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  1. #1
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    Coe Monstercross Sunday 10/28/12 7am

    [edit: start location and initial route changed - will meet at Berryessa Community Center for 7am rollout]

    The conditions are perfect and I'm planning to re-ride the Coe Monstercross route on Sunday (where, in this case, "monstercross" is a very long, epic cyclocross ride).



    It's only 107 miles but miles tick off slowly in Coe so we will need to start around dawn (around 7am). The usual ride leader, ElHombre, is unavailable so we may start in Milpitas/San Jose rather than Campbell.

    Potential for a beer stop at El Toro in Morgan Hill if we're thirsty. It needs to be a little faster than "social pace" but far, far from hammer pace. You can vicariously experience the March running in my recap to get an idea of what you're signing up for!

    Let me know if you're interested!

    From Coe Monstercross 2012 - Mar 2012
    Last edited by ratpick; 10-27-2012 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Highly recommended! Compared to most Coe rides, it is a bit less 'taxing', as most of the climbing is front loaded and on the road (see profile below). In fact, this one would be a great candidate to arrange a self shuttle (to the top of Mt. Hamilton) if you'd like to experience Coe's 'terra incognita' without all the climbing brutality...

    More info here:Coe Monstercross.



    2012 Coe Monstercross HD from Dirk dB on Vimeo.




  3. #3
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    Aw f**k!!! Wish Id known about this about a week in advance.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Aw f**k!!! Wish Id known about this about a week in advance.
    Yeah, sorry about that.. perfect storm of good weather and my free time

    We ran it in March and I know ElHombre is eager so we'll likely set a date to do it in March 2013 with much more notice.

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    Looks like a nice route Patrick. No way I can make it though, have fun and be safe.
    Only the curious have something to find.

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  6. #6
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    100 miles, 10,000 feet. Massive!
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  7. #7
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    This is an amazing route!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord View Post
    100 miles, 10,000 feet. Massive!
    The 20,000+ footie 24-hour 100-mile ride earlier this month was an epic voyage of mental concentration; this ride merely skims the surface of Henry Coe however I did want to ride this smaller cross-centric ride tomorrow morning.
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  9. #9
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    In case anyone is planning on coming, I'm starting from a different location than the official start in downtown Campbell.

    I'm planning to roll out at 7am from the Berryessa Community Center (cnr Berryessa and Adams Dr). I'll be skipping Quimby and doing the full Mt Hamilton Rd climb instead.

    The course is here.

  10. #10
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    Done

    Got a bunch of photos from my iphone I'll post later...


  11. #11
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    Brief recap

    It was very late notice for big ride so I didn't expect anyone to join me, but you never who might have just had ride plans canceled! After ElHombre's pioneering solo ride on this route in the heat of summer, I was eager to try it solo.

    Rolled out just after 7am with enough light pre-sunrise to not need a headlight. I did, however, have my Magicshine mounted - weight I could have done without but I didn't want to risk riding back in the dark. Temp was cool at around 50 but good for climbing.

    I watched the sun rise creep up Mt Umunhum as i climbed.. pretty cool! My phone was deeply buried but I caught the sun peaking out as I neared the top of the first climb.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Looking quite Fall-ish on Mt Hamilton Rd (less so at higher elevations)

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I had been out at a Halloween party until quite late so had little sleep and was quite dehydrated (jello shots - urgh). Knowing I had no water access for about 30 miles after Lick Observatory, I drank as much as I could stomach on the climb. I stopped at Grant Ranch to refill my bottles on the way up.

    Last riding of Coe Monstercross, it was very cold and windy at the observatory but on this day it was glorious: 61, sunny and still. It was warmer outside in the sun than inside! But I ate a sandwich, drank a whole bottle and refilled. It would be water conservation time for a while.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    The backside descent was, as always, fun. I do love descending with disk brakes. I took it easier than I might otherwise have, being out here solo! The sun was beginning to warm me, even though the air temp stayed around 62 so when I reached the gate at the bend, I took off my jacket. The gate has a nice fresh coat of paint.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I love the view down the road from the gate. I've looked longingly at it several times while riding past. It's so inviting.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Sadly, no wildlife sightings of significance this time; just the usual deer, squirrels and cows.

    In no time, the first gate. Hauled the bike over the wire on the left and squeezed through it. State land - cool - feels less like trespassing!

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    The road is still flat but begins to have a few small rollers until it abruptly reaches the end of the valley and begins to climb. But not until another fence is scaled.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    This takes me out of state land and onto private land. At the top of the hill is County Line Rd, which runs right through Coe. This part of it is a shared access road to a bunch of properties - the "hillbilly" homes. Climbing Red Creek Rd from inside Coe dumps you at the top of this hill, so I'm very familiar with it and have ridden it enough times to be comfortable. But it takes you the closest to other people who might not be happy that you're there.

    This part of Coe is uniquely beautiful and very hot. On a cool day today, it was only in the 70s but I clocked it over 110 on a ride out here this summer.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    County Line Rd continues with some really, really fun rollers - wonderful CX roads. I know where the homes are close to the road here and try to keep it quiet as I speed past.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Soon the next gate:

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Some steep climbing, fun descending, round a corner and I'm in Coe! As comfortable as I am riding this road now, it still gives me some relief to be back in the state park!

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I find it interesting that the gate has a "no park personnel" sign but no "no trespassing" sign. I wonder if there's a public easement on the road?

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    County Line Rd inside the park was graded earlier this year and unfortunately is a bit of a mess in places with a lot of loose rock. Not sure if the recent rain caused this or it's just natural erosion. It made the climb a bit uncomfortable on CX.

    The climb up to Bear Mountain looks quite imposing from a distance but really isn't that bad once you're on it. It maxes at about 16% for a small section but mostly sits between 11-14% - slow grind, admiring the view. Soon, the final gate which anyone who has been to Bear Mountain will recognize.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I paused at the summit and ate my other sandwich. While there, got a text from a friend who had just climbed Metcalf Rd - I had a better story to send him of my morning I took a photo of my CX bike at the top of Bear Mountain - it's a rare opportunity!

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I was eager to see what the recent rain had done with Bear Mountain Rd - it was a little loose and dusty on the HardCOEre 100 ride so I was hoping it would be quite sticky. Sadly, even the small amount of rain we had (probably a bit more here) has started to cause ruts. It will be destroyed by spring, no doubt.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Oh well.. still a fun descent. Again, I took it a little easy, being solo, but on the very steep section near the bottom, where it gets to 30-35%, I was unable to control speed without skidding both wheels so basically let the brakes off a little and hung on for the ride. Nowhere to fall off so it was actually kinda fun!

    Some bits of diskus' Coe 100 signage remained at the bottom.. very cool

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Riding along Bear Mountain Rd and then The Narrows was way more painful than usual. I had no idea why - only 60 psi in the tires but I was taking a pounding. Nothing to do but suffer through it until Los Cruzeros.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    On my mind was whether I would make a serious attempt at the Mahoney Wall. On our last ride, I somehow got to within 50' of the top but it hurt like hell. I had a much grippier tire on that ride. I had done an 8-mile run the day before this ride, so wasn't sure whether my legs would have what it took to get up.

    I resolved to make a serious effort, though. I got about a third of the way up before my legs said stop. I was surprised to have not slipped out before then. Not all that disappointed, but it would have been nice...

    Well at least I can clean Lost Spring Trail now, I thought. Last time, I was so spent from the Mahoney Wall that I had nothing left for Lost Spring. But it turns out my legs were more spent than I thought and I had to walk a couple of pitches on Lost Spring. Weirdly, I got my 2nd best time on it, though.

    All the way along Mahoney Meadows Rd, I was trying to talk myself into just descending Coit Rd but when I got to the intersection, something convinced me to climb Coit and descend Cross Canyon and Coit Springs as planned. Glad I did!

    Descending Coit Rd was sketchy - seemed more little rocks on the trail than usual and I was paranoid about pinch flats (always seem to get them on this bike when descending fire roads at speed).

    I had my MagicShine battery in my saddle bag but all the bumping and rattling along The Narrows and Cross Canyon had actually shaken it open and while I was riding along the bottom parts of Coit Rd, it came flying out. Fortunately it hit me in the leg so I noticed it and went back to get it. It still worked when I tested it but I guess the cord into the battery was just hanging on because when I went to use it later, it didn't work. Bummer.

    As always, a mixture of sadness and relief as I left Coe for the smoothness of Gilroy Hot Springs Rd

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I still had a bit less than half a bottle of water left (I had over-conserved) so decided to roll on to Harvey Bear County Park, rather than fill up at the CalFire station. GHS Rd was very pretty - still not noticing it was Fall yet..

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    At Harvey Bear, I refilled both bottles and began the ride along the main trail to the Gaviota trailhead.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Gaviota had been smoothed out recently, it seems, because it was much less bumpy than last time. I enjoyed it immensely, although parts of me were quite sore at this point from the hammering in Coe. At the end of Gaviota is the Savannah Trail and parts of that were so bumpy it was actually worse than The Narrows. Urgh.

    But those sections were short and soon the dirt was all over. I now faced 35 miles of road back to Milpitas and, of course, the southerly was blowing strong. When I rode a Coe CX loop with Diesel last year, he was pulling at 20 mph into this wind but I could barely manage 15 mph solo. I had planned a beer and food stop at El Toro Brewpub in downtown Morgan Hill but toyed with the idea of just continuing on and getting home faster. There was, after all, a game 4 World Series match to watch!

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    But as I continued, hunger began to emerge and visions of beer pints. It was decided. At El Toro, the beer was excellent (I somehow managed to restrict myself to one) but the fish & chips, which I really felt like, was terrible; should have had a burger or fish tacos, I guess!

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    Part of my reason for starting (and ending) in Miltpitas was so I could use the Coyote Creek Trail and avoid the horrible ride into the wind up Santa Theresa - it was bad enough pacelining before - solo would be hell. The Coyote Creek Trail offers trees to block much of the wind and a twisting route that rarely puts you directly into the wind.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    And there were a lot of folks out riding and walking so it was fun to be amongst people again after all the solitude of Coe! The sun began to get low leading to some pretty cool lighting effects

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    19 miles later I was at Tully Rd.. first time riding the Coyote Creek Trail end-to-end! Along the way, I had clocked over 100 miles and also 10,000' climbing. I had considered that I might have to do a small climb like Sunrise to clock over to climbing, but fortunately there would be no need.

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    I tried to turn on my MagicShine at this point and discovered the broken wire. I had a rear blinky and backup small LED light for the front so all was not lost. Tully was very, very busy (in contrast to being utterly carless when we rode it at 7am on the last Coe Monstercross running) but has a bike lane most of the way. In 2.8 miles I was off it and onto White Rd which would take me to the end.

    On the way along Tully, I noticed the moon rising above the east hills with the red sunset lighting up the hills as it had the Santa Cruz Mountains in the morning. Unfortuantely, on Tully, I couldn't find a safe place to stop with a view so missed capturing the whole show. I did snap a photo of the moonrise post-sunset

    From Coe Monstercross - Oct 2012


    The 5 miles along White/Piedmont went pretty quickly, except for catching most traffic lights! About 2 miles from the end I had a panic attack - my car keys were in my saddle bag and I hadn't checked to see if they fell out in Coe. I almost stopped to check but realized there was no point and kept riding. Rolling into the Berryessa Community Center lot, I found the key still there and resolved to doubly secure it in future!

    Fantastic ride. Just love this route and was quite happy to have been able to complete it solo. Can't wait until we ride it again in Spring!

  12. #12
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    I thought I called ahead to my redneck gun toting Republicans friends to be on the lookout for ya

    Looks like a fun day out...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    I thought I called ahead to my redneck gun toting Republicans friends to be on the lookout for ya

    Looks like a fun day out...
    It was a lot of fun. My favorite parts of Coe. I expected my camera to pick up ghost images of Plymmer out on those roads.

    I really doubt the hillbillies out here know there is an election on! I was thinking as I was jumping fences that it must be a PITA to open and close all those gates to get out. But then I'm guessing there's enough deer and rabbits to shoot to make visits to the supermarket an infrequent need

  14. #14
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    Sunrise near Mt. Umunhum? Were you starting from Alma Bridge Road or something?
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    Can you elaborate on the hillbillies thing? Is it squatter camps, or just strange country folk? I was planning on riding the IMBA epic route, maybe this weekend, and am not from this area. Are there areas of the park I need to avoid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaCyclist View Post
    Can you elaborate on the hillbillies thing? Is it squatter camps, or just strange country folk? I was planning on riding the IMBA epic route, maybe this weekend, and am not from this area. Are there areas of the park I need to avoid?
    No worries, everything they are talking about is outside of the park - private land. There's a long distance of dirt road with gates and private property sections between the paved road over Mt Hamilton and the northern boundary of Coe.

    What's the IMBA route anyway, haven't heard of it - which trails does it take?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaCyclist View Post
    Can you elaborate on the hillbillies thing? Is it squatter camps, or just strange country folk? I was planning on riding the IMBA epic route, maybe this weekend, and am not from this area. Are there areas of the park I need to avoid?
    Do you mean this: Henry Coe Epic | International Mountain Bicycling Association ?
    I don't quite get that one, as it says to start the ride at Bell Station, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, let alone people new to the area - it would act more as a strong deterrant .

    Either way, no worries about the mountain folk, that was related to sections of the Coe Monstercross route outside the park. I would suggest starting your ride at the Hunting Hollow parking lot off of Gilroy Hot Springs road... many good options, you can start by climbing the relatively mellow Jim Donnelly trail and make it as epic as you'd want after that...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Sunrise near Mt. Umunhum? Were you starting from Alma Bridge Road or something?
    Ha.. ok, ambiguous I started in Milpitas but was looking across the valley at the Santa Cruz Mountains and Mt Umunhum as I climbed Mt Hamilton Rd. The sunlight was coming over the east hills lighting up the Santa Cruz Mountains in a deep red.. it was pretty spectacular.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHombre View Post
    Do you mean this: Henry Coe Epic | International Mountain Bicycling Association ?
    I don't quite get that one, as it says to start the ride at Bell Station, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, let alone people new to the area - it would act more as a strong deterrant .
    Wow... I wonder who IMBA talked to in coming up with this!

    And this..

    Located only 30 miles southeast of San Jose, Henry Coe State Park contains an extensive trail system. Be prepared for long, lung busting climbs and fast, rolling descents on more than 50 miles of ranch roads and singletrack.
    "more than 50 miles" - heh..

  20. #20
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    Back in the good ol' days...

    Quote Originally Posted by ratpick View Post
    Wow... I wonder who IMBA talked to in coming up with this!
    I think Sorcerer may have had something to do with this; perhaps he'll pop out of his lair and comment.

    I believe that "epic" ride was to do with the promise of the Dowdy Visitor Center. If it was open it'd knock 15 gravel road miles off the route; still epic enough for most folks. BTW; it was a well-guarded secret but the Dowdy VC was open on weekends this last summer. It should be open weekends again come next summer (fingers crossed).
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

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    ElHombre,

    Yes, that is the IMBA route in question. Thanks for the route info. In your opinion, is it a better ride to hit Coe for a day, or is there a better place (like Demo) in the area. I would label myself a strong all-around rider. I like some good climbing and I enjoy some technical stuff thrown in with my single track, but you will not find me "hucking" my 29r hard tail off of anything (that's what rental bikes are for).

    I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, so I will post my question in another thread also.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaCyclist View Post
    ElHombre,

    Yes, that is the IMBA route in question. Thanks for the route info. In your opinion, is it a better ride to hit Coe for a day, or is there a better place (like Demo) in the area. I would label myself a strong all-around rider. I like some good climbing and I enjoy some technical stuff thrown in with my single track, but you will not find me "hucking" my 29r hard tail off of anything (that's what rental bikes are for).

    I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, so I will post my question in another thread also.
    Well, the good news is, you can't go wrong. Both are great places to ride. There is the huge group ride/camping trip this weekend in Demo, so it would make sense to join as you'll have excellent tour guides. Demo works fine on a hardtail: pretty much all of the jumps/stunts have a bailout line; it is probably more fun on a squishy though.

    Given a full day to ride, I personally would choose Coe, as I wouldn't have to ride the same three/four trails over and over, the views are nicer and there's always opportunity for adventure there; but if you go solo and don't know your way around, you may be in for some frustration trying to find a 'good' route. I can send you some gpx tracks of what I consider good ones in Coe, but Demo sounds like a better deal for you in this case. The trail conditions are probably perfect right now, you'll have good company, and the days aren't very long now so you probably won't end up repeating the same trails...

  23. #23
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    ElHombe,

    Thanks for the reply. I think I'm going with Demo for the reasons you mentioned.

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