The Bay Area ridge trail ride is finished! 

A quick ride up Oat hill mine road in Calistoga was the finish to my 550 mile journey. I climbed 68000 feet on my mountain bike and overcame my fears. My tour included many emotions, fear, frustration, inner strength, joy and triumph. I have to say there were moments of insecurity and not completing my challenge, but i enjoyed every moment. This was type two fun, the kind of challenges that are not planned but just occur. My planning, training and preparation had worked. 

 Oat hill mine road was a perfect finish, the most technical trail of the trip. Beautiful views, interesting geology and home turf advantage. 

 I will remember the Bay Area ridge trail ride every time I see a RT blue marker 

I was fortunate to see so much wildlife so near to our cities and towns. Snakes, birds of prey,  deer, squirrels, coyote, wild boars, and the presence of cougars.
The journey was a personal challenge that became a team accomplishment. The Bay area ridge trail is a community of advocates, supporters and volunteers that are continuing to build a trail system to be enjoyed my many. The ridge trail in an icon for the conservation of open space,The trail preserves wild life, native species , and the lifestyle of Northern California. I felt true inner peace and tranquility every time I left the road for the ridge trail. . This feeling was mutual with every person I met in this open space. There is joy and accomplishment when a new segment of trail is introduced.. 

Join a team working to complete this mission, my challenge is for everyone to participate, become an advocate, supporter, or join a local conservation organization. Individuals create a team, teams can make a difference. 

I will be attending Ales and trails in Marin county on May 20th, and will continue to have presentations with REI Co-Op. Stay in touch 

Day 12 Almost there

Up early to avoid the heat again, I am a slow mover today, The closer I get the harder it gets. Long ride down Napa valley, they have started the vine trail, a bike path through the valley. 

A short hop up to Moore creek park, near lake Hennessy, beautiful pine and oaks, steep sided hills yet well graded Singletrack. This was some great riding. 

Back to the road and cross the valley to Bothe park.,past the campground, the bay trail goes up Ritchey Canyon trail , a tranquil redwood canyon, great place to beat the heat and relax, after the creek crossing, the grade increases, I hope the next new ridge trail Segment joins this trail with the Los Alamos or sugarloaf park system this would be a great two day bikepack trip near my home . 

Yurts in Bothe park 

I’m relaxing in Calistoga with my wife today, As soon as it started my Bay Ridge trail ride will be over Tommorow with an up and back at Oathill mine road. I have learned many lessons and have a greater respect for our environment, all the trail advocates, volunteers and the Bay Area Ridge trail council. 

Day 11 the heat is on 

On the road at 7:30 am, I had a drag race with a few road bikes over the Martinez bridge. Today was a day of misdirection, The Benecia buffer section begins in the parking lot of a preschool, a trail angel showed me the way. The trail is well built with many switchbacks and wide vistas. 

I rolled through Hiddenbrooke and Lynch canyon open space, it was heating up by the time I entered Rocklin park. I met the Ranger about halfway. 

Just kidding, I bought a pass before entering. In 70 parks and this was the only one I had to pay for. The ranger and all the visitors had a good vibe here. I missed a turn and got a bit lost from the bay trail but enjoyed the ride finding my way. I rode through Jameson canyon with a tailwind and cheered on from a passerby. I made good time to Skyline park. I was quickly riding up my old after work ride and I heard a loud cat hiss and growl from the high grass next to me. there was nothing following and I wasn’t about to check out the area, I gave this cat space and I quickly created more space between us .  This was only my second encounter with a big cat.i was glad tudeur loop was closed to bikes. I took a different way down. Spending a movie night with my son, daughter in law and my adorable grandchildren, 

Tomorrow I will ride up to Moore park, quick sprint up Bothe park and I will finish on Monday morning riding an up and back at Oathill Mine Rd. 

Day 10 Riding on 

Had a great night sleep, ready to roll, East bay tour, I was glad to be able to be riding and not pushing, lake Chabot was mellow fireroad to bort meadows, this section would be a fun on a gravel grinder. At redwood park the grade increased an I had a short push up to the ridge. 

Lots of licensed dog walkers use West ridge trail approaching the observatory. 

Redwood park before it gets mean. Time to climb the wall.  Observatory at the top. 

At the top of Skyline I met Austin McInerny of NICA, a cycling organization for high school students. We rode over skyline down  to the Caldecott tunnel and up Fish grade to Tilden park. Austin showed me a few trails he has helped become multiuse. East bay MUD is still very protective of thier trails creating breaks in the ridge trail for mountain bikers. It is a shame there is a lot of beautiful single track in the East bay hills. 

I passed on El Sobrante hills and Crocket hills, I have had bad luck with closed roads and Alhambra road was definitely closed and Pinole valley is closed to mtb use. I stayed with my original reroute and found a great bayside path sponsored by the bay trail. caraquinez scenic route. 

Tomorrow I’m off to Benicia connector, Lynch Canyon, Rockville, and Skyline park. 

Day 9 hard fought miles

Well I was warned about Mission peak, I am glad I split this last segment, Mission peak from the south is one steep cow pasture, this means unrideable flat sections, mud and a lot of cow pies. I am glad my panniers are camouflage because the mud and cow manure don’t show. This stuff was everywhere, somehow it even got on my glasses. I walked the entire 2500 feet up Mission peak. 

This how I felt today, these guys were good company. 

When I arrived at the backpack camp, I was awe inspired, it reminded me of backpacking in the Sierras, I was alone looking at clouds , listening to the wind and feeling nature. This was such a blissful experience. 

The ride back to the Silicon valley was bumpy, cowpoopy and sometimes confusing. I rode up Niles canyon to find my route road closed again , I rerouted through Hayward, “muhh” is how I felt. Just keep pushing the pedals. I marched up Old oak trail to lake Chabot and set up camp, very quiet up here right now , this is why I chose this challenge. 

Day 8 Rest day

The last two days wore on me, my Gps tallied 16000 feet, I detoured to Alum rock park going up The casual  Penetencia  creek trail. Going up the ridge trail in Alum park was steep in sections , it started to rain lightly and get chilly. I rode a steep sided Sierra vista to the top. Sierra and Felter roads would be a beautiful road ride,

 At this point, my body started slowing down and running out of energy. I made a decision to split today’s ride and ride 2500′ Mission peak in better weather. I might have been a bit ambitious planning three big elevation days in a row, I will pedal on tomorrow stronger in health and mind. 

Thank you for all the support everyone, This moment my thoughts are on “one ridge trail section at a time.”  This is what I signed up for, spacious views, unpredictable nature and challenge. With this comes a range of emotion, thoughts and feelings . I look forward to exploring the next bend in the ridge trail. 

Day 7 Silicon Valley Chaos 

The climbs and descents in Sierra Azulejo were very steep and challenging. In Almaden Quicksilver park I met the REI team  for some pictures and video. We enjoyed viewing  the mining history and spacious vistas. 

Somehow I dropped my RT bandana and it appeared on the ground ahead of me, was this a trail angel?  

I crossed the valley to Santa Teresa park , an oasis of open space amongst suburbs and golf courses. 

It became frustrating and difficult to navigate through Silicon Valley traffic to Coyote creek trail. The water is still flooding the path, I somehow made it through only getting some wet shoes. My hopper training came to mind. 

My challenges were not over yet. I climbed another 2000 difficult feet to discover the next segment’s road is closed. I needed to reroute to Alum park and decided to go back to San Jose for the night. Tomorrow is Alum rock park, Mission peak and Ohlone park to Lake Chabot..Tomorrow will be a new day. 

Day 6  wild weather 

Had a great rest at half moon bay , the sound of the waves were comforting Purisma creek was a rideable grade, 2500 feet elevation went by quickly. Sean McKenna from Silicon Valley mountain bike coalition was waiting at the top.Windy hill lived up to it’s name, Russian ridge was drizzly, it rained through Skyline. The park service opened Long ridge for bikes just for our ride. Saratoga gap and Castle rock was foggy and cleared up through Sanborn. I had a huge smile all the way through. 

My highlight of the day was John Nicolas trail down Sanborn, a very well built trail very flowy, waterbar jumps and a few berms. The Texture was Loam with hero dirt. After 40 miles and 7878 ‘ feet of climbing I was in the zone, going down in and loving every moment. 

Lombard switchbacks

Tomorrow is Lexington resivoir to Almador quicksilver, Santa Theresa to coyote creek trail up to Joseph D Grant To camp. 

Day  5 Peninsula

Up early to travel through San Francisco, Singletrack in Presidio and Golden gate park, rode past the Haight and u to Sutro and twin peaks, down to sunset district and over skyline to Milagro Ridge a new addition to the RT with beautiful trailwork. Nick handed me over to Ammon and Becket  docent guides for Fife Cahill. Ridge riding at its best, 

Tomorrow its on to Purisma, skyline blvd. Russian ridge, Saratoga gap and Sanborn park. Sean from Silicon Valley Mountain bike riders will be my company. 

Ridge to bridge ride

Day four, big turnout for the start up jewel trail,  36 riders, We weaved our way up Bolinas ridge through the redwoods and onto seaside views at panoramic highway. Through pantoll station and cardiac hill from the dipsea trail, quick Singletrack down coastal and a big grind up Diaz ridge. We summitted two more hills finishing at the golden gate and the presidio. 

Helping a esquestrian with her horse, I wiped all the horse hair on my face just after this. 

Camping in San Francisco at Rob hill, Very Peaceful  setting  in an urban area. Tomorrow I ride with SF urban riders and meet Ammon for a docent escort through SF watershed Fife Cahill.