Coopers Gap – Lingle Valley – Spruce Mountain

On Labor Day, Eric and I set out to do a little more scouting for the Desolation 200K route.

I had the idea of taking riders onto Cooper’s Gap Road in lieu of Barrville Mtn. Road after leaving Milroy and we wanted to check that idea out.  We’d also need a controle in the vicinity of Alan Seeger NA, so we hoped to spot one of those too.

As poor planning would have it, we ended up riding Cooper’s Gap in reverse on our way to our ride turnaround in Milroy  (had to stock up at the Tom’s convenience store there).  It’s a nice road.  And the climb isn’t too  bad – about 650 feet from Alan Seeger to the top of the Gap.   I noted later on that the reverse climb (the direction the permanent riders would take, coming from Milroy) is a little harder – about 850 feet of climbing.

Coming down the Cooper’s Gap descent I got stung by a wasp, bee, or something on my arm.  Damn.  I am not exactly allergic to bees, but I get pretty good local swelling at the sting site.  I took two antihistamine tabs, swore a bit, and soldiered on.  I have been having bad luck lately on these scouting rides….

Leaving Milroy, we decided to NOT retrace our steps as originally planned and go check out Lingle Valley road.  Lingle Valley curiously has a few speed bumps on it, at least close to where it connects with the old 322.  Speeding problem on gravel in Rothrock?  Sheesh.  But we didn’t see a single car.. just a few dog walkers.

We finished off the ride by taking the triple climb combo of Spruce Mountain Road, Stone Creek Road, and Crowfield Road.   We thought this would be the least mountainous way back out of Rothrock and into Happy Valley, but there really isn’t such a way.  The total climbing may have been broken up nicely, but I realized later  (looking at GPS info) that the peak of Crowfield tops out almost as high as the climb up Bear Meadows.  Humph.  That’s surprising.

Anyhoo:  what should be the first full running of the Desolation 200K route is scheduled for September 28th.  I can’t wait.  Four victims have signed up so far.  Will you be the 5th?


My faithful steed parked at Alan Seeger.

Eric trying to figure out a good info controle question.

Where the gas line cuts near Cooper’s Gap road

Climbing up Spruce Mountain Road

Checking out where Stone Creek hits the 7-mtns. stretch of Rt. 322 (we were looking to see if there was a ‘no bikes’ sign….)


About rothrockcyrcle

I am an endurance cyclist always looking for new ways to maximize fun and minimize BS.
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