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Soquel Demo Forest - January 4, 2009

Distance: 14.34 miles Ascent: 2,592 ft. Moving time: 1:43 hours

Our small group opened the year with a great ride at Soquel Demo Forest (SDF). This was a "California winter" ride. For those from other area, this does not involve snow, frozen rivers or lakes, or snowmobiles. This ride qualified for a winter ride by virtue of a frozen puddle and a temperature reading of 32 F at the low point. This did allow us to wear long sleeve jerseys and tights, but the rest of the summer wear was in evidence as well. For those of you suffering thought a long dark winter in other locations, it was a sunny day (but it dark on the shadowed side of the mountain).

The ride started off cold and we hit the low temperature almost immediately. A little bit of higher cadence pedaling was enough to generate some body heat to take the nip off. Once we got onto the dirt and started climbing, the jackets came off. The trails were in good condition, though a bit moister than I had expected since it has not rained for a while. We made our way up to the top, seeing only a few road riders on Highland 4 teenagers being shuttled by their father (wimps!) in spite of quite a few cars in the parking lot.

Ridge trail was in fine form and the four of us zipped right through. After a short break at the helicopter pad (in the sun), we continued on past the picnic table and out to Sawpit. We did pretty well on this too and we all had a great ride down. The ride up Hihn's Mill was the same as always.

All in all, it was a good ride. I felt pretty strong and the time proved this out. I noticed that I was 30-45 minutes faster on this route than the previous few times. I suppose the additional riding I have been getting in lately has paid off.

I tried to make a video of the ride. Everything seemed to be working on the trail, but there was nothing on the memory card when I got back. I am still trying to diagnose the problem. Oh well.

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