Got to love it when Vandenbusch plans a ride. We were on the road just after 6am for our short trip over to Half Moon Bay and the Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserve. Steve's buddy Dean had done this ride and told Steve about it. They did a test ride last week to see if it was do-able for us old guys. Turns out it was so away we went. Highway 92 over Skyline blvd and into HMB with windshiled wipers going. Another summer day on the coast! South on Highway 1 then a left back toward the moutains. After a 3 mile winding trip we came upon the trailhead (first ones there at 7am!) and saddled up.
A nice steady 4 mile climb up Purisima Creek Trail. Just a beautiful, quiet morning. We could hear the creek running along side us. The vegetation was CRAZY! It was so GREEN! As my dad used to say, "look at all the greens" There were so many. The combination of ferns, wildflowers, berries, along with hundreds of redwoods, moss covered pines, and plenty of "coastal scrub", made for a ride that is really different than our normal saturday morning ride.
Although it was beautiful, it was still a moderately difficult 4.5 mile uphill climb. There were a couple of spots where we had to get off and walk, but for the most part we ride the entire way up. Although we did stop a few times just to suck wind, I mean, take a break. Once we got to the top of the trail, we popped out at Skyline Blvd (highway 35). The plan was to head north to a restaurant that served breakfast. We never did find a place open that early, but we did do a super fun (coasting at 30 mph) down hill on part of Skyline. So much fun in fact that we didn't hear Steve's phone ringing with Dean wanting to tell us we went too far and missed the cutoff to the trail back down. Once we did realize that the super fun downhill now means a not so super fun uphill, we chugged our way (4 mph) back up to meet Dean.
The trail we took down was called the Whittemore Gulch Trail. Its downhill, its single track, and its awesome. The first part of the trail was a steep downhill where I really had to lean back for fear of going over the handle bars. After the downhill leveled out somewhat, we came upon a series of switchbacks that showed what a novice I am when it comes to mountain biking. I took it real slow around the hairpin turns, but not slow enough. My handle bars clipped a nearby tree and down I went. Back on the bike with a scraped and bloody knee and finished the super fun downhill. Some of the parts were so fun, like a roller coaster but on a bike, and almost out of control! WOOHOO!!!!! Before we knew it we were at the bottom of the trail and back at the car. Headed into town to have a victor's breakfast then back home by 12:45.
Check out a video here