Ride Report: Marshall Canyon

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Dan, charging up the last climb out of Marshall Canyon

I joined Tim & Dan for a morning ride at Marshall Canyon this past Saturday. I am a huge fan of Marshall Canyon but today was not one of our best rides. As a multi-use trail we have seen many hikers, runners, other mountain bikers and horses but this past Saturday took the cake in terms of the number of runners we have seen on the trail.

The trail was filled with high school cross-country runners. We later found out that a few high school teams had the wonderful idea of running Marshall Canyon. Climbing uphill wasn’t too bad but the downhill flow was definitely stilted. I am the first to tell you that I was slightly annoyed by all the people but I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective: I am out mountain biking on my Voodoo Canzo at Marshall Canyon under some great conditions (slight chill in the air made the climbing easier) and with some good buddies. It doesn’t get much better than that other than to add that none of us had any mechanicals or spills. So, in hindsight, no complaints here.

Tim enjoying the tree canopy, away from the hot sun

OK, now that I am in the right frame of mind, a couple of the highlights:
– the singletrack return back to the trailhead, always the best part of Marshall Canyon. Riding through the canopy provided by the trees and splashing through the small stream crossings on a beautiful ribbon of fast singletrack always makes me smile. Even though some of that flow was spent politely dodging high school runners, Dan, Tim & I could not help but massively enjoy ourselves on this section of trail.

– watching Dan ride a nose wheelie and pull it out! I was following Dan down the trail when he veered off to the right to catch a jump. As he took the jump he realized the lip was a little higher than expected and he ended up landing on his front wheel. Amazingly, Dan was able to ride it out getting his back wheel to match his front wheel on the ground. Definitely a very funny sight.

At the top. About to drop in and enjoy all that is Marshall Canyon

– the climb out is about 20 yards and is loose, rutted and sort of steep. It makes for a nice last challenge on the way out of the canyon back to civilization. This time I got a great start and made it up and out which happens about 50% of the time. The rest of the time my rear tire loses traction and I end up having to walk the rest of the climb. It definitely felt good to end the morning with that coup.

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