Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trail #8 and Sly Park Sweetness…..

Last week, my buddy Mike was on vacation and was going to be up at his cabin in Pollock Pines. Using this as an excuse, my other buddy Tracy and I decided to call in sick and go ride mt bikes.

We met up about 5:30 and after a stop at 7-eleven for a 6lb apple fritter and a 20oz coffee, we got on the road. Tracy decided to bring his GPS just in case, but since I pretty much already know everything in the world there is to know about everything….I chose to ignore the nice lady’s suggestions as to the best route. (afterall, I do posses the sense of direction gene)

The first indication that I might not be quite as smart as a talking computer was the fact that instead of taking Hwy 80 to 50 I chose to add about 20 miles and do 580, to 5, to 50.
Evidently she doesn’t like being ignored because her tone was less than pleasant as she repeatedly told me to “please proceed to the indicated route”.

I guess she finally gave in to my superior knowledge (they always do) and adjusted her directions to meet the route I had chosen. (see, I knew she’d come around). Unfortunately, just before we got to Sacramento, my bullheadedness showed itself again as she repeatedly tried to get me to jump over to 99 to avoid the downtown loop and I in turn repeatedly ignored her. Do you think she knew traffic would come to a standstill as we tried to get on to Hwy 50 east?

Eventually though, we made it through Sacramento and up the hill to Mikes cabin. (Due to some bad transcribing we drove past the place 3x before realizing someone had written the address down incorrectly)
Finally after getting the tour of the house (way too nice to be called a cabin) we loaded up the bikes and headed for some of Mike’s favorite trails.

The first loop we rode was Trail #8. (Fleming Meadows Loop) Trail #8 was a combination of single track and fire road and was amazing! There were some technical rooty, rocky sections, some tree shrouded, almost tunnel like sections and some nice swoopy, fast downhill sections.

From there we crossed over the road to Sly Park Reservoir to do the loop around the lake.
After riding Trail #8, I was ready for more fast swoopy stuff, but that’s not what the lake loop is about at all. The beginning section is pretty narrow, technical singletrack.
There are lots of roots and rocks to navigate and as I found out, pedal position is critical when going over some of the roots. (hitting a pedal will cause the bike to stop abruptly while your forward momentum will keep you moving….directly into the seat….hard)
There was one steep uphill section that none of us cleared, but I’d love to have time to come back and keep trying it until I did.

After a while the trail opens up a bit and you come to a perfect spot to sit and have a clifbar. The lake is obviously very low due to our recent string of dry winters.

From there you continue to loop around the lake until you eventually reach the campground and from there the road where you ride across the dam and back to the trucks. Total for both loops about 17 miles with a grin factor of 10+

After a good ride, what could be better than a big fat juicy burger? We rolled into the town of Pollock Pines and found The Burger Shack where a double bacon cheese burger and a vanilla shake replaced any calories we burned during the ride. (and probably added a bunch of calories we didn’t burn)


Struggling with Duality said...

Too bad we did not capture a photo of your facial expression just after you tapped the boys on your seat "hard". Should not have hurt, Mike and I did not feel a thing!!

OldNSlo said...

yeah...that was one of the least pleasant portions of the ride