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Soquel Demo Forest - June 27, 2010

Distance: 15.25 miles Ascent: 3,010 feet Moving time: 2:11 hours

The group was indecisive (as usual), so I put the destination to a vote. I established a quorum of all respondents (2) and we decided on Soquel Demo Forest. This worked out to be a good idea since the weather was hot (high 90's at home) and Mike had not been there before. After quickly assembling, we headed up to the trailhead. The large parking lot was closed due to current logging operations, but we found a pair of good parking spots along the road.

We headed up Highland and Buzzard Lagoon at a steady, moderate pace. We headed up Cusacks and a couple of side singletracks on the way to the top. After a short re-group, we descended Canadian Bacon. Things were going well for me until I went over a small log (one of many) and heard a slightly odd sound. Since it was only slightly odd, I didn't pay attention to it. A few feet later I went to grab the front brake and the lever went all the way to the handlebar. It was no place to stop, so I went to the bottom and discovered that the retaining pin and one of the brake pads were completely gone. Fortunately, I had a spare set of old pads and a pin and got them installed. They were better than nothing, but far from 100%.

We headed up Soquel Fire Road back to the summit and then descended Ridge to the picnic table for a short snack break. After we got moving again, I decided to head down Tractor due to my brakes while the others headed down Sawpit. Everyone had a good time descending. I don't think anyone particularly enjoyed the climb out on Hihn's Mill, but everyone survived in good shape. There was some evidence along the Hihn's Mill of the logging operations, but it was less than I thought there might be. The logging crew was being housed in the parking lot but we didn't bother them.

By the way, this was the first ride since getting my bike repaired. I got a new Mavic 819 rim in back and a few other updates and bits of maintenance. The rim seemed very solid, but to be honest I could not feel a huge difference. Tread in Campbell did the work and seemed to do a good job of it. The bike was very clean when I got it back! I don't know that the front brake problem is related to their work since they didn't do anything with the front brakes.

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