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Santa Teresa/Quicksilver - April 30, 2009

Distance: 17.3 miles Ascent: 2614 ft. Moving time: 2:14 hours

I hadn't been to Santa Teresa in a while, so I decided another visit was in order. The recent weather had allowed the trails to dry out a bit, but they weren't dusty yet. The weather was very cooperative and the grass was changing from green to "golden", making for a nice ride.

I parked on Harry Road and did a pretty typical route: Calero Creek, Fortini, Mine and up Hidden Spring. As I was riding up one of the steeper sections of Hidden Spring, I suddenly noticed a California Kingsnake just in front of my front wheel (I should have been paying more attention, but I was the only person out there and this was the first snake I've seen this year). I was able to unweight the front wheel, but I ended up rolling over it with the rear wheel. Fortunately, it slithered away and was apparently unharmed.

I continued up Hidden Spring and decided to turn left onto Coyote Peak and ascend to the summit on Boundary. This was much steeper and much more difficult than continuing straight from Hidden Spring onto Coyote Peak. There were several short sections between 25% and 40% grade. Too much!

Once to the top, I did a quick spin around the summit loop and then headed down Rocky Ridge. The top part was fun, but the lower part seemed rockier than usual. Maybe I don't remember all of the rocks or maybe some of them shifted in the recent rains, but it was harder than I remembered. I then returned to my car via Mine, Stile Ranch (which was in very nice shape), and Calero Creak.

This seemed too short a ride, so I decided to head over to Quicksilver. Heading southwest on Harry which turns into McKean takes you to Almaden Road. Turning left and riding about 2.3 miles takes you to the Hacienda entrance to Quicksilver. I rode up Mine Hill to the picnic table and turned right onto Capehorn Pass trail and then right onto Hacienda. This took me to the top of Virl O. Norton, which was a fun ride down (mostly) to the Mockingbird entrance to the park. Heading down Mockingbird Lane takes you back to McKean/Harry and back to where you started. This was a nice short loop in Quicksilver that could be easily extended when you have more time (or energy).

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