[EDIT - I think my photo uploading skillz are lacking. Click in the pic for a full sized view. Some of them got cut off.]
As part of our big rides summer tour, we ventured towards Gold Ridge for stop number one on the tour. The goal was a big ride. I don't think anyone left dissapointed.
We started with the days most major climb. The climb is an old jeep road that meanders alongside a beauty of a creek. The road was closed to motorized 20 or so years ago and continues to grow more single every year. I've been riding it for 11 years or so and am still amazed every spring. At this particular moment after all of the rain we've been having, the stream was a raging river, full of rapids with some spill over onto the road.
Normally, all of the road is dry except for one spot where the river runs over every spring. It was a bit different this Spring. The river wasn't just running over, it had fully overtaken anything left that resembled a road or trail.
Fortunately, there was a way around
I normally dislike hiking in mega steep terrain over volkswagon sized boulders, so I figured I'd try to walk up the road/creek. Normally, it's only 6 to 8 inches deep. On this occasion, I was up to my nuts a couple of times in deep, swift water. Turning around looking back down the road, here's what it looks like right where the creek spills over
The climb continued to be a wet one for a while.
And then, we got to one of the most dangerous parts of the ride. It was time to cross the creek. Normally, you can shoulder your bike and walk thru, as the crossing is at an area where the creek is wide and relatively flat. Not this time. There was the possiblity of carnage and we saw an omen.
We opted for the log. There's bridge over the river a bit upstream. It's a narrow log, about 3-4' off the water and is slippery. We went with the assembly line option. Thank goodness for teamwork.
After an hour and 45 minutes of climbing and adventure, we reached the top of the days first big ascent.
The views didn't suck. We also had our first mechanical. Lee snapped off his derailleur, but we were able to fix it with an assortment of zip ties. Originally thinking Lee would have to head back down the hill, we rode for a bit and realized that not only was he still able to use his 3 rings on the crank, but Lee would be able to ride the remaining 4 hours to finish the ride. Thanks for the trail fix, Brian!
The derailleur wasn't the only carnage at that point either. So long sucker bee!
Some of the riders had gone ahead. We found Jen perched in a tree downing a snack.
Then we were in for more descending.
and more climbing.
and more descending.
Floating thru big open meadows
and some technical terrain, too
But we new that the days 2nd biggest descent would not last forever and we'd have to start climbing again. Back to the road riding. Road pictured here.
Remember, it's not a mountain bike ride unless you are hiking. We were about 4 hours in at this point.
After some more uppy downy singletrack, we were back to climbing in earnest again. Last climb of the day.
We had a snackbreak and naptime at the top. Just like kindergarten but without the mats and the graham crackers. This was 5.5 hours plus at this point.
Another crappy road section led us back to our vehicles
Cardoor to cardoor was 6 hours and 15 minutes. I think everyone wasn't feeling too bad at this point. It didn't hit me until after a couple of Go Fasts, a Dale's Pale Ale and dinner. Damn, I was tired.
Woke up feeling it a bit today, but still managed to make it out for just over an hour with Dirty Doug. After a quick post ride dip in the river, I was feeling good as new. Well, sort of.
See you Tuesday for another adventure!