The Two Sides of Auburn

Well, actually Auburn seems to have many sides. Last weekend Ogre and I went to the Russell Rd. trailhead to ride. It was overcast and threatened rain so we figured that we’d play it by ear, but brought the rain gear along in our packs. We dropped down the road to Manzanita and rode that until it hit Stagecoach. Climbed back up Stagecoach to where Upper Stagecoach hits it and then rode Upper Stagecoach back down to Stagecoach and then continued down to the Confluence. Ogre wanted more miles and I needed a break so we decided I’d hang where I was and he’d go ride a loop on the other side of the bridge. He expected to be gone for 1-1 1/2 hours and we planned for me to start climbing back up Stagecoach after he’d left me for 30-45 minutes. Just 30 minutes later and I feel a couple of drops. Hmmmm…

I guess I’ll get moving now and maybe make it back to the car before it dumps. I had climbed for about 15 minutes when from behind me a familiar face appears. Ogre laughs and says he’d tricked himself into going much faster than he’d planned. Apparently, he’d glanced at the ride time and forgot to subtract the time we’d ridden together. Thinking he was leaving me wondering where he was at, he hauled butt around his loop and was nearly finished when he caught on to his mistake. We continue climbing with occasional breaks and the rain gently dropping a few sprinkles on us, get all the way to the trailhead, change clothes, and begin to leave. Then the rain starts falling in earnest. All in all a great day.

As I was climbing back up Stagecoach, it occurs to me that 1) I really had fun and 2) we were going to be back in  Auburn the following weekend. I posted on MTBR looking to see if anyone would like to join me in recreating this ride with a little alteration and got a positive response. Yeah, that sounds like fun. We plan to meet at the Confluence. So, yesterday I drop Ogre off at the trailhead where the group ride he was going on was meeting and head down to the Confluence. The weather looked totally great for a ride, though just a little hotter than I prefer. I park, get all my gear ready, and head out to find David (Uncle Rico on MTBR). He’s parked just a couple of cars up and ready to go when I find him. After quick introductions (this was the first time we’d met offline), we start the climb. I warned him that I planned on ‘cheating’ on the bottom part of Stagecoach. It’s a steep brutal climb to start off a ride on and I wanted to save my energy for the fun stuff I knew was waiting. Up we climbed. At the top, we basically rode the ride just like I’d ridden it the last time, but with the benefit of knowing that the end of the ride would be all downhill and as hot as it felt yesterday that breeze felt awesome. The ride was a blast and we finished in just a little over 2 hours. Not bad for me stopping several times on the initial climb to take short breaks. At the bottom we say our goodbyes and I change and sit waiting for Ogre.

Today we rode at Hidden Falls park in Auburn. Great new park with a beautiful trail system. After a quick loop there, Ogre and one of the other guys wanted to preride the 24 hrs of Cool course, so off we went. I decided to kick back at the car while they rode. I think the word spent describes me right now. I can’t wait to shower and drop off to sleep.