Excellent ride at Santos on Saturday (video)!
I drove up to the Santos mountain bike park on Saturday morning to meet with Mike Simmons, who was camping there with his family. We wound up doing about 18 miles: a nice blend of technical riding interspersed with a few fast and flowing trails where we were able to open up the throttle a bit.
Mike said the rain came down on the trails hard Friday night, but thankfully on Saturday morning the trails were OK for riding. All the rain made the rocks, roots and especially the wooden bridges extremely slick. Many of the Red (advanced) trails are very technical and challenging even when dry, so the added element of slick trail conditions definitely ratcheted the difficulty level up a couple of notches. Some of the bridges were so slippery that we could barely walk over them! It was almost as if the wood had been coated with grease.
No serious crashes, but I did take one pretty hard fall. The funny thing is that fall did not happen while I was riding! I stopped my bike and put my foot down on a slippery wet rock, and I fell hard, right onto the rock. I bruised a couple of my ribs on my upper left side, and I’m definitely feeling it this morning.
So I’ve got some video footage from the ride. The raw footage was more than 4 hours, but I’ve edited it down to 20 minutes. The video contains footage from every trail we rode. Of course, as is always the case, video flattens the trail out and doesn’t properly convey just how tricky some of the climbs and technical features are. Some of the Red trails at Santos are extremely difficult and will challenge any rider–especially when the trails are slippery, as they were yesterday.
The most challenging trails are “John Brown” and “IMBA Red” (also known as “Vortex”). Rattlesnake Ridge is no joke, either.
There’s a very steep, rocky downhill in the Vortex that I rode for the first time yesterday. The video does not do this feature justice, it’s pretty intimidating in real life–especially when the rocks are wet. I am calling this feature “Ace/King” (in poker AK is sometimes called “Big Slick”). Picking the wrong line at the top is guaranteed to ruin your day.
Twister, at the end of the ride, is not very technical, but it’s super fast and flowing.
Here’s the chapter list:
00:00 – Intro
00:15 – Cowbone (Blue)
01:00 – Magic Mountain (Red)
01:41 – Rattlesnake Ridge (Red)
03:13 – John Brown & Anthill (Red)
05:04 – Bunny (Blue, fast and flowing)
06:12 – IMBA Red/Vortex – (Red, most technical)
11:30 – I called this feature Ace/King (“Big Slick”)
13:26 – Marshmallow (Blue)
15:06 – Sinkhole (Red, easiest red trail)
15:38 – Twister (Blue, super fast and flowing!)
19:24 – End credits
I hope you guys enjoy the video! If you watch it on Youtube I’ve included hyperlinks in the video description for each chapter stop.
Mike, great riding with you on Saturday!