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  Club Trip: Auburn Hills Loop - 03/17/07

It was earlier in the year when we planned this ride.  We wanted to get some good climbing in.  We had talked about doing a ride that the Sacramento Wheelman do monthly called the  In-n-Out CenturyThey have a number of different variations of the route so we took the loop that goes around Folsom Lake and came up with our very own Auburn Hills Loop.  

We began on an early Saturday morning with a brisk coolness in the air.  We knew this wouldn't last long because it was supposed to heat up.  We began our trek heading East on Douglas Blvd as we have done so many times in the past.  But this time it would be different, instead of turning left into Beales Point as we've done so many times before today we would continue South on Auburn Folsom Blvd.  There is actually a nice descent as you head south, the roads are plenty wide, and you have more than enough room in the bike lane.  At the end we crossed onto the New Rainbow Bridge and then made a left on Natomas Street heading up into Old Folsom.

It's already starting to warm up and we make a quick stop at a gas station to get out of the arm warmers and make a pit stop.  This is a good place to get additional liquids before you continue since the next stretch doesn't have much until Pilot Hill.  

We continue on down Green Valley Road and it takes us past Folsom Prison.  We begin a few hills to get the legs warmed up.  On a downward descent you want to be watching for Salmon Falls Road, also watch for traffic if you decide to merge over to the left hand turn lane. 

Now the climbing begins.  You will begin a number of up and down, mostly up, climbs.  There was only one descent that I remembered and that was the hill that takes you to the Salmon Falls Bridge.  It's at this point that most river rafters get out from their day long rafting trips.  There are restrooms at the bottom of the parking lot here.  No water though.

The next 3 to 4 miles is nothing but climbing graduals climbs.  Nothing too difficult, just not easy either.  I would not want to do this during the middle of June, it gets warm and we did this in March.  When we reach the end we're at the little point of Pilot Hill.  There is a gas station and cafe.  We stop for a much needed rest and stock up on water and other liquids.  It's a good point for a rest, you'll need it for the next stretch.

After Pilot Hill you're on Highway 49, this is a busy stretch of highway and it actually has plenty of room for cyclists.  Its not until you get to the other side of Cool that you have to be careful.  This is where you head down a step descent into the American River Canyon.  There isn't much room on this road, but you'll be going faster than the cars so it doesn't matter.  Be careful as you go into the turns there are a few of them that are hairpin and you'll overshoot the turn if you're going too fast.  During the summer months this is a very congested area with lots of people flocking to the river. 

Soon enough we're at the bottom and we turn left to head up Old Forrest Hill Road.  This is a 3 mile climb of approximately 1,000 feet.  Some of us attack the hill, others take it slow and easy while some hitch a ride to the top.  The view is breath taking and so is the climbing.  After 45 minute we've made it to the top.  Now we cross the actual bridge, there is plenty of room for a bicycle to cross with traffic, just don't look down, it's a long drop to the bottom.

Once across it's another climb up until you finally make you're way into Auburn.  After another 3 or 4 miles we finally make it to the In-n-Out Burger Stand.  It's a much needed break and the food is just as needed as well.  It's almost 1:30 pm and it's way past lunch time.  After 30 minutes some of us are ready to head out, others are still enjoying the cold soda, and some have already packed up and driven home.

It's still another 20 miles to get home put at least it's mostly down hill from hear.  One of the best down hill runs is the Indian Hill route.  Usually you climb up this road but not this direction, it's a fast down hill with a gorgeous view of the Sacramento Valley.

Soon we're going through Loomis and then into Rocklin.  In no time at all we're pulling back into Roseville.  What a route, 72 miles in all, with approximately 4,800 feet of climbing. Of all the rides we've done this would have to be up there among the difficult with the climbing and the terrain.  But definitely an enjoyable one to remember.

Riders for this trip:
Connie Hathaway
Robert Smith
Dave Ferrell
Devin Holmes
Chris Gale
Travis Manhart

Pictures from the ride:

the group heads... East down... Douglas Blvd. One of the first descents into Brown's Ravine Climbing up Salmon Falls Rd.
More of Salmon Falls Rd. One more Climb up Salmon Falls Rd. And then it's a fun down hill all the way across the Lower American River. And then, you start climbing again... After you hit Highway 49 you make your way through the town of Cool.
The Highway 40 Bridge across the North Fork of the American River. Where the Middle Fork and North Fork of the American River meet. And now we start to climb Old Forrest Hill Road. It's only a 3 mile climb. But when you're doing only 5 to 6 miles an hour.

It seems like it takes forever to climb it! Once you finish the climb it's a fast descent over the famous Foresthill Bridge. Just don't look down as you go across... Once into Auburn you've found the treasure at the In-n-Out Burger. Up another quick climb on Auburn Folsom Road and then a fast descent down Indian Hill.
On the final leg back home going down Taylor Road.