Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cold Springs and Tunnel Trails

A great morning spent with Weston, Kevin, Grant, Jon and Quincy riding the Cold Springs Trail and the Tunnel Trail in Santa Barbara.  A mountain bike is another great tool for interacting with the landscape and getting to some incredible locations.  I am reminded of the sentiments expressed by Galen Rowell on the topic of man in the natural world, which is something that has always inspired me in my climbing and photography.  Mountain bikes are a way to have similar interactions with the trail, the chaparral and the geology that comprise the mountains.  Not unlike mountaineering, a demanding trail can result in similar levels euphoria and require the type of focus that makes you feel as if time has slowed down.  I am especially appreciative of these opportunities in light of the absence of snow in our mountains.  It has been surprising to me to feel a similar sense of engagement and satisfaction from mountain biking as what I am used to getting from skiing.  Most likely a good portion of that has to do with the incredible trails that are just out my backdoor.  Skis have been traded in for knobby tires, and I am enjoying the ride.

 The Tunnel Trail in the Santa Barbara front country - and a rare smooth section - the Tea Fire burned through here in 2008.
Jon Chang dropping into a section on the Tunnel Trail that characterizes the rocky and technical nature of this trail.  Jon has improved a ton in his riding over the past three years.  He really commits to the terrain and just goes for it.  We first rode together when he was a sophomore at Thacher on a 107 mile backcountry bike packing tour of the Los Padres.  




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