It's been a long time since I did a ride post. In fact, it was almost a year ago when I last did a ride blog and that ride was a big one too. Over the past three weeks, I've been getting out on Sundays for some long rides. The previous two Sundays were 5 hour bouts on the road bike with some Mt. Tam dirt thrown in. This last Sunday was a 5 1/2 hour endurance ride on the cross bike.
The previous two days, the temps were in the 70s in Pt. Reyes Station, which meant at least 10 degrees warmer further inland and maybe hotter where I wanted to ride. Instead of my usual starting out with arm warmers, knee warmers, and a vest on chilly West Marin mornings, I left the house with only arm warmers, thinking that I would soon be stashing the warmers and vest in my jersey pockets and I reserved more room in my pockets for a 3rd water bottle and extra food. However, the heavy drizzle meant that my arm warmers stayed on all day and there were times I was wishing for the knee warmers and vest, but the clothing choice worked out, just worked out.
The loop I undertook was one that I had wanted to do for a long time, but every time I set about tackling it, there was either not enough time, or the higher summer temps thwarted my desire. I left Pt. Reyes Station heading south on Hwy. 1. As I hit the first riser south of Olema, I saw a blinky light on a bike disappear over the crest and thought "could I catch that rider by the time I got to the Randall Trail turn off without burning up too many matches?" - it was going to be a long ride. I didn't put too much effort, okay, I put a bit of an effort into catching the rider, which I did within 100 yards of where I was turning off on to the Randall Trail. Turns out it was the shop landlord and owner of the old Pt. Reyes Bikes. As I pulled along side, the first thing I noticed was the Potts titanium bike and I wonder who this rider is. It is about the bike, you see.
After a quick chat, I turned off on to the dirt and up Randall Trail. Randall is a good way to get up to Bolinas Ridge that avoids the rutted north section of Bolinas Ridge. It also immediately goes into the trees where everything quiets down. Up on Bolinas Ridge, the redwoods were pulling moisture out of the fog which then turns to rain inside the canopy. The trail was super soaked as if it was a winter rain storm. There are a couple sections of Bolinas Ridge that pop out from the canopy that are dry, but the majority of it is in the rain forest and it was wet and soggy.
The roller coaster that is Bolinas Ridge ends at the top of the Bolinas-Fairfax Rd. My route took me down Bo-Fax to Alpine Dam and the start of more dirt on the Kent Pump fire road. From there, I took Old Vee Rd. up to Oat Hill fire road, and then to Pine Mountain fire road. Up and over Pine Mountain and down to Kent Lake and...whoa, hold on there mister, not so fast. Down off of Pine Mountain, at about the point furthest away from civilization (which really isn't that far), I hit something in the trail hard. Hard enough to eject a full 26 oz. water bottle out of a King Cage. As I stopped to retrieve the bottle, I saw that the top of the bottle had broken and I lost about 3/4 of it.
What do you do if you have a bottle that will no longer hold water without spilling? Drink up. As I was finishing that bottle, I hear the air in my front tire go "WHOOSH!" Damn, pinch flat. Oh well, I did feel the tire bottom out. There was a point early in the ride when I though that I should let some air out because I left the house with about 15% more air that I would run on a typical off-road ride. Looking at the deflated front tire and contemplating replacing the tube, the back tire decided to let go with a slower "whoosh." More like a "ssssssssssssss." Damn. Double pinch flat. I hope I have two tubes in my seat pack (which I hadn't checked in a long time. Yes, two tubes, but no patch kit, so these tubes better hold air. They did.
Tubes replaces, wheels back on the bike, brakes re-hooked up, it was back down Pine Mtn. fire road and then back up to San Geronimo Ridge fire road and then to the base of Kent Lake damn and back to Pt. Reyes via the Cross Marin Trail, Platform Bridge Rd., and the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. About 45 miles with a lot of dirt. I made it to the shop about 1/2 hour late, but had a great ride on a loop I've been trying to knock out for quite a while.
Up Randall Trail
Approaching Bolinas Ridge at the top of Randall
Non-wet section of Bolinas Ridge
The northern end of Bolinas Ridge at the intersection of Bo-Fax Rd. and Ridgecrest.
Left and down to Alpine Dam
Looking up at Bolinas Ridge from Kent Pump Rd.
Green and gray all day
Up Old Vee to Oat Hill
Pine Mountain Road
Staying on Pine Mountain Rd instead of the shortcut to the right
Wet, muddy socks
Top of Pine Mountain
Yep, that would be a double flat
Very green down at the bottom near Kent Lake
Strange 18" tall fern/grass-like plants I only saw in this one little spot.
Left or right? They end up at the same spot about 1/2 mile away. I'm taking the right next time because the left has a hellacious, steep climb.
(What's playing: Son Volt Circadian Rhythm)