Sunday, June 8, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Park

Regarding my consideration of the Camp Arrowhead races, I decided not to for the reasons I expressed.

It's been four years since I last rode at East Bay.  When I blogged about it, I said, "I probably won't go back for a long time."  The hills were too frequent and too steep.

Today I went back, for several reasons.  It's now renamed Abraham Lincoln Park and actually has an official parking lot on Empire Blvd, which has a family friendly park and a trail head .  In the past I started at the BayView YMCA and explored my way into the trails.  Now the county published a map of the trails.  With a more established park I thought I might have a better experience.  I also assume I'm a better rider than four years so maybe the hills wouldn't be so bad.
Trail Map
The hills were in fact so bad.  The park is like West Bay was before GROC made new trails.  For hiking it might be ok, but for muni, and I suspect most mountain bikers, it would take a good number of reroutes to avoid epic or impossible hill climbs.  That being said, there was still a lot of riding to be had.

Riding my ungeared 24, I worked my way north staying on the main White trail and passing occasional trail signs for other colored trails.  White was hilly and at the end I climbed Smith Rd, still in the park, up to the YMCA.  It started as gravel and changed to paved.  At the Y,  there is a network of mowed grass paths, a few of which I rode.  The Blue trail-heads weren't easy to find because this rail was somewhat overgrown and could use a good pruning.   It's an advanced-beginner trail with no crazy climbs so I rather enjoyed the break from the hills.  There were loads of cottonwood seeds covering this trail, reminding me of snow.  Kinda cool.

The only reasonable way to continue was to go back was down Smith Rd.  I did so with the plan to hit all the colored trails as I could.  Red was hilly with some unrideable climbs.  It had a nice lookout point over the bay.  Green might be rideable in the counterclockwise direction, but I went clockwise.  It was an easy descent down the the water and the bay bridge could be seen in the distance.  The climb out was a bit too much, but would have been a rideable descent.  I rode the Yellow trail clockwise.  It had a leg burning climb that I came close to completing, and then a steeper descent that I'm sure I couldn't climb.  So clockwise is my best hope in the future.

The map has dozens of unlabeled trails.  The ones I tried were more overgrown and more steep.  Some that branched from the main trails were blazed with that trail's color, but with two blazes.

I probably won't wait another four years to try this park again.  There aren't many options to create a great route for muni through this park, but I might be able do something riding the White, then the Green loop, and then backtrack through Yellow, and repeat or just keep it a short ride.

Unfortunately something when haywire with my gps and I lost the last 25% of my ride.

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