Saturday, December 5th, 2009

MTB: Charlie’s Charm: A Chilly Ride at Henry Coe

Charlie sent an email to a list (not that long really) of people saying that he would be riding at Henry Coe on Saturday and he had expected one or two to show up. Who would have thought more than a dozen people came out on a freezing cold day to ride at Henry Coe! I call it Charlie’s Charm. I, for one, changed my weekend plans around just to fit this ride in. Erik, for one, despite getting sick again coughing and sneezing constantly, crawled out of bed to go riding. My cat, for one, as soon as my alarm clock set off (too early if you ask me), jumped into the bed and got in a full-on wake-up-and-pet-me mode in order to make sure I did not fall back asleep and miss Charlie’s ride. See, Charlie’s Charm! The looming storm above our head had nothing to do with it!

Charlie! Oh, Chaaaaarlie!

Charlie’s group leave Hunting Hollow parking lot

It was a chilly ride. The sun light that Charlie had promised would “hit the corner of the parking lot near the sign” at 9am did not hit us until after noon. Slacker! Luckily, we started our ride climbing Lyman Willson Ridge Trail, which warmed me up quickly.  The temp remained low though. I remember thinking it felt weird when I climbed Cross Canyon Trail and Spike Jones Trail, I was not sweating.  And it was not because the climb were effortless. But of course, whether it was cold or not depends on whom you ask. Brian (knobs) had this to say about the weather: “the refrigerator temperatures” and “Geez, it was cold out there.” I wish I had a picture of him with the face mask and all.  I bet Andy here agrees with Brian’s assessment of the weather.

But if you ask Jason, he would tell you, “Cold? I hate polyester!” (Obviously, with a passion.)

I was really happy to see the super couple, Paul and Chris, again. They are a super couple not only because they super rock on their tandem bike, but they are also super fun to be around. Early on the ride, we were at one re-group point. Chris asked me cheerfully, “Mei, why is your honey not on all these rides you are on? Where is your honey?” Then she suddenly noticed that I was hugging this man who was sitting on his bike, so she paused and asked wide-eyed “Is that your honey?” Admittedly, I do hug guys from time to time, in more of a hey-good-to-see-you manner, but right now, I was rubbing his chest and back to get some blood flow going because he was visibly cold. I hadn’t thought of an answer yet, and Erik replied, “I’m her boyfriend.” Hahaha… Paul and Chris do a lot of trail work all over the place. Paul is especially dedicated to the work at Henry Coe and has been tirelessly putting a lot of his spare time in. Plus, he rode Kelly Cabin Canyon Trail West clean last weekend from Cross Canyon Trail — very impressive!
Photo courtesy of Patrick. BTW, that was not just ANY plate in the front of their bike, it was a NUMBER plate!

The group kept shrinking because people kept peeling off at various points. We did the later half of the ride with only five of us including Charlie, Patrick, and Jim. And then Charlie and Jim had to go home before we took Patrick up Spike Jones to show him the fun down hill Timm Trail. Our route turned out to be:
Hunting Hollow Road -> L: Lyman Willson Ridge Trail -> R: Bowl Trail to Willson Camp -> L: Wagon Road -> C: Grizzly Gulch Trail -> R: Tulle Pond/Deer Logic Trail -> L: Wagon Road -> L or C or R: Wasno Road (with a spill-way singletrack in the middle) -> C: Crest Road -> L: Kelly Lake Trail East -> L: Coit Road -> R: Kelly Cabin Canyon Trail West -> L: Cross Canyon Trail -> L: Coit Road -> C: Wasno Road -> R: Derjxster Trail -> R: Grizzly Gulch Trail -> L: Spike Jones Trail -> R: Timm Trail -> L: Spike Jones Trail -> L: Coit Road -> C: Gilroy Hot Springs Road -> Hunting Hollow parking lot (25.3 miles/5266′ Ascent)

We got back to the parking lot right before Roy rolled in. He set out in the morning on a mission to clean Willow Ridge Trail and he returned with a banner, although invisible, across his head, “Mission Accomplished.” I worked on Willow Ridge Trail in June and knew that it was an insanely difficult climb, so we congratulated him. Only when I learned that he was going to wait around for another hour just so he could eat at the same restaurant he always goes to after a ride did I start to wonder if Roy was a little insane. But his idea of marking his Henry Coe map with “c” markers for all the difficult climbs he has cleaned, that, is just a brilliant idea!

Despite leaving Roy at the parking lot to get on with our day, we returned home to a nicely written ride report by him among other people’s links to pictures and even a video from the ride! Geez, do these people type while driving, or what?!

Well, all my pictures are finally available in our gallery. And it only took me two nights and a day to put this report up.

Here are others’ pictures and reports:
From Brian (knobs):
From Patrick (with lots of captions):
From Charlie:
From Roy:
From Dirk (MTBguru):
And below is the video from Dirk:

Did you see Erik and Jason wheel to wheel on Lyman Willson? When they finished with the climb, Jason said to Erik, “thanks for pulling me on the whole climb,” and Erik replied, “Thanks for pushing me the whole way.” Does that count as cheating?

4 Responses

  1. Royon 06 Dec 2009 at 9:30 pm

    This was a fun read. Thanks for sending me a link. It was cold out there yesterday. I had my lobster gloves on the whole way!

  2. Patrick Herlihyon 07 Dec 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I could definitely have done with a thicker jacket! Still, after today’s snows, I would *love* to be out there right now (I suppose it would be a bit muddy!).

    Thanks so much to you and Erik for taking me on a tour of Timm – gotta make that a regular detour! Always great to ride with you, Mei, but especially great that Erik was there. I always feel for him when you’re out riding and he’s stuck at home/work!

    I want to see Roy’s map too.. I bet there are a lot of ‘C’s there. Sadly, I’m thinking of starting my own now that accumulating ‘C’s is more of a possibility! You and I should start a contest to see who can accumulate the most ‘C’s by the end of next Summer.. I think it would be a close race 🙂

  3. mudwormon 07 Dec 2009 at 9:07 pm

    A contest??? I don’t want to compete; plus, you’ll win for sure. I’ll do my map, but I’ll hide it at home.

  4. Charlieon 09 Dec 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Wow, there were a lot of riders there on Saturday! And I didn’t even use my hypnotic spinning wheel 🙂

    It was chilly but compared to the past few really cold days, that weather doesn’t seem too bad.

    It was a fun day, and great follow-up from folks! Thanks!