Sunday ride: CSTR navigation loop

Sean Little Bald Mtn.
Sean on the Little Bald Mtn Trail

Sean and I did a small portion of the California Sierra Trail Race (CSTR) course on Sunday. Turned out to be about a 50 mile loop but took way longer than expected due to my 2 front flats (pinch first, thorns later).  I was riding the Knard bike (Sasquatch) again with a tube in front and the rear still tubeless and holding strong somehow.  But I’m pretty convinced the 120tpi Knards have too thin a casing. I got 4 thorns stuck in the tire and Sean rode over the same trail and the thorns didn’t penetrate his tires (Ardents).   Bad luck I guess, chalk it up as my “flat” year.  I swear I hadn’t flatted in years until I moved.

We started out at Robinson Flat where Foresthill Road turns to dirt and we rode up Little Bald Mtn and down the namesake’s trail into Little Robinsons Valley. The trail continues through a large burned area across Duncan Creek where ferns line the wetter sections of trail and whitethorn shrubs line the drier sections.  Linking onto the Western States Trail at Red Star Ridge for a small section we then dropped into the Poppy Trail down to French Meadows Reservoir.  This trail was hard to see as it’s pretty grown over with whitethorn.  The trail around French Meadows is sweet but not maintained and under-used.  Around the reservoir we passed a couple of campgrounds and headed up and over Chipmunk Ridge to Hell Hole road where we turned up the road and rode back to Robinson Flat via Glenn Mine and Bloody Ravine (awesome name off the USGS topo, eh?).

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