Tom Oshima, Paul Nam and I spent the weekend camping, riding and doing a little trail work down in the Dowdy ranch area in preparation for the IMBA Epic we are planning on May 12-13th as part of mtbr’s may by the bay.
We arrived late Friday night. It was cold, but it was great to wake up to the tranquility found deep in the woods. We had a great weekend riding with a little trail work thrown in.
Saturday it was rainy, but not too bad. Philip Strenfl(?) came out and helped out for a while. We did a good amount of work brushing and a little tread work on the section of trail from Mack’s Corral along the Pacheco Creek. The Epic starts at Dowdy ranch and does a freeride style fall line drop down to the creek. The Creek trail is pretty similar to cross canyon: lots of rock, crosses the creek a few times, with one or two short but steep climbs to test your metal. It goes through a meadow and is bumpy enough to make me wish I had a light cross country full Suspension bike. Both the Mack’s Corral and Pacheco Creek trails will be technically very challenging but for different reasons.
After we finished the trail work we slogged up Kaiser Aetna Road to ride the Burra Burra ending to the Epic, and the Mack’s Corral and Pacheco Creek beginning. The road had turned to grey sticky clay and was exhausting to ride up. It was amazing that our drive trains survived! We tried, but the Creek trail will still be a challenge to clear even for the most technically proficient riders.
Sunday we headed out with saws and clippers and rode the other 2/3rds of the Epic. We headed up from brem horse camp, which was in OK shape. That is a challenging climb, but beautiful how it traverses many geographically diverse soil types. There was a little PO, and the track was turned over a bit by the pigs, but other than that it was fine. We spent a few hours brushing phoneline, which had been pretty much taken over by dusty chafing Chemise and tough tangling Toyon. We persevered and carved a tunnel through the brush, making the trail passable, at least for the next few months, I hope.
Then we headed through Orestimba corral, and rode up the meadow to musting peak. The fire road is completely covered in wildflowers, which is spectacular site to see. Onward and upwards to Dutches.
Dutches rolls with short, steep sections that hit you like jabbing punches. After three or four knolls on the ridge we did a tremendous descent down to the creek. Dutches i thought was in pretty good shape too – maybe a little brushing, but not bad. That was a really fun trail.
Then more climbing of the leg burning, heart pounding lung scorching variety up to the top of Tie Down. There we built up a log over and followed the trail as it meandered through fileds of purple flowered peas.
At the end of the ride, we went for a quick swim in the Hole in The Rock, an absolutely amazing little fall not far from where we camped. We came at just the right time – the water level was not too high, the water not too cold, and the algae not quite in bloom.
It was an amazing weekend! next time we organize a weekend I hope you can join us.