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Old 09-01-02, 06:13 PM   #1
Andy Dreisch
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How was the MTBing today?

The Commute topic has a well-traveled post entitled "How was the commute today?". I noticed the lack of a similar thread here so I thought I'd give it a try.

Today, I went with a friend along Saratoga Gap, a beautiful ride near San Jose and about 1.5 hours south of San Francisco. It's along the ridge line that, looking west overlooks the Santa Cruz mtn range and the Pacific, and looking east, overlooks the San Jose and Silicon Valley area. A real nice mix of forest trails and open ridges with commanding views. Technical in parts with challenging hills in some locations, but mostly nice singletrack. An excellent ride.

My friend's pretty new to MTBing but quite good. She didn't de-clip fast enough when some people passed on the trail and fell off the trail and down a steep embankment, bike flipping over like a cartwheel! Lucky for her the embankment was soft dirt under the trees, and she managed to hold a branch with a death grip. Damned near took a tree down. If she didn't do that she'd probably roll all the way to Santa Cruz!! Once we pulled her and her bike up, she was just fine.

Anyway, I hope this thread has the same "traction" as the one in Commute.
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Old 09-01-02, 07:09 PM   #2
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Great thread Andy! I was just sitting here thinking about the awesome ride I did yesterday. It was a 1575 ft climb in 10 miles that took us above the tree line to the head of a valley and the site of a RCAF Dakota airplane that crashed in 1946.

The trail was undulating with gradual elevation gain until the last 4 miles which climbed steeply up and up. The top opened up into a mix of alpine flowers and grass and the Flathead Range looming above. Besides the breath-taking view, there are still remnants of the plane such as the tail section, a wing, pieces of the landing gear. It was an eerie site. And an extremely gratifying ride. I love the late summer rides...they are the best!
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Old 09-01-02, 08:06 PM   #3
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Thank you!...

I had a fantastic ride today. I had been feeling burned out for the last 3 weeks or so. I have been pushing myself and my bike very hard. So for around a week now I have done 1 day on 1 day off riding. Today it payed off.

My energy level was huge, my focus was high and my skill level increased. I was riding up things I previously got stuck on. I hopped objects I would normally climb over and my two favorite acheivements were two steep decents I usually avoid. 1 ends with VERY narrow trees side by side to a sharp turn to the right which I cleaned no problem. Shortly after that is a steep 15ft drop/ride (I dont drop it) which has a tree halfway down. I have never attempted this because of fear. Today I tried. I got passed the tree and held onto the brake too long. This flipped me over and to the side. AWESOME.

Needless to say I crashed 3 times but improved my riding tonnes. Today is a beautiful day to be on a bike.
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Old 09-01-02, 08:55 PM   #4
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My day was pretty good, thanks for asking!
I did a citizen race, placed horribly, but grinned right to the end!



kinda like that, but goofire because of my helmet...
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Old 09-02-02, 01:04 AM   #5
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Our ride on Saturday afternoon was great fun with a capital 'F'. Nothing challenging by some of your definitions, but the weather was sunny, dry, and warm. We got a mouthful of gnats and our faces had a thin patina of dust on them when we got home. We were happy, the bikes were happy. We chanced upon a very friendly cat on the trail who wanted to know about everything we did. We passed a pond with dozens of ducks in it and we rode through a small village that hosted it's late summer fete. We finished in a major town and had to continue through a railway station to pick up the trail again. We road down the 15 steps! That was cool! Got back home, tired, dusty, but what a day!
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Old 09-02-02, 08:28 PM   #6
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Wow. Not a lot of responses to this post out there in MTB land. So I'll give it a crack with my second MTB wrap-up.

I was lucky to be able to squeeze in another ride today. I took my dog and headed for Santa Teresa County Park, a park in SJ with lots of MTB trails but relatively unknown. It doesn't quite have the appeal of Saratoga Gap, but it makes for an excellent cardio and technical (very rocky) training ground.

I headed off at 1pm in 97 degree heat. The entire park is open to the frying sun expect for a few oak groves. I don't mind the heat but my dog knows every watering hole. She's been a little out of shape recently and you could really tell on a hot day. SHe lounged in the mud today!! Anyway, I got in some good hills and practiced along the rocky, technical trails while giving my poochie a good workout.

Mission accomplished.
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Old 09-03-02, 07:34 AM   #7
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No rides for me lately, wife is sick, work keeps me busy,...blah, blah, blah. Maybe this weekend wifey will feel better and I'll get out!

L8R
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Old 09-03-02, 08:27 AM   #8
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Haven't been on the bike in over a week. Fell down go owie last time. Waiting to stop feeling gimpy! But this weekend hopefully....
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Old 09-03-02, 08:46 AM   #9
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Did a lot of road riding this weekend (training for MS150) but I did get out sunday to ride my local trail!. It was great getting back on the mountain bike and I can't wait til the fall so I can really focus on MTB.
The trail is nothing specatcular it is a regular loop configuartion of about 5 miles, I usually do 2 loops, but I'm definetely getting in better shape because I did 3 loops Sunday, and I felt strong. The road riding is definetely paying off. Passed a lot of people and I was only passed once. I'm not a speed demon but I am consistent. I'll probably do the trail again tommorow.
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Old 09-03-02, 07:40 PM   #10
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Last weekend I finally completed a loop I had been scouting pieces of for a year. It was a mix of dirt roads, snowmobile trail, logging roads, 4wd track and singletrack. It came to 15 miles and I rode it in just under 2 hours.

Two large climbs earned me exciting descents. The first climb of "only" 300 ft. required a drop into the granny gear as it switchbacked up an amazingly steep snowmobile trail. It was easily the toughest climb I've made to date - not even a dab. The second climb of 700 ft. had a 1/2 mile of 15% grade on a dirt road. Longer than the first, but not nearly as difficult.

The singletrack had 4 old stonewall crossings (old, pushed over stonewalls). I had ridden this section of trail several times before, but always dismounted on at least one of the crossings. But this day I would ride over them all. It was an exciting moment in my technical progression.

The final downhill of 500 ft. was fast and rugged down a 4wd trail. I pinch-flatted half-way down and had to fix the flat. I was shocked to find my rims too hot to touch. I never realized that they got so hot. I careened down the rest of the way with abandon not noticing the jarring my Giant NRS was absorbing.

Back at the car I was ecstatic. It was almost an epic-worthy ride. I felt great on the ride home and have since failed to accurately describe to anyone else the exhileration of the ride.

As a postscript, I had blood in my urine upon arriving home, and for the following 12 hours. Apparently I bruised a kidney on the final descent. . . without crashing. I knew I was hammering, but that was rediculous. Scared the crap out of me.
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Old 09-03-02, 08:44 PM   #11
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I live in an area where there are lots of short single tracks (1km to 10 km) I usually do one or two single tracks in a row and usually end up around 20k a ride. This time I dumped my computer (after reading another thread) and just went out. I linked as best I could all of the single tracks I know of. This was an intense ride with steep uphills (one trail called white gold ascent) where you have to hike a couple of really steep sections, steep downhills (a new trail I rode for the first time called cut yer bars, very steep (very) but very narrow to the point other getting your bars caught or barely making it, and a few other misc tracks I could find. I avoided any dirt roads and if I needed to get between trails I hopped on fire roads.

1.5 hours later I have no clue how far I road. But i can say that it was intense both aerobically and anaerobically and I am feeling it in my arms and shoulders.

Till another day.
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Old 09-04-02, 03:23 AM   #12
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Had a great ride after supper last night - Up the Niagara Escarpment on Red Hill Valley bike trail, only had to stop twice on the way up 2 killer hills. (I'm getting better -was 4 or 5 stops last week). Came back down on a newly discovered section of the Bruce Trail, very narrow single track, rocky & rough. At bottom of trail I watched a doe and 2 fawns grazing by the golf course. All within city limits and within a mile or two of my house!!
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Old 09-04-02, 04:34 PM   #13
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Started my first teaching job today...scarey...but, due to my new schedule was able to burn off the stress with a loop ride from my house in Manchester By The Sea, Massachusetts, up and around Cape Ann. Cape Ann includes towns like Rockport and Gloucester, made famous in the movie The Perfect Storm. Anyway, little wind and the great ocean views cooked all my stress away!
Yes, it was a road ride, but they're okay every now and again.

Singletrack Mind.
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Old 09-04-02, 06:40 PM   #14
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Last ride the first thing I did on the trails was that I took some air. I fell, and my thumb is spraigned (sp?). I haven't rode in a while!! (though it gives me enough time to clean the bike). Maybe I can get out this weekend.
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Old 09-04-02, 07:59 PM   #15
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I haven't ridden much off road this year but today I had an incredible ride. Riding with someone new and who is fitter than me nearly killed me. He is also ballsier than me, which really helped push me into riding some great skinnies and other stunts. He showed me a new loop on our local trail with a nice long log ride, which was also a blast. Funny enough, I was able to show him a loop which he didn't know about and where he salivated at the sight of some large dirt jumps.

On my ride home, I also remembered why I like riding in the woods so much; it's so quiet and there's no bloody wind.
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Old 09-04-02, 08:33 PM   #16
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On my ride home, I also remembered why I like riding in the woods so much; it's so quiet and there's no bloody wind.
Or cars, or exhaust fumes, or concrete, or buildings, or road signs, etc.
Yesterday I rode and got my best time yet on the local trail. It would have been about 1-2 minutes better, except for the freaking spiders! Late summer around here the spiders start spinning webs in the evening and by the next day the first person, (usually me), down the trail gets to clear the trail. I try to ignore them, but when they are hanging in my face from my helmet, I just can't. There were 4 in my helmet vents when I stopped. Not counting the ones I knocked off on the way through. Spiders suck!
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Old 09-04-02, 08:51 PM   #17
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Or cars, or exhaust fumes, or concrete, or buildings, or road signs, etc.


True, true. It's a real contrast to go straight from one to another, as the trail I was riding is literally right in the city. Today was a real breakthrough day for me though, I'm not in as good shape as I thought I was and I'm going to start spending a lot more time on the trails for the sheer enjoyment and challenge.

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Yesterday I rode and got my best time yet on the local trail. It would have been about 1-2 minutes better, except for the freaking spiders! Late summer around here the spiders start spinning webs in the evening and by the next day the first person, (usually me), down the trail gets to clear the trail. I try to ignore them, but when they are hanging in my face from my helmet, I just can't. There were 4 in my helmet vents when I stopped. Not counting the ones I knocked off on the way through. Spiders suck!
Oh, I empathize with you! I walked straight through a spider web I never saw in a friend's backyard a few weeks ago and I could actually hear the web crackle (gag). I had to wipe a rather large spider and a lot of web off of my shirt - it was just like the scene in 'Octo*****'. Eeyuck.
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Old 09-04-02, 08:53 PM   #18
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I see the name of a certain James Bond movie was disallowed!
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Old 09-05-02, 05:23 PM   #19
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Late summer rides are beautiful, especially when they are filled with fast singletrack!!!
Singletrack Mind
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Old 09-05-02, 06:30 PM   #20
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Spiders give me the heeby geebies.

We get these huge banana spiders down here! They're black and yellow and are as big as your hand. They make these immense webs that stretch all the way accross the trails. I hate those things!

They even named a trail "Spider Kingdom" because there are so many!

I'm getting the creeps just thinking about them!

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Old 09-05-02, 07:24 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
Wow. Not a lot of responses to this post out there in MTB land. So I'll give it a crack with my second MTB wrap-up.

I was lucky to be able to squeeze in another ride today. I took my dog and headed for Santa Teresa County Park, a park in SJ with lots of MTB trails but relatively unknown. It doesn't quite have the appeal of Saratoga Gap, but it makes for an excellent cardio and technical (very rocky) training ground.

I headed off at 1pm in 97 degree heat. The entire park is open to the frying sun expect for a few oak groves. I don't mind the heat but my dog knows every watering hole. She's been a little out of shape recently and you could really tell on a hot day. SHe lounged in the mud today!! Anyway, I got in some good hills and practiced along the rocky, technical trails while giving my poochie a good workout.

Mission accomplished.

Hey Andy...what part of San Jose are you from? I live in Foster City about 40 minutes north of S.J.

I had a great weekend of riding...
Saturday I went Downhilling at Northstar in Tahoe. What a great day and the vistas were unbelievable.

Sunday, I did a ride which connected three open preserves. Montebello, Skyline, and I believe Long ridge (contains the Peters Creek Loop). Very hot but got to ride some singletrack I've never been on.

Monday I hit China Camp in Marin County. Not the most technical place around but the singletrack and the views make up for it. It wasn't very crowded either.

here is a pic from Sat. at Northstar...
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Old 09-08-02, 08:51 PM   #22
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Hey Andy...what part of San Jose are you from? I live in Foster City about 40 minutes north of S.J.
I live in south San Jose. About as far south as you can go without eventually running in to Morgan Hill.

I went to Saratoga Gap again this weekend with my buds. Had a blast but didn't cover anything as monstrous as Northstar!!! I'm an intermediate (at best) MTBer ... you pic looks WAY too wild for me. I've done Skeggs a bunch and Soquel once (had a major wreck there). That's about my limit so far. I'm still practicing.

My one bud had his tail end go out of whack on him on our ride and he hit the ground hard on a pretty good and fast downhill. He's going to be laid up for a while

Tahoe is absolutely beautiful but I've never MTBed there. I will one day soon.

Be careful jumping those logs !!
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Old 09-12-02, 02:29 PM   #23
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Trying to post pics from my last ride.......arghhhhhh


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Old 09-12-02, 03:37 PM   #24
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Hmmm....one more time?



These pictures were taken on September 01/02 on a ride we did up to the site of a RCAF Dakota that crashed in 1946. The ride starts in Coleman, Alberta and climbs 1575 feet in 10 miles.

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Old 09-12-02, 05:45 PM   #25
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rockymtn_girl, cool pix. Beautiful area to ride.

What's with the plane? And I s'pose that's you in the shots? Very cool.
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