Tuesday, December 2, 2008


That’s DayAfterThanksgivingMtBikeAdventure for those of you that don’t know.

This little adventure, the 4th annual to be exact, was really something a couple buddies and I thought up so that we wouldn’t feel guilty about an extra slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.(loaded with whipped cream of course)

The goal of this ride, in addition to burning off as many calories as possible, is to explore someplace we’ve never ridden before and this year we picked the Soquel Demonstration Forest.

We set a start time of 10:00 am and had 8 riders and 1 hiker show up for the fun.
It started out cool and foggy and like last year’s ride at Montebello began with a climb up the road.
The road soon turned off to a dirt fire road though and the climbing continued.
The fog was creating an eerie scene with riders up ahead fading in and out and the trees reaching over the road….all very surreal to be sure.
Eventually we reached the top of the fire road and took a break. I came pedaling up at the very rear (from stopping to take pictures of course) and saw our group along with a few other guys and their dog. They were all decked out with long travel bikes, pads, full face helmets and all that other stuff guys that go fast wear.….obviously not part of our group.
And, thankfully, they left first since I guess they realized our group would only be holding them up.

Chris had said that we would do all of our climbing in the beginning and that way everything back to the trucks would be downhill (we’d find out later he’s a compulsive liar)

So, after looking at the map and discussing our route, we began the fun portion of the ride….the downhill.
I haven’t really ridden too much single track and even less really technical stuff and this was all of that. It was narrow and steep and fast and there were log piles, jumps, ramps, even a teeter-totter.
I would imagine the group in front of us with the long travel bikes and full face helmets had a blast, but even traveling at a “reasonable” rate of speed, we were having a fantastic time.
We went up and over the logs piles, we went around the jumps, We navigated the steep muddy hills, the root sections, the staircases and even did the teeter-totter. (Well, I did the teeter but lost my balance and rode off the side before the totter portion)

When we finally got to the bottom of the Braille trail – I’m sure it’s called that because it’s so steep I was scared and had to close my eyes most of the way down – we were muddy and some of us were battered a bit but all of us were grinning like the cat that just ate the proverbial canary.

It’s funny how in the heat of the moment a normally sane person can make such bad decisions…I proved this point perfectly when, as we were sitting there basking in the glory of an awesome ride, I said, “lets do another loop”.

Well, obviously some of the group still had the ability to make a rational decision because half the group went back to the trucks while TRACY, Chris, Mark, Nick and I decided to “climb” (understatement of the week here) Tractor trail back up to the ridge and do one more loop.

Now, in my defense, I was still operating under the assumption Chris had told the truth earlier and that there wasn’t much climbing left to get back to the truck. If I had known we had another few miles of UPHILL back to the truck, I may have skipped the last loop.

Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound I always say so the four of us started off for the next loop which included a nice fast fire road downhill to the Tractor trailhead. ( to be continued....)

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