Located in Kernville, the “Cannell Plunge” is a popular bike ride of epic proportions in the southern Sierra Nevada with incredible views of the surrounding peaks, forested single track, and non-stop action. You get over 28 miles of riding starting at 9,200 feet, most of it on single track.
We had been talking about doing the “Cannell Plunge” for a few years. As a final adventure before leaving on a two year mission to Argentina, my nineteen year old nephew finally made Todd and I (and my two adult nieces) commit to a weekend in September and made it happen. The ride definitely proved to be a one of “epic proportions”.
The weather was threatening rain the entire car ride up the mountain on our way to the trail head, but that didn’t worry us as much as all the pick-up trucks full of hunters also on their way up the mountain.
Surely the hunters weren’t allowed to hunt in the same place we were going to ride….right? WRONG. That guy in neon orange was not happy we were riding through his hunting area. And you better believe we were not happy he was hunting in our riding area.
The thunder and lightening turned into a hailstorm. It was like a million little bb’s being shot from the sky. It did not feel good on my bare arms. But, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it shooed all the hunters away real quick.
When the sun started to come out, the beauty of our surroundings was overwhelming.
The terrain changed around every corner.
Around mile 24 (10 miles longer than any of my previous mountain bike rides), I was ready to be done. My arms and legs were so tired from the previous 5 hours of riding, every little bump in the trail threatened to throw me over my handlebars. I sent the boys ahead down the mountain while my nieces and I cautiously covered those last four miles, determined to make it an injury free day. At mile 28 we declared victory over the “Cannell Plunge” and celebrated by plunging our feet into the Kern River.