A spring trip to Northern California

1.4. - x.4. 2004

This trip was to combine attendance to a conference in San Jose with some biking before and after the conference, so, I divide the narration into three parts.

Part 1. - before the conference

I left SLC on rainy Thursday and stayed over at friends at Reno. The day and night were pretty chilly

On Friday, I left Reno quite frozen, and a bit after 10am started to unfreeze in the South Yuba campground about 8 miles north of Nevada City. The weather was quite different than in Reno, it was relatively windy but quite warm. That day the plan was to ride part of South Yuba trail that follows a deep river canyon for miles through a scenic wilderness. I ended up riding the whole part of the trail from the campground up, and checking out a state park restoring an gold mining town. Map and pictures are here.
Then I spent an enjoyable evening in an almost empty campground.

On Saturday I slowly got up, packed and drove several miles to a trailhead off Round Mountain, on the south side of South Yuba river. I rode several trails in the area and descended to the river again to ride the remaining 5 mile section of South Yuba trail. Then I climbed back up and through a couple of nice singletracks back to the car. Map and pictures are here.
Because it was just a bit after noon when I got back to the car, I decided to quickly drive through Auburn to a small town Cool, and rode a 9 mile Olmsted loop trail, which was not too great. Map and pictures are here.
Then I drove to Oakland to visit friends Aaron and Karen, and had a pleasant evening at their apartment.

On Sunday me and Aaron planned to ride in the hills off San Jose, but, it turned out that the weather acted against us, it was quite chilly and foggy. On the top of that, we slept in and were thrown off by the time change, so we opted for a local ride in Redwood and Joaquin Miller parks. The ride was not that long, about 2 hours, but, we made the best of a bad day. Map and pictures are here.
I spent some more time with Aaron and Karen and then drove to San Jose to get settled in a hotel for the conference.

Part 2. - during the conference

Most of the days during the conference I was quite busy, so, no riding. It was also a good time to regenerate some strength. Still, I sneaked out Tuesday afternoon for a relatively cool ride in one of the nearest parts of Santa Cruz Mountains, around Stevens Creek Canyon. Map and pictures are here.

Part 3. - after the conference

On Friday 9.4. I started the second intensive bike riding period by a ride in H. W. Coe State Park, that is located about an hour southeast of San Jose. It was quite warm and sunny in the hills of the park, although Santa Clara valley was still covered in fog. The park is very beatiful, and I suppose spring is the time to come because everything is green and there are numerous flowers in the meadows. The park is rugged and remote and there is quite a lot of wildlife. I have heard wild turkeys, saw wild pigs and numerous water birds around Kelly Lake. From what I have seen so far, this is definitely the best place to ride in the Bay Area. Map and pictures are here.
The rest of the day sucked, it took me almost 5 hours to drive from the park to Bullards Bar reservoir in the Sierra foothills east of Yuba City in quite heavy traffic, that only eased north of Sacramento.

On Saturday 10.4. I woke up at 7 and at 9 started a loop on trails at Bullards Bar. Map and fotos are here.
I was back at the car around 12.30pm and moved about 20 miles upstream North Yuba river to Ramshorn campground, from where I started the second ride, North Yuba trail. Map and fotos are here.
I was back at 4.30pm, drove to nearby Downieville to make a phonecall and then cooked and rested near the roaring river.

On Sunday 11.4. I went for a ride from Downieville. Map and fotos are here.
I was back at the car around 12.30pm, changed, washed at the town center in nice bathrooms and made a quick drive to Reno. I spent about 1.5 hours talking with my friends and then drove to Trader Joes to do some shopping. Here I got quite disappointed, they did not have any Czech beer. Then it was just a boring drive home, which I did in good time, about 7 hours.

Comments or questions:

U of U / CHPC / Cuma / Travel / English / NoCal 04
URL: http://www.chpc.utah.edu/~mcuma/spring04/nocal04e.html