Silver Canyon. What a pain in the ass. One of those rides that makes me second-guess riding a single dingle. Even with a 32:20 gearing, there’s a lot of red-lining. My heart and lungs were trying to rip through my jersey and puke phlegm on my leg warmers. Actually a ton of negativity tends to swirl through your head on a ride like this. You go from 4,100′ at Laws Museum to over 10,400′ at the junction with White Mountain Rd. This 6,300′ of elevation gain is achieved over 11 miles of sustained fire road / double track climbing. What is the reward? I’m still trying to figure it out. My mantra during the 1.5 hours of hike-a-bike after hitting snow for the last couple miles was, “I have my health and the love of my family.” With that, everything becomes right again. Of course, the solitude and spectacular views are second to none. I guess for me, the satisfaction of completing one of the gnarliest climbs in all of California on the ss is rewarding as well. The descent sure isn’t anything to write home about. A brake burner and forearm shaker. Just like Kamikaze at Mammoth Mountain – no wonder the Silver Canyon downhill was the original Kamikaze before it moved to Mammoth Mountain. Like I said, total PITA. I tried this ride a couple times in the last year or so. Came up short both times. The first time, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. Geared 33:17 with the squish fork, I decided to do the ride on a whim on my way up to Mammoth from L.A. I severely under-estimated it and wound up turning around at the gate around 7 miles in. The second time was last February, and I just hit way too much snow so had to turn around about 8.75 miles in (read my previous blog post here, and see some more pics). So yeah, completing it this time was definitely rewarding in that sense of finally “checking” it off my list.
All you “Stravaddicts” out there – here’s the link. I did it faster than anticipated, and was considering continuing up to White Mountain Peak. Unfortunately, White Mountain Rd. was completely snow-covered- not even my fat bike would’ve been able to ride it because it was so deep. So I just turned around, blazed down the way I came, thinking “Holy crap, how did I just ride up this junk.” Got some gas at Vons (got $1.00/gallon with my rewards, yeah!) and then hit my spot, Raymond’s Deli for a gutbuster sandwich.
Note to self: Please remember, you do not like this ride at all. It’s purely a grunt climb, with no reward on the descent except for beating up your brakes and arms. A year from now, when you forget how crappy it is, and decide to do it again, please refer back to this.