Yesterday had to be the most fun I've had on a bike in years! I took my brand-new Trek Wahoo Disc 29 up to Auburn for some climbing and descending bliss. These are some of my favorite trails from the good old days back in 1992-1993 when I weighed 120 pounds.
All of these trails have technical sections to keep things interesting.
The first trail is Clementine. It starts at the bottom of the canyon by the American River and climbs up to the next trailhead (Fuel Break). Clementine starts out as doubletrack, narrows to singletrack for a while, then widens to doubletrack again as it climbs.
Fuel Break climbs for about 1/2 mile, descends for 1/4 mile, climbs again, then descends to the next trail, Culvert. Culvert drops down to Old Foresthill Road.
Confluence is the really fun downhill that starts at the OHV parking area. After I finished that one, the real suffering began. I started up the short steep part at the beginning of Stagecoach Trail, but instead of making the left turn at the first switchback, I accidentally overshot it and continued on to the next switchback. When the grade got steeper instead of leveling off somewhat like it's supposed to, I started to wonder if the trail got re-routed in the last 15 years.
I spun out a few times and had to restart. Great fun! Other times my front wheel lifted off the ground, forcing me to stop. I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to walk this one, but I eventually made it all the way up by pedal power.
Where I ended up was the top of the Ridgeview trailhead. I went back down and explored some trails off of the steep climb. Found another short steep climb, and after several tries I made it up that one. Picking the right line was absolutely essential with this one. It was technical and covered with pine needles.
I went back to my truck to get more water (gonna have to get a Camelbak, I guess), and started up Stagecoach again. This time I didn't miss the turn-off. After the steep part, the trail leveled off and there was very little suffering for the remainder of the climb. Near the top I saw a group of hikers heading down. One of the women said "Good job!" (you can hear it in the video), and I thanked her.
After that climb I continued climbing on the pavement on Russell Road, then turned around and enjoyed the descent back down Stagecoach.
I'm going to have to remove the spacers and slam the stem to cut down on the front wheel coming off the ground on steep climbs.
Here's the video. It's raw footage, so my standard heavy breathing audio warning applies.
One of the technical turns on Culvert
technical turn on Culvert Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Confluence trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Middle fork of American River as seen from Confluence Trail
Middle Fork of American River seen from Confluence Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Middle Fork of American River and Confluence Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
American River and Clementine Trail
American River and Clementine Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Start of Stagecoach Trail steep climb
Start of Stagecoach Trail climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Ridgeview trailhead by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Steep sufferfest climb I wound up on by accident
Steep climb above Stagecoach Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
Short steep climb it took several tries to clean
Short steep climb above Stagecoach Trail by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr
More pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76286317@N05/