Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goats Head Soup

The basic plan for Wednesdays is to go mountain biking. However, since I did a couple tough rides on Monday and Tuesday, I wasn't up for a full-on mountain bike ride yesterday. I opted to do an "easier" dirt/road combo ride from the house.

I have a general route that connects a lot of the trails in the area, but yesterday I did it in reverse for the first time. You don't really realize how much descending you are doing on a ride until you reverse the route and climb up all those fun downhills.

The first section was the trail through Serrano, which is basically a gravel road. Then it's on to New York Creek, a great little piece of singletrack. I usually do this ride with a rigid fork, but yesterday I was riding the Jamis Dragon with a Reba, and it was so much more fun. Since I have been hitting the dirt a bit more, I really feel like my handling skills are coming back.

The next trail is Hidden Acres, another cool trail that almost connects New York Creek with Brown's Ravine. It's a no-no trail for bikes, and since a park ranger was camped out at the gate, staring me down, I rode right on by.

After a short road transition, I was on the Brown's Ravine trail. I really like that trail. Again, I felt like my old self. Finally. Just riding and not worrying about my wrist. It is what it is, and I've learned to ride with the "handicap."

It's sad to see Folsom Lake without water again. The marina is empty. All the boats are in the parking lot.

On the plus side, without boats the lake is calm and peaceful.

After Brown's, it's another short road transition on Sophia Parkway to the next trail, which is another gravel fireroad. It's about two miles long with a tough climb at the beginning and a ridiculously steep climb at the end. I had to climb it out of the saddle in a 32x32, stuck in that precarious place between spinning the rear tire and flipping over backwards. Very steep.

After a short singletrack descent I was back on the road where I noticed I had a rear flat. I stopped and found the goathead. I looked for a shady spot to throw in my spare tube.

When I got going again I jumped on the trail that links Iron Point Road to El Dorado Hills Blvd. This is where I got the second flat, this time with five goatheads in the front tire. I patched the previously flat tube with only one hole and put it in front.

On the long singletrack climb back up through the back side of Serrano I picked up a couple more thorns in my front tire. I didn't seem to be losing air, so I just kept going.

By the time I got home the front tire was going a little soft, but I made it. Within an hour it was totally flat.

It was a really great ride, especially since doing it backwards made it so much different, but the flat tires took some of the fun out of it.


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