Jan Lindstrom // Mini Epic

I met up with Calvin Nieh and Roland Dreier at Woodside Roberts Mkt shortly before 8 am and the three of us were on the road along Canada ten past 8. Weather felt cool and fog draped the hills around us. The almost inevitable headwind hadn’t broken the morning calm yet and we made short work of the beginning or the route.

We followed the route onto Sawyer Camp Trail, noting that a few hours later biking here would be an exercise in obstacle avoidance, the trail seemed popular among outdoor lovers. Back to Skyline Blvd and after a taste of crit racing like detour at Trousdale we were back to San Andreas lake along San Andreas Trail. The trail had beautiful views towards the lake and hills behind, photo stop was called for.

While we took photos, couple of cyclists went by. Unfortunately the trail was closed a while later, and I noticed the same two cyclists waiting for a break in the traffic to get onto Skyline again. At Sneath Ln intersection we caught up with the cyclists again, and found out Stephanie and Steven were also doing the Mini Epic route. We tag teamed with them up Sweeney Ridge Trail, which kicks steeply and eases up for the latter half of the climb. Someone had painted a “Fog Line” on the asphalt higher up the trail, but today the fog was to be found a little higher up. The trail had nice views of San Andreas lake and the Bay and a magical scene close to top where the fog was breaking up in front of our eyes.

On top of the Ridge we headed down Baquiano Trail, making a wrong turn to Farallones View trail with expansive views of fog as far as our eyes could see. The trail down is steep and of course rutted with all the rain we thankfully got this winter. The trail is not that long, I walked for 50 yards maybe, Calvin and Roland took the rolling mode down all the way. I ride these all-road rides on slick 42mm 650b tires willing to trade short trail sections to faster rolling on pavement.

By the time we hit Pacifica and saw the Pacific crouching below the low-hanging fog layer the air was chilly and damp and I wasn’t too sure about leaving that vest in the car. Fassler Avenue is a steep descent and didn’t make me feel any warmer, but the zig-zags injected some warmth on the climb. We reached Linda Mar Blvd and started up San Pedro Mountain trail. The trail is in open landscape and the greenery around it was pretty. Saw a few dogs walking their owners, couple of mountain bikers and of course Stephanie and Steven. The descent down towards Montara had a couple spots where cypress roots had cracked the pavement leaving sharp lips across the trail and it’s conceivable you could burp a tire there.

The streets through neighborhoods took us to Half Moon Bay Airport. Roland knew there were lunch spots after the airport and we stopped at Barbara’s Fishtrap. We caught the last glimpses of Steven and Stephanie while waiting for the sandwiches for Roland and Calvin and fish and chips for me, and the food seemed to have hit its spot for all of us. The sun made a surprise appearance when we made our way along the Coastal trail with it’s eroded sinkholes inside right hand turns. I hope no one made their way through here in the dark. Stomach’s full and chatting away with the tail wind living was easy all the way through Golf Links and Cowell reserve and onto Hwy 1 until Tunitas Creek Rd. One could say it would be easier to speed along with the wind on the highway along this bit of the route, but the route presented beautiful views of the coast and nice gnarly single track here and there to keep it more interesting.

The tail wind pushed us to the Bike Hut for a stop to check tire pressure and water and snacks. We saw four other riders at the Hut. The stretch of Tunitas in the redwoods is so beautiful it  didn’t feel like work, and the only set back was my watch ran out of battery, but luckily I noticed it soon enough and started another session on my phone. After the steeper section the last shallow bit of Tunitas feels like flats. No doubt the endorphin storm inside me had everything to do with that, that’s why we bike, isn’t it? The descent down to Woodside on Kings was swift, sunny, warm with it’s hairpins coming at no particular rhythm. We completed the ride with spirits high for the last selfie. From morning dew to chilly sun to fog to winter to sun and the wind and back to summer in one ride - must be the Bay Are Mini Epic 2023!