The next morning we rolled out at 6:30 after waiting for some of the Spot's to get synched up. There was a nice climb from the elementary school in Idyllwild and then we hit May Valley Road. A nice fast descent there, then onto a pretty meadow and then Keen Camp single track. A bit of a road ride and we were off onto a dirt road taking us up to the site of the Speed of Light Reflector. I picked up a solar panel that had fallen off a rider's bike and was able to get it back to him there. Then we did a really rocky steep descent on something called the Jim Truck Trail. This thing sketched me a bit, not being a good descender and I took my time and walked a little bit of it. Pretty soon we were at the Sunshine Market, a little store in the middle of a trailer park right off Terwilliger Road. Several folks were there getting refreshed after 25 miles of riding.
|Waiting to Start|
A couple of miles later, we were going down into Coyote Canyon. The initial descent wasn't that bad, it only got steep towards the bottom and again I took my time. As we went down, it got hotter and hotter and pretty soon we were at the bottom and experiencing some 90 plus temperatures.
I was following tracks in the sand and got a little bit off the GPS track and kept going and going and kept thinking I should be passing Bailey's Cabin. Then I saw one of the guys ( Alan I think ) coming up from the right and apparently I went around Bailey's. He and I rode together for a bit, getting stuck in the sand, riding a bit, getting stuck and off and walking and then back on, and then stuck and off and walking and then back on and getting stuck and walking and then back on..... Maybe I should have let more air out of my tires, I think I was running 27 or 28 lbs, that was probably way too much, but always am afraid of burping a tire and having to fix something in the middle of nowhere.
We passed the First Child monument, got through the Middle Willows and then got separated. Riding on from there the route got a little better and there were even a couple of little streams with running water. I soaked my hat in each one of them and put it back on to help cool down and that helped a little bit.
|Abandon Hope All Who Enter !|
|Looking Back towards Civilization|
|First Child Monument|
Some folks were scratching right there, already having had enough fun. And others were waiting for the sun to go down. I sat for a while till about 4pm and then rolled for Ocotillo Wells. It took long enough that the Split Mountain RV store was closed when I got there and I went across the street to the Iron Door and got a Coke, a Coke to go and a water to go. Up Split Mountain Road as the sun went down and a pickup with a couple of riders being SAG'd out, asked me if I needed a ride. Folks were scratching already. I met someone on the roadside who had thrown up due to the heat and was waiting for this guy to come back. Then into Fish Wash.
|These were in Ocotillo Wells|