|Big Basin Redwoods State Park|
I winced as I placed my sore sit bones on the saddle this morning; of all the body parts that have fallen out of shape since my August bike crash, my suddenly sensitive butt is the most noticeable. I rode 40 miles and Monday and 45 yesterday, both with 4,000-plus feet of climbing, so I decided I'd take it easy today. I brought one water bottle and no food. The sun burned hot even at 8 a.m., foreshadowing the 95 degrees it would hit later in the day. I motored up Highway 9, feeling strong. An hour and a half later at the crest of the climb, without even really deciding too, I kept going.
|Who's a big tree?|
I've never even ridden down into Big Basin before, which is inexcusable, really, because it's so close to my house and such a great route for beauty, climbing and solitude. On a weekday morning, you'd never even guess you were in the midst of one of the largest population centers in California. I saw exactly two cars, and had the rest of the narrow, shady, steep roller coaster of a road all to myself.
|The unobstructed view from Highway 236|
I ended the ride at 53 miles and 7,345 feet of climbing, which is way more than I intended or really felt necessary. (Garmin map here) But at the same time, I almost wish I took the initiative (brought more water and food) to ride even farther. Sometime soon I'd love to ride all the way down to Santa Cruz, a coastal town I'm ashamed to admit I have not yet visited. The road riding opportunities in this region really are sublime, which helps temper my reluctance to get back on my mountain bike. (I know, I know. I need to get over this. But there hasn't been a significant rainstorm since June, and the trails were moon-dust on top of loose gravel before the elapsed six weeks of continuing, persistent dryness.) But I can't wait for rain forever.