A Thanksgiving to be Thankful for

Wow – we just had a week of good riding – out our back door even. I got to ride Tuesday through Sunday and had some great epics to add to the tales. We had a great meal here at the Siren Race Headquarters (our house) with Nana (brendan’s grandma) and a couple cute little Costa Rican friends of mine (Raquel and Georgina.)We then got a full nights sleep on super full bellies – did I mention that we feasted on stuffed acorn squash, cranberry soup, turkey, salad, potatoes, homemade corn tortillas, curried fruit, pecan pie and pumpkin flan.

The highlight of the week (other than eating a ton) was an 8 hr ride with Brendan, Scott, and Brian in the local (relatively) area around Idyllwild.

We started the ride at 6am (well the shuttle actually) and the guys dropped me and the bikes off at the Santa Rosa Mtn. while they took the car down to Palm Desert for the shuttle. When the guys got back, the sun had come over the horizon and I was beginning to thaw. We took off up the mountain for a climb that would last just over an hour. I was o.k. at first as the blood got flowing quickly on the climb. Towards the top, though, my fingers began to freeze since the wind was picking up and we were in a bit of shade.

We started the sawmill trail and feeling my fingers wasn’t even a consideration. My right fingers actually slipped all the way off the brake lever because I couldn’t feel the end of it (Scott says we’re soft, but I do consider myself a desert rat – besides i’m still a little thin from the season, haven’t packed on the winter warmth yet.) The sawmill trail was tasty – always is. Then we hit the dirt road that finishes the mountain descent.

After Santa Rosa Mountain (which some people consider a ride in itself) we headed across the road and started the pines to palms trail down palm canyon. This trail is always supreme. Add to it, some fun guys to ride with, a camera, summer sausage and parmesan cheese! We started out on the Pinyon loop and then headed down the canyon – I was glad I put on the meetier Karma instead of the Small Block as there’s always some fast craziness in there. When we got to the wash, we kept going past our normal turnoff to Cathedral City (the wash was in phenomenal shape by the way.) We took the wash all the way to Dunn Road, which none of us had done before. We had 3 miles in the wash, which didn’t exactly fly by. The first half was rideable, but there was a little walking to be had.

We celebrated as we hit Dunn Road and headed for the bulldozers. The sun was getting low in the sky and the moon was full and beautiful. We rocked out on the techy but flowy craziness of the Art Smith Trail. I was truly becoming one with Fifi this ride. By the end of the ride, the switchbacks were getting easier and my lines more confident. The end of the trail has some awesome drops and just brings you to your car with a great finale! We loaded up in Brian’s element and drove straight to the pizza place. Much needed beer and salads while we waited for our nutty pine pizza (chicken, pine nuts, and roasted red peppers.)

Brian headed back to Orange county and the rest of us crashed out at our place.

This was one of the funnest Thanksgivings I’ve ever had. We also had shorter rides every other day of the week and just lots of chill-out time. Here are some pics – thanks to Scott – from Friday’s ride.

Scott went out of his way for this one.

Yup, still climbing.

We had to stop to let our hands thaw – I’m not too fond of being cold.

The sawmill trail is a beautiful descent as well as killer fun.

Detour to the Kiln at the bottom of the singletrack.

By the end of the day, i was diggin’ the switchbacks.

Brian, that agave’s comin’ ta getcha!

Where’s Mary?

We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day.

Aahhh…the oasis at the end of a hard day.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. mgindle says:

    Damn that looks tasty. I’ve got to get out there and get some desert riding in while its cool.


  2. Lucas says:

    WOW…I am a little jealous! Just short rides for me this holiday weekend..nothing over 3 hours. Looks like you guys had a blast and it was cool to read the story from two perspectives. Looking forward to ridinf with you guys soon?!


  3. Brendan says:

    Mary- great riding with you, as always! xoxoxo

    Matt- yes, you do need to get out here before we’re covered in snow! Even then, Palm Canyon & the goat trails near Palm Springs will be good… then there’s J-tree & the surrounding areas, plus I’m starting to do some mapwork in Death Valley.

    Lucas- let’s do it! We can figure out time & place via email.


  4. ojulius says:

    Wow, looks like a super fun ride you all had!!


  5. Dave says:

    Nuts, knew I shoulda left town for the weekend………


  6. Jack says:

    Great write-up really took me there. I love the pictures. And congrats on being in the kind of shape to be able to ride for 8 hours. I thought I was doing good with a two hour ride!


  7. Brendan says:

    I forgot to mention: thanks to Mary for keeping me company each time I went to my quiet place… first on the climb up Santa Rosa mountain, then later going up the sandy wash!


  8. Jeff Kerkove says:

    Cool, Didn’t realize that the Brian in your posts was the same Brian that ate with the Ergon crew at Interbike this year.


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