Monday, January 22, 2007

Riding the Divide

Today, my friend Steve and I and I embarked on an epic ride on Western States and others trails at the Foresthill OHV area east of Foresthill, CA. We started at the China Wall OHV staging area and banged out a ride that was just under 6 hours (~5 hours of ride time on the Polar!). The ride featured two incredible descents into El Dorado Canyon (Trail 5 and Western States Trail). I can't really describe how fun and spectacular these drops were, especially the WST descent. Endless, narrow, technical challenging singletrack that offered stunning views of the American River watershed.

So why in the world don't more mountain bikers flock to these great trails? Well, once you get to the bottom of each descent, you have to complete a death march/hike a bike out. The climbs involved at least 45 minutes of walking each. Think Halls Ranch near Downieville, but much steeper. Times two. Yeah... ouch. Steve and I decided to have a good attitude about this and enjoy the scenery and the workout. But it was a long trek up each climb.

The OHV trails we hit were really fun and challenging. Very fast and technical. We saw a few motos, two equestrians and zero other mountain bikers. I should also note that this ride would never be accessible in the middle of a typical January, but there is very little snow throughout the Sierra this winter thus far. We did encounter some ice, but very little snow.

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