Day two started a little earlier than the beer I had the night before wanted to allow - but with some determination, I persevered and was able to roll out of bed at about 7am, and I was greeted by a pancake breakfast and a damn fine cup of coffee. After breakfast, we filled our hydration packs, put on some gear and we must have been on the road before 8:30. Yesterday when we arrived in wilseyville, it was 104F out, and you could already feel at this point that it would be another scorcher.
Our ride today started along the same twisty road that we had ridden the previous afternoon, only today, we ran into some traffic - two semi's pulling livestock trailers - and they were unyielding for a couple miles. The nice part is that I was able to capture a great shot of Uberkul.
The twisty road met up with dirt much faster today then it did the previous morning, and our route was predominantly broken up fire roads with a few small single track sections between switch backs. This first part of the ride is predominantly downhill, heading down the ridge we were on top of the previous evening, and heading down to the river at the base of the canyon. The scenery was amazing - mostly tree covered dense forrest for this first part of the dirt. Probably 15 miles or so into the days ride, we came to the river crossing (a bridge), at which point we stopped to catch our breath. Brad took us a bit down the road (and off our route) and showed us the precipice we had been on top of the previous night. It's the rounder one on the left.
We took a long twisty secluded paved forestry road up towards 50, but took a little detour up a fairly steep/loose/rocky singletrack no more than a 1/4 mile long, up to the top of this view. Somehow, a bee had made it into my pants and I got stung on my right hip. DOH!
Up until this point, this was the most technical part of the ride - but we all made it without more than a mention of it's intensity. It was a blast!
But after the quick bit of dirt, it was back to the road - about 20 or so miles of pavement into south lake tahoe, which is where we stopped for fuel and belly fuel. We decided to eat fairly light, which turned out to be a good idea, as things got hairier than any one of us expected after lunch!
Excuse the long writing, but in true dual sport fashion, we failed to take pictures of the most technical stuff - and the few pictures we took home from this section don't truly illustrate the intensity of the trail... So we scooted through an unassuming neighborhood; which actually confused me a little bit at first, but right next to an unassuming home, there was a dirt track the headed into the surrounding forrest. The trail conditions were rough - VERY loose and silty piles of dirt filling up "V" ruts, gnarly whoops on all the straight aways, and the occasional loose rock gardens filled with loose and embedded baby heads. The "V" on the rut did help to create some berms around the tight corners, which truly was the ONLY option for many of the kinks in the trail, otherwise you risk getting stuck in the deep silt or on the large embeded rocks. These conditions persisted, and actually became more challenging as the incline increased. It was more than just challenging - it was also exhausting which presented it's own challenge - all the whoops in the straight aways means you don't get any rest, and now that the incline was increasing, you had no choice but to gun it up the hill climbs or risk getting stuck at slower speeds. This was the first time I was starting to feel hot, despite having spent most of this weekend in 90F+ heat, and I could feel that my entire body was covered in sweat. Still in the middle of what turned out to be the most technical part of the trail, I was soldiering on but starting to feel really tired, and so I was starting to make stupid mistakes in choosing my line. This resulted in me having my second spill of the trip. My front tire was gripping the right side of the "v" rut, and trying to recenter, I pitched my front tire to the left side of the rut, gassed it a bit too hard, and the rear wheel shot itself out and put the bike down on the right side. Unharmed, I picked it up immediately trying to avoid a flood out, and once I picked it up, I realized how winded I had become. I was GASPING for air. I took a few moments to catch my breath, started up the DR and walked it under power to a good spot to side stand it momentarily. I got back on the bike and headed a few hundred feet up the trail and found Brad with his DR on it's side. Apparently he had been trying to pick it up UPHILL, but ended up spinning the bike 180, and by the time I got there, he was picking it up. Here is a picture of the trail near where I he had layed his bike down.
It was there that we waited for 5-10 minutes for Patrick to arrive, but he didn't. Brad went back down the trail and found Patrick stuck in the silt with a big rock in front of his back tire. Once we re-grouped, you could tell we were all feeling challenged, even Brad who had only done this trail years ago, and apparently, in much better trail conditions (not so silty). However, the hardest of the trail was now behind us, and it was just a few more tough sections before we reached the ridge road. Here are 3 pictures, the first one is patrick down at the bottom of the climb for scale.
And brad coming in hot, powering the back end to his right for style points. He's a really smooth rider, and I learned a lot riding behind him this weekend.
It was on this trail that I noticed I had taken a pretty big smack to my bash plate... Though from other pictures, it looks like it happened much earlier in the day.
Once on the ridge, the trail conditions were still VERY whoopy and loose, but it was not as steep or rocky, and the road was much wider (two track/fire roadish). Once we came over the top, we had this view.
They allowed us to park our bikes under the overhang where you park to check in to the hotel!
And, WHOOPED at the end of the day and with my clothes SOAKED through and through, here is the end of the day raccoon look. You can see how beat I am in the photo - it was a tough day, but really great. I loved the challenge, and my DR ate it right up.
And that's pretty much it. On day 3, we rode back from carson, and Patrick and I rode all the way back to the bay area. Look how many miles the trip was!
And one last selfie, Day 3's Raccoon Look.