(Last Updated On: July 16, 2009)
After our ride in the Salida area on Saturday, we headed over Monarch Pass on Sunday to an area most call White Pine. It is called Whitepine for the small town of Whitepine that lies in the valley. The area is popular to locals who know the secret “White Pine” ride. This ride follows the road up toward Tomichi Pass, but eventually takes a left, ascending an unnamed peak.
Frank and I met up with our friends Rob, Tom, Zack, Eric, and Chris who were all planning on doing the famed Whitepine ride. Since I cannot yet ride single track, I decided to begin my ride up Tomichi Pass with them, then part and head out on my own adventures.
I rode my bike back through Whitepine, past the campground, with thoughts of riding up Old Monarch Pass. But, dark clouds were looming over that area. When I reached this sign, I decided it would be a better idea to ride the other direction, away from the clouds, over Black Sage Pass and into Wuanita Hot Springs.
I then headed back up Black Sage Pass, toward the darkness. But, the rain held off, thankfully. When I reached the top of Black Sage Pass, I there were a number of different paths. I decided to try a different way down. On my way up the pass from the campground, I had noticed a small road leading off to the right and wondered where it went. When I saw this road leading down off the top of the pass, I was pretty sure that this connected with the road I’d seen on the way up.
But, eventually, the road lead into “the gnar”. It turned to loose sand with rolling rocks in the middle, constantly slanting to the right, with a ditch often running right in the middle of the road. Under normal non-gimp circumstances, this road would be a fun, technical, yet challenging ride. But, I am still under gimp status. So, I got off my bike and carefully walked my way through the 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile that was this gnar. While doing so, the mosquitoes found me and drank my blood relentlessly. I didn’t feel like lingering so that the mosquitoes could give me some West Nile Virus or something. So, I never took out my camera to take pictures of the gnar.
A little while later, I returned to our cars at the campground. By then, it was just beginning to rain. Perfect timing!
I would rather be riding single track than dirt roads. But, not being able to do so has given me the opportunity to explore some interesting places. I’m still enjoying my rides 🙂