Sunday, February 19th, 2012

MTB: Henry Coe Hunting Hollow to Middle Ridge and back

Since we have been away from Henry Coe (esp. long rides we used to do) for so long, when we thought about doing a fairly long ride this weekend, I naturally thought about my first ride at Coe (see MTBR thread: First time to visit Coe. Route suggestions and first aid preps? ) . My bike was nicely fixed (broken shifter cable housing) by Passion Trail on Saturday, but I felt anxious about the ride, even more so than before my first ever Coe ride from what I remembered. Not sure why.

We would pretty much follow the same plan — Hunting Hollow to Middle Ridge and back, except that we would like to do more singletrack and less road (thus up JDT and down Spike Jones as well as returning via Anza) and we'd like to ride if we don't have to push (so no hike-a-bike on Creekside). It worked out well and I really like the route, esp. when Erik's socks came out of the ride pretty clean (usually we toss a pair after every Coe ride due to all the burs). All four shoes and socks are all soaked though because we rode through the deep creek crossing at the bottom of Poverty Flat Road. No biggie. (P.S. On a subsequent ride, we found that the creek can be easily crossed on foot over rocks without getting gear wet.)

I took photos, but none stands out (I ain't Skyline35). Won't bother posting.

A few things about this ride:

  • When I told Erik I'd like to descend Timm, he said he wouldn't. But when he led the way down Spike Jones, he made a split second decision and went off Timm thinking that's what I wanted. But he was out of sight then so I descended Spike Jones trying to "follow" him. We normally regroup at every intersection, so I was surprised when I didn't see him at the bottom of Spike Jones. I waited for a while before riding on thinking he went ahead to Anza. Well, he burped a tire on Timm and had to pump it up, so when he came down, he waited for me at the bottom of Spike Jones (after I already passed) — apparently, he thought I was THAT slow!  It was not until the top of Jackson when we reunited, but it was not a good feeling to ride not knowing the whereabouts of your partner. Lesson learned — clear communication!
  • Trails and weather were both in their top riding condition.
  • We carried enough food and water that we decided to skip HQ since we didn't start the ride early enough. That was the part from our first Coe ride that we missed.
  • I did alright on the climbs, but didn't manage to clean the whole of Anza-Jackson. So, I was quite happy when I cleaned the Mahoney Wall (after 29 miles and 7000' on GPS).
  • I purchased a Bear Bell right before the ride. Most of the time, I had it completely silenced (sometimes, I would half silence it). But when I was going down hill fast (e.g. on China Hole descent and Flat Frog), I had it "unleashed". Erik was riding far ahead enough not to have to listen to it, but it worked very well with hikers and other bikers. Often times when I rode by, they were already well pulled over and seemed happy to have plenty of notice. I like it but I won't do a shout out on MTBR considering that some people may just leave it on the whole time whether needed or not, which sure would be annoying if you are going the same way.
  • After we loaded our bikes in the car, two young women, Christin and Yuhong,  returned from their hike. We had a very nice chat. Yuhong called my name because she recognized me from my blog or MTBR :blush: . I was very amazed when she told us she had been hiking around and fly fishing in Henry Coe. She did trailwork too! That was a very pleasant encounter.

Here is the track. I'll post turn by turn directions tomorrow (since I do recommend this ride).

Turn-by-Turn Directions: (~39 miles / ~9K feet of ascent)

Hunting Hollow parking lot » Hunting Hollow Road  » L: Jim Donnelly Trail » R&L-ish: Cutoff to Spike Jones » S: Spike Jones (optional L down Timm which merges back to Spike Jones) » L: Grizzly Gulch Trail » R: Coit Road » R: Anza Tr » R: Jackson Tr » L: Elderberry Spring Tr » L: Rock Tower Tr » L: Domino Pond Tr (to a wooden structure at top of the mound) » S: Cattle Duster » L: Coit Spring Trail (to a sign post by a fence)  » R&L&R: cutoff then Cross Canyon Tr (incl short steep section) » L: Coit Road » S: Mahoney Meadows Road » L: China Hole Tr (to a creek crossing) » S: China Hole Tr » R: Manzanita Point Rd » Optional (not on above track) out and back to HQ (follow the wide fire road to the end)» R (or L if you come from HQ) : Flat Frog Tr » S: Hobbs Road » R: Middle Ridge » L: Poverty Flat Rd » R: Shafer Corral (the intersection comes 0.1 mi after Mahoney Meadows Rd intercation) » R: Narrows » S: Narrows (1st time crossing Mahoney Meadows Rd, don't take the Rd) » L: Mahoney Meadows Road » R: Lost Spring Tr » R: Mahoney Meadows Rd » S: Coit Rd » R&L: Cross Canyon Tr (back to that sign post by a fence) » R: Grapevine Tr » L: Anza Tr » S/L: Coit Rd » S: Gilroy Hot Spring Rd (paved) » Hunting Hollow parking lot

The track is also available for download on Garmin Connect.

One Response

  1. Christinon 20 Feb 2012 at 10:32 am

    It was nice meeting you too! :) I hope we run into each other again soon!