30 January 2009

2009-01-30 Sycamore Canyon fragment

On Tuesday, I received a phone call from Bill R asking me if I was interested in a Friday After Work Ride. Hell Yeah! I've been such a slacker on the MtB recently, that this was just the invitation I needed. As an added incentive, I invited all the Southern California Mountain Biker Boys to join.

We were scheduled to meet at 4pm, but thanks to heavier than expected traffic, my trip from Torrey Pines took much longer than the 30 minutes I had allotted, and as a result, it wasn't until 4:15 that I arrived at the West Hills Park parking lot. Bill was already there, and no one else had RSVP'd that they would be joining, so it was just the two of us. Unfortunately, Bill didn't bring a light so our ride was bound to be shorter than I would have liked.

After getting dressed and our tires pumped, we headed down Mast Blvd. to the trail head. I was in the lead, so, I took the sweet singletrack that I'd been exposed to on the New Year's Day Ride. There was much less water to contend with as we criss-crossed the creek, which was nice because the sun was going down quickly and moving north we were blocked from remnants of warmth coming from the west by the canyon wall. Bill was about 100m behind me for most of the easy part of the singletrack, but when we got to the uphill portion, he demonstrated skills matching the nick name I'd given him: "Billy Goat". While I struggled to stay on the bike, he simply climbed the hill as if it was an easy task.

When we got to the top, we headed up the road, but I couldn't remember the exact route, so I had us zigging when we should have been zagging, and after an aborted run that brought us to a dead end at the bottom of a steep hill, we finally continued down the gravel road that ended at the power poles. At this point we determined it was getting too dark to continue so we started on our way back.

Along the way, we rode through the area where the local kids had built several jumps. I was determined to hit one of the jumps, so I started to pedal very hard and fast, wanting to gain enough momentum and speed to launch me high into the air. However, at the last moment, I swerved to miss the jump. I felt a bit disgusted at myself for chickening out, especially when I considered that I jump out of airplanes but wouldn't hit a 1/2 meter jump.

We made it back to the cars just before it got completely dark. After changing clothes and some chit chat, we parted ways with another 1 hour ride under our belts. It felt good, but I wish it had been longer.