Sean led me on a big sweet loop from his house in Foresthill down to Auburn and back up home. He calls it the Tour de Trash because the middle portion of the ride, which follows the train tracks and parallel frontage roads, passes by some “interesting” houses and lots of scattered trash from hobo camps and others dumping it where nobody will see.
We started down the Todd Valley trail that passes right by his backyard, then down to White Oak Flat trail to McKeon Ponderosa fire road to the river. Back up Driver’s Flat right away to the Foresthill Divide trail on the north side of the road. We ran into some FATRAC trail workers along the trail, clearing sight-lines with some sharp power tools. Good to see you guys and thanks! We headed to Culvert and down to the river again on the Confluence trail. From there we rode up Stagecoach into Auburn and rode northeast along the frontage road before dropping into the train tracks. This section was WAY harder than I thought it’d be with some brutal short climbs out of the tracks, over and over again. This was the beginning of my demise.
I ran out of water and food at the end of this ‘trail’ section but we headed to the Applegate fire house for a refill at their spigot. From there he took me to a bit of a hidden trail off a neighborhood road that appeared to service nobody and no place. Why was it here at all? Seemed amazingly well taken care of, like the parallel universe to the Foresthill Divide trail except on the opposite canyon. There had been some very recent fire-line clearing the from Applegate Fire which turned the trail into a pretty wide road in spots.
I flatted my Chupacabra rear tire somehow with one of the recent sharp madrone branches laid across the trail. Stan’s did nothing but spew all over the trail out of the puncture. Tube in, we continued down and met up with two equestrians and farther along two ATV dudes before hitting a trail that led us to the Ponderosa bridge over the North Fork of the American River. Starting up the climb i knew i was done. After around 33 miles and almost 6K of climbing up to this point I wanted to go to bed. The 3-4 miles up Ponderosa, a really nice graded dirt road, were some of the slowest miles I’ve done this year. The last few miles up Foresthill rd were truly embarrassing. Ending rides on a big climb, like those who live in Foresthill (usually) adapt to, is rough at the end of a long day. Thanks Sean (again) for waiting up for me! Next time i’ll bring more food and water, i swear.