Here is the route (the best way to follow the route is to go to my my ride on MTBGuru and click on OSM mode in the map and zoom in): Hunting Hollow >> Jim Donnelley Trail (up) >> Spike Jones Cutoff >> R: Spike Jones >> L: Steer Ridge Rode >> L: Wilson Peak Trail (DH) >> R: Grizzly Gulch Trail >> L: Wagon Rd (incl. a single track bypass by Wasno Pond, and a few fun single track cutoffs) >> Fish and Game Trail >> Coit Rd >> Coit Lake Trail >> R: Coit Dam Rd >> L: Coit Ridge Trail (up) >> Coit Rd >> L: Pacheco Ridge Rd >> R: Phoneline Trail (dh) >> Coit Rd >> L: County Line Rd >> L: Mississippi Lake Trail >> R: Bear Spring Trail (up) >> L: Bear Mountain Rd (DH) >> Blue Ridge Rd >> The Narrows Trail >> L: Mahoney Meadows Rd >> R: Lost Spring Trail >> R: Mahoney Meadows Rd >> Coit Rd >> R: Cross Canyon (dh) >> R: Grapevine Trail (dh) >> Anza Trail >> L: Cullen (skip it if you just want fun) >> R: Grizzly Gulch Trail >> L: Spike Jone Trail (up) >> R: Spike Jone Cutoff >> L: Jim Donnelly Trail (dh) (42.6mi / 9,320' ascent / 7:29 riding / 2:30 resting – Strava stats)
See, everybody has one weekend in a year when people around says, "it's your weekend, and you can do anything you want." So, this is my weekend. Mr Mud suggested Downieville for a long weekend. Hmmm, tempting, but I have something else in mind. I wanted to go play with the beast, Bear Mountain, and have a good time this time. That's my riding assignment. The problem is on last weekend's painful Coe ride, Mr Mud already told me he was ticked out. So, I played nice — I offered to spend Saturday rock climbing at Pinnacles. (See, I like rock climbing, and I like mountain biking, but unlike somebody, I like to keep them separate. ;)) Little did I know that it was not very nice to take another person to Pinnacles when it was 105 degrees hot — that was the temperature we arrived in. It was hot even in the shade and drained energy out of me. Tired by the end of the day.
Then… Sunday arrives. Having stayed in Hollister the night before, we managed an alpine start — 8:45am, a whooping whole hour earlier than last ride! I have studied the map and mtbguru to come up with the above route. I tried to maximize the fun single track riding. For that reason, effort was made to take all the single track bypasses and cutoffs that Skyline35 and others have shown me on previous rides. I included a detour to Phoneline Trail too, which is a fun downhill.
The toughest part on today's ride is lack of wind, which makes it feel especially hot. But in contrast to the steep climbs we encountered on our last Coe ride, the climbs on today's ride are all mellow. If you don't count Cullen Trail, the entire route is very mellow — the hardest climb is the Mahoney Wall, which many of us are familiar with and have no problem cleaning, even near the end of the ride. A couple of single trail climbs (that we normally don't get to) are Coit Ridge Trail and Bear Spring Trail, both at a moderate grade and in a surprisingly good shape considering how remote they are.
Cullen is on its own — I included it only because it's on plymmer's Solstice route, and I have not gone this way (from Anza to Grizzly) before. There are some very steep bits on it both uphill and downhill. I ride what I can and push when I have to. I have a grin on my face even when pushing though because I have absolutely no leg cramps today, which makes the hike-a-bike not big of a deal. Last weekend, my legs cramped with every step when pushing the bike, which made it even more painful than riding. Anyway, I strongly recommend anyone interested in following this route take Cullen (and subsequent Grizzly) out because it changes the characteristics of the whole ride unless you don't mind some pain on a fun ride.
Having done the ride, I say proudly that I reached my goal — my goal was to create the route that involves Bear Mountain in a fun way and makes TahoeBC want to get out there. The upper part of Bear Mountain Rd is a roller coaster ride — lots of downs and ups. But don't worry because the ups are never long or steep enough that require hard pedaling. I really felt that I was playing with the beast on the fun roller coaster. The lower part of Bear is a steep and loose down hill. If I didn't have to focus on maintaining traction while descending, I would have had an evil grin on my face just because being able to ride Bear Mountain without any pain gave me a lot of satisfaction. Even if you choose never to ride UP Bear Mountain, when you are descending it, make sure you think of the crazy few who have chosen to go the other way. I'm sure you'll feel some pleasure, albeit maybe guilty pleasure.
Since there is not a lot of hike-a-bikes on this ride, I didn't take many photos. Here are a couple.
Oh, we are officially ticked out and burred out. Will probably not return to Coe until October 13 or later. Bowing out.
Related and Unrelated links
Track on MTBGuru (click on OSM mode and zoom in)
My ride on Strava
Mr. Mud's ride on Strava
My ride on Garmin Connect
Mr. Mud's ride on Garmin Connect (it shows the temperatures)
Report on MTBR
Riding assigment? Oh, writing assignment!