Although climbing in the bay area is limited; there are several fun areas that are hidden not too far from the urban chaos. This morning after recovering from a nasty 12 hour drive from Utah, I rolled out of bed and onto my bike. Excited to try out my new Pacific Outdoor Bike Panniers, I loaded up my camera, climbing shoes, chalk bag, and snacks and hit the road for Castle Rock State Park. After climbing the steep 10 mile stretch up page mill road, I headed left on Skyline, biking past a slew of motorists enjoying the nice pavement and fun bends in the road. I was very disappointed by the trash on the side of the road, not because it was unusually plentiful, but because it was obvious that it came from fellow road bikers. I found empty GU Energy Rappers, Heed Packets, and even an REI paper bag! Is it me, or is it ridiculous that someone, who purposefully decides to enjoy the roads by bike instead of by car would throw their garbage on the side of the road. WTF! Anyway, I made it Castle Rock mid day, took a snack break and talked to a Park Ranger.
I was very sad to hear that Castle Rock will be shut down at the end of the year because of budget cuts. If you live in the bay, and love CA state parks, call your senator and express your discontent, because this year alone, over 70 state parks will be shut down!
I spent the afternoon thoroughly enjoying the trails, climbing, and scenery at Castle Rock, and lamented for its untimely closure. The climbing there is actually very good. There is a nice range of easy, medium and hard boulder problems concentrated within a two mile loop. If you haven’t been, be sure to check it out soon. Soaking in the afternoon sun, I finished my remaining water and headed back towards Palo Alto, taking an alternative route down Skyline towards Portola Road. Continuing past Page Mill, I glided through old growth red woods admiring the clouds, which began to envelop the hillside. Interrupting this dreamlike state, I found my self battling a bee, who crashed into my ankle at high speeds. Swerving into the middle of the road, I swatted the bee, as it dodged my blows stinging me several times. In the meantime, I swerved back into my lane after a car honked violently, obviously upset my belligerent steering. All and all a great day! I got to bike over 50 miles, climb 10 different boulders, and battle one ferocious bee. Did I mention I am allergic to bees!!? Luckily, I did not have a reaction to this particular bee and avoided a unwanted speed decent to the nearest hospital. Instead, I celebrated and went to Lulas for a burrito! Mmmm!