Daniel Nickel // Mini Epic

I started off at about 7am today. I knew this route should only take about 6 hours to finish, as I’d done most of this one in the previous two Epic routes in the last couple of weeks. Overall I enjoyed this again, and I think knowing what was coming helped, at least for me. I felt like I could push a little harder in some sections, and enjoy the downhills a bit more.

Today was an interesting day to ride though. A little warm, with significant wind at times. The conditions of the trails were about the same as last week, though some of the deadfall up near Skyline had been cleared. There were quite a few hikers today, some in their own worlds who didn’t seem to hear either my or their hiking partners’ repeated attempts to inform them that a bike was behind them.

I saw the baby geese again today, but this time actually snapped a picture. After that I saw two snakes on the trail, one looked like a Gophersnake. It was just sunning itself and slowly crossing the trail. It didn’t pay me any mind as I crossed on the far side of the trail from it. The other was sunning itself on the Belle Vista Trail as I was heading up to Black Mountain. This one looked to be a small Rattlesnake, or at least a snake with something that looked like a small rattle on its tail. The head was the typical venomous diamond shape, so that’s what I’m assuming. I saw it a little too late to do much about avoiding it, but crossed as far to the other side of the trail as I could and tried to push a few more watts. It hadn’t really recoiled from being stretched out so I wasn’t too worried about an imminent strike, but I didn’t really want to hang out there either.

The rest of the ride was less fraught with venomous wildlife and went pretty much as I expected. Back Mountain was fairly empty, and the decent into Stevens Creek park was nice and quiet. A quick trip up and down Mt Eden, and then back to the parking lot for three of three Epic routes (plus the ride home again, which seemed even longer today for some reason).