Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vuelta de las Colinas Doradas

Although the forecast called for rain, I awoke yesterday to clear skies. It was cold and breezy, but nothing a few layers of clothing couldn't fix.

I have been exploring the area around my home lately looking for trails. After over five years of living in Shingle Springs, I thought I had found everything. But a recent MTBR post tipped me off to a few new ribbons of dirt I didn't know about. After a few shorter scouting runs, I was ready to put together a big loop.

I like doing rides that combine the road and dirt. I don't know why, really. I guess mostly it's because I hate driving somewhere to ride, so a combo ride allows me to get my dirt jones right from the house.

First up was a gravel fitness path on the south side of Serrano:

Which drops down to a wider gravel road:

After that a short road connection to a bike trail, then to a piece of singletrack. It's really bumpy in spots and pocked by gophers/moles/squirrels—the only place on the entire ride that really hurt my wrist:

Towards the end:

After 150 yards of road, a double-track:

The double-track dumps you out on Silva Valley Parkway. Right across the road is another fitness trail:

After that a short climb up Serrano Parkway and a descent down the Most Dangerous Bike Trail in America:

Built by drunken Austrian mountain climbers, it features steep grades, smooth asphalt and off-camber turns. A coworker's husband once broke his clavicle and a few ribs crashing on it.

Next up was a quarter-mile ride up El Dorado Hills Boulevard to Saratoga, which dead ends at a short double-track:

Another quick ride through an El Dorado Hills neighborhood to the recreation trail over Empire Ranch.

It's about two miles in length with rolling terrain:

After a short transition on Sophia Parkway, it's on to the trail to Brown's Ravine:

Right across the street from the Brown's Ravine entrance is the trail to Wild Oak Park. I have ridden past it HUNDREDS of times without seeing it. What a cool little trail this is:

Flowy and fun:



After a short transition on Francisco Drive, the New York Creek trail. I took a crappy picture. This is really a cool little trail, about a mile long, very much similar to something from Salmon Falls/Sweetwater/Brown's Ravine:

Another short transition to the fitness trail through the north side of Serrano. It's about 1.5 miles long. Yeah, it's a gravel road, but if you use your imagination, it's JUST LIKE singletrack:

After that, about an eight-mile ride home. Final stats: 36 miles (about 16 on dirt); 3:04 ride time; 3:18 total time.