Boy. Really? Having just spent a week in locales much warmer than home, you can imagine my, um, distaste for the weather that welcomed me home. Fog, rain, blah…
After eating really well on my trip (you know, lots of Starbucks, In n Out, etc, etc.) and riding long rides (12, 12, and 14 miles since the double century) I figured I should come back and take it easy. Ok. That’s stupid. I really wanted to put in some work this weekend as the season has barely just begun.
Saturday morning I met up with my friend Shawn in Jacksonville with a plan to get at least 20 miles on the mountain bike while climbing a good 4000-5000 feet. Not a bad plan. Not a bad workout. After starting out mellow on the Beekman trails and cutting through the Britt trails, we got a little more serious as we headed up Reservoir Road and started on trails as soon as we could. Sorry, I don’t remember every trail name, but I know Ponderosa Snag was one of them.
We kept going up and took Twin Peaks to Atsahu where I talked Shawn into going for the KOM (King of the Mountain on Strava aka fastest time) on the trail. I’m pretty sure he probably got it but he stopped before the segment ended. My time stands for another day!!!
As we started up the steeper section of Atsahu, our day was cut short due to a mechanical issue. Suffice it to say we were lucky (I was lucky) we were at the top of the mountain. I was able to coast all the way back to the Adventure Wagon. Still, we got in 14 miles and about 3000′.
Not bad. But, not good enough. So Sunday, I planned on trying to beat the rain forecast for late in the day and do a road ride. The Conde Creek loop is on my list of Top 5 favorites. You head out 140, take a right at Lake Creek, stay to the left until you see a sign that says Dead Indian Memorial Road. Take a right there and climb up to Dead Indian Summit. Then, it’s a fast descent down into Ashland and back home. However, none of that mattered Sunday because it was already raining when I woke up.
Time to pull out the ‘cross bike. Looking for some semi-significant mileage, I decided to throw in a bunch of gravel for fun starting with Griffin Creek Road.
The next bit of gravel came with Griffin Lane (Why do we need all the Griffin names out there? I get so confused). If you haven’t ridden this road going East to West (or North to South if you prefer), then you should.
Because it’s SO much fun.
The road is consistently steep with a few spots jumping up into the 20% grade zone. Popping out on Sterling Creek Road, I turned right and headed up to Woodrat Mountain, my next gravel connector.
As I had only ridden this road once before, I have an excuse for missing the turn I was supposed to take.
Did you know there is a pretty good view from the top of Woodrat?
Backtracking for about a mile, I found the road I’d missed and headed towards Highway 238 via Bishop Creek Road.
Taking the Longanecker Road shortcut I was soon on Forest Creek Road and heading up the back side of John’s Peak where, once again, my legs got a good burn due to a few good grunts in the upper teens percentage wise.
Finally, having reached the top near one of the Bitches (not sure which one, and yes mom, that’s it’s name) it was all downhill in to Jacksonville and smooth pavement back home.
A good ride to end the weekend. I’m hoping to start upping the miles in the coming weeks since I have a group of 2 centuries and my second double century all within a 4 week period.
The fun is only starting!