Since the Hammerstein 8hr race on Saturday took most of my time, I had barely had any time to respond to my friend Martin's ride invitation. When Martin asked "where to?" I just sort of randomly picked Tamarancho. This trail system has been on my radar for a while but I never went. I thought it might be about half way between San Carlos and Vacaville, so about the same driving distance for both of us. I also said OK to a 9AM start. On Sunday, I woke up pretty tired and not feeling recovered at all. But how could I call off a ride with a friend (Martin and I met last year at the British Columbia Bike Race) on a gorgeous day? Quick purchase of trail permits online, short drive to Fairfax, easy ride through the busy downtown streets and there we were.
Now, Tamarancho trails map shows a relatively short, about 10 mile loop. The map is quite schematic and does not indicate any elevation, but all trails are marked as switchbacks. This proved to be more than true: there is no straight trail here, and BICYCLES MUST STAY ON SINGLETRACK signs are at multiple locations. The trails are a great mix of rooty, rocky (sometimes very rocky) and smooth forest tracks. If the trail surface was damp, I would have sworn we were in BC!
It is obvious that these trails are well maintained, and with exception of few sections of brake bumps, were in great shape, despite the popularity of the place. Although on a Sunday ride, we have encountered perhaps fewer than ten riders. Several wooden and log bridges made the ride even more fun.
There was a lot of climbing and the 12 miles or so felt like a whole BCBR stage to my sore legs. A post ride lunch and beer at M&G burgers made a perfect conclusion to this ad hoc ride meeting.