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Turkey Ride 2013

Thanksgiving Day 2013 means it is time for the annual Turkey Ride up Kennedy Trail in Sierra Azul. This year's was one of the best by any measure you choose!

To start with, the weather was great. The original forecast was for showers, which was later downgraded to cloudy. I also expected it to be cold. Instead, it was clear and warmish (for late November) at the start of the ride. I decide not to wear the cold weather gear I had brought and went with shorts and a windbreaker at the start of the ride. I took off the jacket at the trailhead and rode up in my summer attire (jersey and shorts). I never felt cold and any more gear and I would have overheated.

The trails were in good condition, probably due to some rain we had last week. There was an unusually larger number of runners, hikers and dog walkers on the trail this year, but it did not seem to be a problem and everyone made reasonable accomodations.

I made great time on the climb up this year. My usual November Turkey Ride consists of several near-death experiences on the steeper climbs, pauses and often a bit of walking. There was none of that this year. I rode the whole way without any dabs and had my fastest time to the top by quite a margin. This doesn't mean that I am fast, just faster than I normally am. I noticed that several of the sections that I had trouble with in the past were not nearly as bad as I remembered from all the previous rides.

There was a huge turn out of riders. We left at about 8:00 and I know there were was another wave of riders starting at 9:00, but the top of the mountain was covered with riders that had already made it. There were two roasted pigs, one turkey and one backpack mounted "mini-keg" that people had hauled to the top of the mountain and shared with everyone else. There were lots of snacks, baked goods and beverages. Everyone was standing shoulder-to-shoulder talking, laughing and having a great time. There were several rangers and deputies but everyone was well behaved.

We finished in off with a good ride down Dogmeat and Lime Kiln and back to downtown Los Gatos before heading home to set up our regular feast.

Great ride!

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