Saturday, April 5, 2008

Out Having A Life @ China Camp State Park

Today was all about mountain biking. I have a book of rides in which I've been working my way through all the rides categorized as easy. There's a loop trail at China Camp State Park in San Rafael that I've had my mind on for a while now. China Camp has single-track trails on which mountain biking is permitted, something that I understand is unusual in the SF Bay Area.

We decided to go by REI first and pick up a bike computer since my old one wasn't really up to snuff for my new bike. I really like to know how fast I'm going, how far I've gone, how long I've been riding, etc. All that techie stuff just adds to the fun for me (although I didn't wear my heart monitor). Well, we ended up lollygagging at REI for way too long but we got on the road finally. I'll have to post a pic of my CatEye bike computer next time.

We arrived at China Camp and got on our bikes. The trails are really nice and well-kept. I was worried before we went that I'd be holding up lines of people wanting to go faster than me but a call in to my friend Joy who's a mountain biking expert soothed my anxiety. She let me know there's usually enough room to pass and that people are generally understanding in any event.

The ride was great! There were plenty of uphill sections for me but I didn't have to get off my bike once. The plan was to ride the Shoreline Trail loop. About 4 miles in I noticed we were climbing a lot. I thought to myself, this can't be easy, and if it is, I'll never get to intermediate.

Anyway, we came to the top of a hill and we knew we took a wrong turn somewhere. There is no "top of a hill" on the Shoreline trail. So I was feeling mighty proud of myself at that point for making it up there, venturing off the easy trail without even knowing it! Of course I had to get a picture to prove I'd been up there.

But, we were lost. Fortunately another mountain biker was resting and taking in the view and he directed us back to our original path.
But first, a self portrait of Miguel and I.

We carried on from there and rode the rest of the way to China Camp and then back to our car.

I think the total was about 7.5 miles. We were out there for a little over an hour. I would have liked more time but we wasted a lot in REI (and lunch at Baja Fresh too) so I was in a hurry to get home. I went to an Italian themed dinner party and had to make my items, Bruschetta and a Roasted Bell Pepper salad. Yumm. Dinner, wine and good company were a nice close to the day.

And what's on the agenda for tomorrow? Mountain biking of course!

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