First group ride in Auburn tonight (out of Bicycle Emporium). I was a bit worried about my fitness heading into this first ride as I had only been on the Niner once in the last several weeks thanks to life getting in the way (moving to Ca, buying a fixer-upper house, watching my girls while mommy works...). Still, I knew I would push myself in a group and so off I went.
I was pleased to see that many of the other 20+ riders were guys, like myself, who looked like they enjoy a good meal and beverage(s). I started thinking that I would have no problem keeping up with this group. WRONG! Maybe I was unusual in NC (insert your joke here)...a short, chubby, unathletic looking guy who could ride and most importantly, who liked to climb. Well, out here (probably much like the NC mtns) everyone out here can climb. We rode a rough route (one I had not ridden) and it kicked my butt! I was able to hang, but it hurt. Luckily the cramps did not start until I was pulling back into the parking lot of the shop. After the ride, riders gathered in the shop for beverages, food and conversation...I think I just found my new Wednesday night ride. ;)
For those in the know. We started at the Bicycle Emporium and rode across the freeway and tracks to the Manzanita Trail head...a tight twisty technical downhill that runs down the canyon into the StageCoach trail and on down to the bottom where the Forks of the American River meet (the Confluence). Then up, up, up the Confluence trail (thought people only rode down that trail) and finally to the Connector Trail. Back to the Fuel Break trail and then the fast downhill on the edge of the Canyon (many areas with little room for error) back to the Confluence and then the two mile climb up Stagecoach and another 3 road miles back to the shop.
For some better info: follow this link: Auburn Endurance Loop, Manzanita Trail, Auburn Area Trails.