Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweetwater-South Fork-Cronin Ranch-Olmstead-Salmon Falls. Tough Ride!

My legs are beat! ~48 miles ~6300' climbing...and the freeze-thaw made this one tough mudder!
Here are some of the highlights:
1. I have never ridden three of the trails I link together (Sweetwater, Cronin or Olmstead) and have only been on one of the roads used to link them (Pedro Hill) so this truly was an adventure.
2. I started at Sweetwater Trail, but was worried about a break in with my car parked alone (and a scary looking guy in a van going by), but a few cars were at Salmon falls so I rode back to the car and drove it back to Salmon Falls to park. Doh! I forgot to turn off Strava so I am now KOM on the "Zee Estates Climb" at 34.8 mph (a request has been submitted to remove).
3. I planned an out and back but with the trails getting worse and worse as I got into Cronin Ranch I knew some of the mud that was frozen would be a thawed mess and the areas already a mess were not getting any better. I decided to take Rattle Snake Bar to Salmon Falls after Olmstead Loop.
4. Olmstead Loop was pretty messy in spots...probably should not have been out there but tried to take as much care as possible.
5. The road climbing was a monster! The trip up Pedro Hill was not so bad, but then add the Oak View up to Olmstead (Pilot Hill Estates) was a bear for the average Joe (or average James).
Then the climbs on Rattlesnake Bar are monsters (especially when you are already 30+ miles in). I basically went the easier direction, and some of those hills still seemed like they were not going to end. Still, no way I am stopping on pavement, but it was tough.
6. Ran out of water going past the cow pasture on Salmon biggie. I just stopped and took a drink from a cow's nip. O.k., not really, it was just maybe 4 or so miles left, but if I was desperate, then there would have been one lucky cow.
All in all a good ride. I was in survival mode toward the end but good Karma was with me. As I came to my car, I ran into a couple guys (Brooks and David) who had recently finished their ride and they offered me a brew (my first ever Lagunitas). Damn, that beer tasted good!
One other quick note: Having a light, rigid bike was such a plus on a ride like this. Other than fat tires with ~20psi, I was basically a cross bike. :)
Good Times!

See the ride in the right column or click here:


  1. Yikes you are going to be fast this season.

    Any big races on your plan?

  2. Ha, I was just talking with Chris W. about how I have gotten slower...but I am still trying to keep my endurance up. I am coming back to NC for PMBAR...other than that, in the right column of the blog I have a list of events evolving that I am interested in. I am still adding and deleting events as new ones come up and conflicts between events arise, but hopefully will settle into a list of 5 or 6 definite races.
    How about you...besides the local 6hr series, any other plans??? And remember, if you decide you want to ride out here in NorCal, I will hook you up!

  3. This year I hope to build more and will ride less. My focus is going to be on shorter faster races. I am actually hoping to find some things shorter then six hours. It will be good to see you at PMBAR.

  4. With your 'Highlander' rides, you will be in great condition from the TORC XC races to the will be a threat! Looking forward to PMBAR, it will be good to see you and everyone again. We will be at the same campsite as last time (Apple Loop, site 34). C-U there!