Sunday, May 25th, 2008

MTB: South Skyline Region

It’s a long awaited three-day weekend, so normally we would have taken the opportunity to go somewhere that we otherwise couldn’t get to on a regular weekend. However, the weather in the Sierra looks crappy, the traffic in and out of the Bay Area sounds daunting, plus the gas price is rediculous, so a ride near home sounded like a very good idea. And it was Ryan’s idea. He proposed a ride that would go through Long Ridge, Skyline, Russian Ridge, Montebello, and Upper Stevens Creek parks — about 23 miles and precisely 2000′-6000′ of climbing.  Derek, Brad, Cory, Erik, and I joined him. (I heard that Jeff F. partied too hard last night to make it.)

We left the parking lot around 10am. It, in my opinion, was the perfect weather for riding. For the most part, Ryan, Erik, and Derek led the way. Erik and Derek would get in a contest from time to time, and sometimes, the contests got so violent that they started elbowing each other while pedaling like mad men. All I could say was, “Be careful, you kids!”  Everyone on the ride was a good downhiller. Often times, when it came to a long downhill section, I would pull aside, let everyone fly by, stare at their fast disappearing behind with envy, and then I would ride at my mudworm’s pace through the dust still lingering in the air.  Derek would probably have had gone even faster if he had not crashed after being cheated by a loose rut hidden behind a jump shortly after the start of the ride. Besides the scrapes in his right arm and one knee, His palms were visibly bruised. That had to hurt!  But of course, Derek was not to be deterred by setbacks like this!

After we came down Canyon Trail, Cory decided to split and take Stevens Canyon Road to chill by the reservoir. Was he the smart one! The rest of us suffered the long grinding climb up Table Mountain Trail and Charcoal Road. Ha, think you can always leave me in the dust? Think again!  On this climb, I managed to pass others and snuck up behind Erik making him think it was Derek catching up to him so he must peddle harder. He didn’t find out it was me until we were at the top.  Grin

I forgot to turn on my GPS until half way into the ride, so the data is useless. Derek’s odometer read 23.92 miles by the end.

Here are some pictures (click for full-size image). For all pictures, please visit the gallery.

Route Map
Derek played with dirt again.
Cory and his new bike.
Guys on bikes look so hot!
Our ride organizer, Ryan. What a nice route he had planned! And we didn’t get lost!
Erik is color coordinated.
What is Ryan smiling about?
And Brad is smiling too! Don’t they know a climb is waiting around the bend?
Brad enjoying the ride.

[Note: This ride report was posted to the forum first.]