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Stevens Canyon - April 15, 2010

Distance: 29.2 miles Ascent: 4,378 feet Moving time: 3:42 hours

It was a nice spring day and I had some time, so I did a mini-tour. I decided that today would be a distance day rather than a real "workout" day, leaving open the possibility of stretching the ride out a bit if I felt like it.

After a quick warm-up hill climb up Comer and Star Ridge, I rode through Fremont Older, taking Cora Older, Hayfield, Toyon and Coyote Ridge down to the creek at the bottom of the dam. Passing the quarry, I climbed up Montebello Road. There was a still delay just past the school while county crews cleared brush from the sides of the road (this is the first time I have seen them doing this) before I continued to the end of the paved road and then on the dirt up to the summit of Black Mountain. After a quick bar, I started down. There were several herds of deer grazing in the meadows near the top and I got some nice pictures of a herd on the ridge near Backpackers' Camp. I had a nice descent down Bella Vista as I was the only one on the trail.

I took the Stevens Creek Nature Trail to the top of White Oak so I could ride this trail before it is re-routed, but the trail was closed due to recent rains (the trails were still wet in a few places). I decided that I didn't have time to extend the ride, so I turned around and headed back to the Canyon Trail. All of the creeks, large and small, were quite full, as is Stevens Creek Reservoir. I couldn't avoid getting my feet wet crossing the creek since the water was deep and moving fast, but it wasn't cold so this wasn't a problem. I took the usual route back. Other than being hit in the lip by a bug as I descended Villa Oaks at about 35 mph, the return was uneventful.

It was a nice day, there were few people on the trail and lots of animals, and everything was green and growing. This was another great ride!

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