Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

New Review Up! Crestridge

April 15th, 2014 by MTBBill

I have finally gotten off my butt and finished up new trail review on the website proper.   The Crestridge Ecological Reserve.   In the last year I have mostly been doing blog posts or updating existing pages.  I have at least a dozen other trail pages in the works so hopefully it won’t take as long to get the next one out.   Then again beer, bikes and life in general could foil that plan.

 

Lunch time at La Costa

April 11th, 2014 by MTBBill

I squeaked in a lunch time ride today out at La Costa with Michael Paul aka YetiRider. Homee has been a program and been slimming up.  Down 15lbs already.  (I think he is trying to get down to women chasing shape)

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Michael is certainly climbing quicker. Good on ya!

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It was a mighty pretty day out today as well.    All the better to be out riding a bike.    On a final note, this is my first shot at using the mobile app for making posts do I’m going to have to see if this is going to meet my needs or not..

Double play in the San Gabs

March 30th, 2014 by MTBBill

Yesterday I drove up to the LA area to get in some riding in San Gabriel Mountains.  It had been nearly two years (May of 2012) since my last time out of these trails.  (Note: In the process of getting this post together I came across of bunch of pictures from that last visit that had went unpublished so this post contains a mix of pictures from both.  My cohort in grime was wearing the checkered shirt yesterday if you need to know which one are more recent.)

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We did a modified shuttle/point-to-point ride on this day.  We meet up off of Windsor Street in Altadena near NASA’s JPL and left a truck there where the ride was going to finish up.   We then went up HWY 2 and rode in the Chilao Flats area where we got in some riding on Mount Hilyer and the Silver Moccasin Trails as well as couple other bits.     The weather was great and the riding was just as nice but the damage from the Station Fire really did a number on this area.

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After knocking out a nice loop in that area, we got back in the truck and road over to Eaton Saddle on Mount Wilson Road.  From there we hopped on the old Mt Lowe Road where we did a bit of fire road climbing. This is really cool section of fire road that even includes a tunnel.

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After about a mile on the fire road we turned off onto the Mt Lowe single track.  There were some challenging rocky bits on this climb that took us up to around 5,540 feet as the trail were around the eastern flank of the mountain.  This would be the highest evaluation we would see for the rest of the day as the truck was down at around 1200 feet.  Meaning we were in for some killer descending.

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The Mount Lowe trail was tight and fast with some rocky bits to keep you on your toes.  There was some exposure on this trail as well but mostly the kind that is going to leave a mark versus the assuredly kill you kind.

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The Mt Lowe trail  eventually dumped us back out onto the Mt Lowe road where we quickly turned off onto the Sam Merrill Trail.   Oh My what an awesome bit of trail this was.  I particularly enjoyed the opening section that has been spared by the first that was wonderfully wooded with tight single track on the rocky hillside.   Laughter could be heard through the woods during our transit through here.

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The trail eventually dumps you back out into open scrub brush and views all the way down into the LA basin are to be had.   You can also see quite a bit of the trail that lay ahead.

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The section down to Echo Mountain has plenty of technical goodness, tight switch backs and some exposure spots that could ruin your day or year.

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Once we got down to Echo Mountain, we climbed the Echo Mountain Trail back over to the lower parts of Mt Lowe road.  This trail follows along the old track bed of the Mt Lowe Railway which operated between 1893 to 1936.  The cement foundations for trestles are still in place.

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Just a 100 yards or so down the old road from where the Echo Mountain trail comes out is the top of the Sunset Ridge trail.

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More downhill goodness ensued for about the next 3.3 miles (with a short road interconnect) where the trail comes out in the Millard campground.  After the campground there was about a mile of fire road climbing to keep you honest.   From there we hooked with the El Prieto trail.

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This trail was just a hoot with some fast flowing sections, creek crossing and technical bits to keep you on your toes.  While we were overall shedding off elevation there we enough undulations to get some quick climbing grunts in.

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The El Prieto trail dumps out onto a fireroad that feeds down to Arryo Blvd (closed to vehicles) where it is followed back up into civilization and Windsor St where the other truck was waiting.  After we drove back up to the top to grab the other truck we kicked back and enjoyed the view while shooting breeze before getting heading off for the rest of our weekend.   It was way  good times on the bike today.   (I’m planning a get a page with directions and GPS data up on this ride in the coming weeks)

 

The Greater Big Laguna Trail Area

January 21st, 2014 by MTBBill

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This past weekend was mighty nice up in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area also known as the Big Laguna Trail.  The cool crisp air was a real pleasure to be in.

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Anytime you are out with Steve on a trail  impromptu log riding can break out.

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We hit some routes that I have not done in a long time or had not done in that direction before.  Here Steve and Mark climb Lightning Ridge.  While I have descended this trail plenty of times this was my first time going up the trail.

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I was digging pine needles and oak leaves under the tires.

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A view down into Big Laguna Meadow.

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A view across an area affected by the Chariot Canyon Fire.  Hmmm some Perfect Cycling Trail can be seen in the distance.

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Grabbing some snacks at the General Store.

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(Photo by Steve)

Next snack stop would be at Alpine Beer Company for some pulled pork and IPAs.

San Juan Trail

December 30th, 2013 by MTBBill

I needed to pedal off so Christmas cookies calories so Dave and I headed up to the San Juan Trail to get in some climbing.   I’m pretty sure there are some Thanksgiving Turkey, Halloween Candy, San Diego Beer Week and Octoberfest calories to be dealt with as well :-)

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It was a bit cool at the trailhead but just a few switchbacks up the trail it was quite comfortable.   The day turned out of to be simply awesome with warm sun and superbly clear skies.  San Clemente and Catalina Islands were easily seen.  The further up we climbed the more impressive the views became.

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I have been spending most of my riding time lately on my XC hardtail so taking out the my long-legged UZZI with it additional weight and heft on this ride was quite a bit more work on the climb.     I was quite happy to see cocktail rock when we got there.

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We did the traditional loop at the top in the counter-clockwise direction.    I had not forgotten how fun this trail can be but I had been away from it just long enough for each to turn had a bit of “Oh I remember you” excitement to it.

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The main descent back to the trailhead was a rip roaring hoot.   I have ridden this trail in what I would call perfect conditions before where the dirt could be best described as “Hero Dirt”.    That was not the case on this day, I would call it “Normal” which was also great.   It was the kind of dirt where you could easily overdue it in the turns and ending up loosing control.  But if you paid attention you could hear your tires and the dirt telling you when you were approaching the limits of traction.  I had big stupid grin on my face every time I was able to make the tires and dirt sing to me in the turns as my long-legged bike was shining in gravity direction it is optimized for.    We polished off a great day of riding with some tasty burritos in San Juan Capistrano before heading back to casas.

 

Getting to know Crestridge

December 19th, 2013 by MTBBill

Last I made two trips out Crestridge Ecological Reserve area to check out the trails.     This place has been on my get to know list for years now but I keep finding myself going just a little further down the road to Anderson Truck Trail and other trail goodness.   I found lots of fire roads and single tracks out here of varying quality along with plenty of elevation change.   Putting a good hurting on your legs and lungs is most certainly an option out here.   Getting in some flowing trails smiles can certainly be on the docket as well.

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Flynn Springs Trail in the east end of the area.

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Some single track bits in the east end.

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There are plenty of fire roads in the area as well as some single track.  The trail pictured above was in what I was call  the west end and it was a nice contouring trail up and over a saddle.

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Sweet little spot.

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I have climbed uglier fire roads.

I’m going to add this area to my site in the near future after GPS out a few more corners of this place so stay tuned.

 

Santa Margarita River Trail

December 8th, 2013 by MTBBill

It had been about five years since I had last been on the Santa Margarita River Trail.  This trail systems was a victim of the 2007 wildfires in San Diego County but has made a remarkable recovery.

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There had been quite a bit of rain in the previous days before I did this ride.   This place has quite a bit of sand and the previous rains had the sand nicely packed.   The flora had also quickly responded to the moisture and where flush with color.

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There were some spots of dramatic change since the fires.  After the fires a lot of the retaining vegetation was destroyed .  When heavy rains swelled the river the following river mother nature grabbed a sizable chunk of the bank.  In the picture above, the trail is now right on the edge of the back when it used to be 10-20 feet away from the waters edge.

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I love some of the variety you get out here.  The natural rock chicanes here make for some sporty flat land bike handling.

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Then there are these flowing smooth single track sections under the trees that just make you grin. It is a great time of year to get out there so I you have not been out here before it is worth checking out if you live here in the county and looking to check out some new turf.

 

 

 

There is no MTBing in Bahrain!

September 8th, 2013 by MTBBill

I spent the tail end of July and most of August working in Bahrain.   For those who have never heard of the place it is an island in the Persian Gulf east of Saudi Arabia.    The maximum elevation is maybe 100 feet and pretty much everything is sand so the mountain biking opportunities are mighty freaking limited.    Of course a Surly Moonlander would help a little in that department.   Hmmm I wonder if I could get one with some S&S couplings on the frame?

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Even with a bike, I would have a hard time getting motivated to get out in the heat and ride.  Everyday it was over 100 by 10AM.   Several days in particular it was 108 with 74% humidity.

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I did manage to get out and grab some sights while I was over there including the Grand Mosque

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I took a tour of the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque on one of their “open houses” for non-Muslims. [aka Infidel Outreach Day :-)]   Work involved a lot going back and forth between an office and the outside.  After a few weeks of the cycling in and out of the heat and AC I came down with some chest and sinus crud that required some antibiotics to knock down.      The project I’m working has several phases to it so I was able to come home for a couple of weeks in between one of the phases.

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I was still not completely over the crud when I got home so I refrained getting back on the bike and potentially backsliding with the crud.     My girlfriend and I did make a trip up to Palomar mountain for a bit of mild hiking.   It was really nice to see some greenery in mild temps.

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One of the locals we saw along the trail.

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By this past Friday I was feeling well again so a dawn patrol ride out at Mission Trail Regional Park was in order.   There was some weather moving through the area which made some cool rainbows.  I had ridden on the west side of the park in quite sometime.   So I hit up the Jackson, the Rim trail, S-turns and the Soycott trails.    I had not checked out North Fortuna from the north slope so I looped back around and when up North Fortuna from the north slope.  I had my long-legged bike so it was overwhelming a hike-a-bike in that direction but would be a very techy ride on the descent.

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After getting up to the North Fortuna peak, I descended the south slope to the saddle and then continued on up to South Fortuna.    It had also been a long time since I had taken the South Fortuna staircase.  I knew there were many spots were you had to pick and choose your battles but there were quite a few more than I remembered from my last go at this trail.  I want to say that the techy sections were in worse shape than before, but it is more likely that my skills and/or nerves have slackened up some.

Either way it was great to be back on the bike and again.   I’m heading back to Bahrain tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to another stint of being off the bike.   Work can be so pesky sometimes!

Sweetwater And Rockhouse

July 26th, 2013 by MTBBill

For those of you who have every been on some of Hoser’s Bonita rides leaving from Donny’s Café you know there are 5o,000 ways plus to put together some serious miles out in this area.

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You also know that trying to give by turn-by-turn directions for some of these routes would be pretty damn difficult.

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In the past I have just always tagged along behind other folk’s wheel and just enjoyed the various route without really caring where on how I was getting where.

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Lately I have been putting in some solo miles in an effort to calibrate my own compass out in this area.

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The Rockhouse area has been the latest section of stomping around and figuring out.

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I have been traveling trails and adding new bits with every visit. There is lots of good stuff out here

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Here are a few pictures from the area from the various rides so far.

 

 

Where The Hell Have You Been?

June 25th, 2013 by MTBBill

Where The Hell Have You Been?    I have gotten that question a couple of times as of late.  Yep I have been slacking on the posting stuff of my Blog.

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I have been getting in some quality Hockey Dad time in with my youngest son on most weekends as he is playing on two In-Line hockey teams.  One recreational league team out of Kit Carson Park in Escondido and a tournament team (The San Diego Stingrays).   This works out to practice and games commitments of four days a week.

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With both teams practicing out of Escondido I have been getting in quite a bit of riding in at Lake Hodges and the surrounding area as of late.  Besides the stuff already on my site I have managed to find some cool stuff here and there like this patch of woods between Lake Hodges and Poway.

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I have also managed to find some complete crap as well.   This tripe located in the city of Poway is simply insulting.  They dumped 4-6″ of gravel beside a stupidly steep road and called it a trail.   The unprofessional asses that did this debacle did not even bother to compact the gravel down.   This thing is so F’d up that had to put signs up ever 50 feet to try and convince people that it is a trail.   City of Poway—This is not a F$%^ing Trail!  If you would care to improve your trail building knowledge why don’t you spend an afternoon on the playground at Chaparral Elementary School.  Pay attention to the six year olds with the Tonka trucks, they get it more than your “trail builders”  do!

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Enough about city governments wasting money, I managed to catch a baseball game with my girlfriend.  The Padres even managed to win on the night we went.

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Of course San Diego is arguably a Craft Beer Mecca so there has been plenty of outings to check out what the latest awesome offerings are from the over 71 (and growing) microbreweries in the county.

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Recognizing that mountain biking is a preexisting condition with me my, girlfriend he has gotten onboard with the program and is coming up to speed quite nicely.

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I have also managed to get in some dirt time at La Costa here and there.    If for nothing else than to check out some advertising dollars well spent on the Copper Canyon Bridges.

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My work schedule as of late has been conducive to grabbing some after work mileage out in South Bay.   I have ridden out here numerous times and there are lots of trails to push the pedals around on.  In the past I have nearly always been with somebody showing me around through the maze of canyons with interconnections through parking lots, culverts, streets and backyards.   It has been kind of fun trying to use the “Swartz” on solo efforts to retrace some of my previously guided steps.   More to follow as I continue to get semi-lost with that ongoing effort.

So as far as where the hell have a been?   I’ve been around on my bike….