merry mondays

Today was my first Monday off. It’s nice waking up with absolutely no plans at all.

My only goal was to fix this bike. It had been sitting on my workstand for almost a month. When I had bought the bike around a year and a half ago, it had a broken front shifter. Originally I planned to upgrade almost all the components on the bike, but then decided it wasn’t worth throwing so much money on an old frame. So I ended up finding an old shifter on eBay that matched the current one.

Then I got lazy and decided to just bring the bike to the shop and have them do the work. I had a Groupon for a bike tuneup at a shop in Folsom. It would just cost a few more bucks to have them install the shifter and cable housings, and I’d have to go to a bike shop anyways to buy cable housings.

And so my plans for the day just kind of formed on their own. Since the bike shop was all the way in Folsom, I decided it would be kind of a waste to go all the way out there and not ride one of the trails out there. So I decided to load up my trusty old Bianchi Superbee and ride out at Granite bay after dropping off the Trek for service.

I think part of the reason why I like biking so much is that it’s a pretty introvert friendly activity. I’m happy spending the entire day alone with just my bike, enjoying the scenery and flying up and down trails. But then again, I like biking with others too. So it’s a good social activity too. But I noticed that pretty much everybody that I ride with consistently seems to be introverted…

So anyways, I spend the entire day alone exploring the area on my bike. Since it was a weekday there was hardly anybody out riding, so I had fun picking up some good speed on the singletrack.

A lot of the trail network seems to be multi use trails. You can see the bike treads mixed with horse shoe tracks.

I seemed to be riding in the wrong direction a lot of the time. Something like this would be way more fun flying downhill than chugging along uphill.

Why did the turkeys cross the road?

There’s a lot of forks in the trails, and I didn’t have a map. I ended up getting hopelessly lost. It’s hard to get a sense of direction when none of the trails are straight. My solution was just to keep riding until I saw the lake again, because I sort of knew where my car was relative to the lake.

I thought I could figure out where my car was relative to the lake, but I was wrong. I ended up on an unfamiliar stretch of beach. I didn’t realize that the network of trails actually stretched pretty far down south.

The houses out here were amazing. This is like my dream house. It has humongous patios overlooking the beach, perfect for barbecuing or just chilling outside and reading a book. Plus it has its own gate onto the bike trail.

So by now I was pretty lost. My phone was running low on batteries. I had been taking pictures with it this whole time. I always forget to turn off the GPS and wireless radios to save battery. Woops. So with the remaining battery I could try to run Google maps to find my way back to my car, or I could take pictures of the cute girl on horseback.

I might have made the wrong choice. I asked her for directions back to Douglas Blvd, where my car was parked (I was too cheap to pay for parking). She didn’t know. So I continued on this stretch of fire road.

I eventually found myself at a farm, a real legitimate farm, with chickens running around and horse stables. I kinda wished I had saved some batteries on my phone so I could take some pictures of the chickens. Anyways, there were two ladies inventorying stuff on their iPad. (Gosh even farms nowadays are going high tech…) One of them asked me if I was lost, to which I replied, “yes,” and asked how to get back to Douglas Blvd. She directed me to Folsom-Auburn road, which would take me back to my car at the intersection of Douglas and Folsom-Auburn. She told me to watch out for the goats on my way out, but I didn’t see any goats. I thanked them and was on my way.

When I got home, I tried looking at Google maps to determine where I had ridden. My car was parked at ‘A’ on the map. I had ridden east on Douglas towards the parking lot at the upper right of the map, and then ridden on the trails North of there. I think the farm that I ended up near the bottom left of the map, where Folsom-Auburn road curves. I didn’t realize that the trail network was so big, it actually goes much farther south all the way down into Beal’s point where it joins the American River Parkway in Folsom.

That’s pretty cool.

As I ride more in these areas I see how all these trail networks and roads connect. I think one of these days I want to just drive the entire loop around the lake, up Folsom-Auburn road from Folsom into Auburn, then take highway 49 to Salmon Falls road back downward into El Dorado Hills, then Green Valley road back into Folsom. That loop basically connects most of my favorite mountain biking rides– Granite Bay, Auburn Confluence, Salmon Falls, and Dyke 8.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • Groupon
  • mountain bikes
  • awesome trail networks

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