It’s Only Cold And Wet

People of the world!  Unless you are injured, get off the trainer and go ride!!  Sure it’s cold.  Sometimes it’s wet.  But that just means there’s cool stuff out there to do and see that you don’t get the opportunity to experience in the more fair weather!
Ok.  Ok.  You guys are probably smarter than me and should stay inside where it’s nice and cozy.  Really.  I mean it.  I should probably follow your lead.  I probably won’t and here’s why:
I definitely got some chilly rides in this week.
I met my loyal (and equally weather resistant) buddy on Roxy Tuesday afternoon.  While I know Roxy has the sticky mud after it rains, it seems I just have to try out a trail at least once a year.  This time Jacob was only showing me the beginning of a trail I didn’t know existed and that’s all it took. 

We backtracked and ended up doing 5 laps around the peak.

Due to the mostly clear sky we almost finished the ride before it was dark.  We were treated to a pretty spectacular sunset as our reward for persevering.

 

Things at work have been crazy the last few weeks and I never know if I’ll be able to sneak in a good road ride, so I took the C3 with me on Thursday hoping I could gain some extra daylight by leaving right after quitting time.
I ended up doing an out and back to the far end of Ashland via Pompadour Drive on the east side.  I finally found out where Grizzly Peak Winery is located.

By the time Saturday rolled around I was once again ready to tackle some gravel.  With nobody available or willing to join me (names withheld to protect the guilty), I set out on my own at 7:45.
I was greeted immediately by some decently thick fog.  I wasn’t too worried.   I knew I would be climbing above it before too long and, sure enough, 8 miles into the ride, and halfway up Anderson Butte, I found sunlight!

Shortly thereafter, I turned onto road 38-2-26 and encountered my first bit of gravel.  After 6 miles and another 1000 feet of climbing I hit road 39-2-8 (Geez.  Here we go with the inventive road names again) and started making my way down to Sterling Creek Road.
It was still in the 40s when I reached Buncom and my hands were a wee bit chilled so I took a few minutes to warm them up.

Climbing back on the Toa I started up Little Applegate Road.  Even before I started riding bikes, this was one of my favorite places to go for a drive.  It reminds me quite a bit of a small valley in Trinity County where I liked to fish, not terribly far from where I grew up.
Leaving the small farms (medicinal and otherwise) behind, I started getting closer to the mountains as I rode above the Little Applegate River.

Luckily, most of the 9 or so miles from Buncom up to the Sterling Mine Ditch trailhead was in the sun and I finally felt warm.
The foliage along the river was pretty fantastic.  About 2 minutes after taking this photo I was confronted by a loose and angry dog that I had to charge (with my bike between us) to get him to let me pass!

From there, it was a long hour’s climb up Anderson Creek Road.  With more than 4000′ feet of climbing already in my legs, they weren’t exactly happy with me at this point, but they eventually brought me to the top.
I happily descended the east side of Anderson Creek into Talent.  The rest of the way home was paved and relatively flat but I still ended up with 50 miles and 6600′ of gain!
Lately, Sundays have been a fun group ride affair.  I was hoping to keep that going again this week, but it ended up just being 3 of us that met at Applegate Lake.
It was raining lightly as we left the dam and headed for the trail.

Adrian, Dave, and I held a nice pace despite encountering slick spots, soft, muddy spots, and a few who put this tree across the trail spots.  We cleared several sections, but there was a couple trees too big to move by hand.

By the time we reached the far end of the lake, we weren’t even noticing the rain.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as last week’s Sunday ride.
We finished with a hard charge up the rocky section from the boat ramp back to the dam and called it a day.

So you see, friends?  There’s still riding to be had. All you gotta do is decide to do it!
-Aaron

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