I tried, but couldn't get the idea out of my mind even though that meant I had to say to Erik that I would not go diving with him and his friend, a plan they made a while back. However, when I tried to recruit riding partners, the friends I asked all gave legit reasons not to do this ride, or not to do this ride with me on this day. (And ratpick/Patrick beat me to it by three days.) Fine, I'll with just ride with me and myself then!
I started the ride at a crack 'o dawn 9:27am. Okay, "crack 'o dawn" was the plan and 9:27am was reality. That's okay, riding solo, I'd like to wait for the mountain lions to have been fed before I get on the trails. The rest of the ride all followed the plans perfectly though. The plans are:
- Do not crash.
- Do not have major mechanical issues. Flats are always a time sink.
- Do not cramp.
- Do not bonk.
- Do not get lost.
I did have one moment of scare though. That was when I was flying down ECdM trail with only about three miles to go near the end of the ride. I turned around a corner and suddenly saw a rider coming up. I braked hard and the almost bare rear tire skidded a little. Then I wanted to pull over to the side to let him by. That was when I still had a little speed and a root that stuck out of the wall on the side that I didn't notice clipped my handle bar. My bike twitched and started tipping towards the cliff side. I can't count how many times I had tipped over because I couldn't clip out, but luckily this was not one of them. I managed to got my feet on the ground before the bike went over the cliff. Whew! I immediately did a head check — I had been riding very conservatively the whole ride and I would not screw up in the end!
I could feel my thighs threatening to seize up from time and time and I was always able to back off just in time to prevent it from cramping up. I made sure to keep drinking my sports drinks and ate quite a bit during my breaks. I did not get that noodly legs feeling throughout the ride. Whoohoo!
Not getting lost. Well, I know the place well enough not to get lost. But what I really needed was to follow the route religiously so I would not leave any segments out because that would have not been All of Skeggs. I did over shoot Timberview on its out and back (went about 0.15 miles too far before turning around). That turned the GPS (Garmin Edge 305) "Do Course" feature useless (a bug in the software), and that was only 5 miles into the ride. However, instead of reading the directions at every intersection, I was able to keep moving most of the time. Here is my secret (click to see the full size):
As you can see, I broke the route into a few fairly simple segments. Every time I just needed to remember the segment I was doing. It worked pretty well for me because otherwise my stop time would have been more, but instead my over all time was less than seven hours.
I was amazed how well thought out this route was. It tackles the most difficult climb (Lower Fir) and the most challenging trail (S. Leaf) in the early stage of the ride. The more into the ride, assuming the more tired you are, the less technical the riding gets. Not only that, it covers all the most popular trails such as Manzanita, Steam Donkey, Blue Blossom, Resolution, and Giant Salamander in their "correct" direction. The only modification I made was I did the out and back on Spring Board Trail right after Blue Blossom before exiting CM06 so that I knew once I took a break at CM06, what was left for me (about 16 miles) would be mostly just fun downhills and easy uphills.
I ran into two friends with their respective groups on the ride. At two occasions, different riders (spartan23 and Neela from MTBR) recognized me from the MTBR posts and we had nice chats. Neela made a comment that he saw my ride last week (in this MTBR thread) that was just ridiculous. I made a mental note not to say anything about the ride I was doing. Another thing that made me happy was I was able to give directions to a few people on the ride off the top of my head. Glad to put my knowledge about Skeggs to use! It was embarrassing though when I kept running into the same groups a few times because I was doing a lot of out and backs (in the south east quarter). They must have thought I was weird.
For the last third of the ride, I had the GPS on map mode. I didn't want to know the time because I didn't want to worry about it. Figured I would just ride based on how I felt. I cheered out loud when I got back to the car and saw that my ride took less than seven hours. That was a whole hour shorter than I had expected. Yeee ha!
Now, this ride had officially made my Skeggs Ride Collection. For details of the ride (directions and map), please see that page.
A year+ later, I uploaded the ride to Strava.
Skeggs Everything Hall of Fame
Initial composition by Skyline35.
• Route Designer: Biking Viking on MTBR: post
• September 29, 2010 Patrick's solo ride: "Every trail at El Corte de Madera Creek OSP" Plus3Network post and Strava post
• October 2, 2010 Mudworm's solo ride: "A Mudworm's Thoughts » All of Skeggs — Skeggs Everything — MTB Ride" Blog post and Strava post . And I have the course record!
• October 29, 2011 Patrick's group ride: "Skeggs Everything – Oct 29 – Mtbr Forums" thread link and Patrick's Strava post
• June 20, 2012 Skyline35 (Charlie)'s solo Solstice Ride: "ECdM Everything Skeggs" Strava post, MTBR post, and
• June 28, 2012 MTBR's sparkyJay reported completion via rating submission form: "I did it a bit out of order, but got them all!" . sparkyJay's Strava post
* July 21, 2012 Patrick, Roy, mudworm again re-lived the glory (for a silly Strava footie challenge). MTBR Thread (#106 and up), Patrick's strava, Roy's strava, mudworm's incomplete track on strava. Knocked it off in 7.5 hours total. A good pace for a group ride.
* July 27, 2012 mudworm served as guide for Mr. Mud's Hall of Fame Induction ride. Mr. Mud's strava, mudworm's strava, Garmin Connect, and
* June 19, 2013 Skyline35's 2013 Solstice Ride. mtbr, strava.
* July 6, 2013 Shredchic's (Almost Everything) ride: comment submission, strava
* Aug 31, 2013 mudworm and Mr. Mud's ride: My Garmin Connect, my strava, Mr. Mud's strava
* Sept 4, 2013 Michael Chapiro (michael1): MTBR Thread. At age 19 (probably half the average age of the rest of finishers), he is the youngest finisher of this route!
Note: This list is no longer recording more recent finishers. Sorry about that.
• My rendition (It worked for a visual person)
• Other resource and Weather condition
• GPS tracks: Abundant. See the above link, but for the very latest edition (best optimized), please see my Skeggs Rides page.
Suggested changes (from original route and plan) based on collective wisdom
The latest route that incorporates all the recent new trails and closures at Skeggs was published on 7/19/2014. Please see above section for ride links (for GPX).