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Iowa Hill Rd & Surrounds

Old 06-12-19, 01:06 PM
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ridethetown
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Iowa Hill Rd & Surrounds

I'll be down from Reno visiting my family in Camino (Placerville) on Saturday, with Sunday open for a ride. I need around 80-90 miles 9k+ elevation. While I grew up in Camino, I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the roads in Placer Co. that've been on my back doorstep my whole life so am looking for some feedback:

Thought I'd start in Auburn, ride to Colfax then take Iowa Hill out to Foresthill Rd. then detour Yankee Jim's to Spring Garden Rd., back to Foresthill, all the way back to Auburn. Or I might start by riding down to the confluence, up Old Foresthill, double back over the bridge to Auburn then do the above.

Alternative thought would be to start in Foresthill, take Mosquito Ridge, descend to Rubicon Reservoir then take on "Corkscrew Wall" to Rubicon Rd. ---> French Meadows, then back down Mosquito Ridge. Is this route paved the whole way? Anyone have GPS for the "do-not-miss" water source on Rubicon Rd?

I'll be riding alone and I know temps will be in the 90's. I'm used to the heat and remote riding, but would you say either of these routes requires a riding partner? Places to buy/fill water? Bring water treatment or filter?

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Last edited by ridethetown; 06-12-19 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:06 PM
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Couple of ideas: stash a frozen bottle or two on the bottom of Mosquito Ridge before the bridge. That way you'll have water for the climb out. There is a spring of fresh water at about mile 32 on your way to French Meadows. I wish I could give you the exact coordinates, but this is from the start of the ride. That should be enough to get you back to your bottles. Note that you'll have to walk around a rock slide at the bottom of Corkscrew. I've done it, so its completely doable.

Enjoy your ride,
BR
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Old 06-20-19, 04:41 PM
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So, as an update - I did the ride last Sunday and it went...well...in the end.

I didn't get started until almost 10:00 am - the forecast was only for 84 degrees so I figured I'd enjoy sleeping in a little. That was a big mistake. The ride started smoothly, descending from Auburn to the confluence on 49 was a blast and the ride up Old Foresthill road was great. Doubled back over the bridge, taking note that that 500' climb would be soul-crushing some 5 hours later when I was nearing the end of the ride. Downed a gatorade at the gas station then started the long, steady pull to Colfax. I overshot Iowa Hill Rd. to fill bottles, grab another gatorade and popsicle at the Chevron in Colfax. Talked to a local rider there who was excited to hear about my ride but warned it'd be pretty warm on the climb. It was already well over 84.

The descent to the Iowa Hill bridge was interesting - too steep and sharp to really be fun, but just enough to get the adrenaline up a bit. Crossed the river, witnessed the beginnings of a fist fight over a parking spot (it wouldn't be a complete ride in the foothills without the white trash) and started the grind. Sit-stand-follow the shady patches. Repeat. Repeat. It's dreadfully hot and I'm losing a lot of sweat. "Hey self, have you been taking calories and salt?" "Not really." "Oh, okay."

Iowa Hill. It's nearly 2:00 pm and I buy the last cold gatorade and water from the store. Talked to an old local on the front porch drinking a Pepsi - he'd have talked with me all day if he could have. Tore myself away, valiantly mounted my sparkly steed, hi-ho and we're off! For about 200 feet. What was that about calories and salt? Oh, my pockets are still full with the half-dozen or more gels I packed and I've ridden four hours in the heat...right. Those.

And so began a full two hours of riding a mile or two, gaining 500 feet, then cramping. Get off, take a gel, take water, stretch, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Miles from nowhere. Car every 30 minutes or so, but god damn if I have the humility to throw in the towel. But what the ****? Where the hell am I? It got a bit better after Sugarpine - I think my legs realized there was nothing they could do to get out of more torture. The means to an end were clear: I had to ride another 30 miles come hell or high water. And so...hell.

At long last, Foresthill road - a superhighway! 10 miles downhill to Foresthill - a megalopolis! Stop for water? F no - I haven't cramped in 15 miles and don't want to risk dismounting. Put the hammer down...25 MPH to the bridge. The uphills are small enough. That final soul-crushing 500 ft ended up not mattering at all - my split was faster than in the morning. I'd already been broken.

75 miles, 7900', and 5:33 later, I was at my truck. Oh that blessed truck! This was not supposed to be my toughest ride so far this season but without doubt was. I underestimated the heat, was poorly hydrated, and didn't start eating soon enough. Very, very valuable reminders in this final three-week run up to the Death Ride. This is definitely a top-notch ride that I can now reflect upon fondly. I will absolutely do it again, but would enjoy company next time. It's a long f'ing way from the top of the TT to Sugarpine!
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Old 09-11-19, 10:52 PM
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Kind of late.But I use to live in Foresthill about 15 years ago.

But I believe I did the Iowa hill ride once, very steep. This was about 15-20 years ago and before I had better gearing for climbs.


I use to ride up to Robinson flats until the road changed to dirt or Sugar Pine lake.Can not remember if either place had drinking/spring water.




A Gravel or touring bike would be best,as a lot of the roads turn to dirt or use too.

There is a dirt road that goes to Soda springs and If you take Mosquito Ridge to Blacksmith Flats road at Oxbow Res. It is a long pave road that goes to Garden Valley? If I remember right,I drove it once,and you have to take a few different roads.


But no service available.




But I only ride short rides in the morning or at night in the summer when visiting the area.


I rather ride dirt when in Northern Ca, and my road bike when In Oregon,I feel much safer = less cars.
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