Saturday, July 8, 2017

Location =  Mars Court  
Distance =  27.30
Time =  4:19:08
Ave. Speed =  6.3
Max. Speed =  34.2
Monthly Dist. =    38.11
Yearly Dist. =  517.67

I have been examining the map and there are a couple trails that are east of 337 and north of Juan Tomas that I have never been on. I decided that I would explore those trails with a plan to add them into my loop ride to Cedro Peak. It would make a big improvement to the ride by removing the section where I double back on Juan Tomas and adding a lot more singletrack. It would also add more than an hour to a ride that is already over four hours long. We will leave that for another day.

I left the house a little after 9:00 a.m. and headed over to Mars Court. I went out Cajun Pine to Southern Crossing and over to the east side of 337. I got on Deadman and rode down to Pine Flat. At Pine Flat I had a little bit of trouble finding the trail that goes over to the Gambel Oak Spur, but after a few minutes of riding in circles I eventually figured out where it was.

I took the Spur trail to Poker Chip and then rode that to Juan Tomas. I rode west on Juan Tomas and then turned north on the road to the Cedro Peak Campground. I headed up the hill to the campground and I was looking for the trailhead of the Cedro Singletrack. I came to a trailhead where I took a PowerBar break but I had a feeling that I was at the wrong trailhead. The numbers on the trail markers didn't match my map and the map didn't have enough definition for me to be able to tell where the trail started. As I was contemplating my plan of action I saw a guy ride over to his car which was just downhill from me a little ways.

I rode over to the guy and asked him if he had come off of the Cedro Singletrack and if he knew where it was. He had just finished riding it and told me how to find it. I had missed it, somehow, on the way up the road. He was in town from Chicago for a wedding that was happening later that afternoon. I thanked him for the help that the out-of-town guy had just given the local guy, and told him to "Enjoy the wedding!"

I found the trail which was very rocky and had some seriously steep sections. I had to walk in a few places but never for very far. When that trail ended I found my way over to Lone Pine which required a left turn on another road. It didn't exactly match up with the map but I managed to find it. Lone Pine was my main goal of this ride and I was ready for it.

I took Lone Pine all the way to where it ended at Bear Scat. The trail did a lot of descending and it was really fun. I want to ride it again, hopefully, in the not too distant future. I turned south onto Bear Scat and I was soon faced with some payback for all of that descending. I had a monstrously steep climb in front of me that forced me to walk a half a mile or so up a loose dirt, rocky, bitch of a push up the mountain. That was hard.

I eventually topped out and got back on my saddle and headed for home. I crossed Juan Tomas and got on Mahogany and took that up to Oak Flat. I took Easy Pickens over to the the Oak Flat Connector and then went down to Deadman and back to Southern Crossing. I crossed back over the highway and then I was back to Cajun Pine and Mars Court.

This was a fun, exploration ride that furthered my understanding of some of the trail system on the east side of the highway that I am unfamiliar with. I can't wait to try out my new, expanded loop ride to Cedro Peak. It should be a blast!

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