Mountain Biking Northern California

It’s Foothills Riding Time

April 16th, 2014 by Ogre

Hey, it’s that time of year, it’s the time when the Sierra Nevada foothills are at their peak awesomeness. This is the ideal time of year to head up to the trails in the foothills because they are all incredibly beautiful right now and soon it will be too warm to ride there comfortably. Lake Hogan, Red Hills, New Melones Reservoir, you name it, it’s the perfect time to experience the beauty of the lower Sierra.

Hogan in the springtime
Lake Hogan is only this nice for a few months each year.
Ogre's new springtime ride. Oh… what’s this now, does Ogre have a new ride?


March 9th, 2014 by Ogre


Motivation has been a big problem for me over the past 2 years, but this December I decided I would push myself; I committed to riding every single day of December. The result was great, I didn’t do any huge rides, but I managed to clock at least a few miles every single day. At the turn of the year I decided to renew my commitment and pledged to myself to pedal 900 miles in the first 90 days of 2014.

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One Moment of Perfect Beauty

June 5th, 2013 by Ogre

Sometimes riding is pure unadulterated joy. That perfect moment hits you and just don’t want it to stop. This weekend, it was when we were blazing down pinecrest peak trail, we were rolling down the trail as fast as conceivable, hitting all the little whoop tee dos and jumps, banking hard around the berms, and threading through technical sections at mach speed. even better, i had a couple buddies chasing me, we were all laughing, pouring on the speed. It’s an insane feeling and one I get doing few other things. The rush on adrenalin is intense and the endorphins kick in… I was grinning from ear to ear whooping hollering and laughing out loud. It doesn’t happen every ride, but when it does, it’s awesome.

I’ve been neglecting my riding so much lately that I’d forgotten about that moment… Or perhaps just set it aside for a bit. It’s going to be a busy summer as i try and get caught up.

Off the Hook: Sunrise, Pinecrest Peak

June 1st, 2013 by Ogre

After spending most of the last year doing a lot of fairly close riding or not riding much at all, I’ve been getting by but in gear again. A bunch-o-trogs made their way up to Pinecrest this weekend for some early season PCP.

Fiona dropped us off right at the top of Hamil Canyon and we tried to make it up to Eagle Peak. The route was clear for the most part, save some occasional drifts.

But eventually we were stymied by a big sheet of snow and the prospect of more ahead so we turned back.

After a bit of debate, we decided we’d try to climb up to a challenging trail called Sunrise. We ground our way up a steep 4WD road which most of us pushed up, but the views up top were spectacular and Sunrise trail is a real treat.

Unfortunately, we were blazing down Sunrise so I don’t have any shots of this great section of singletrack. Trust me on this one, it’s amazing.

After enjoying the descent, there was a brief climb up to the Pinecrest Peak “Bonus” trail, a section that was added to the beginning of PCP trail proper a few years ago.

The bonus section is short and I was really enjoying the flow so again no pictures, but after we were on Pinecrest Peak trail proper I took the time to stop and get some shots of the spectacular trail and views.

A huge part of upper PCP is giant granite slabs with thoughtfully arranged cairns spaced to maximize fun and keep riders from rolling off into oblivion.

Well actually, at one point you more or less do roll off into oblivion, or it seems like it. (Pinecrest Lake in the background)

The granite slab points down and it gets pretty steep, it feels like you are riding out of the sky. (File this under ‘steeper than it looks’)

(It was shortly after this that Joey did a nice endo almost going face first into a boulder.)

After boulder crawling and navigating slabs, we spent about 30 minutes picking our way through steep technical trails and rolling through high mountain meadows.

Then we hit the warp drives and blazed down some a fast bermed out section of serpentine trail. It was off the hook fast and my riding was on fire. The grin factor was maxed out, lots of whoops and hollering.

At the bottom, things get technical again and the speed comes down, but the grin factor doesn’t decrease as we bounced over boulders, slid down granite slabs, took chunky drops over tree roots, dodged stone outcroppings, ducked under branches, and threaded trees.

Then, all too soon, we were at the bottom, tired, sore, and feeling that melancholy we all feel when a spectacular day of riding is over. We crossed the creek, loaded up the bikes and headed back to Bruce’s trailer for some beer and some great grub.

Rockville Spring Ride

April 13th, 2013 by Ogre
Ogre on the Rockgarden Trail

Fiona and I had a great ride at Rockville with my good friends Stripes and her better half. I’ve been doing a lot of short-ish local rides but not a ton of trail riding lately so getting out was a blast. Here are some great slides Stripes put together including some good pics she took and some mediocre ones I took.

If you’ve never ridden Rockville, it’s a great small trail system just outside of Vacaville, in easy distance for a lot of Central Valley or Bay Area riders. Rockville is a bit of a rats nest of intersecting and crisscrossing trails with a great mix of rocky technical trails and reasonably smooth/ beginner friendly trails.

Riders anxious to test their skills usually bee-line for the aptly named Rock Garden trail on the ridge just west of the lake. It’s a great technical challenge and ridable in both directions. For even more challenging trails, expert riders can head to the south-east corner of the park and ride Manzanita trail down to Lower Tilly trail where they can try their skills on a sphincter-clenching-steep volcanic slab ride.

Beginning and intermediate riders just looking for some low-key riding can enjoy the flatter trails around the lake, and some of the trails on the south-west side of the lake. Arch trail, Lower and Middle Mystic trails all offer plenty of great low key riding which nearly anyone can enjoy.

I usually park on Rockville road and take quarry trail in, there is a nominal $3/ rider fee for park use, but the kiosk takes cash or credit cards.

I wouldn’t call Rockville park a ‘destination trail’, but it’s a great little park for local riders or occasionally worth a 90 minute drive. If you live in the Bay area, or the Central Valley and haven’t ridden at Rockville, you should take some time to check it out.

Feeling Monstrous Powerful

November 2nd, 2010 by Ogre

I feel awesome, better than I have in over 2 years. Not so much super endurance awesome, but powerful and more in control of my fitness and diet than I’ve been since my peak fitness. I’ve lost 5 lbs in the last 9 days (including 2 Halloween parties) and I feel as if I can lose 5 lbs this week too. My weight has drifted to a 4 year high and I’ve been struggling with it, but it finally feels like my ideal weight and top form are within reach.

The bad news is most of my working out has been out the back door so not a lot worthy of posting on Ogrehut. The possibility of a pump track for the backyard is very high right now, a tractor is on my list of ‘must buy’ things and if (when?) I get it the pump track will be one of the first things I build.

I don’t think I’ll ever get back into long endurance riding, not that I don’t feel capable, but the more I’ve looked into it the more it seems long endurance type events are ultimately destructive to the body. Longish rides are possible but 24 hour racing seems unlikely unless it’s on a four man team.

Since I last posted…

October 21st, 2010 by Ogre
Emily Abigail Strohmeyer
Born Friday October 8th at 1:30am Weight 7 lbs 14 ounces
Proud Parents Vivian Baker and Patrick Strohmeyer

Been busy visiting my new grandbaby! More pics at Picasa.

I managed to get a little riding in also and I’ll post a ride review and some details on it a little later.

Bear Valley

September 5th, 2010 by Ogre

This weeks ride was Bear Valley. If you’ve never been to Bear Valley you have missed out on some amazing trails. About an hour 45 minutes east of Stockton on Highway 4 it’s a great destination for cyclists. The 50+ mile trail system there is 100% legal and abot 80% singletrack with some fun jeep roads added for flavor.

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