Black Mountain Ride

Last weekend we took Shasta and Nilla back to Rancho San Antonio to do the Black Mountain Trail. I've been wanting to do this for years, but the only way to do this trail in a loop is to take the Quarry trail, which was closed for years. I don't know how the park convinced the Quarry to open the trail, but I was really excited to see that it was finally reopened the last time we were up there.

We took our usual route to the farm and then headed down the Rogue Valley Trail before cutting over to the Chamise Trail. We took that up to the Black Mountain Trail. This trail was great. Winding through the trees with amazing views out over the bay. We could see San Jose, all the way across the bay to the East Bay, and at certain spots, we could see all the way up to San Francisco.

I love these types of trails: deep shade with old growth California Oak trees growing in all sorts of twisted patterns.

The Black Mountain trail was a nice climb with lots of switch-backs. And then we hit the Quarry trail and it was a series of steep drops with very few switch backs. Basically, it sucked. I had to get off a few times because my saddle was slipping forward even with the breeching. I need to punch a few more holes in the breeching for future rides.

This trail was really pretty though. It was through these low bushes with few trees so there were sweeping views out over the bay.

After the Quarry trail, we took the Upper High Meadow Trail down to the Vista Point and then back to the farm and back to the trailer.

Our whole trip was around 15 miles. The gps said 14.5 miles, but, in typical fashion, I forgot to turn it on until we'd already gone about a half mile. It took about 4 hours so our average speed was less than 4 mph. We need to make 5+ mph to be able to do a 25 mile endurance ride. We really just need to move to NJ and do endurance rides in the pine barrens or along canals because it's the hills that kills our time. Especially the downhills. 

It was a great ride though and I look forward to getting back to that part of the park. Next time, I think we'll go the opposite direction and go up the Quarry trail and down the switch backs.

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