Winter is behind us and in these regions there is no better way to celebrate spring IMO than to do a ‘deep’ Coe ride. The wildflower show is on in full force, and probably in a week or two it will peak.
I rode with a few usual Coe suspects (Jeff and Patrick) – highlights of our ride include gazillions of creek crossings (‘two’ according to a Jeff pre-ride estimate), a flower display that was quite spectacular in spots, the always awesome Dutch trail (only its name could be improved – am thinking ‘Belgian’ here) and the climb out on Kaiser Aetna / Center (non) Flats.
Just kidding on that last one – while the Kaiser climb is a soul crushing bore (be it one of a consistent 15% grade), the steeps on Center Flats feel like someone is carving their name with a knife in your calves. Well, at least the weather was nice and pleasant, and we didn’t have to deal with temperatures of 90F (as the last time we ventured in these areas). And once the affair was done with, one can only say it wasn’t that bad.
To make it back in time, we rode down Lyman-Wilson instead of doing the final push up Serpentine after descending into Grizzly Gulch over Tule Pond – not sure we would go up even if we had plenty of time. Descending Tule Pond then Lyman-Wilson was quite a treat: unadulterated high speed adrenaline fun.
I felt pretty good until the end of Dutch. Then, after we crossed the North Fork of the Pacheco Creek at 800ft and I realized we would have to gain back all that lost elevation, lactic acid took over and I was in a world of pain. Luckily that ended with the wrap up of Center Flats, which makes me think it was just in my mind. 40 miles and 8k ft elevation gain, ‘t was an awesome day in Coe!
(photo: Jeff G.)