March 1, 2010

getting lost via Hillsdale Mudway

Filed under: cycling, ride report — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 3:38 PM

I was not able to convince anyone to explore San Mateo dirt with me on Sunday, so, not wanting to waste a nice day, I headed out solo to explore the Ammon dirtway route. The plan was to start at Hillsdale Caltrains, follow the trail to Cañada Rd., and then turn back toward Millbrae. I took a few glances of the map and the route and emailed myself directions. I figured that if I got lost, I could easily pull out google maps on my iPhone or look at my directions. EXCEPT. I forgot my phone-But, I had my camera!

Heading West on Hillsdale, I made a left turn and was immediately lost. Luckily or miraculously, I remembered that I was looking for Laurelwood Dr., which led to the entrance to Laurelwood Park. As you can see on the map, I tried three different directions at the intersection of Fernwood St. and 36th St. before I found Laurelwood. After climbing up into the park, I continued upward and tried two exits to the park. I couldn’t really see where else I could go, so I headed up De Anza Blvd, which seemed incorrect because there was no dirt.

Looking down toward Laurelwood Park

Going up De Anza, I turned around at HWY92, because I knew that was wrong, and again at a deadend, because I couldn’t go any further. Eventually, I headed back to the Park and considered my options.  I didn’t have a phone so I couldn’t check for directions or call for someone to get me if I ran out of daylight or ability. So I decided that I should head home… soon. Overlooking the park, I noticed a trail opening on the other side of the grass field. Lets see where it goes!

Mud mud muddy mud.

As soon as I rode past the mountain lion warning sign, I knew I was back on track. Key point: MUD. Not having any idea where to go, I stayed right every time the trail spilt and eventually got to a completely unridable section. I dismounted, hoping to walk through it and got to this:

That picture does nothing to show how steep and sloped that was. I didn’t think I could even hike much further with my now very muddy shoes and decided to head back. I climbed back up De Anza again and headed to Sawyer Camp Trail. With a mile to go, I stopped to make use of my camera, to make up for-not being able to use my phone.

Bike got dirty again.

Compare my route vs Ammon’s route. Next time get lost less please! (or remember to bring your phone)


February 15, 2010

brisbane crit reconnaissance

Filed under: cycling, ride report — Tags: , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 10:51 PM

I rode out to Sierra Point today to preride the course for the next weekend’s Ronde van Brisbeen criterium. I decided to do so after watching SWoo’s video from last year’s race and realizing this was not your typical four turn crit.

The course essentially loops around the Sierra Point cyclocross course. The start/finish straight is the same (but reverse direction) piece of pavement as the cyclocross race.

While I was figuring out the course, I saw two kids playing in the dirt on some mini dirt bike. This made me regret not riding the F1X!

The course itself is really short (0.6 miles), but there are only two straights where you can “rest”. The remainder of the course has turns, a single hairpin, and some sections that narrow. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride the hairpin section at full speed because you ride on the wrong side of the road. It will be interesting riding the hairpin in a big group.

The course was still foggy at 11:30, and while it wasn’t bad enough to hamper visibility too much, we race at 8:00 next weekend.

This will be my first “real” race on an unusual course, so it will be interesting to see how the race goes. I’m hoping for a clean and safe race!

Pre-ride + South San Francisco trail exploration map via Garmin.

January 28, 2010

s works can too

Filed under: cycling — Tags: , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 1:07 PM

It seems like weeks since we have had a dry weekday. Today there was going to be a break in the rain, so I decided to ditch work early on Wednesday to squeeze in a short post work ride with Slonie. The night before, we hashed out the details.

me: so, what kind of ride tomorrow and when and where
Lee: Road, wherever, whenever
me: cross?
Lee: Well I’ll have my road bike on me

Meh! I wanted to do a cross ride, but I guess I’ll just ride the S-Works. We met up at Bayshore x San Antonio and started wandering around paved sections of Shoreline baylands. We end up heading back toward Moffett Field, a bit too early in the ride. We loop back out to Palo Alto,  and make a turn to the south. I follow Slonie, down a path and toward what appears to be a dead end. Doesn’t the road end up ahead? I don’t get response because we hit the dirt and Slonie takes off! Wait, where are we going!? I brought my road bike, I didn’t sign up for this!

If feels sketchy enough for me offroad on a cross bike, so being on a road bike did not help to boost confidence. It was mostly flat, and mostly dry, but there were spots of muddiness and lots of rain puddles. As we start climbing a dry gravel path up the hill, I was thinking this isn’t so bad. Then Slonie points to the top of the hill. Pedal pedal pedal pedal. Unclip. Pickup bike. Walk up hill. I guess we got ourselves a cross ride after all! These little hills certainly do make a for a nice CX training course and its only 10minutes from my work! I think I just found my lunch ride. Riding the Sworks offroad was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I do have the cross bike so I should use it! Now I just need to clean the mud off all the bike, which I JUST cleaned this weekend. I never clean my bikes.

All pictures and route are from Slonie’s S90/Garmin

PS: Next morning, shortly after running out the door I realized I had a rear flat. I have never had a flat on the gatorskits and yes they were still a bitch to get off/on. Maybe S works can’t after all.

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