Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DATMBA 2010 – Joaquin Miller/Redwood Park adventure

Wow, 3 weeks since my last post…..sorry about that, this work crap is really starting to get in the way of my life….

Anyway, I got up Friday morning with a food hangover….you know how it is when you totally pig out the night before and then wake up starving….it’s like you stuff your stomach so much that it stretches and in the morning there’s this big empty spot waiting to be filled up again…

The girls had gotten up early to head out to join the insanity that was Black Friday. I was up a little later, but still early enough that the lawn was white with frost and the thermometer on the garage wall said 31 degrees…are we really riding in this weather?

After a bowl of cereal, putting on every piece of cold weather gear I own, loading up my stuff, filling the camelbak and heading out to pick up Tracy, it had warmed to a reasonable 36 degrees…..ok, this is nuts!

As the sun came up though, we could tell it was going to be a nice day. We pulled in to the parking lot for the dog park at Joaquin Miller and the others began arriving. Jack, Troy, Annie, John, Jerry, Nick, Chris, Evan…but no Xing…..where was he? It’s not that we necessarily needed him for the ride, but he promised to bring his amazing bbq ribs and that was one of the only reasons I even crawled out of my nice warm bed this morning.

Eventually though he pulled in and we prepared to take off. He later admitted he went by Office Max since they were having a great deal on memory cards…..whatever….he brought the ribs so all is forgiven…

Joaquin Miller starts with a nice downhill, then a little rolling but mostly level trail which leads you to what I found out is called 2 buck hill.

It's steeper than it looks

Evidently, in the group Chris rides with, everyone puts 2 bucks in the kitty and whoever actually makes the climb, wins the pot.
We didn’t do that and it’s a good thing…..everyone walked the hill, some even after multiple attempts…I on the other hand made a feeble effort, got a little ways up and promptly got off and walked. (a smart man knows his limitations and going uphill is definitely one of my limitations)

Once you get to the top of 2 buck hill, the trail wanders along the side of the canyon for quite a ways. Weaving in and out amongst the trees with gorgeous views of the City at several points.

Eventually it turns inland though and as we cross Skyline Bl it goes from Joaquin Miller over to Redwood regional park. One of the highlights of Redwood Regional is the a long steep downhill section where I was able to really appreciate the full suspension 29er. I had ridden this before on both a hardtail and my rigid single speed….and the full suspension is waaaaay more fun.

As the saying goes, what goes down must go back up, and for the next several miles you climb…..and climb….the first section is a long steep fire road that is so steep and had me spending so much time on the very nose of my seat that I really felt like my seat should buy me dinner…..(if you don’t get that joke, nevermind)

The rest of the climb isn’t too bad since the trail follows the edge of the canyon and rolls up and down all the while gaining elevation. The only downside is that this is a pretty busy area of the park, so you can’t really enjoy the downhill for fear of running over hikers, runners, kids, dogs, etc….

As we rolled into the parking lot on Skyline to regroup I decided to use the restroom…..sorry lady for walking in on you, but there’s a reason they put locks on doors in public restrooms….dang, who knew women could scream like that?

After regrouping we headed out on the west side of the park. The trails here are really nice and the area is very pretty, but you have to be careful of all the pedestrians…everyone was pleasant and the interactions were friendly. I can see though how the shared use issue could be a problem if you had riders that either weren’t paying attention or didn’t care and flew around the corners.

After coming back around to Skyline Bl you cross over back into Joaquin Miller Park and the fun begins in earnest. The next section, Big Trees Trail is fast swoopy downhill single track with very few other users….unfortunately it’s not a very long section and soon enough we were back on the Sunset Trail. Some of the group jumped on the road back to the cars, others took the Palos Colorado trail and some of us went back to go down 2 buck hill……which is MUCH more fun going down than up….

Nick heading into the woods

The last climb back up to the parking lot is actually a fairly steep rooty section and as I stood to climb over a root my front wheel came to a complete stop. Unfortunately the rest of me, my bike and my back wheel kept moving forward…..yep, a complete assoverteakettle endo within 20 yards of the parking lot. No injuries though and luckily enough, I don’t think anyone actually saw it happen.

Afterwards, we gathered for bbq ribs, brats, salad, pumpkin cheesecake and beers, telling lies to each other about how awesome we all were today…..another great DATMBA for the books. 14.8 miles and 2289 ft of climbing….man, it sure felt like more….

No comments: