It’s a funny thing when you move to a new place — it seems massive…like you’ll never learn where everything is or where each road and trail goes. When i was a kid i remember thinking San Rafael was a huge city and SO far away (it was under 3 miles away) from the town where I grew up. As I got older the world shrank as I ventured out farther on the bike. What used to seem like a huge distance didn’t feel far away at all suddenly.
Each day i ride in my new homeland i get this same feeling – of inching away at the enormity and figuring out all those links and connections to the places on the maps. The network that becomes the homeland that took me so long to get dialed in Boulder/Nederland. It’s good to get lost again. It’s good to feel like a 3 hour ride gets me properly turned around.
My ride yesterday wasn’t all that spectacular to the people who have ridden here for years but it was for me since it expanded my world a bit more. The farther I make it up the Western States trail the more I love it. I rode from China Wall to Michigan Bluff on 99% singletrack, 16 miles worth. I started down Humbug Trail to Mitchell Trail to Forks House Trail (moto trails #5 and 6) having to scale over lots of deadfall that I couldn’t move aside or cut. I crossed El Dorado Creek for the 1st time on a rather large bridge for the seeming middle of nowhere that led into a hike-a-bike and sometimes ride uphill to the start of Trail 6. Then down to Deadwood where I connected onto the Western States trail to Eldorado Creek and then up to Michigan Bluff. It’s the kind of downhill where you need to not look at the view too much or you’ll be part of it, and where you have to switch which leg is forward because you’ve been going downhill for so long.
The trail from Deadwood to 2nd crossing of El Dorado Creek is just freaking spectacular. I hate to compare here to there so I’ll refrain, but it was damn good. Benched narrow rolling switcbacking singletrack that seemed longer than its 3 or so mile length. Up and out of the creek grinding in granny up this mostly rideable section for another couple of miles until I took the road back to the main road and back home. Funny how long that 24 mile ride seemed! The photos do not do it justice because the overcast skies mess with the lighting but you get the idea.
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