Highland/Eureka Canyon

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Jobst Brandt

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Aug 27, 1993, 8:21:33 PM8/27/93
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George Carter writes:

> I included Highland and Eureka Canyon Roads on a ride on Sunday for
> the first time in many months and was surprised that zero progress
> has been made on the large mud slide just uphill from Rattlesnake
> Gulch.

I also rode past there and was glad to see that nothing much had been
done. It is this slide that makes the road a private bike path while
giving residential access. The gun aficionados with their big tired
vehicles are not shooting in the gulch and the waterfalls are clear
and cool.

In fact, I rode up Alpine Rd. from Palo Alto to get out of the heat,
where I convinced an unsuspecting rider to go up there instead of Old
LaHonda Rd. He found it great fun having never ventured onto a dirt
road before. It was even more fun for him as nearly every MTB rider
we passed was aghast that we dared to ride "road bike" on this road
as they struggled up the hill in their mini gears.

I found cool air as I descended westward into the forest below Alpine
Ranch. The climb over Haskins hill was cool and a brief tank-up at
the Loma Mar store and some small talk with Roger (Mayor/fire
chief/postmaster/store owner and general good guy) got me off to
Cloverdale Rd. was getting warm but the breeze was picking up as
I got to Butano Park across from which a bobcat was attending a gopher
hole in the field. I met some birders on Gazos Creek Rd. and talked
a bit about what we had seen before heading down the coast to Waddell
Creek (Big Basin Park). The offshore seaweed rafts were sparkling
with mackerels that jumped in the air. Pelicans, Cormorants, Terns,
and other sea birds were having a feast all along the coast.

I caught up with a tourist who, heavily loaded, was riding on fat,
super-knobby tires on a long trip. When I mentioned that he could
make his progress substantially easier if he were to ride slicks, he
replied that he had tried that last year and he got a flat after which
he decided on knobs. I rode over the hill to Swanton right after Big
Creek Lumber Co. and found myself riding parallel to a bobcat that was
galumphing the length of the marrow meadow next to the road. I yelled
at it and it ignored me as they usually do. I rode on to Big Creek
and got a big cool drink before riding back out to the coast highway
where I met the knobby tired tourist again.

In Santa Cruz the surf was low but the display of diving pelicans and
terns was great. The crowds were amazingly thin considering the warm
weather. I think people just decided that summer was over and stayed
home. I cruised on to Seabright, Capitola and Aptos getting a cool
root beer freeze for lunch. I headed over Valencia, Day Valley, and
Haymes Rds. to Corrallitos where I put away more cool liquids and some
ice cream.

It was warm but cooling off with a southerly breeze blowing up the
canyon as I headed up Eureka Canyon Rd. As I said, the waterfalls
were cool and crisp and I dunked my head often, only to be completely
dry a mile or so later. I stopped at the summit store for a couple of
oranges and rode on up Summit Rd. and Skyline Blvd. for another
cooling stop at the fire station and a brisk blast down Page Mill Rd.

It was a warm 138 mile day but a great ride.

jobst_...@hplabs.hp.com

Bill Bushnell

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Aug 30, 1993, 9:00:29 PM8/30/93
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Jobst Brandt (jbr...@hplred.HPL.HP.COM) wrote:
> George Carter writes:

> > I included Highland and Eureka Canyon Roads on a ride on Sunday for
> > the first time in many months and was surprised that zero progress
> > has been made on the large mud slide just uphill from Rattlesnake
> > Gulch.

> I also rode past there and was glad to see that nothing much had been
> done. It is this slide that makes the road a private bike path while
> giving residential access. The gun aficionados with their big tired
> vehicles are not shooting in the gulch and the waterfalls are clear
> and cool.

Well I have news. The big slide next to the illegal shooting range
has been bulldozed and is now easily ridden or driven. They must have
completed the work late in the week, maybe on Friday, as the soil across
the slide was still soft and unpacked. Fortunately, not many
drivers/gunners seem to know this yet. On Saturday when we rode
over there was very little motor traffic on Highland Way.

> In fact, I rode up Alpine Rd. from Palo Alto to get out of the heat,
> where I convinced an unsuspecting rider to go up there instead of Old
> LaHonda Rd. He found it great fun having never ventured onto a dirt
> road before. It was even more fun for him as nearly every MTB rider
> we passed was aghast that we dared to ride "road bike" on this road
> as they struggled up the hill in their mini gears.

We got similar receptions when our group of three (all on road bikes)
dared to descend the Aptos Creek Trail through the Forest of Nisene
Marks without equipping our bikes with shock absorbers. One wonders
how cyclists ever managed descending this relatively easy trail before
shocks were the rage.

> It was warm but cooling off with a southerly breeze blowing up the
> canyon as I headed up Eureka Canyon Rd.

After lunch in Aptos, we returned through Corralitos and ascended
Eureka Canyon, Rider, and Buzzard Lagoon Rds. We passed one truck
coming down Buzzard Lagoon the whole way. The road is very steep in
parts, but the soil is packed firm giving our slick tires good
traction, unlike the dusty Aptos Creek Trail that has been chopped up
by all the knobby tires.

--
bush...@lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell)

Bruce Hildenbrand

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Aug 31, 1993, 3:36:27 AM8/31/93
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In article <1993Aug31....@enterprise.rdd.lmsc.lockheed.com> bushnell@aml_19.rdd.lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell) writes:

>Jobst Brandt (jbr...@hplred.HPL.HP.COM) wrote:
>> In fact, I rode up Alpine Rd. from Palo Alto to get out of the heat,
>> where I convinced an unsuspecting rider to go up there instead of Old
>> LaHonda Rd. He found it great fun having never ventured onto a dirt
>> road before. It was even more fun for him as nearly every MTB rider
>> we passed was aghast that we dared to ride "road bike" on this road
>> as they struggled up the hill in their mini gears.
>
>We got similar receptions when our group of three (all on road bikes)
>dared to descend the Aptos Creek Trail through the Forest of Nisene
>Marks without equipping our bikes with shock absorbers. One wonders
>how cyclists ever managed descending this relatively easy trail before
>shocks were the rage.

I, for one, never put much stock in comments such as those made by MTB
riders observing road bike riders on dirt trails. If the MTB riders
had much cycling ability or experience, they would know that road
bikes can be ridden on very extreme terrain. The fact that the
MTB riders are impressed seems pretty unimpressive to me. I get the
same comments all the time and it is really not worth mentioning,
especially in print.

Riding a road bike on dirt just isn't that special.

Bruce

ps - Anyone ever heard of cyclocross?

Rick Brusuelas

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Aug 31, 1993, 10:57:48 AM8/31/93
to
>> It was even more fun for him as nearly every MTB rider
>> we passed was aghast that we dared to ride "road bike" on this road
>> as they struggled up the hill in their mini gears.
>
>We got similar receptions when our group of three (all on road bikes)
>dared to descend the Aptos Creek Trail through the Forest of Nisene
>Marks without equipping our bikes with shock absorbers. One wonders
>how cyclists ever managed descending this relatively easy trail before
>shocks were the rage.

>I, for one, never put much stock in comments such as those made by MTB
>riders observing road bike riders on dirt trails. If the MTB riders
>had much cycling ability or experience, they would know that road
>bikes can be ridden on very extreme terrain. The fact that the
>MTB riders are impressed seems pretty unimpressive to me.

Were these mtb'ers acting out of line? Did they make insulting
or derogatory comments towards you? Then why the disdain towards
them and the fact they were impressed with your riding?

I know have watched people on road bikes (and hybrids) ride trails that I
struggled on. I know I was always very impressed with how well
they handled the rough terrain on their thin smooth tires.

Little did I know that I should not have been impressed. I guess I don't
have much cycling ability or experience (actually, I don't...
I have been riding seriously for a little over a year, and I
recognize I have a lot to learn).

Sheesh! And people wonder why a mtb alias is being requested!

Rick Brusuelas
Sun Library


Bill Bushnell

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Aug 31, 1993, 3:44:08 PM8/31/93
to
I wrote:
>We got similar receptions when our group of three (all on road bikes)
>dared to descend the Aptos Creek Trail through the Forest of Nisene
>Marks without equipping our bikes with shock absorbers. One wonders
>how cyclists ever managed descending this relatively easy trail before
>shocks were the rage.

Bruce Hildenbrand wrote:
>I, for one, never put much stock in comments such as those made by MTB
>riders observing road bike riders on dirt trails. If the MTB riders
>had much cycling ability or experience, they would know that road
>bikes can be ridden on very extreme terrain. The fact that the
>MTB riders are impressed seems pretty unimpressive to me.

Rick Brusuelas (god...@dogpower.Corp.Sun.COM) wrote:
> Were these mtb'ers acting out of line? Did they make insulting
> or derogatory comments towards you? Then why the disdain towards
> them and the fact they were impressed with your riding?

I can't speak for Bruce's experience, but here's mine:

When coming upon a group of mountain bikers, I often feel like the
proverbial stranger walking into a wild west saloon. Conversation
stops and eyes follow me. Have I committed a social faux pas?
Usually I find it amusing that these folks should think my bicycle
inappropriate.

Sometimes, though, I guess I get just a little impatient at the
frequent, but well-meaning remarks mountain bikers make toward me
and the people with whom I ride when we ride on the dirt roads,
especially roads that are popular with mountain bikers. Such
comments usually take the form of, "Be careful!", "Are you sure you
want to ride down there?", "I wouldn't want to ride that without
shocks.", "Are you doing O.K.?", or "I wouldn't ride _my_ road bike
there!", the latter comment delivered usually with a hint of disdain.
At worst I suppose I should ignore it.

Rick Brusuelas (god...@dogpower.Corp.Sun.COM) wrote:
> Little did I know that I should not have been impressed. I guess I don't
> have much cycling ability or experience (actually, I don't...
> I have been riding seriously for a little over a year, and I
> recognize I have a lot to learn).

I don't have much experience either, but it hasn't taken me long
to feel comfortable riding my slick-tired road bike on dirt. It isn't
that difficult to do, though I admit I'm no speed demon, especially if
the surface is slippery. I hate spills even more than flats.

I prefer to avoid driving to the dirt trails and that means I usually
have to ride a fair distance on pavement. I'd rather ride the 85 miles
of pavement on slick tires than the 15 miles of dirt on knobbies. I
don't see many bikers riding 100 miles on knobbies.

--
bush...@lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell)

George Carter

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Aug 31, 1993, 11:41:52 PM8/31/93
to
In <1993Aug31....@enterprise.rdd.lmsc.lockheed.com> bushnell@aml_19.rdd.lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell) writes:
>Jobst Brandt (jbr...@hplred.HPL.HP.COM) wrote:
>> George Carter writes:

>> > I included Highland and Eureka Canyon Roads on a ride on Sunday for
>> > the first time in many months and was surprised that zero progress
>> > has been made on the large mud slide just uphill from Rattlesnake
>> > Gulch.

>> I also rode past there and was glad to see that nothing much had been
>> done. It is this slide that makes the road a private bike path while
>> giving residential access. The gun aficionados with their big tired
>> vehicles are not shooting in the gulch and the waterfalls are clear
>> and cool.

>Well I have news. The big slide next to the illegal shooting range
>has been bulldozed and is now easily ridden or driven. They must have
>completed the work late in the week, maybe on Friday, as the soil across
>the slide was still soft and unpacked. Fortunately, not many
>drivers/gunners seem to know this yet. On Saturday when we rode
>over there was very little motor traffic on Highland Way.

I think the fixing of this mudslide is good news. I do not think
we need to worry about a lot of car traffic on this route -- cars
in the past have been rare on this road with or without a mudslide.
The danger of leaving the slide is that cars will get used to the
road being impassable and the entire middle portion of the road
could disappear. Parts of Highway 1 along Big Sur are so much
trouble to maintain that abandonment has even been threatened there.

Karl Pingle

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Sep 2, 1993, 11:35:22 AM9/2/93
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bushnell@aml_19.rdd.lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell) writes:

[....]

>We got similar receptions when our group of three (all on road bikes)
>dared to descend the Aptos Creek Trail through the Forest of Nisene
>Marks without equipping our bikes with shock absorbers. One wonders
>how cyclists ever managed descending this relatively easy trail before
>shocks were the rage.

[...]

>--
>bush...@lmsc.lockheed.com (Bill Bushnell)

A minor point - I think you mean the Aptos Fire Road. The Aptos Creek
Trail is a very narrow single track that picks its way through
several landslides along the Creek while the fire road climbs the ridge
on the north side of the creek. The trail is off limits to bikes, and
I double that any biker would attempt it. I hiked last weekend and
would not even do that again, it is in such bad shape.

Peter Brooks

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Sep 3, 1993, 3:01:09 PM9/3/93
to
So the slide on Highland is fixed, eh? I think I just figured out one
component of this weekend's September century.

Pete Brooks

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