An informal Tuesday-night gathering of time-trial enthusiasts has burgeoned into one of the area’s main cycling events, says Sam McManis of The Sacramento Bee. McManis recently attended the weekly meeting and observed amateur and regionally ranked cyclists battling their personal best times on the isolated trail.
Folsom South Canal trail in Rancho Cordova runs alongside the canal from the eastern limit of Gold River, near Hazel Avenue, all the way to White Rock Road (where the Tuesday evening time trials take place), and beyond. The trail continues south past Jackson Highway all the way to Elk Grove.
The time-trials are held on one five-mile stretch of the trail, beginning and ending just south of White Rock Road. Riders perform a single out-and-back sprint, leaving at 30-second intervals, while volunteers monitor their individual times. Riders crank out astonishing times, often averaging 27-30mph over the ten-mile course.
The event is staged informally during the spring and summer months, and much of the organization is done by Erin Whatley and Wilson Gorrell, owners of the popular Folsom Bike shop on Folsom-Auburn Road. Whatley and Gorrell post the times of the cyclists on their shop website.
The South Canal TT is one of a handful of local time-trial events, which includes the Putah Creek Smackdown, between Davis and Winters, and the Total Intensity Sports TT Series, on Freeport Blvd in South Sacramento.
The Folsom South Canal is easily accessed from several points in Rancho Cordova: from Tributary Crossing, just off Gold Country Blvd, from Sunrise, just north of White Rock Road, or off Oselot Way to the south.