Thursday, April 14th
21.5 miles on the El Dorado Trail
|The parts of this trail that are paved are great.|
All kinds of excitement today: wildlife, traffic, hills, repairs, human powered towing.
My triking friend and I headed out once again from the Missouri Flat Rd. trailhead of the El Dorado Trail. We worked our way up the grade, figured out a shortcut from our usual route, zoomed down Main Street in Placerville, over the nifty twisty bridge, and this time did NOT get lost picking up the trail again at Clay St.
|Double Trike Madness? Enough flags, you think?|
With two trikes and bright clothing and multiple flags. OH, and lights, we felt OK to take the lane and control the traffic behind us on the Forni Rd. downgrade. We decided not to take that shortcut on the way back since we would be in very low gears and there is no bike lane, no shoulder, and limited sightlines. And we wanted to stop at the local bike store later. But flying down that road was fun.
After we picked up the trail again at Clay St., we climbed steadily up the old rail road grade. We were loafing and chatting and generally in no hurry, so our speed to our turnaround point was a lousy 5.3 mph average. We saw a deer turn around and bail off the trail.
|Yes, I know those are not deer.|
We got to the end of the paved segment and decided to do a little dirt riding.
We made our way back to Placerville, this time skipping the curly bridge and just using Main Street. It is downhill in that direction through Placerville, so we had no trouble at all staying with the traffic through town. My friend was feeling bold, so we used the left turn lane to get onto Ray Lawyer drive and start up our last big hill.
|Our left turn lane is at the left of the frame.|
So we had a little chain-tool smackdown (my chain tool lost), and she successfully removed the bent link and reattached her chain. She has reusable rivets on her chain. Mine are not resuable so I would use a special replacement link in her situation. HOWEVER, we did not double double check the chain path before reattaching the link (we were too entranced with our mad chain-breaking abilities) and we crossed her chain.
Blah. Trike no go.
We did not want to mess with the chain again (I suppose we should have, but we did not, why I do not know. I figure we did not want to tempt the chain-tool-gods again) and we decided to go on anyway: coasting on the mostly downhill route. I gave her a towing assist on the flats, and she walked up the two short hills. We did a lot of unseemly giggling.
|Try shooting straight over your shoulder. Obviously, I failed! We are on a trestle bridge, that's the wood platform. She's got a grip on the back of my trike's rear rack. Figures she'd be grinning.|
|Ooooh! A Tunnel!|
|Not in the flat land anymore|
|Bridge over US 50|
Today's route. Dig that elevation profile!