Peters Canyon

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Got in a ride with Melissa (whose bike RL just restored) RL & Priscilla on Saturday morning. Melissa hasn’t been on her Tassajara (nor any other mountain bike) for years so Saturday was her 2nd maiden voyage on the black and red beauty.

But Melissa has been on a bike during her spin classes at the local 24 hour fitness. Not surprisingly, the spin classes really helped her keep up with the rest of us while out on the trail. We rode for about 1.5 hours and it seems that at the end Melissa could have kept on going. Major props to Melissa since I took a couple other buddies (who also hadn’t gone mountain biking in years) on the same trail and both of them bonked. Thank God for GU.

Sunday afternoon, in 80+ degree heat, my friend Wayland and I hit up Peters Canyon for what was supposed to be a quick ride. He had been clocking himself at 42 minutes for the 5 mile loop. But the heat and my wimpy legs lengthened our ride to 50+ minutes.


The ride is only 5 miles long but there are three hills (two of them brutal) right off the bat that quickly killed my legs. Even worse is that my legs didn’t come back afterwards. I guess it doesn’t help that I just rode the day before either… ok, I’m just searching for excuses. I sucked on those climbs.

Peters Canyon was a lot of fun to ride (other then the three climbs). In the beginning your ride near the lake is fast and swoopy. It’s relatively flat but there are small berms so that you can keep your speed in the turns. Once I become more familiar with this section I can see myself building up speed and having a lot of fun here.

The next section is the three climbs. After the third climb, you roll along to the high point of the park marked by a bench and a great view. Riding along the ridgeline to the highest point is particularly fun because theres nasty exposure on both sides. I wish I had taken a picture of this but I was doing my best to make sure I stayed on the singletrack.

Looking back down on the 3rd climb

After doing a few rolling hills you drop into a trail that runs underneath a canopy of trees. This brief respite was probably one of the highlights of the whole ride. I wished it wouldn’t end but soon enough we were back out on a sun scorched fireroad grinding our way back to the car.

So now, I’ll admit it. I am seriously considering taking a spin class to help with my endurance. Melissa’s fitness and my not being able to climb the three hills has got me thinking about how I can increase my endurance and leg strength.

How many of you out there have taken a spin class and has that helped with your mountain biking… especially climbing?

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