03 August 2008

02-August-2008 Sycamore Canyon MtB Ride with Claus

I had sent out the message widely that there was going to be a ride at Sycamore Canyon on Saturday morning. Only Dana and Claus responded in the positive. I had hoped for more than three, but three is better than one, so I wasn't about come complain. Dana sent me a text message early Saturday morning telling me he wasn't going to make it--his daughter wanted to spend some time with him. There's no way I can fault him for spending time with his children, so it was down to Claus and I.

Somehow my every intention to leave the house on time backfired, and the next thing I knew I was calling Claus to tell him I was finally on the highway after several false starts and I would only be about 15 minutes late.

When I arrived at the parking lot for Westhills Park, Claus was there and chomping at the bit. I got ready as quickly as possible, but I was worried. First, my experience is that Claus is faster than I am. Second, I commuted four days to and from work on my road bike. Third, I had been pushing myself all week on the commute and broke a personal best two times within the previous seven days. Forth, even though I "took it easy" on Friday's road commute, I still bested my average. Fifth, I couldn't fall asleep until around 1am on Saturdy morning, so even though I got just under 6 hours of sleep, I was still pretty tired. All of those together meant that my legs were a wee bit fatigued.

Never the less, we took off down the road toward the trailhead.

We were planning to take the trail that Dana and I had done on our return the previous week. We headed up the fire road, completely missing the single track we should have taken, and continued up, up and up. By about 1/2 way, my legs were screaming! I have to thank Claus for not being too hard on me. We continued up and around until we found the the single track that would take us down. We zipped through the switch backs, with the view of the beautiful canyon in front of us, until we got to the creek at the canyon floor.

From there the ride went as normal, although my legs never really felt strong. Just at the trailhead to Martha's Grove, we encountered a fellow who had a broken chain. But because he was riding a single-speed and had an 8 gear chain, the links I had in my bag were useless.

I zipped through Martha's Grove, even scooting down the little ugly rocky section. I crashed a few times on the curvy sections because I was going a bit too fast.

We then headed back up the hill via the switch backs, found the singletrack on the other side and enjoyed more switchbacks on the way down.

A great ride!

Sycamore Canyon MtB Ride - Google Maps