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The Coe Multiplier

The Coe Multiplier rule states that all distances and ascents at Henry Coe State Park should be multiplied by two.  I am not sure that the multiplier is large enough!

Rides at Coe always have a good amount of climbing. I have been riding a fair amount this summer (mountain and road) and though I would be up for it. It seemed like a good idea to explore some new trails, so rather than the "usual" route of Coit/Wasno/Serpentine/Middle Steer Ridge we decided to try some new trails or new sections of trails we have been on. This led us to a different route of Anza/Cullen/Grizzly Gulch/Willson Peak/Jim Donnelly. New trails sounds good. The post-ride stats looked unremarkable with a 14 mile distance and 2912 feet of ascent. This seems quite moderate. I've done lots of bigger rides that this. These stats would really justify any sort of a note.

So why is it that this was such a butt kicker? I am pretty sure there was about 4x as much climbing as there was descending! Lots of the "climbing" was hike-a-bike up really steep grades...lots of them. I was really tired after riding only 14 miles!

So what is the root-cause of this problem? Several explanations seem possible:

  1. I'm an old, overweight guy who must be really out of shape.  This is all true. But I wasn't the only feeling gassed. Since I do this much and more on other rides this can't be the only explanation.
  2. I was overconfident and was properly humbled for it. Also probably true, but this is a justification rather than an explanation.
  3. Sure the steep parts are steep, but they are very short so they don't take much time even if a hike-a-bike is required. However, the GPS says they were steep and long.
  4. Faulty equipment.  Of course, it was the equipment.  Actually, it seems like the GPS didn't record all of the hike-a-bike section properly, at least for the moving time calculation. This may be more a reflection of how slow the hike-a-bike was, but it is still an equipment failure, right?
  5. Magic. The Coe Multiplier in action. A multiplier of at least 2 for both the ascent and distance would explain why I felt as gassed as I did. Maybe it isn't magic but something like magnetic ore underground or the effects of sun rays bouncing off the mountain sides and brown grass that causes instruments to read too low.

I don't have a good explanation for the Coe Multiplier, but there are many things in life that I can't yet explain but I recognize that they are real.  I think the Coe Multiplier falls into this category.

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