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Stevens Canyon - January 10, 2010

Distance: 26.3 miles Ascent: 3,584 feet Moving time: 2:42 hours

The morning started off being beautiful, with light clouds glowing pink in the sunrise. An hour later when it was time to start, we were socked in by fog. The air was moist and cold (42 degrees). We dressed appropriately and headed out. A bit of road riding up Quarry Road and Villa Oaks helped warm us up. We regrouped at the top of Mt. Eden and then headed to the gate at the end of Stevens Canyon Road. The sun was coming out when we got there, so we took off jackets or long sleeve shirts before starting to climb in earnest.

The trails were in great condition. The soil was moist and tacky, but there was no soft mud. We made good time heading up the trail. The creek crossing was not a problem and we kept our feet dry. We continued up Stevens Canyon Trail to the base of Indian Creek where we regrouped before we climbed up it (854 feet in 1.4 miles). We made it to the top of Black Mountain in good time. After a quick snack, we headed down Bella Vista, which was in great condition, and returned via Stevens Canyon. The return ride from the summit back to the starting point was non-stop.

It turned out to be a great day to ride. It was a bit cool at the start, but the cool air seemed to help us on the climbing. Everyone commented that it seemed easier today than on some of our past rides here. The numbers confirm this perception as our average speed was 9.75 mph, a new personal best for this route.

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