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Mission Peak - December 31, 2008

Distance: 9.20 miles Ascent: 2,358 ft. Moving time: 1:40 hours

I looked at my recent rides and decided that I had not done Mission Peak for quite a while, so I thought I should visit it. It was foggy and overcast this morning, so I waited to "get in the mood." My patience was rewarded with a very nice, sunny December day on Mission Peak.

I drove up to the trailhead where I have parked in the past. There were two mountain bikers on nice bikes right at the parking area. I drove in and discovered that parking is no longer permitted there (how odd!). Since these two guys were riding in I assumed they knew more about this than I did. I didn't want pay $2 to park in the empty college lot, so I drove out and across Mission Blvd. to park.

I had notice that the two riders did not go through the gate were I had tried to park and had instead continued up the road. I guessed this meant there was another trailhead up there, so I went for a look and found it. There was not a lot of improvement, but it did avoid two or three annoying cattle gates, so this is probably an improvement.

I continued my ride up the hill. Then I remembered why I don't go to Mission Peak too often. It was still all uphill. The trail was in pretty good shape except for one short section that was a bit soft due recent rains. I had seen some MTBR reports that the trails were torn up due by the cattle. If so, there has been a miraculously rapid trail restoration because they were in good shape. The cow flops showed the cattle had been there, but it was not a problem.

I caught the two guys I had seen earlier at the foot of the summit peak. They are locals and seem to like this ride. We didn't exchange names, so I don't know who they are. I think they may have turned around at that point, but I continued on around the back and up to the summit. After a short break and a few pictures, I started down. Other than some cattle on one of the singletracks that did not want to move, this was pretty uneventful. It was a good ride.

December was a good riding month for me. It was my second best month for both distance and total ascent. November was better, but this was probably because the weather was better and I got in one more ride.

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