Inspired by riderx's triple dipple post of Monday I wanted to write up a decent post about my big Monday of riding. So on with the tale!
Monday we had weather indications that it would be a beautiful sunny day, and I had a newly re-tuned bike to put through the grinder. And the itch to ride somewhere different. Sure Schaeffer Farm is open again, but I wanted something tougher, to push myself. So I went back to Gambrills SP for a second tour of the yellow loop.
So after a late start I made it to Gambrills around noon, unpacked and got on the trail with a quick warm up spin up the parking lot side of yellow to near the top and back down, to cross the road and start the clockwise loop of yellow with extension. The first climb wasn't bad and I almost made it up the first climb with only a minor bump off. Alas the stairs kicked my ass, with pushing several sections, though I did make the last climb and damn that was a grind. Some nice flowing descents back down to the extension trail. The extension trail is really interesting. At the major rock outcrop I played around finding a nice line away from the trail on what looks to be a pretty fun play area, alas I minorly ditched on one try, the 2nd time I made it a simpler quick drop rather than trying to ride a line. Back on the trail it was a slow grind around the loop, with some climbing after crossing the road, coming down after the t section on a soft/loamy section I cut it to tight and dumped over real good. Banged my knee real good on a damn rock that was in the perfect place. Murphy's law. I quickly hopped on the bike swearing at myself and whatever diety placed that rock. I rode on with good climbs/etc until I hit the CRAZY climb at about 1:30'ish in my ride. It is rocky as hell. I dunno how to hit any of it honestly, except maybe on a dirt bike :) After that I made good on the climbs back to the road crossing and had fun on the bike rock formation descent. Then it was a grind back along the road till the blast down to the lot, I was too tired to really let go alas. Maybe next time. I did session several good climbs, and rocky area's finding better lines and trying to make some climbs.
On the way back down out of the mountains, I had a crazy notion. Why not stop for a quick loop at Schaeffer Farm??? It's too nice a day and the riding should be good. So a drive down to the farm and a quick load out and I was ready to go.
It was an excellent day out at SF. The trail had a good bit of rogue branches down, but thanks to DKEG and Wrench's efforts the trail was clear of all major trees. So I went out the stunt section of white to yellow. The trail faeries have been hard at work building a few dirt jumps it appears. I skipped em due to being a bit tired. Out the yellow to the blue bypasses and back out on the far yellow loop. Trail definetely has some growth issues, the thorny stuff is already growing into the trail. In a feat of silly-assed-ness I rode the orange offshoot trail and it was fun, once I made the initial climb in, that was rough. Nice and flowing once I got going, and out back to the yellow loop. The field trails were fine by then. Probably 3 PM. It was a bit of a slog for sure coming back up the final climb to the big intersection. I met up with a rider I'd been chasing for a while, we both recovered and I took off first, he held pretty close the entire way back with me pulling away a bit on the descents. The armored stream crossing KICKS ASS! I was stoked, we both commented on how nice it was now. The final slog back up that yellow section to the white/orange meet up was hellish at that point. I just kept pushing the pedals. The final ride in was a bit slow. At first I was pulling a nice 9.1 MPH pace, but by the end I had dropped back to a 8.1. Oh well, not bad.
It was a excellent day out. It was not perhaps my best 16/17 miles. But it was better than any day at work, and a lot of fun. Now I just need to find a riding cohort who is off Mondays and wants to explore. Or else someone to lead me around the shed a bit, who doesn't mind slow riding, on one of my rare free Sundays or on a Monday.