On Saturday morning a bunch of us hit the trails in Auburn. Nine of us were at the trailhead, some I’d never met, (Bill, David, Curtis, and Al) and some I’ve known for a while (Fred, Bob, Jim, and, Curtis). Rumor has it that the Ogre showed but I didn’t see him anywhere.
Update:Ride Photos are Up!
Our route took us down Manzanita, up Stagecoach, Across Upper Stagecoach, Down Flood, Along Mossy Rock, up a fireroad to Foresthill Bridge, Across the bridge to a slimey creek/ uphill that leads to the top of the Culvert Trail, about 4 miles down the connector trail, 11 miles around Foresthill Divide Trail, back along the Connector trail, down the Culvert Trail (Awesome!!) and then the Confluence Trail (SWEEEET!), and Finally Up Stagecoach to the cars.
This was the longest Auburn Ride I’ve ever done, and it kicked our collective butts. Dave and Bill did much better than the rest of us but they spent half their time with one of their bikes upside down on the side of the trail which was the only reason we were able to keep up with them.
About half way down Flood I felt my front brakes fade completely so I stopped. After pumping them a few times they came back. Turns out when I replaced my disc brake pads I had forgotten to bend the end of the cotter pin that held the pads in place. The pin had come out and one ofmy brake pads went shortly after. Oops! That’s what I get for self wrenching. The brakes worked for now but they made a hideous grinding sound… bad news. So no front brakes for me.
The Foresthill bridge is something to experience, it is really awesome just to stand on it and gawk at the confluence area below (730′ Below). You get a great view of the bottom of Stagecoach and the Clementine Laketrail. Bob cruised by and opted out of the view because he is so fond of having dirt under his feet.
About half way around on the north side of the Foresthill Loop Dave and Bill had their first mechanical. All of our chains were pretty sloppy around then and I think Bill had chain suck. They were so far ahead of us for most of the day that after making certain they had it under control we kept riding (They passed me on the first climb after that).
Shortly after Bills breakdown Impy decided to go for a swim. There is a creek crossing with a nasty steep rooted climb right after it. Looked to me like Impy dropped her bike on the roots and jumped into the creek. We were around 20 miles into the ride that folks started to show the first signs of bonkage. I tried to fight the inevitable tide of bonkage with a small cache of cookies I had stashed in my hydrapack. It seemed effective for a while. Dave and Bill snuck ahead of us for a while but we caught them right before the halfway mark on Foresthill when Bill’s bike choked again (I saw the chaintool out this time).
When we were most of the way through Foresthill Bob started faltering and choked on his bagel. I think his dry bagel is what did him in. I offered up a trail bar I had forgetten I had and he scarfed it down likea stray dog goes for a double chili chese burger with onions. Our pace on the return trip down the Connector was at Bobspace. We were all pretty wiped out by now and all of the calories from the trail munchies were a distant memory. We had already done 25 miles and a ton of climbing.
The Culvert descent was as sweet as ever (Hey no front brakes for me AHHHH!!). Unfortunately Bob had a ‘biological breakdown’ which I thought meant he wet himself. Apparently this is Bobspeak for crash and burn. He briefly tried signalling a circling helicopter but gave up and joined us at the bottom.
Sometime along the Confluence (major grin factor) Trail Curtis got apinch flat on his TUBED tire. I think it must have taken Bob, Curtis, and Impy 20 minutes to change that damned tube. Later I found out it was mostly due to a bad replacement tube and a three stoogesesque tire changing crew. Mostly I think their brains had simply shut down due to lack of available resources (BONK). The final climb up Stagecoach was a death march at it’s finest.
Dave and Bill had long since abandoned us (hope you guys had fun) and the rest of us were trashed (except Al). Al was so far ahead of us that he had changed, had his first beer, moved his car, and showered by the time we got to the top. Curtis and Fred made a valient effort and cleanly whooped the rest of us stragglers up the hill.
31 miles, 9 trogs, 1 missing brakepad, about 4 mechanicals, 3500′ or so of climbing, 3 bonked riders. What a killer day, thanks for coming out guys this was an awesome ride.