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  Club Trip: Folsom Lake Loop 2008

Saturday 06/07/08 - After having done this route before we at least knew what to expect.  However last time we did this it was the beginning of March. Luckily for us it wasn't a scorching day like it can be in the beginning of June here in the Sacramento area.  Knowing that it would be some what warm we did start out much earlier.  We met up at 7:00 am and headed out by 7:15 am.  We had a full line and would have a good day pulling each other for sure.  We made our way up and over to Douglas and Sierra College to meet up with Brent.  Now there is eight of us and we're pulling down Douglas Road at a good pace.  It's still a little cool in the air but that isn't going to last too much longer.  As we head down Auburn Folsom the traffic is heavy for a Saturday morning at 8:00 am.  There is still construction going on and they have concrete barriers on both sides of the road just before Beales Point.  Not much fun when you're on a bike.  We make our way into the Park and climb up to the beginning of the American River Bike Trail.  Soon we're bombing our way down the trail at 30 mph.  For those that like the speed this is our favorite part.  It's still early in the morning and not too many are on the trail yet so we can let it fly.  Down at the bottom of the hill Jimmy shows us a quicker route.  Just before the Old Rainbow Bridge we take a foot bridge across the river.  Then we follow that trail back up the hill to the left.  It winds around and goes through a residential street.  Soon enough we find ourselves out at the top of Natoma Road having missed going through all of the Old Section of Folsom.  A nice little shortcut indeed.

We're picking up the pace now as we turn onto  Green Valley Road.  There are a few downhill pieces to enjoy before we have to climb a few times.  Then we make a left onto Salmon Falls Road.  After a quick decent you flatten out and all of a sudden you can just feel the temperature drop.  That coolness is back in the air.  Must be coming from the lake.  After we make our way through this nice little area the climbing starts.  Not too much though, then it's time for a nice downhill scream across the South Fork of the American River.  This is the point that most rafters get out to be picked up at.  No one is out rafting today.

We spend the next 30 minutes climbing up and out to find ourselves at Pilot Hill. It's only 10:00 am and we're making good time. Up ahead we stop and take a break in Cool.  There is a Valero Gas Station there that is very bicycle friendly.  The clerk lets us fill up with water.  None for me today, I'll stick to the sports drinks.  Keep those electrolytes up.  We don't stay too long and get back out on the road.  This section of Highway 49 is a good one and allows for plenty of room to ride.

Up ahead is the roller coast ride.  A steep descent into the North Fork of the American River.  you drop at least 800 to 1000 feet in only a few miles.  Unfortunately there isn't much room as you go down this stretch for the bikes so you have to give cars plenty of room.  We make our way through and try and keep the speeds down.  I think this is where I hit 46 mph.  If there wasn't a truck in front of me I could have gone faster, no speed records today.

We're at the bottom soon enough and make a right to head up and over to Old Forrest Hill Road.  You could turn left to go up Highway 49, it's shorter and quicker to get to Auburn, but there is a lot of traffic and no room for the bikes.  So we turn right and head over to Old Foresthill Road.  It's a 3 mile climb of at least 800 to 1000 feet.  Yeah you get to climb up for the next 30 to 40 minutes what just took you 5 minutes to go down.

We watch Michael as he skips up the hill.  Dave, Chris, Brent, and Devin keep in a pack heading up the hill.  Jimmy and Matt fall back a bit but make it up just fine.  Up at the top we regroup and Chris leads out to get to the other side of the Foresthill Bridge to take pictures as we go across.

We speed across the Bridge and Michael sprints to the finish to beat out Dave.  Then we climb up the hill and make our way into Auburn.  We wind around down on Lincoln Way and then over to Highway 49.  Here we take a right and go under the freeway, then up and to the right, another quick climb and we're at In-n-Out for lunch!

It's only 11:00 am but we're hungry and so is a lot of other people.  There is already quite the crowd and even more once we get our food.  We head outside and enjoy the breeze and the food.  We don't sit too long otherwise we'll have to roll each other home.  Chris stretches out the legs and then we're ready to head for home.

It's back over to Auburn Folsom Blvd.  A little weird that we were just on this road this morning, further down of course.  We're starting to head down hill, but there are still a few rollers to climb.  The wind is starting to kick up and we're hoping to keep it at our back.  Soon it's a right turn at Indian Hills and it's a race for the bottom.  

We're heading down Taylor Road keeping a pretty fast pace, I look down and we're doing 25 to 28 mph.  It's more of a cross wind than a tail wind now.  We come into Loomis and make our way through.  Then we keep on going.  After a few miles it's the bad part of Taylor Road, sure would be nice if they fixed this section.  No room for the bike or the cars and it's just a broken mess.  Instead of heading over Sunset we head straight to E. Roseville Parkway.  I like this way better.  Brent heads straight at this point and peels off for home.  Dave, Michael and Matt make it through the light while Devin and Chris are stuck to wait.  Nothing like getting a few red lights to slow you down.

We're heading straight into the wind and dropping back.  Devin pulls through and Chris follows close behind.  The rest are further up ahead and Michael is out in front pulling.  It's a quick left at Pleasant Grove and then the final leg home.  Despite the wind it's still warmed.  We get back before 12:30 pm.  

Another great ride out on the road.  Thanks to all those that came, we'll be back on this route again soon I'm sure.

Folsom Lake Loop Route at

Riders for this trip:
Brent Duff
Chris Gale
Connie Hathaway
Dave Ferrell
Devin Holmes
Michael Ferrell
Stats for the Ride
Cyclist: Devin Holmes
Actual Time Riding:
Distance:  72.5
Max mph:  46.4
Avg mph:  16.7
Feet Climbed: 4,765


Pictures from the ride:

Dave and Chris lead us out on Olympus. Connie following close behind on Olympus Road. It's a six pack moving down Natoma Road. The group enjoys the cool shade on Salmon Falls (see movie clip 1 below). Jimmy leads, with Matt, and Brent close behind.
As we stop in Cool Jimmy, Matt, Michael, and Dave talk about the route ahead. Devin and Brent enjoy the a nice drink at the curb in Cool. And the climb begins up Old Foresthill Road. Looking back at the Foresthill Bridge.  We'll soon be crossing. Brent is close behind.
Old Foresthill Road is a nice... ...slow... ...gradual climb... ...for 3 miles.  Only 3. Looking back down the climb.
Michael refreshed after a nice climb up Old Foresthill Road. Dave and Brent are stretching it out.  Devin is hugging the bars. "I challenge you to a duel!" Chris proclaims. Brent at the top checking out the chain. Finally at In-n-Out for lunch.
Michael and Matt are ready to head back for home. Michael, Matt, and Brent lead us home down Taylor.      


Movie Clip:

Beales Point: In this clip we have just turned onto the American River Bike Trail at Beales Point on Folsom Lake.  At this point we have just sped down the trail at 30 mph.  Dave is closest with Michael ahead, and then Devin is seen taking a drink in the front... Click Here to Download Movie. (Medium file - 6 mb)

Salmon Falls Road: We've just turned from Green Valley Road and have already done a bit of climbing.  Here we are enjoying a bit of flat road as we move on through Salmon Falls Road, up ahead is more climbing ... Click Here to Download Movie. (Small file - 2 mb)

Crossing Foresthill Bridge: This is the highlight of the ride.  You get to cross one of the tallest bridges around.  It's over 750 feet from the bottom of the canyon. This clip shows us crossing the bridge. Don't look down! Click Here to Download Movie. (Large file - 16 mb)