It was COLD on Saturday. But we knew that the coming days would be even colder. And snowy. Brent and I figured it might be the last day of dry trails for a while, so we felt compelled to get out there and enjoy it. We waited until 11:00 AM when the temperature warmed up to 32 degrees, and pedaled east towards the Centennial Singletrack trailhead.
Along the way to the trailhead, Brent found half a $20 bill that was slightly charred. Seconds later I found what I thought was the other half! We made a pact to buy beer with the money if it could be turned in for a new bill. It wasn’t until I got home and examined the halves closer that I realized they were two different bills. They were both the right half of the bill. Maybe I had $40 now! And then I noticed they both had the same serial number. And the paper felt a bit funny. Counterfeit! Someone didn’t do a good job burning up the evidence I suppose. And sadly, the beer pact was broken.
We arrived at the trailhead, and began our ascent up the trail. The skies were gray, and we were pedaling into the wind. At times it was too cold to talk because of the wind chill. The sun poked out occasionally, but never long enough to warm anything up. It wasn’t until we started heading back the other direction that we got some relief. On the east-most end of the loop, we took a break and rode some sweet doubletrack. I rode my rigid 29er up the V&T railroad track, curious to see how bumpy it would be. Turns out it wasn’t something I’d want to do for very long. Brent gave me a crack at at the tracks on his full suspension Stumpjumper. It pretty much erased the bumps! You could easily ride the whole way to Virginia City this way I think. Put this on the to-do list for 2010…
We did some fun downhill, but decided not to go all the way back to the trailhead. Instead we opted to make our way through the foothills towards Goni Road. To do this though, we had to cross a canyon. There was a trail going down into the canyon, but not much of one climbing out. We rode and walked through some very rocky terrain for the next half mile or so. Funny how different this terrain is from the Eastern Sierra just a few miles away.
Once we found a road it was smooth going. The terrain alternated between smooth sand and rocks, and the long road rolled up and down over the hills all the way to Goni Road. This was my first time back in this area, and it was pretty cool. The landscape is quite interesting and it would make a great place for more singletrack. In the end, thoughts of post-ride beers turned to visions of post-ride coffee as we finished up the ride with a few chilly road miles.
As I finish writing this post, winter is definitely upon us. The snow has been falling for almost 24 hours now. Stay tuned for a series of winter riding tips!