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  1. #1
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    Looking for trails and exploring a drought-ravaged lake bed (pics & video)

    Last weekend I went looking for singletrack in El Dorado Hills. I didn't find any. What I did find was pretty interesting though. Here's the view from the top of a dirt road climb. All the way up this hill I was keeping an eye out for trails.


    Folsom Lake view from top of dirt road climb 1-12-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    view from top of dirt road climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Graffiti rocks at the top

    graffiti rocks at top of dirt road climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    graffiti rocks at top of dirt road climb 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    graffiti rocks at top of dirt road climb 3 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    After I descended this hill I had to ride a bit of pavement to get to some trails that took me to a very dry Folsom Lake. If you look at the Strava/Garmin Connect data it looks like I'm riding on water.

    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Off the beaten path in El Dorado Hills & riding in Folsom Puddle, er, Lake near El Dorado Hills | Times and Records | Strava
    Off the beaten path in El Dorado Hills & riding dry Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill at Garmin Connect - Details


    Folsom Lake view from singletrack above by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    I descended into the lake. Of course I managed to find a climb


    climb by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    hills in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    As I got close to the water's edge I noticed some interesting formations.


    interesting formations in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    A little closer


    interesting formations in Folsom Lake 2 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Even closer


    interesting formations in Folsom Lake 3 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    I rode through these domes and ended up here.


    Folsom Lagoon by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    After that I continued on. Notice all the tree stumps, indicating that this was once dry land even in normal rain years.


    tree stumps in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    A closer view of one of the stumps


    tree stump in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    More oddities


    picnic bench in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    big tires by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    big tires by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    my bike on big tire by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    More debris


    debris by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    unknown object by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    outboard motor in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    branch by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    View from the top of another small hill I climbed later on


    view from top of hill in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Another view shot. The highest hill is a popular mtb climb near the Salmon Falls (Darrington) trail.


    Folsom Lake and view of Flagstaff Mountain by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Folsom Point boat ramp


    Folsom Point boat ramp by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Another boat ramp


    boat ramp by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Trail (or old road)


    tree stump-lined trail in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Equestrians at the top of one of the hills


    horses in Folsom Lake by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    A stack of rocks I found as I was climbing out of the lake


    stacked rocks by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    I have software called DashWare that adds GPS data overlays to ride videos. I find that it makes normally boring climbs more fun to watch. Here's the dirt road climb from the beginning of the ride. It's not my fastest effort because I was exploring and didn't want to miss any trails off to the side. I did push a little harder on steeper sections though.

    The data overlay shows speed, heart rate, percent grade, altitude, and distance. I don't have a cadence sensor or power meter on my mountain bike, so those displays read zero on the overlay that looks like an instrument cluster. Watch in HD fullscreen for easier viewing of the data overlay.

    El Dorado Hills dirt road climb with DashWare overlay 1-12-14 - YouTube


    Here's video of the Folsom Lake ride.

    Riding on dry Folsom Lake 1-12-14 - YouTube
    Last edited by freighttrainuphill; 01-14-2014 at 06:19 PM. Reason: forgot Strava & Garmin Connect data

  2. #2
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    Thanks Freighty.

  3. #3
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    Great write up! Those gravel mounds in the lake would have lots of fish on them if they were underwater!
    Live to Fish, now Love to Ride

  4. #4
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    Thanks for sharing your interesting ride adventure.
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  5. #5
    Fishing/ Biking
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    Thanks for sharing your interesting ride adventure.
    Ha ha. It was "mostly" fun.
    Live to Fish, now Love to Ride

  6. #6
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    Good stuff. Also, congrats are in order..............you have been KILLING it on MTBR strava leaderboard lately.

  7. #7
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    Good stuff.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike&Fish View Post
    Great write up! Those gravel mounds in the lake would have lots of fish on them if they were underwater!
    tires also

  9. #9
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    Very interesting. CSP should use this opportunity to clean up the lake. Rain will come again someday or they'll release water from somewhere else to fill it.

    What software does the overlay in your video?

  10. #10
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    I agree, they should definitely clean it up!

    The software I use to overlay the GPS data on the video is called DashWare.

  11. #11
    I didn't do it
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    Looks like an interesting day!
    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  12. #12
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Cool pics and neat to be able to explore the lake bed. Thanks for sharing the experience. It is too bad there is "junk" down there.

    This reminds me a little of when I visited Las Vegas a few years ago. The water level at Lake Mead was low and there were boats up on the shore that would normally have been on the bottom.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike&Fish View Post
    Great write up! Those gravel mounds in the lake would have lots of fish on them if they were underwater!
    No kidding, get the GPS cords on them, sure some others have

  14. #14
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    Yesterday I finally got around to exploring the other side of Folsom Lake at Granite Bay. This side isn't nearly as interesting as the Brown's Ravine side, but the sand I had to ride through made up for that!

    I was riding a Trek 3500 hardtail 26er borrowed from a friend. This was a spur-of-the moment ride, as I had ridden my recumbent trike to his house earlier that afternoon (don't hate, that thing is a BLAST, especially around corners!). His other friends showed up on a Honda GoldWing and wanted him to get on his GoldWing and ride to Folsom Lake, so I aired up the tires on his mtb, brushed off the cobwebs, reset my Garmin, loaded the bike in his car, and drove to the lake.

    He also has the same camera setup I own-a GoPro Hero3+ with 64 GB SDXC card and helmet mount. I didn't have my camera with me so I
    borrowed his camera to make a video.

    I really could've used a fatbike on this ride, as I bogged down often in the sand. Climbing was great fun!

    Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Exploring dry Folsom Lake (Granite Bay side) near Granite Bay | Times and Records | Strava
    Exploring dry Folsom Lake Granite Bay side 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill at Garmin Connect - Details

    Here's some pics.


    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    MTB ride on dry Folsom Lake 3-23-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Here's video of some sections I was able to ride without getting stuck.

    Riding on dry Folsom Lake (Granite Bay side) 3-23-14 - YouTube

  15. #15
    Ride More, Whine Less
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    Looking for trails and exploring a drought-ravaged lake bed (pics & video)

    Great stuff! The bed of the lake reminds me of the Planet of the Apes series.

  16. #16
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    Very cool. Too bad the lake is in such bad shape. Definitely get GPS coordinates on features that may again be underwater. The fishing community will love you if it ever fills again. I try to carry out a few pieces of trash on every ride I do. Every rider should. You have a perfect opportunity to help the "lake."

  17. #17
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    Cool pics and vid, Freighty

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