Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yesterday I took a long ride for a sausage sandwich.

View Corralitos in a larger map

Mount Madonna Road turns to dirt
I take this route down to Corralitos pretty often, although it's been a while since the last trip. In fact, it's been a while since I've ridden the bike at all; more than a week, I think. That's the longest layoff I've had in a while, and it showed.

I rode down McKean to Uvas, then up Redwood Retreat and the north side of Mount Madonna Road. The lower part of Mount Madonna Road, the paved part, is steep and exposed to the sun. I was going up slowly, too slow to outrun the bugs. I was certainly happy to get into the shade.

The last time I was up here I found the road pretty rutted, but this time it seemed very smooth. Maybe it's been graded in the meantime?

I dropped down the south side of Mount Madonna Road, then took Hazel Dell around to Corralitos. After the obligatory sausage sandwich (cheesy andouille), I headed up Eureka Canyon Road. The woods were lovely as usual. This late in the season there was very little water running in the various streams; I think I only saw running water in one stream, near the top of Highland Way.

I took my usual route home, down Old Santa Cruz Highway to Highway 17, then up the Los Gatos Creek Trail. There's an infamous steep pitch on the creek trail that gets dustier and more treacherous as the dry summer wears on. One of these days my front wheel will dig in, and I'll tumble down that thing. Not yesterday, though.

Elevation profile
Tuesday's ride was just short of 73 miles, with a little over 5000 feet of climbing. The steepest section was on the paved section of Mount Madonna Road, where the average grade was 10.8%.

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