RR: Pacheco Pass

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by The Ogre, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. The Ogre

    The Ogre Guest

    I was hooking up with a group I had never ridden with before we were supposed to start riding at
    1:30. I was a bit late and figured everyone had left. I start unpacking my gear and someone pulls up
    with a pickup and a bike in the back.

    It's Mark, turns out I had missed a couple emails and the ride wasn't starting until 3:00 PM. I'm
    not certain whether I should be irritated or relieved. I wait it out and finally around 3:15 or so
    everyone shows up. There are 7 in our group including me.

    We take off north down a fire road out of the parking lot and after about 1/2 mile turn into a
    cow-gate onto a trail which is nearly overgrown with grass and flowers. If it wasn't for the trail
    markers every so often I would swear we were just riding across a meadow.

    It's a great day for riding, about 70F outside with a nice cool breeze. There are a few clouds
    chasing each other across the sky but no rain in them. As we cruise across the meadow chatting the
    way folks who don't hardly know each other do, I am checking out some windmills in the distance.

    We hit some small hills and start climbing up some fairly tame switchbacks. I notice out of the
    corner of my eye that a couple of the other new guys in the group are struggling with the
    switchbacks and walking. The trail is great, in most places calling it single track is generous.
    It's super narrow and a bit overgrown. As we come over the hill there the opposite hillside is
    blanketed with tons of flowers. An awesome mix of colors, yellow, red, blue, and purple in a green
    blanket. I love spring riding.

    One of the regulars in the group, Scott, takes off ahead of the group and I try to reel him in. I
    chase him for about a mile blasting over flowery hills and across squirrel infested meadows. The
    trail is a bit wider here but off camber and maintained primarily by cows and feral pigs. I come
    over the top of a hill and grab lots of brakes.

    At the bottom of the hill there is a big ravine. Scott is on the other side smirking. Home field
    advantage I guess. I look down into the ravine and I see the line which Scott had taken. Do a short
    loop and drop down the side of the ravine and up the other side. We look back and from our vantage
    we can see the rest of the group spread over the previous 1/2 mile of trail. Slowly the rest of the
    group trickles in (most of them take the cheater line around the ravine) and we take off again.

    Next we start to climb up to Spikes Peak, the highest point in the park. The first portion of the
    climb isn't very long but it's steep. I make it about 2/3 way up before I have to push the bike for
    a short section. Before too long pride forces me to get back on the bike and finish the climb. Mark
    and Fred are waiting at the ridge line. We take a minute to get some calories in and wait for the
    stragglers (The wait for straggles part is becoming a recurring theme).

    From the ridge line I can see the giant windmills churning in the wind, they are much closer now. We
    can also see for miles out into California's Central Valley, we can't see the horizon though because
    of and an impenetrable wall of smog.

    The climb along the ridge to the peak is fairly short and an easy grade. We crest the peak and start
    blasting down the far side. The trail is technically fire road but so overgrown that it's more like
    twin single track snaking down the hill. We stop before the bottom and to regroup I spot a Coyote
    running across the hill opposite us.

    Eventually we work our way around to the base of the windmills I had been eyeballing for quite some
    time. These things are awesome, we are still around 100 yards away from them and I can hear the slow
    churning of the giant blades spinning. Riding is a sort of escape from the complexities of mankind
    but this intrusion doesn't bother me at all. Much like cycling the windmills are a sort of a
    mingling place between nature and technology.

    The rest of the ride is mostly downhill through a series of meadows and over a few smallish rolling
    hills. We are all pretty mellow and many of us are about spent. The stragglers keep our pace pretty
    slow so we all just enjoy the time outdoors and in the beautiful countryside.

    As usual on a ride like this when I get back to the car I am wanting more and today is worse than
    usual. Maybe next time we'll explore some of the side loops to get a few extra miles in. We spent 3
    hours on the trail and had only gotten 12 miles of trail in due to a couple of slow riders. Somehow
    it doesn't bother me that much, the views were awesome and the day was fantastic. Nothing beats a
    good spring ride.

    -- The Ogre (Bummer no pics this time due to F'd up camera) http://ogrehut.com
     
    Tags:


  2. Vaz

    Vaz Guest

    Yo! I live in SJ. Specifically what is the trail called? Pacheco Pass to me is a long (and
    dangerous) stretch of expressway!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "Let them call me rebel, and welcome, I feel no concern from it. But I should suffer the misery of
    devils were I to make a whore of my soul"

    --Saul Alinsky
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    "The Ogre" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I was hooking up with a group I had never ridden with before we were supposed to start riding at
    > 1:30. I was a bit late and figured everyone had left. I start unpacking my gear and someone pulls
    > up with a pickup and a bike in the back.
    >
    > It's Mark, turns out I had missed a couple emails and the ride wasn't starting until 3:00 PM. I'm
    > not certain whether I should be irritated or relieved. I wait it out and finally around 3:15 or so
    > everyone shows up. There are 7 in our group including me.
    >
    > We take off north down a fire road out of the parking lot and after about 1/2 mile turn into a
    > cow-gate onto a trail which is nearly overgrown with grass and flowers. If it wasn't for the trail
    > markers every so often I would swear we were just riding across a meadow.
    >
    > It's a great day for riding, about 70F outside with a nice cool breeze. There are a few clouds
    > chasing each other across the sky but no rain in them. As we cruise across the meadow chatting the
    > way folks who don't hardly know each other do, I am checking out some windmills in the distance.
    >
    > We hit some small hills and start climbing up some fairly tame switchbacks. I notice out of the
    > corner of my eye that a couple of the other new guys in the group are struggling with the
    > switchbacks and walking. The trail is great, in most places calling it single track is generous.
    > It's super narrow and a bit overgrown. As we come over the hill there the opposite hillside is
    > blanketed with tons of flowers. An awesome mix of colors, yellow, red, blue, and purple in a green
    > blanket. I love spring riding.
    >
    > One of the regulars in the group, Scott, takes off ahead of the group and I try to reel him in. I
    > chase him for about a mile blasting over flowery hills and across squirrel infested meadows. The
    > trail is a bit wider here but off camber and maintained primarily by cows and feral pigs. I come
    > over the top of a hill and grab lots of brakes.
    >
    > At the bottom of the hill there is a big ravine. Scott is on the other side smirking. Home field
    > advantage I guess. I look down into the ravine and I see the line which Scott had taken. Do a
    > short loop and drop down the side of the ravine and up the other side. We look back and from our
    > vantage we can see the rest of the group spread over the previous 1/2 mile of trail. Slowly the
    > rest of the group trickles in (most of them take the cheater line around the ravine) and we take
    > off again.
    >
    > Next we start to climb up to Spikes Peak, the highest point in the park. The first portion of the
    > climb isn't very long but it's steep. I make it about 2/3 way up before I have to push the bike
    > for a short section. Before too long pride forces me to get back on the bike and finish the climb.
    > Mark and Fred are waiting at the ridge line. We take a minute to get some calories in and wait for
    > the stragglers (The wait for straggles part is becoming a recurring theme).
    >
    > From the ridge line I can see the giant windmills churning in the wind, they are much closer now.
    > We can also see for miles out into California's Central Valley, we can't see the horizon though
    > because of and an impenetrable wall of smog.
    >
    > The climb along the ridge to the peak is fairly short and an easy grade. We crest the peak and
    > start blasting down the far side. The trail is technically fire road but so overgrown that it's
    > more like twin single track snaking down the hill. We stop before the bottom and to regroup I spot
    > a Coyote running across the hill opposite us.
    >
    > Eventually we work our way around to the base of the windmills I had been eyeballing for quite
    > some time. These things are awesome, we are still around 100 yards away from them and I can hear
    > the slow churning of the giant blades spinning. Riding is a sort of escape from the complexities
    > of mankind but this intrusion doesn't bother me at all. Much like cycling the windmills are a sort
    > of a mingling place between nature and technology.
    >
    > The rest of the ride is mostly downhill through a series of meadows and over a few smallish
    > rolling hills. We are all pretty mellow and many of us are about spent. The stragglers keep our
    > pace pretty slow so we all just enjoy the time outdoors and in the beautiful countryside.
    >
    > As usual on a ride like this when I get back to the car I am wanting more and today is worse than
    > usual. Maybe next time we'll explore some of the side loops to get a few extra miles in. We spent
    > 3 hours on the trail and had only gotten 12 miles of trail in due to a couple of slow riders.
    > Somehow it doesn't bother me that much, the views were awesome and the day was fantastic. Nothing
    > beats a good spring ride.
    >
    > -- The Ogre (Bummer no pics this time due to F'd up camera) http://ogrehut.com
     
  3. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    The Ogre wrote:
    > Eventually we work our way around to the base of the windmills I had been eyeballing for quite
    > some time. These things are awesome, we are still around 100 yards away from them and I can hear
    > the slow churning of the giant blades spinning. Riding is a sort of escape from the complexities
    > of mankind but this intrusion doesn't bother me at all. Much like cycling the windmills are a sort
    > of a mingling place between nature and technology.
    >

    Windmills are cool... I''ve driven that pass many times in my former life as a Californian. Now,
    they have some in the Columbia Gorge too. I can't believe that the Kennedy's are fighting the
    installation of them somewhere along Cape cod(??) They are a great technology.

    nice RR...

    Penny
     
  4. The Ogre

    The Ogre Guest

    "Vaz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Yo! I live in SJ. Specifically what is the trail called? Pacheco Pass to me is a long (and
    > dangerous) stretch of expressway!

    SJ? San Jose or San Joaquin County?

    If you take 152 through Pacheco Pass there is an exit called Dinosaur Lake (Dino something
    anyways). Take that exit and you should see a big sign for Pacheco Pass State Park almost
    immediately on your right. There are several fireroads going out of the parking lot. The
    singletrack is a little harder to find.

    -- The Ogre http://ogrehut.com
     
  5. The Ogre

    The Ogre Guest

    "Penny S." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > The Ogre wrote:
    > > Eventually we work our way around to the base of the windmills I had been eyeballing for quite
    > > some time. These things are awesome, we are still around 100 yards away from them and I can hear
    > > the slow churning of the giant blades spinning. Riding is a sort of escape from the complexities
    > > of mankind but this intrusion doesn't bother me at all. Much like cycling the windmills are a
    > > sort of a mingling place between nature and technology.
    > >
    >
    > Windmills are cool... I''ve driven that pass many times in my former life as a Californian. Now,
    > they have some in the Columbia Gorge too. I can't believe that the Kennedy's are fighting the
    > installation of them somewhere along Cape cod(??) They are a great technology.

    Kennedy's are a family of career politicians, American's nobility of sorts. If they care about the
    environment it's only to please their voters. Unfortunately most politicians are that way. I've
    heard that they are making some great strides to improving their efficiency and reducing maintanence
    on them (which is apparently the biggest expense of wind generated power).
    >
    > nice RR...
    >

    Thanks Penny, I am working on improving my writing style.

    -- The Ogre http://ogrehut.com
     
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