11/17/03 - Bellas Tackle Coe
Well, it was actually two Bellas and a Fella (my podium boy).
Despite awaking to rain on Saturday I was able to convince Valerie
and Austin that it was a still worth a shot checking out Henry Coe. Secretly I kind of thought I was out of my mind, but I kept that to myself. Why discourage two willing participants?
As we reached the Coe HQ there was a light drizzle but no signs of giant downpours. Hmm, trails might be OK. It was a bit chilly as we unloaded the bikes and gear. We all proceeded to bundle up as though we were preparing for the Henry Coe Expedition 2004. In hindsight, we really were. Who knew that almost 6 hours would pass before wed be back at the Subaru?
The drizzle stopped almost immediately as we headed out to Frog Trail. It was so zippy, fast & tacky. Within 15 minutes of leaving the car we came upon the wild pigs. They snorted like mad and ran away from us. All signs were pointing to a great ride ahead. We had fall colors, great trail conditions, solitude, friends, food, and super-fun singletrack. There is really nothing more I could ask for a Saturday in November (hmm, maybe a tad more sunshine). After popping out at Frog Lake we quickly decided that we would go for the full loop. I wont go on for ages about how much I love riding at Coe. I LOVE RIDING AT COE! I will just say they are amazing trails (some swoopy, some technical, some steep, some tough but easily walked, all fun) and you get an incredible sense of journey in that park.
Everybody was up for trying the additional mini-loop Id been eyeing on the map. It was basically a triangle, the first 2 sides of which turned out to be pretty tough fire road (no shortage of this at Coe). The 3rd side was Jackass Trail (singletrack). It was a great trail that seemingly no one has ridden in & absolutely ages. The trail was in amazingly great shape. No obstructions, no ruts. Next time Ill try it out and back. This triangular add-on was less than an hour of riding time and well worth it. The views riding down Jackass Trail were some of the best Ive seen in the entire park.
Valerie claims to be new to mountain-biking but I think a lifetime of sports makes her anything but a beginner. Not only did she maintain her trademark grin the entire 6 hours, there were no signs of fading. Even Austin looked a little wobbly after 5,000 feet of climbing (or maybe it was me wobbling!). I encouraged her to take some GU as I realized our 4+ hour ride was morphing into 5+ hours. She did, but I think it was more of an experiment because shed never tasted one before. I think Valerie is the Energizer Bunny of mountain-bikers. Hopefully she can attest to the fact that the ride was a very mellow pace and fun. I only turned this into an epic because it was clear Valerie and Austin were up for it. Just getting out and riding with buddies is what its all about. In the end we were really blessed with the weather.
Drizzle resumed as we drew near the end of our ride (less than 10 min to the car), but by that point our spirits could not be dampened. We were all in that giddy, happy place that riding at Henry Coe puts you.