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Waterdog - August 22, 2010

Distance: 8.76 miles Ascent: 1,472 feet Moving time: 1:18 hours

It was a nice day as we started our Waterdog ride with a gentle warmup riding up Lake Road and Upper Lake Road to get a view of the mountains. We headed back Upper Lake to John Brook with a quick downhill followed by a longer climb. We continued out to Chaparral, up the switchbacks on Ohlone and then down Rambler. We stopped at the Rambler to give it a few tries and snap a few pictures. The guys made it but the gals could quite muster the courage to cross the ladder to the top of the car.

We continued, going up Canyon Creek and Upper Canyon Creek to Hastings Drive. I showed Mike and Marion the Carlmont Area from the vista on top, but we didn't explore any of trails or jumps down there. We retraced our steps on Upper Canyon Creek before heading up the switchbacks on Finch. I think most of the group made it, though I am not sure if everyone made it "dab free" (I did). I wasn't as tired climbing this hill today than some of the other times in the past, so maybe I am in a bit better shape. We re-grouped at the top before heading back on the upper part of Rambler and John Brooks. Of course we had to head down Berry to finish off the singletrack. I briefed Mike and Marion about the trail at the top and we stopped at the last switchback to get everyone set up for the short, steep descent over the cinder blocks. I went first, quickly followed by Mike and Don without a problem. After a false start, Anna made it down but it was too much for Marion (like most riders their first time at Waterdog). We decided to call it a day and headed back to the cars.

Everyone seemed very talkative today. Maybe it was just me being a bit quiet, but everyone else had a lot to talk about at each stop and re-group point. Everyone was having a good time, but after the ride I discovered that our moving time (1:18) was less than our stopped time (1:26). Ouch! I must be getting grumpy in my old age!

We tried a new spot for lunch. We went to Godfather's Burger Lounge on El Camino. The burgers were good and very filling and the beer was good and cold. It was a nice place...perhaps too nice for a bunch of sweaty mountain bikers. The food and service were good, but the prices were on the high side. Everyone left very full.

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