Send As SMS

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Secret Trail right in your Back Yard

It is a lot like yogurt at first. You did not really want to try it because it seemed gross and it smelled funny. But then you did try it.

And you liked it.

I had always blown off this inauspicious trailhead on the way to my daily rides. I’d pass right by it without breaking cadence, dismissing it as a 12 foot long fluke of cleared brush, petering out to a certain and cruel dead end.

This particular trailhead held none of the signs of a promising mountain bike experience:

No circling tire tracks or fresh foot prints at its entrance. No prominent wooden signs describing its dangerous drop-offs or carnivorous, poison plants. No “No Bikes Allowed” signs.

And it definitely didn’t have a name or rep. The best trails always earn edgy names like “MediVac” or “Bloody Nose” to indicate their attitudes to the users. If I haven’t heard stories about how someone bonked and had to crawl home from it’s terminus, then it’s probably too short. If the word “rollercoaster” hasn’t been used to describe it’s “flow”, then it’s probably a yawn fest.

marla streb
Marla's Secrect Trail

But the other day, I whimsically decided to take an abrupt left hand turn into this little trailhead. I even surprised myself with my lack of hesitation, though I hoped there wouldn’t be an invisible, neck-high barbed wire fence to punish me for my spontaneity.

But the trail kept reaching on, and so did my satisfaction with it. As it climbed, I climbed it. More a deer run than a double diamond trail it wound through the groves of eucalyptis. I popped out along a wind swept ridge line whose features I had only glimpsed heretofore as a distant silhouette.

From this perspective I could see the famous Morro rock which anchored the bay…and the sailboats swinging with the tide. The far horizon was the expanse of dark pacific ocean set against the light blue sky. Turning the other way the green rolling hills of the farms and wineries covered like a rumpled blanket the subdivisions and arteries of my town. My iPod only as faithful as much as its battery was capable deserted me, but I didn’t mind being alone.

I pioneered along my new discovery.

After a while the trail just sort of dusted out into the high grass and scrub. It looked as likely to fork off to the left into the taller bush, as it appeared to amble up the eroded arroyo. Maybe the trail wrapped around those rocks and dropped down along the fall line. It could have gone on it seemed, perhaps in a more discernable direction, to a rider who was searching for an end.

But I was happy, simply having found it’s beginning, to turn around.


Ian L. said...

Hey Marla & Mark,

My wife and I met the two of you just prior to a ride in Cobano, on the Nicoya Peninsula. We just thought that we would check-in and see how everything is coming along with the new addition to be. Suzanne is expecting any day and is officially hanging up yoga and the bike for at least a couple of weeks. Wishing the two of you all the best from Canada!!

12:03 PM  
marla streb said...

Hey Ian

Great to hear from you!
And good luck with the baby- I'm presonally terrified of my upcoming delivery, but I'm sure Suzanne will do fine. She seemed so relaxed about her pregnancy in Costa Rica.
Take care, and feel free to email me-

5:34 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home