Archive for the ‘San Diego’ Category

Another Cruise in Cuyamaca

July 9th, 2014 by MTBBill

Nichol and I went back up to Cuyamaca State Park this past weekend for another ride.  We started at the staging area by the San Diego River and went up the west-side connector trail to the Visitor Center

IMG_4470

From there we took the Green Valley fire road up through the valley to the bottom of Soapstone Grade.

IMG_4505

Instead of making the left hander and going up Soapstone Grade fire road which is part of the Cuyamaca Grand Loop,  we continued straight onto the Upper Green Valley Trail and climbed up to the La Cima trail that roughly parallels Sunrise Highway. This section of trail was fairly rocky which extracts some additional energy out of you beyond what the grade would tell. As you near the top of the trail you leave Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and enter the Anza Borrego State Park.

IMG_4517

We then took the La Cima trail west and enjoyed some sweet flowing mostly downhill singletrack for a couple of miles.

IMG_4530

When then turned south onto the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT).   This a is really nice section of singletrack that offers some great views of Lake Cuyamaca and the surrounding grasslands.

IMG_4539

For the first half of this section you are doing some mild climbing before the trail transitions into mild descending with good flow.

IMG_4550

Just before the CRHT joins up with Soapstone Grade fire road at top of that fire road’s steep climb you leave the Anza Borrego State Park and reenter Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  From here we turned east on Soapstone Grade fireroad for about a mile of flat land cruising.

IMG_4561

We then took the Stonewall Creek fireroad south from here which shed off elevation fairly quickly back down into Green Valley.  There are both some rocky and sandy sections on this fire road that if not handled well, can lead to an unplanned dismount at speed which could be hard to stick the landing.   Stonewall Creek fireroad connected back to the Green Valley fireroad where we retraced our route back to the truck.  This was a little over a 17-mile lollipop shaped route that had a little over 1,800 feet of climbing involved.   This was Nichol’s longest and hardest ride to date that offered some new technical challenges for her.  To celebrate a ride well done that did not include any blood letting we sampled some of the offerings from Nickel Beer Company in Julian before chasing down some Mexican food.   It was a good day to be on a mountain bike.

Return of Wednesday Stoke in Alpine

July 6th, 2014 by MTBBill

It had been way too long since I had been out to Alpine for some Wednesday stoke with Steve (AKA Aquaholic).  So some emails were sent and in the very first reply Steve was laying the ground for a lackluster performance.  He saud he has been doing nothing but working on stupid human tricks on his Jet Ski and has not been on the bike in five weeks.

SteveBackFlips

So I know Steve has been indeed working on said tricks, but not whining about no riding and bad fitness, that’s just classic Steve sandbagging.

 

Not that Steve and I race up Anderson, but I can count on one hand how many times I have gotten up that trail ahead of Steve so I was expecting to call him all sorts of synonyms for sandbagger on the ride.    When we left the trailhead it was 89 degrees and we have gathered enough brain-boil data over the years to safely assume that there a few spots along the climb that are typically about 5 degrees warmer than the trailhead.  After the initial bit of pavement spinning and the opening section of descending the climbing started in earnest.   What the Hell? Steve was already waving me around.   I declined and decided to just ease up and chit chat some.  The kind of idle chit-chat that kills me when I’m struggling as it demonstrates the person behind is not completely winded and its some subliminal pressure to give moving you slug! Steve was talking about the heat.  Now the heat normally kicks my ass, but I had just spent nearly the last month working in the middle-east where the daytime highs got up to as high as 108 and the night-time lows got down to maybe 98 at best.   These low 90′s were just downright refreshing!

After the next wave around, I took Steve up on the offer and he slowly started tailing off.  I was feeling pretty strong and the while I was not trying to push myself up the hill,  I was aware that I gears were ticking over easier than they have in the past.   I’m having and good day and Steve is having a bad time with the climb.

ATT-02JUL04-01

About a little more than halfway up the climb the trail has been jacked by some four-wheeler folks who got themselves stuck off the trail.  There solution was to bring in a dozer and widen and “clean up ” the trail.

ATT-02JUL04-06

So I made it up Pistachio Point well ahead of Steve and had time to document the lack of any fresh Steve droppings.

ATT-02JUL14-02

Shortly after arriving Steve was curled up in fetal position and he even had to use the emergency binky that up until now had only been used to taunt the riders behind him.  Shortly after this picture was taken the thing fell apart from dry rot after it first only usage.

ATT-02JUL04-07

Once the climbing was done, the tables were turned and life popped back into Steve and he was right back into the airborne routine.  I was a completely different story.   I had not been riding any “wheels off the ground” technical stuff as of late and I had not been out here in a long time.   All the rocks looked bigger and more menacing while the ruts looked deeper.

ATT-02JUL14-03

I was able to get a little bit of air under the tires but for the most part I did not feel comfortable at all.   I just did not have the feel for it today.    I clearly need to get back out on these kind of technical bits more often.

ATT-02JUL14-04

The main descent back down was in summer dirt mode and the upper section where the doozer had gone through really removed much of the character of this trail through there.  A few good rains should spruce it back up.   It was good to get back out on the trail with Steve again.   Plans for more Wednesday stoke were plotted over tasty beer and BBQ at Alpine Beer Company afterwards.

 

Cruise in the Cuyamacas

July 2nd, 2014 by MTBBill

After working over the middle east for the better part of June it was nice to be back home and get out onto some trails.  This past weekend my girlfriend and I took a cruise through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  Here are a few pictures.

20140628_134726

Nice bit of shade in Green Valley

IMG_4356

Some folks seen along the along the trail

IMG_4365

The smile was about to be gone at this point as we neared the bottom of Soapstone Grade.

There has been quite a few changes to the park since I last updated my site that includes some new options for cyclist so I’ll have to dedicate some more time and get my site updated here in the coming weeks.

CRHT Page Added

June 7th, 2014 by MTBBill

I have added a page to the site for the California Riding and Hiking Trail.  At this point its designed to share my on-going information gathering on the trail in the form of an interactive Google map.   I have not physically ridden all of the sections of the trail so if during the course of looking at my information you have some information to share feel free to comment here or email me.

IMG_4228

Exploration the CRHT

May 31st, 2014 by MTBBill

So for the last couple of weeks I have been out exploring and researching the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT) here in San Diego County.   The history of this trail dates back to 1945 when the state legislature  passed the California Riding and Hiking Trails Act which called for a 3,000 mile multi-use loop trail between Oregon and Mexico.  The 3,000 miles never happened but over 1,000 miles did get built/designated.  Here in San Diego county there is about 108 miles of the trail with only 76 of being used. A portion of those 76 miles are having legal/access issues as some land-owners (not just private but other government agencies) are denying access to the public right of way easements.   It is worth noting that the County Parks and Recreation Department has officially put this trail into its Master Trails Plan.  Most of my research has been using their official GIS data on where they recognize the trails to be.  There are some deltas between their data and the current and/or historical trail that can actually be found.  The trail segments vary in quality from sublimely superb to completely obliterated by pavement.  There is a lot more to tell here and I hope to gather up and publish some of the information on the various segment issues in the future.

The trail passes through some of the trail systems that I have reviewed on the site.  The  Otay Mountain Loop, Hollenbeck Canyon, Cuyamaca State Park, and Oriflamme Canyon Loop reviews all have a segments of the CRHT passing through them.  The Warner Springs area has been my latest bit of on the ground research on the CRHT route.

20140530_092817

There are still bits to the original trail (as intended) still in use and accessible.

IMG_4279

Back in the 1940s and 1950s when many of the section were designated that used old truck trails, cattle routes and farm roads as the trail.   That might have been okay back then but as civilization came along some of those truck trails and farm roads have been widened and paved making them completely worthless as a trail.   It seems that there was never any mitigation made to reroute the trail.   Pictured above here is an old chapel that is still on a dirt road that the CRHT uses.

IMG_4209

Lost Valley Road (Which on some maps is called Lost Creek Road) is one of those segments where the CRHT used this dirt road that has since been paved (still single wide)  and the trail was not rerouted.   This would be a nice dirt road climb with good views of the valley below.

IMG_4216

The picture above is of the gate on the CRHT that uses the abandoned section of Lost Valley Road.  A 1/2 mile up the CRHT the PCT joins onto the CRHT.  Now keeping in mind that bicycles are allowed on the CRHT there is a bit of interesting co-use going on.  For  9/10ths of a mile the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) uses the CRHT trail as its route and of course all of the PCT signage says “NO BIKES”.   Now the Pacific Crest Trail was not established until 1968 a full 23 years after the CRHT.   This is not the only place were PCT co-use antics occur.  Up in the San Gabriel mountains, a 1/4mile section of the PCT was rerouted onto the Burkhart trail (a nice long open to bikes single-track) and the PCT folks tried to close that 1/4th mile section of the Burkhart trail to bikes.  It is complete onsense.

IMG_4222

Here is a view along the section of the 9/10ths of a miles of the CRHT discussed above.

20140530_105411

A fair portion of the CRHT route in this area sees far to much of this action.   Landowners illegally denying access to a public right of way easement.  The CRHT uses the dirt road pictured above but the Vista Irrigation District has removed all of the CRHT trail signs and has locked the gates.

20140530_090559

 It also looks they have removed some of these notices as well.

20140530_100347

This is just one of the tasty bits of trail that these landowners are attempting to deny the public access too.  I’m going to publish more information in the future as I gather it up. In the interim here is a Google Earth file (KML) extracted from the San Diego County GIS data base.  It also has some additional data in it and is what I consider a working document.

 

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)

image

Michael is certainly climbing quicker. Good on ya!

image

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..

The Greater Big Laguna Trail Area

January 21st, 2014 by MTBBill

BLT-18JAN14-02

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.

BLT-18JAN14-04

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

BLT-18JAN14-06

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.

BLT-18JAN14-08

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

BLT-18JAN14-10

A view down into Big Laguna Meadow.

BLT-18JAN14-11

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

BLT-18JAN14-13

Grabbing some snacks at the General Store.

IMG_0183

(Photo by Steve)

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

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.

Crestridge-DEC13-07

Flynn Springs Trail in the east end of the area.

Crestridge-DEC13-10

Some single track bits in the east end.

Crestridge-DEC13-48

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.

Crestridge-DEC13-49

Sweet little spot.

Crestridge-DEC13-23

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.

SMaRT-28NOV13-24

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.

SMaRT-28NOV13-17

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.

SMaRT-28NOV13-19

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

SMaRT-28NOV13-22

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.