In the spirit of the Tour de France finishing I went for a road ride (actually, i don’t care nor know which doper won this year). I usually ride the road as little as possible, in fact I don’t even have a true road bike, but I’ve been wanting to check out this classic local loop since we moved here. My “road” bike is my 12-yr old Independent Fabrications cross bike built up with whatever I could find in the shop that wasn’t currently on a bike. So it’s not pretty, but it rides just fine. I feel guilty riding someone else’s bike now that I make my own though.
The route is a 65 mile loop with supposedly over 9K of climbing (Garmin, thanks for that ego boost). It starts in Foresthill, goes down Mosquito Ridge Road and crosses the North fork of the middle fork of the American River (1,500ft elevation), and then climbs steadily for 23 or so miles to the Big Trees Grove where I stopped to look at the huge Sequoias and ride some singletrack. This is the northern-most grove of just 6 (yes, only SIX) giant Sequoias that are between 1,000-2,000 years old. It’s a total anomaly why this island of Sequoias are here, their nearest neighbors are over 100 miles to the south.
Just after Big Trees Grove is the first substantial downhill of the ride although most of the route seemed to be uphill until the last 20 miles. Continuing to follow Mosquito Rodge road the first turn is a left on Rd 43 which is a nice dirt grade for around 4 miles before it turns to a rougher dirt road and a short hike-a-road-bike for the last 2 miles to the high point of Robinson Flat (6,700ft elevation) where it again turns to pavement. From Robinson Flat to home is pretty rolling but never too much of a rest with some short climbs thrown in to make sure the lead in the legs isn’t accumulating too fast. For you Coloradan’s it’s similar to a Boulder-Lyons-S.St.Vrain-P2P-Nederland and down back to Boulder, in distance at least. One big difference is I saw less than 10 cars the entire 5.5 hr ride, and that is why I think I could get used to road riding in this new homeland.