50 people registered to bbq and camp at Dowdy Ranch in Henry Coe State Park. On Sunday, we rode the IMBA epic course on a beautiful Spring day that started with fog in the canyons and high 80’s in the afternoon. A special thanks to Specialized, Fox, Trailhead Cycles, passion Trail Bikes, Sports Basement and especally Sunshine bikes whose donations helped make the event a huge success!
Click More to read Tom Oshima’s recount of the rideAfter Paul’s orientation of the Epic, 10 riders left Dowdy Ranch to attempt to beat the Sun and come back to the camp before the heat crept up too high in the afternoon.
Our group consisted of Bob, Burt, Craig, Eric, Henry, John, Kelly, Kevin, Jim and myself.
We warmed up by pedaling up a short section of Kaiser Aetna Rd and dropping back to the camp through a fire road in a 0.5-mile loop. Then, we hit newly worked trail down to Mack’s Corral. I was so impressed with the trail work done by the volunteers on Saturday as a part of Coe Epic Weekend. It seems that they built a mile long trail in matter of hours. We had a blast going down the trail and enjoyed technical features of North Fork trail.
Then came a cruel climb up Pacheco Creek Road. It seemed to suck all strength out of me. It was steep and I felt it steeper than ever. We did re-group quite regularly, but tried to take as short break as possible to prevent us from feeling our legs.
We were glad to see the phone receiver hanging from a tree by the Phone Line Trail. Paul bought it and personally climbed the tree and hanged it a week before. We were rewarded by a fun-fun decent via Phone Line trail to Coit road. It’s fast and had a few surprise turns speckled along.
At the intersection of Coit Road and County Line Road, Kevin got a flat. Henry and I stayed around while Kevin was fixing the flat. The rest of the riders went ahead and descended Turkey Pond trail to Kaiser Aetna road. We regrouped there shortly. The Turkey Pond trail also was a blast. It’s a little loose, but fast and fun.
There was a tank of water cached at Kaiser Aetna and County Line. We filled our camel bags with surprisingly cool water and had lunch.
At the entrance of Dutch trail, Eric proposed to check Mustang Peak out as an extra credit since it was only a mile away along the gradual uphill of County Line Road. So, all of us pedaled up to Mustang Peak (actually, about 1/8 of a mile short of Mustang Peak) and we got a picture to prove it (It is in Kelly’s camera.) On the way back, Eric found a nice downhill section that was short-cutting two sections of County Line Road. So, Eric, Bob, Kevin and I enjoyed the steep brushy downhill.
Dutch trail was super fun as usual. But, before finishing it, we dropped by Purple Pond for a swim. A few of us had a nice dip in cool water. It boosted my energy and helped me to continue riding. We joked about seeing a snake in the pond as we swam, but eventually we really did see a small garter snake swimming there. So, I climbed out as quickly as possible, but had a hard time since the rocks by the pond were slippery and I left my pair of glasses by my bike while I was swimming.
After Dutch trail and Yellow Jacket trail, we came back to the intersection of North Fork Trail and Kaiser Aetna road. Sunshine Bike of Morgan Hill had an aide station there. We refueled there with energy drinks and salty chips to prepare for a long climb up Kaiser Aetna.
Many riders were psyched by alleged steepness of Bura Bura trail and decided to skip the last section and headed up the road to Dowdy Ranch except Bob, Craig and I. So it goes. We climbed Bura Bura to find the hill not as steep as I perceived. So, we were rewarded with a nice fast down hill back to the camp.
I’d like to thank all riders in my group for putting up with me for going not as fast as the “fast” group should go. But, overall I think our group did well. Everyone survived Epic!
Paul and Josh, thank you for re-creating ’02 Coe Epic!