It was turning into a lovely weekend so I invited some friends to go ride the CZ-Pittsburg Loop. Although there might be snow in the upper elevation, ice on the path, and a frost in the air, we four headed out for a pleasant gravel ride.

Warming up

We parked by the gravel piles across from the B&B Market, right next to the Crown-Zellerbach trail head. We made a quick stop at the market for some last minute snack-supplies, then started rolling on the trail by 9:30am.

Although the temperature was hovering right above 34F, there were parts of the trail where snow still lingered and small puddles had glazed over with a shimmer of ice. But this was spotty along the CZ trail and not at all a problem riding on. We all had wider tires and never lost traction.

Almost to the top

I didn’t really want to push very hard as this was supposed to be a nice social ride with buddies, but we pushed a little bit and tried to limit our stops.

Due to the cold, we were the only cyclists we saw on the whole loop. There were some tire tracks from days earlier, but we were vastly alone.

Paul’s Ogre and its maiden gravel voyage

As we got onto Pittsburg road to get to the summit and head East, we came across some people that were preparing for some shooting practice in one of the rock quarries. They were in awe of our dedication to riding on such a cold day and with snow on the road. They did give us the heads up that there was a LOT more snow the higher we rode, but there were going to be some nicely compacted tired tracks for us to follow.

AJ and the Dean

We stopped for a few minutes at the peak of our route just before the main power lines for some food and rest. The worst of the climbing was over and it was mainly down hill from here.

Paul and his Ogre
I’m certain he’s having fun

Despite the snow, there was only one fall into the soft stuff, otherwise everyone remained upright and cheerful. Once we started the main descent, the snow got thinner until we were back on regular gravel again.

Nearing the first descent

I was quite happy to spend some time with my buddies, pedal 40 miles, and get some sun. Everyone seemed pretty happy with the ride and eager for the next.

Cheers!

-Tomas

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