Sometimes I take too many pictures while I’m riding. Okay, pretty much every time. But, this go around was exceptional for the number of photos taken. And, while none of them are really all that special, the ride was spectacular! Therefore, I’ve pared down the number of blurry, cell phone pics from 75 to 19 in the hopes that I can convince others to go experience the goodness Humboldt County occasionally has to offer.
Thanks to a running injury (she had a toe nail removed…GROSS!!!), Ruth wasn’t able to join me on this adventure. It’s probably best that way. While she is willing and able to tackle anything I’ve ever thrown at her, she doesn’t have a problem telling me how she feels when I “accidentally” forget to warn her about a 20% climb, or something along those lines. There were a few of them this day!
But, the ride started out flat. With the Ferndale, CA fairgrounds as base camp, I took a roundabout way through town in order to add a little mileage to the ride.
It doesn’t take long to get from downtown to out of town. It’s still flat for awhile as one makes their way toward my home town of Rio Dell via Grizzly Bluff and Blue Slide Roads.
Part of the joy of riding this route is the massive flood of memories that overcome me every single time. This day, I took some time to ride a few of the back streets of Rio Dell. I was amazed at how easily I remembered which kid lived where as I passed each of their houses. I guess that’s what happens when your town only has 3000 people, give or take, in it.
But, the joy can only last so long when a climb up Monument Road is in the plan. Although, I’d been up it many times in a car (crashed my toyota for the first time at the top, in the snow), I’d never ridden it. I remembered it was kinda steep. Kinda? Sheesh!
That minor euphoria was short lived though. A quarter mile later, it was back to the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. Up. Only now I was finally to the gravel that I’d been looking forward to for the week leading up to the ride.
While the ride didn’t feel nearly long enough, I’ve decided it’s one of my favorite rides ever. I can’t promise you’ll get the weather I got, in fact, I’d almost promise you WON’T, but I strongly urge everyone that rides to check this one out. Come to think of it, the only thing that might make this ride even more fun in the future is if it’s done in a good Humboldt County rain storm. Seriously. This January. Who’s in???
Local cyclist, crazy mofo, and good-natured masochist, Aaron Mock, is a Team Cycle Analysis rider with a penchant for taking the road less traveled. Sometimes, that isn’t the best choice. Follow his weekly blog series for the latest on his never-ending escapades and exploits!