Day Five of my fall vacation through Colorado was riding around Twin Lakes between Leadville and Buena Vista. There was plenty of nice trail and killer views. Find all the pictures, maps and blabbage here.
Archive for the ‘General MTB’ Category
Riding “The Commando Run” that is, you Dirty Minded Bastards! On day four of my Chasing Aspens vacation was a ride that goes from Vail Pass Summit down into the town of Minturn. The route we rode was used by the Army’s 10th Mountain Division during WWII as training for alpine skiing combat and commando raids for the war effort. We rode a series of forest roads to the Bowman Shortcut trail to the Two Elk trail. We did a total of 17.7 miles with 1,870 feet of climbing and 5,200 feet of descent. This was one fantastic trail that pretty much kept all of your trail riding skills on their toes. Check out the write up, pictures, map and GPS files I have added to the site.
Day 3 of my Chasing Aspens Tour through Colorado was in Winter Park where I could to make some new friends as well as spend some quality trail time with old friends. It was an outstanding introduction to riding at elevation and pretty fall colors. I can find a few more words and a few dozen photos of that outing here.
Man, I got back from vacation and found a mountain of work had piled up while I was gone so it has been a bit slow getting my pictures and thoughts together on that last trip. But I have managed to get a page put together on the first stop on my most excellent jaunt through Utah and Colorado.
The Good Water Rim Trail in “The Wedge” area of the San Rafael Swell was an awesome opener.
On Labor Day, I got in some quality Father-Son time with my oldest son on The Hub Trails in Idyllwild. The trail system has really expanded over the years since I first started riding up here. I’m way overdue for update on this area on the site so I decided I would be going back the following weekend.
Here is Will riding on the Hard Sun trail. We had a great time and we rode quite a few trails I had not been on before.
I started the next weekend off by finally catching the Hub Cyclery Saturday Shop Ride.
The shop ride focused on some of the trails over on South Ridge. Here is Emily working on some tasty singletrack.
This gaggle is best described as some of the usual local suspects. They guys were kicking my ass up every climb.
A killer spot for snacks and nips whiskey.
Dee styling up the hill
Emily cruising up a climb
While on the shop ride the trail went by a killer looking campsite so I dropped a marker in my GPS.
After post-ride tasty beverages, yummy tacos and plenty of MTB chattage back at the bike shop, I drove back up into the woods and found my way back to the campsite we went by earlier in the day. This was Casa Del Bill for the evening.
The post-sunset view from camp with the lights of Hemet below in the distance.
After a leisurely wake up the following morning, coffee, breakfast and camp breakdown I headed over to The Hub trails. The route I had planned for the day was not what I would consider a “Good” series of loops as my goal was to cover as many of the trails I had not been on before vice just doing a killer ride. I knew I would be doing some of this trails in the non-preferred direction.
The opening set of trails included Uprising, Silver Crag, Onion and Mystic Creek that worked up the mountain to Toptimator and Project X. I first rode Project X back when folks did not want you talking about it…Now its on the map, but I was not riding it today.
Toptimator is just forested singletrack awesomeness with killer views to boot. I took Toptimator to Portal, Dreamtwister and Sleepwalker. At this point I was seriously considering dropping down into the lower trails and heading back to the trailhead as I was starting to wane. I managed to convince myself to close off the Sleepwalker loop back to Topimator. A check of my water bladder put me to water rationing mode as I made my way back over to Mystic Dubbings for a cool descent back towards the trailhead.
I took a wrong turn at the bottom of Mystic Dubbings and found myself climbing up Bear Trap. I had gone far enough up the trail that I decided to gut it out and take it back to its upper junction of the Mystic Dubbings trail. At that junction I turned around, polished off my last sips of water and then descended Bear Trap and then retraced my way back to the trailhead. I rolled into the trailhead completely out of energy and all full of smiles. The water in my ice chest never tasted so GOOD! I did 21.8 miles with 2,700 feet of climbing but man did that ride seem harder than the number convey. I will be updating my page on this area in the next couple weeks but it will still be missing a few of the otherwise “published” trails. To get the best and most up-to-date map you will need to swing by Hub Cyclery and pick one up.
This weekend I joined Chip, and crew out in the Laguna Mountains for some good times in the dirt. We started at the top of Redtail Roost and dropped the singletrack down to near the meadow. We then climbed up Aqua Dulce to the top of Los Gatos. After taking Los Gatos down to the meadow we looped back up to the top of Los Gatos via Chico Ravine. After descending Los Gatos a second time, we took a lap around the meadows before climbing back up to the Redtail Roost. Good times!
Here a few pictures of the dirt hulligans on this outing.
Chip and Roger
The crew at the top of the Meadow. (Photo by Chip)
Jason and Amy
Chip playing with his new bike
At the top of Los Gatos with Jason, Jason and Tony
Me with Mr Gopher Snake (Photo by Chip)
So last week I got in a couple of days or lift-assisted MTBing at Mammoth Mountain. Eight of us went in together on a Condo rental which made for some comfy living arrangements.
Mandatory photo at the top. Over the course of the two days I hit most of the trails with the exception of some of the red triangle “pro” lines. Some of those are freaking gnarly and I felt under traveled and under protected. There are plenty of trails for all skill levels and genres here. Good times indeed.
Steve on Twilight Zone
Dayle and Michael
Michael on Skid Marks. I love taking the Gondola all the way to the top for the last run of the day and taking Skid Marks to Juniper to roll all the way back down into town. The trail dumps out less than a quarter mile from our house and it is a fun and scenery descent. Highly recommended.
Michael rolling on Juniper
Last week I spent some time at Mammoth Lakes for some lift-assisted mountain biking. The opener for this trip however was not lift-assisted. Dave and I and checked out Lower Rock Creek located about 15 miles south of Mammoth Lakes right off of HWY 395.
To keep the logistics simple, we did this ride as a loop. We parked at the bottom of the trail and climbed Lower Rock Creek Road. It was about 7.8 mile climb that gained somewhere around 2,200 feet of elevation. Considered that we started off around 5,000 feet of elevation was quite apparent that we were not beach cruising. Dave and I eventually made our way to the top and then it was time to cash out that elevation.
The trail crosses Lower Rock Creek Road twice dividing the trail into thirds. The upper section is nice and flowy with lots of buff goodness that weaves through pines and aspens. It pretty much all downhill as well.
The trail is exceptionally beautiful and follows along Lower Rock Creek the entire time. It was really cool to have the sound of creek along the entire route. After the first road crossing you are in the section colloquially referred to as the “Middle” section. This section also has some nice flow with the flora shifting to more pines than aspens. If you do not smile at some point in this section just throw your bike in the creek, hike out and give up all outdoor activities forever as you are clearly too calloused to be out in mother nature.
After the second road crossing the trail gets much more technical as canyon narrows on both sides.
Dave working through the rocks.
More fun in the rocks
At several places where we stopped to figure out a line or session a move, we could see trout in the creek. Awesome!
There was some tastiness waiting in the cooler at the lower trailhead for us. This will not be my last time on this trail.
So this weekend I went up to my buddy Bill’s house in the LA for a day of mountain biking, some Scotch sampling and some socializing at a block party. We will skip over the part the story where I get me and my stuff up to LA. We’ll start with me beating on Bill’s door at the 7AM. This is apparently O-Damn Early in the space-time warp continuum surrounding Casa Del LA Bill as I woke him up. There were promises made the day before about hot coffee and bagels upon my arrival. Bill had omitted the part that “my arrival” meant “my arrival at the bagel shop just down the street”. The comedic value of watching the sleep idled Bill try and get ready can not be adequately captured by words. After much snickers from me (and a trip to the bagel shop) we were on our way to Pt Mugu State Park. We parked on PCH right on the ocean and made our way through the campground and up Sycamore Canyon to the Overlook fire road. There was a pretty thick marine layer going on this morning so things were pretty challenging for taking pictures. From what I could tell there would have been some pretty views of the Pacific on other days.
We climbed up Overlook for a little over four miles to the top of the Wood Canyon Vista singletrack (aka Backbone). A wildfire in May of 2013 burned some 12,000 acres in this area. One of the optimistic points that Bill pointed out was that now there are great sight lines on the trail.
Those sight lines came in handy so we could wait for these chaps to get by before we rippppppppppped down that singletrack back into Sycamore Canyon. Oh what fun it was. From there we continued up Sycamore Canyon by way of the Two Foxes and Sin Nombre trails that took us to Ranch Center Road. Ranch Center Road is an old chunk of partially broken pavement that climbs to the west-southwest before dropping down to the top of the Wood Canyon Fireroad.
At this junction there were the ruins of a couple of ranch structures that we took a gander or two at before heading down Wood Canyon for a bit to catch the Guadalasca trail. This trail would be a fun descent as well but for us it was a climb of about 950 feet in a little under three miles.
The Guadalasca trail took us back up to the Overlook fireroad where we quickly hooked back up with the top of the Wood Canyon singletrack for a second run down this trail. Oh my was that some fun!
After that we took the Sycamore Canyon Fireroad back down to the park’s entrance on PCH and made our way back to my truck and the cooler with tasty beverages inside. All together we did a little over 22 miles and about 2,700 feet of climbing. We would finish the day off back at Bill’s casa where we enjoyed chatting up the neighbors over tasty snacks and beverages. Not a bad day at all!
Well it has been many moons since I did a MTB vid. Lots of reasons why but mostly because I was not particularly motivated to do a video. I have shot lots of video but had a tough time wanting to futz with it at a keyboard. Well after looking at my footage from the North Rim, I felt like putting a video together. So here you go. I’m hosting this on YouTube at the moment and I’m still working out the kinks on getting the video encoding to look its best through them. You can select up to 1080 HD if your connection and device will handle it.