I was hoping to do the Mt Charlie ride with Jerry last weekend since I need both the miles and the climbing in order to get ready for the Mendocino Monster. Turns out I had to work in the morning and then there was the volunteer orientation for next weeks Tour of California, so that wasn’t going to happen.
Instead, I picked Chris up at his house in San Jose and headed down to Lexington Reservoir to do a mt bike ride. This is the same start and end point as Jerry’s ride so we’d be able to hook up with him and the group afterwards for a bbq and a beer.
No, we were not bbq’ing and drinking beer in the parking lot of a county park. That would have been illegal. (or so the ranger that asked us said)
But I’m getting ahead of myself here...
The ride started with a nice fast downhill along the Lexington reservoir dam, down the multi use trail towards Los Gatos and through town before turning uphill.
I had no clue where we were going other than “up near those power lines”.
Now, granted, the word “up” should have triggered something in me, but no, I blindly followed along as Chris led us up Kennedy Rd for a while until we came to the entrance to a park trail where we got off the pavement and started into the dirt.
Pretty much immediately we started climbing...and it didn’t stop for about an hour. Chris said, its kind of steep and then you come to a tree in the middle of the trail and then we’ll come to the steep part. Oh yeah, and after that it gets really steep.
I wasn’t quite sure what Chris’ definition of kinda steep, steep and really steep were but I was soon to find out.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT - For any of you that might ride with Chris in the future, let me further define and recategorizing his definitions so you’ll know what to expect:
Kinda Steep – Wow, this is hard. I wish I had more gears
Steep – Man, I really want to walk right now and my front wheel won’t stay on the ground
Really Steep – I hate Chris and dragging my bike behind me up this hill SUCKS!!!
Note – I forgot my camera in the truck, so this phone pic is all I have to show the sheer suckitude of this climb - you'll notice how far forward on his seat he is and how his wheel is angled over....
This went on for an hour. There was maybe one spot where it almost leveled out, but by then I was so redlined I couldn’t enjoy it anyway. Until eventually we hit the top and started down the backside.
It just doesn’t seem fair that you can suffer and climb for over an hour - you’ll notice I’ve taken what I previously described as climbing for an hour and just “expanded” it to over an hour – that’s using creative writing to enhance the reader experience (and to make myself feel better since it seemed like my suffering went on and on)
Anyway, the downhill portion of the ride was awesome! It starts as fast open, steep fireroads but eventually we turned off to a narrower, shaded, loose, and somewhat sketchy section that required my full attention and made me wish I had built up a full suspension bike instead of a hardtail.
The downhill section totally rocked and the only really scary part was when we came around the corner to find two people walking a great dane and a mastiff...running into them would have really ruined our day.
Eventually though, we made it back to civilization, onto the road and back to the start. There we opened a beer, set up Chris’ Weber bbq on the tailgate and proceeded to grill up some hot links. Little did we know, Jerry and his group were still at least an hour away.
At one point, as we were sitting there enjoying a fat tire ale, a ranger across the street mentioned that “although I don’t have any jurisdiction in that park, you’re not supposed to be bbq’ing there”…..to which we replied…”oh ok, we’re not”……(afterall, she just told us she had no jurisdiction, so why wouldn’t we lie to her?)
After Jerry and the gang made it back, we chit chatted a bit, had another beer, polished off the last of the hot links and headed for home. All in all only about 15 miles and no idea how much climbing (my garmin was the other thing I forgot to bring with me)