Aug 12

Donner Lake Epic weekend – August 8-10, 2008

Folks from ROMP and a bunch of different clubs in NorCal headed up to Donner Lake Memorial State Park for some camping, great riding and a bit of Trail work over the weekend. Folks from Santa Cruz arrived as early as Wednesday for a five day weekend – That’s how it ought to be, eh? I played my get out of jail free card and went up early Friday and managed to get a ride in at Sawtooth Ridge Friday afternoon. This is a very nice, flat-ish area in or near truckee. The trails are basically a lollipop. There are two new trails that we hit up called two bridges and Two bears and a Beaver. We rode these nice intermediate rocky, rooty, dusty trails in a counterclockwise direction. Having just come back from wet wet wet BC, I found the loose, dry dusty conditions suddenly very foreign and had my worst crash of the month when the front wheel of the tandem washed out and fell at speed. Fortunately we got up with a scraped elbow and a scraped nknee between the two of us. On Saturday we headed off to the Donner Lake Rim Trail and removed brush from the trail corridor over about a half mile. We removed duff from the trail corridor for about a quarter mile. The 50 or so volunteers made spreading the cuttings at least 20 yards down hill from the trail light work.

After the trail work, a number of us headed up and shuttled a trail known as Dirty Harry, or perhaps Dirty, Hairy. As the name implies, the trail is dusty and has some pretty crazy features, that you might see in the pictures below. To shuttle Dirty, Hairy, park in the the Northstar lot, and then Dirve up 267 towards the pass. About halfway up you turn onto a little side road and drive almost all the way up to the top. This trail starts out loose and dusty at the top, then heads through 2 strata of hard rock, followed by Alpine meadows, Aspine Groves and eventually dumps you out near the entrance to Northstar. There are a number of turns so it is good to have a guide.

That can be said for Hole In The Ground as Well. This 16 mile loop that starts from Soda Springs has a significant amount of climbing, but offers a variety of different lines for intermediates and experts alike. The organizers plan was to have people head off and ride Hole in the Ground at 8! Needing to rest from yesterday’s ride, pack up camp and drive over there, I thought it would make sense to start a bit later. I had ridden the trail some 5 or 6 years ago, so I felt I had a clue, but it seemed to me that they had moved the USFS Snow research Facility a long ways up the road. Then when we got to the dirt on the other side of the freeway, there was a fire road that forked left that was not on the map. This contributed to a slow start but eventually we got it together. Once we made it to the summit of Andresite Peak, and started to descend, the adaptor that holds the rear brake caliper to the frame loosened and suddenly we had no rear brake! Fortunately it was on a mild and managed to stop. The threads were stripped. What to do? John suggested packing the hole with pine needles and i taped up the bolts with Duct tape so that they wouldn’t fall out. Then it was decision time – turn back or go ride the rest of the trail? We decided to ride the trail. The caliper floated around a bit, which tended to make a great deal of noise, but it stayed on the bike and we got to enjoy a tremendous trail, definitely worth the trip.

All in all it was a great weekend of hanging out, trail work and riding. Hope you can make the next one.

The photos link

The video link