Saturday, December 19, 2009

Devil's Gulch in the Fog

This place seems to conform to no known map or other system of coordinates.  These pictures are from somewhere north of SFD and south of Nicasio Reservoid.

Not exactly sure where.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

TL Ridge & Metallica Wall

Above: View of Big Rock Ridge from Terra Linda Ridge

Photos from December 15, 2009. Views from Terra Linda Ridge.

Nothing like a cheery sign to set the tone:

I hope this is a dog's track:


Hetfield's Folly: praise the lord and pass they dynamite:

View to the east, Mt. Diablo in the background:

 San Francisco:

San Rafael Bay Bridge:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jewel Trail to Bolinas Ridge

December 5, 2009. This is from a test ride of a circuit for a moonlight ride on Bolinas Ridge. Timing is not great--full moon was on the second and it's waning fast. Last chance tomorrow night.

Right: You shall not pass! The Dark Ones guard the pass to Bolinas Ridge.

The idea was to avoid going up Shafter fire road, which is reserved for only the most dedicated masochists.

Instead, it's possible to park near Peters Dam, ride the paved path a couple miles through Samuel P., and then head up to the Ridge on Jewel Trail.

Not sure how great idea this is. It gets to the top of Shafter in maybe six miles instead of 1.7, but instead of one gradual climb it's a serious of flats connected by steep, rocky parts--with bookoo kow krap along the way--always a big selling point for a night ride.

And there sure are a lot of hills in this flight plan.  They're everywhere!

And of course the welcoming top of Shafter:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Ride 2009

I planned to get up at 6:00 a.m. for this year's ride, but instead regained consciousness at 4:00 a.m. with some kind of very painful ankle problem.

After gulping Motrin and swilling coffee, I stuck my foot in a bucket of ice and learned that most of pre-dawn TV programming consists of Girls Gone Wild commercials.

After somehow assembling the requisite intestinal fortitude, I got myself together and hit the road, starting at 7:30 at the bottom of the Ridge Road in Fairfax.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, though initially pretty cold in the 40 degree range.

The circuit was relatively uncrowded early--rangers said hordes were expected around 10.

Those individuals would be the event's only losers--the ones who fail to make it back down to Fairfax before the free beer runs out.
Riders gather at the Point of No Return, followed by miles of downhill at the back of the loop. I fell pathetically right around the corner of the first run.

But fortunately my dirt grovel occurred where the attendant crowd did not witness it. I was please not be run over by anyone either.

A popular crowd spot is the junction where the Pine Lake Loop meets San Geronimo Ridge. By this time it was about 10:00, and people were coming out of the wordwork, including some who rode up out of White Hill or trails from San Geronimo.

Next stop, the Y intersection on San Geronimo trail--one way to Repack, the other back to White Hill or San Geronimo.

Riders hanging around the top of Repack.

Hazy day view from the top of Repack . . .

Ten minutes later--five for the brave ones--it's all over. . . .

Well not quite.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Barnabe Mountain: The Evil that Lurks in Samuel P. Taylor

In the process of failing to find the Devil's Gulch fire road in Samuel P. Taylor Park, I came across a fire road and figured, "what the heck."

What turned out to be a 1455 climb to an old fire lookout and views from a perspective you can't get from a car.

A nightmare to climb--or push a bike up--but the backside is 1400 foot plus drop down in the Madrone camp area. Or you can connect up to Devil's Gulch and--I think--go all the way to Nicasio reservoir.

It's like a recurrent nightmare of trying to ride up a Mobius strip--every time you come around the bend you run into another one of these:

But once you get to the top . . . .

It's literally all downhill from there:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Appetite Seminar Pre-ride

Above: view coming down Repack at dusk.

November 23, 2009: pre-ride for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Ride, aka Appetite Seminar, around Pine Lake east of Fairfax.

What nice day to go out and bust your hump:

19 miles based on where I parked in Fairfax; a time too demeaning to record. Didn't plan on finishing in the dark in Cascade Canyon.

Second time up PMS Hill this week--two too many:

I call this one the Hill of Screams:

Now 6 or so miles in:

The point of no return: miles of downhill after this:

Wish I'd seen that tree sooner . . . .

Uh oh--I think this is the entrance to Lothlorien:

Where the Pine Mountain Loop hits San Geronimo Ridge:

Shadows are getting long. Didn't plan on being out here when the sun went down.

Finally around to the top of Repack:

Plenty of views on the way down . . . .

Sun going down on Big Rock Ridge, seen from the top of Repack at dusk:

Pretty much dark at the bottom. Ouch!