I am a complete Coe (Henry Coe State Park) novice: I was there on my bike just once before (Oct 2, 2011). There are probably number of riders in the Bay Area who love the place, as documented by many quite well maintained singletrack trails. Then there are the Coe-nuts who ride 10K vertical, 100mile rides and attempt to climb an equivalent of Mt. Everest in a single ride.
On my first solo ride at Coe, I realized that I will have to start taking Coe in small, carefully measured doses and really think beyond the bike ride much more than any other location (weather, water, creek levels, poison oak etc.).
Today was a day which begged for another prescribed dose: sunny, bright, chilly, three days before the rains were supposed to come, and most of all, a friend willing to explore new trails.
The remains of controlled burns and many downed trees (but all removed by rangers or trail volunteers) made this trail look quite a bit different from what I remembered. After reaching the creek, we tried to avoid my last ride's mistake of following the creekside "trail" and decided to extend the loop to Jackass Ridge and Los Cruzeros. From there, we climbed the Lost Spring singletrack and descended the wide grin-inducing China Hole singletrack. But this three mile extension cost us dearly in leg power, because it added about 1500 vertical feet.
The final climb up from China Hole to Manzanita ridge was painful, despite the great views. Coe hurts, for sure. There is no other cure than a repeated, preferably larger dose (5, 6K vertical?). Let's hope for a nice dose response. Oh, as far as the popularity of Coe, we saw one other rider today in 4 hrs. Garmin track here.