01 June, 2009

Menchov, happy trails, & rain

The Giro is the #2 road stage race behind the Tour de France.

The spectacular YouTube footage.
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Sunday I rode to the top of "Red Gate". This is a feat I've only accomplished one other time since it requires pushing your bike up steep ledges.

These same steep ledges occasionally have armor clad Downhill riders flying off and down them. Most riders drive to the top, but some dedicate the hours & energy to ascend.

This photo was taken 2,000 feet above Arcata. The environment is drastically different above the fog. The ferns in mud are replaced by dry dirt and invasive "Scotch Broom"

This "disturbed" area was wall-to-wall w/blooming Scotch Broom!
Red Gate is the best thing since Weaverville's flume trail. It features a 14 mile long downhill with only one extended climbing portion.

The top 6 miles are swooping jumps down an old degraded fire road. A cloud of dust and yellow flower pedals rise in your wake. Occasional detours test your brakes as you fly off a road at 20 mph into tight drops/jumps between trees.

The bottom 6 miles (Jacoby Creek trail) are in a dank, mountain lion infested forest.

Lower Jacoby Creek
Regardless of the weather, this section is dark, damp, and lush green. Technical features litter the trail. Many tight ascents, down-logs, and creek crossings force me off my bike. Just when I feel overwhelmed the trail opens up, and I'm flowing faster than the rushing rapids nearby.

A pleasant 9 mile jaunt along the creek, into open pastures, and through Arcata finishes the ride. So... 40+ miles, 3+ hours, and 3,000 feet of climbing round-trip?

Someday a computer will verify/drastically correct those figures.
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I'm riding A.M.A.P. (as much as possible) while the daylight hours are long.

In Anchorage today they have almost 19 hours of light!
Portland 15:30 hours
Arcata 15:00
San Francisco 14:30
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It was very dark and rainy today. Hopefully this week of rain won't saturate the trails too badly. At least the rain pushed our daytime high over 60 F!
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