Coffeeneuring 2018 Ride 2: Coyote Bear

October 15, 2018 / 7 miles /

… not to mention turkey cow deer pig. Saw them all today. Well, not the coyote. Or the bear. But I rode in Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, which they refer to as Coyote Bear.

I’ve been meaning to try riding at Coyote Bear for years. Some folks I know on a recumbent site told me about it a while ago.

It was about a half hour drive from home to the visitor center, but I took closer to an hour because once I got off the freeway I drove slowly through the back roads. Just south of San Jose and just off the major freeway it gets rural really fast. I discovered among the small ranches and house lots that there are not one but TWO polo clubs. Rural, but not lower class.

Not too long ago the 4600 acres of the ranch were added to Coyote Lake Park, a strip of land that allowed people to enjoy boating and fishing on the reservoir owned by the local water district. The ranch land has been ranch land since the Spanish arrived and carved up the area with land grants and ranchos. Harvey Bear’s family were the last owners, and they deeded it to the county. More local history at this link: https://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=18528.

I stopped at the ranger station to ask about the less-strenuous trails. At her suggestion I went to the campground lot to park close to the trailhead. As I parked a woman came up and asked if I could go back to the ranger station – she didn’t have a car, she said, and I guess she didn’t feel like walking 200 yards – to tell the rangers about the man in site 12 who was ranting. I heard him myself. He was on something. So I drove back to the rangers, reported him, then drove back, this time past the campground to a roadside pullout.

I decided not to ride with a pannier this time, to lessen weight a bit, and that turned out to create a minor problem. I have one water bottle cage, which was occupado. I couldn’t carry my tea bottle since my trunk bag was full. So to fulfill coffeeneuring requirements I drank some tea at the car before departing for the trailhead.

After quaffing some tea at the car, we’re off to a good start, heading back to the trailhead.
California fuschia still out and about for a little while longer.
The trailhead. I may be a fairy but I ain’t no poop fairy neither.

I started up the trail and within about 20 feet I was defeated. Soil and gravel and pitch were just too loose and steep for me and my tires. I couldn’t get enough traction. Looking up the trail, it wasn’t going to get any easier. Grrr. I decided I didn’t want to work that hard, and besides, the paved road was not the straight flat lakeside road I thought it would be. I retreated.

A strategic retreat. Nice view going back out the cattle gate at the trailhead. It won’t be so bad riding on the paved road after all.
So we decide to ride the road, which is not as boring as I thought it would be. Since I went past the car again, I stopped and got out my tea, then spent some time enjoying it while overlooking the lake.

The road, as it turned out, had hardly any straight or level areas. It was quite the little rollercoaster, no rises too steep or long, definitely fun. I had occasional views of the lake, some nice shady areas, and a fair amount of wildlife.

Those big black blobs are Black Angus cows. There are actually four of them (two more in the shadows to the left).
Does your county park have a Fault Line Picnic Area?
Not just beautiful but functional. I love my trike. It looks so good in any setting. Y’all agree, right?
At the northern end of the road it opens up into grassland. Or better, call it rangeland.
These black blobs are wild turkeys.
These black blobs are deer.
Those black blobs are wild pigs. A sporting dude way back when thought it would be fun to import boar so they could hunt them. Now they just root up the open spaces.

So. About those wild pigs. They’re fine from a distance and as long as they’re little. However, it’s not okay to almost run into a boar that’s standing in the middle of the road. Both of us startled. I stopped and backed off as he grunted a lot and ran off into the trees. I did not hear him go very far in though. I rode back just a little ways, debating options. I didn’t want to be charged by an irate boar, but then I wasn’t gonna be deterred by no stinking pig. So I started talking very loudly, clicked my gears, and dinged my clear brass bell. The bell did it, funnily enough. I heard him rustling off further away. I pedaled as fast as I could past that spot. Phew.

I decided to stop ambling and start riding faster. Good thing. Another pig family was not too far away just off the road. They scattered as I flew by.

So with my heart rate elevated I careened down to the end of the road and then through another cattle gate. Just inside it was a sign warning about mountain lions. I know that! I just don’t need to be reminded of it just at this moment.

Through that cattle gate was the other end of the trail I had hoped to ride. I rode on to see what it looked like up there.

Another cattle gate. Now I’m going off-road again and I’m expecting better luck.
And I went around a bend and it opened up to this. I didn’t go any further due to time constraints, but I spent as much time as I could right here just enjoying the view and the quiet and the solitude and thinking this is how it’s looked for at least the last 150 years. Pokey is the tiny black blob up the trail a ways.

It was great to ride just that little bit and be there on a quiet weekday. I spent as long as I could there just enjoying the place. On the ride back I encountered the same pig families but everyone behaved themselves and I was pedaling really fast.

Once at home I looked at the posting from the other trikers who told me about this park. The posting was from 2009(!). And it said their route took them past Harvey Bear, not that they rode there. Ha on me and my memory.

tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride my trike I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride it where I like (And I like to ride my bicycle too)

8 response to "Coffeeneuring 2018 Ride 2: Coyote Bear"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: October 22, 2018

    Great post! It reminded me of the wild pigs we ran into running loose in Corsica year ago. Funny to look at, but they’re a big animal. Glad you made it home safely!

  2. By: NancyG Posted: October 23, 2018

    Interesting ride and photos Kathleen. Those boars put me in mind of the javelinas we came across in Arizona! Beasts. Good job in outwitting them ;’-).

    • By: Lah Posted: October 23, 2018

      Javelinas were the reason we changed campgrounds in Big Bend National Park, Texas. Rangers told us not to be surprised if they destroyed our tent if we left the campsite.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 23, 2018

    Beautiful place to ride — got kinda boaring in that one spot. 🙂
    Pigs have tails, Javelinas do not, did not know that.

  4. By: Lah Posted: October 23, 2018

    Quite an adventure and an amazing amount of wildlife for one ride. Glad all the “black blobs,” including Pokey, were well behaved today! You are brave to even consider unpaved.

  5. By: Bikerdockeith Posted: October 23, 2018

    Hi Kathleen,
    Poop fairy? Really? Wild pigs are usually pretty timid, but they don’t like to be surprised. Y’a done the right thing. And who cleans up after the pigs?
    Good ride, but then aren’t they all?
    Cheers,
    Keith

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: October 23, 2018

    Sounds like a great ride.
    I know how you can all of a sudden pedal very fast if you feel you have to! Glad the wild boars knew to get out of the way when they heard your bicycle bell. Wild boars can be pretty fast, but I hear they are only aggressive when protecting their little piggies.

  7. By: Seasidejanet Posted: October 23, 2018

    Great ride! We have wild boars around here and they are not to be taken lightly!! A few yrs ago a one took out a big Harley on Hwy 1😮😮

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