Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not All Bad

Despite the tenor of Anna's previous post, last weekend's outings did not all result in foul odors. We got some truly epic mountain-bike rides in, prior to the definitive end-of-summer rain deluge of Tuesday, up in Downieville.

Friends Randy and Pete joined us, and we tested out the recently completed Downieville-to-Goodyears Bar trail, as well as the ever-popular North Yuba Trail, as Saturday's outing. We saw two other riders, and two hikers, on a gorgeous autumn day. The local bears use the trail a lot, too, as evidenced by their massive piles of poo appearing every hundred yards or so. Lucky for us, the poo-piles didn't seem to incorporate any cyclist bits (mostly whole apples and berry seeds -- bears must not chew their apples much.) The new chunk of trail is fantastic, totally worth all the work and wait.

Sunday we tackled the main event -- 37 miles of fun, starting with a lengthy climb from Union Flat up to Packer Saddle, followed by a severely lumpy descent into Gold Valley, a severely lumpy climb up to Big Boulder, and then many miles of sweet singletrack descent back into Downieville. Ah, it was glorious!

On both days, I filmed some of the ride using a fantastic VIO helmet-cam, loaned to me by my friend Dave. I still have to edit the video clips into something interesting; I'll post it here when completed.

Our friends departed on Monday, but Anna and I hiked all the way up to High Commission -- mostly bushwhacking, as the ancient trail disappears after half a mile. Once upon a time (like, circa 1850) there was a great view from the top, as the miner-49ers had chopped down every tree on the mountain. Today, you can't see much, but you still know you're on the top.

And of course, Nimue got to spend lots of unprogrammed time with her grandma! We ate plentifully and well, appetites fueled by lots of exercise at altitudes well above sea level, and outstanding wine was in good supply (thanks, Pete!) Thus, a fine time was had by all. Pay no attention to the woes that awaited our return to civilization...

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