Saturday, April 12, 2008

La Costa Canyon Ride

After much debate about where to ride on our uncommonly unscheduled weekend, Dan and I decided to go up the coast a few miles and hit the trails at La Costa. He'd never been (and I'd only been once way back in the fall with Evil Chocula), so I figured it would be a new, fun ride.

We picked up a third rider and made it a trio with Dan's amigo Will.

Let me tell you all about Will. He is a gnar-core kite boarder who dabbles in mountain biking when the "wind is down". Yet, no matter how long he's been off the bike, Will tends to out-climb, out-descend, out-huck, and then embarrass everyone with his prowess. The kind of guy that if you didn't know (and didn't know he was such a great guy), you'd probably envy him just a little itty-bitty-smidge.

We got to La Costa around 8:30 and waited around a bunch for Will...he missed the exit.

There were a few riders staging at the trailhead and some came down from the hill and kept rolling on...locals, no doubt. I rode up to snap some nature pics.

Sweet Pea

It was getting very warm, already, and I knew that we'd be climbing up as the mercury was creeping up. We opted for the fireroad climb up to the water tower and then traversed from there to the top of the "double black diamond" trail (Nascar).

The fireroad isn't particularly steep or long or felt good to middle ring it all and feel strong. We stopped at the top of "Switchbacks" and rested for a few.

I <3 my Yeti

Then, Dan and Will took off in their usual race-to-the-top (of any trail) mode. We got to the entrance to Nascar, dropped our gravity-droppers and raised our forks.

I stopped to snap a few pics of the guys and then we enjoyed the rest of the descent...rocky with some turns and little drops and jumps.

Turns are Fun!

It wasn't as loose as I remembered it from last fall...all the rain helped, no doubt. The trail was a blast...the Yeti was made for this type of trail, though the 2.1 tires I'm running pinged around a bit, I had no problems handling the terrain.

We went up to the top again, this time climbing up "Switchbacks".

Sweet Singletrack

The last time I rode out here, I could not clean the trail. There are a few steep, rocky sections and several techy switchbacks. Well, this time, I cleaned it all, no dabs, no dismounts. All in my middle ring. That made the whole difference because it gave me enough momentum to get up the rocky stuff. I just wasn't strong enough last fall.

I was pretty stoked and by the time I got to the top, was cruising along and in my own little world. I must've let my right pedal drop a little below parallel and then...WHAM!

My pedal struck a (I swear) invisible rock in the trail. My body lurched forward, and I smacked my left knee on the shifter. Doh! Upon further inspection, the other side of the pedal was fully operational. The pedal body is messed up though, because it doesn't turn very well.

We regrouped at the top of Nascar and then hit it again...this time faster. What a rush!

Dan-o Rolls It

We stopped to session some of the jumps at the bottom, which on a bigger bike you could probably carry enough speed to double.

But, I kept it safe and was hitting them as singles. So fun! There is a video clip that I'm trying to upload and will post it here if possible.

By the time we ended, we'd been on the trail about 2 hours. The guys were toast (Dan outdid himself at spin on Thursday and Will has been kiting like a madman). I wanted to go up for one more, but once I sat in the shade, made up my mind. The mercury hit 92 by the time we were done. All in all, it was a beautiful day with great scenery and a relaxed vibe.

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