Saturday, January 17th, 2009

MTB: Henry Coe (HH->Mississippi Lake->HH again)

This is my trip reported posted to MTBR.

I still could not commit last night. Erik had an orthodontist appointment this morning. I felt that I should wait for him and do something locally together in the afternoon, but Charlie just made the Coe ride sound too enticing. Right before we went to bed, Erik said, “You should go ride Coe. I’ll be both envious and jealous, but you should go. You’ll have a blast.” Well, when the alarm went off at 5am and I rose form the warm blanket reluctantly, it was probably me who was both envious and jealous.

I guess I was not the only one non-committal. After Charlie pulled into the parking lot to only be surprised to see me, Plymmer showed up unannounced. Being hopeful, we waited for five more minutes before deciding that this was it — the three of us — and started peddling into the bone-chilling wind, which thankfully disappeared as soon as we got on Coit Road. Diesel~, on his way out from his planned short spin, somehow caught a glimpse of Charlie’s shoulder (he didn’t mention anything about the head) before it disappeared behind trees. He reved up his engine and caught up with us on Cross Canyon Trail right before it hit Willow Ridge Road. Well, the rest, you’ve learned from Charlie, he made his way out by visiting Mississippi Lake with us.

I did my part in keeping the pace moderate as Charlie had promised. But boy, can boys talk! They chatted every chance they got. Our stops here and there could last up to half an hour. They not only chat while idle, they chat while peddling too. Especially Diesel~ and Plymmer, they were still heard making conversations on 15% gradient climbs! Sheesh! If you think they were talking about important stuff like my skirt or Plymmer’s Man-In-Black outfit, you are wrong. They engaged themselves in intense discussions about bike parts, accessories, trails, trailworks, etc. You know, the irrelevant stuff. Oh, speaking of trailworks, there were a few stops on this ride as a result of trail maintenance as well. I caught Plymmer and Charlie showing off how handy their hand saws were.

While Diesel~ and Plymmer led most of the way, Charlie stayed with me most of the day. He kept looking back to check on me making sure I was not dropped. It was nice for a couple of reasons: 1) Some trails, such as White Tank Trail and Rose Dam Trail, are very little traveled and are almost too faint for me to tell where the trails go, so it was very helpful to follow someone who knows the trails well; 2) On some rolling sections, Charlie knew the trails/roads so well that he knew exactly when to peddle hard in order to gain enough momentum to coast up to the crest of the next little hill, and man, that saved me so much energy! Actually, so much energy was conserved early on that I was able to maintain a decent pace in the end. But did I crush anybody? Pfffft! I wish. Charlie was just too kind.

It was a fabulous day riding with a group of fantastic people.
All the pictures are available on Picasa for easy viewing and they are captioned. The same pictures are also uploaded to my gallery (without captions but with all sizes) for my posting convenience. Here are a few highlights:

Roy (front) and Charlie on Cross Canyon Trail. Only when I got there did I find out how improbable it was to climb that section Roy just climbed. It is steeper than it looks.

Charlie nicely asked Plymmer to re-cross this creek covered with a sheeth of ice. The ice breaking made quite some noise.

Trailwork on Kelly Cabin Canyon Trail where it goes into Cross Canyon Trail. I swear those were two different little trees.

Diesel~ and his Ibis Mojo. Did you notice the leg warmers on his front and rear shocks. That’s how cold it was that morning!

Diesel~ charging up the hill.

Plymmer, an angry climber. (That’s why he climbs so well.)

A branch somewhere got Charlie.

Charlie is still smiling near the end of day. Do his legs look like wet noodles to you?

Today’s ride.

Last ride I did from HH to Mississippi Lake. It was also a fun ride. Click on the image for route details.

And here is my MTBGuru stats and maps.

Now, I’d better go spend some time with Erik who might be feeling “both envious and jealous”.


Distance (mi)      39.4
Total Ascent (ft)     7287
Moving Time     05h 45m 01s
Stopped Time     02h 38m 57s

Following is the route description I copied from Charlie:
start at Hunting Hollow parking lot » Gilroy Hot Springs Road » Coit Road »
Anza Trail » Jackson Trail » Elderberry Spring Trail » Rock Tower Trail » Domino
Pond Trail » Cattle Duster Trail » Coit Springs Trail » Cross Canyon Trail » Willow
Ridge Road » Hoover Lake Trail » White Tank Trail » Rose Dam Trail » Pacheco
Creek Trail » Willow Ridge Road » Mississippi Lake.

• Willow Ridge Road » Pacheco Ridge Road » Heritage Trail » Pacheco Creek
Trail » Pacheco Camp.

• Coit Road » Live Oak Spring Trail » Wagon Road » Wasno Road » Tule Pond Trail »
Grizzly Gulch Trail » Gilroy Hot Springs Road » Hunting Hollow parking lot.