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Pogonip/Wilder - June 6, 2010

Distance: 17.7 miles Ascent: 2,201 feet Moving time: 2:21 hours

The weather has warmed up. After an unusually long cool and wet period, the summer seems to be back with warmer weather. This is nice, but none of us are used to it yet. We headed to the coast, an idea that occurred to several people since the parking lot was essentially full when we got there (we lucked into a recently vacated space). The temperatures were still in the mid-eighties and everyone started sweating as we started riding.

We did our usual route from the parking lot on Highway 9, heading up Rincon Connector and U-Con and up into UCSC. We followed several singletracks through the forest before popping out onto Fuel Break and West Road. From the water tanks, we rode along Pipeline.

At one of the trail junctions on Pipeline, we met a couple when we stopped to regroup. Their names were Mike and Marion, who have recently moved to Campbell from Albequere. Mike has mountain biked before, but Marion has focused mostly on road biking. She discovered that the forest trails are quite a bit different than straight, smooth roads she is used to. After some discussion about places to ride and various trails, they asked if they could follow us, so off we went. Marion was very game in trying to ride everything she encountered, but she is still lacking confidence in her mountain biking skills and the capabilities of her bike (a nice Giant), as is typical for a beginner. She patiently put up with "coaching" from four strangers who offered advice on everything (really...we gave her way too many things to think about) plus her husband. I think she improved quite a bit on the ride due to some of the coaching, seeing other people do it, getting some enthusiastic support and a good bit of success in tackling some of the obstacles. Nice work!

We continued out to the Playground, took a short break, and then headed into Wilder. We rode down Chinquapin to the picnic tables, and then continued down the east side of Eucalyptus Loop to hit the single track at the bottom. We stopped at the bottom of Eucalyptus Loop to regroup. We sent Mike and Marion down Baldwin and along Ohlone Bluff back to the Wilder parking lot where they started. We headed back up the west side of Eucalyptus Loop and Chinquapin back into UCSC. We rode the singletrack back to the parking lot to call it a day.

We topped off the ride with a quick stop at Taqueria Los Pericos for some tacos and cold drinks before heading back over the hill. It was great to be out in the forest and getting used to summer weather again.

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