Bernardo Mountain – Rant

So I have not been up Bernardo Mountain located on the north side of Lake Hodges in a quite some time. While it is not a terribly long climb, it has always been a solid climb with some pretty technical bits up near the top. For many years it has been one of those benchmark trails to judge where I stand against my former self. I decided to go out and run “the test” again.

The guy was making plenty of noise.

Before I really got started I had to take a short pause to yield the right of way to one of the locals. I have only see a few rattlesnakes this year so I was pretty bummed that I was not lugging a round my DSLR rig on this ride. After some interaction time with Mr Nope Rope I was onto the climb proper.

The view of most of the southside trails.

There is a distinctive spot on the trail where the “test” really starts. Its probably a little more than halfway up and the trail switchbacks to the right and gets rocky, ledgy and steeper all at once. It is not like this all the way up but there are plenty of sections like this to negotiate. From this point on I had a series of disappointments. (Just for the record I did not clean the climb to the summit from here) The amount of sanitation that has occurred in this trail has very much changed the character of the trail. For the most part there are no longer any loose rock sections to climb. The loose rocks have for the most part have been kicked off the trail and piled up along the sides. People have even pulled out rocks to make some sections smooth. Smooth sections that are now going to be more prone to erosion now that the soil “armor” is gone. I realize that some people think they are improving the trail, but really? There are also those other types you feel the need to modify the trail in order to say they rode it or to get that personal best. Those folks are some other special flavor of narcissistic asshole.

Looking west from the summit

Maybe I’m just a grumpy old bastard. Maybe I’m the narcissist asshole yelling the equivalent of “back in my day we had to walk to school in the snow, uphill, both ways!”. Either way I did much better on that climb than I should have. It was not because I was in any kind of better shape or more skilled than my last outting here. The climb is just not as hard as it used to be and I’m pretty aggravated about. Its not easy by a long shot, it is just not as hard as it used to be. I realize this happens to most trails as I have seen it happen in numerous places but it does not mean I have to like it! Alright Bitch Sesson complete.

Cuyamaca Cruise

Today I went out for a quick spin in the Cuyamaca Mountains which rarely falls into the “This Sucks!” category.

An oak at the bottom of the Green Valley singletrack
An oak at the bottom of the Green Valley singletrack

I started from the East Mesa parking lot and took the East Mesa singletrack up to the visitor center where I connected to the Green Valley fire road.   I took this up to the Green Valley single track and work my way to the La Cima trail.

CRHT
I love this spot along the California Riding and Hiking Trail

The La Cima trail took me to the California Riding and Hiking trail, which I took south where I hooked up with the Stonewall fireroad and then over to the Cold Springs trail.

Great views in the Cuyamaca Mountains
Great views in the Cuyamaca Mountains

At the bottom of the Cold Springs trail I crossed HWY 79 and hooked up with the West Side singletrack and took it south back to the East Mesa staging area.    It was definitely a fun day on the bike!

An old friend gone

It is with a bit of sadness that I must pass on that this beautiful old oak tree has finally moved on from Daley Ranch.

From a year or so ago

On my Sunday morning ride, I found this tree toppled over completely blocking the eastern half of the Jack Meadow loop. Half of this oak had come down a year or so ago, but the other half finally we over as well. Considering that Daley Ranch has a staff to handle this kind of stuff I imagine the tree came down on Saturday. Good bye old friend you were a most welcome shade spot.

Hodges Dawn Patrol

It has been pretty hot as of late so a dawn patrol ride was in order. Lake Hodges was the place.

Lake Hodges

My sweetie joined me on this ride as well. We pretty must did the north side trails as an out and back.


It is definitely summer with pretty much all the vegetation in dry hot weather mode. There was some surprises. The cacti for example has just recently flowered which I expected that would have happened much earlier in the year.

Back in the Saddle

I have been off the bike for quite a chunk of time with lots of competing interests taking up my time. I have a slew of home projects, a long overdue visit from my parents, some difficult work in town as well as some work travel.

Great view
I worked under harder conditions.

It was not bad, just not mountain biking. I worked in Hawaii for a month which included having my wife out for a week.

We are still smiling here, we still have climb back down this slick ridgeline.

I did not doing any mountainbiking in Hawaii on this trip but I did do quite a bit of hiking.

Plenty of great things to see by foot i. Hawaii.
Back in SD

It was however quite nice to get back to San Diego and hit up some hometown dirt again.

Playing on SoCal rocks

What is not to like about this kind of trail action.

Tight Situation

Friends in Town

I was stoked to have a couple of my Colorado buds roll into town. In addtion giving them a place to shack up and bourbons to sample we got in some riding.

La Costa
La Costa was the local ride.

We had some rain to deal with o. The second day so we went out to Anderson Truck Trail

Anderson Climb
Anderson Climb

The skys looked ominous as we were driving out to the but the there was a large patches of blue sky to the southwest which was where the wind was coming from so I felt pretty good about our chances. Things looked good early on.

Oh Hail
Oh HAIL!

The skys turned pretty quickly and before we knew it we had hail bouncing off our heads. Now we have a bike ride!

Kevin on some SoCal rock

Pretty much by the time we got to the top of the trail the hail and light rain was over and we were back in some sunshine. Time to go back down.

Greg rocking in Socal as well!

I was so stoked to be to return some hospitality back in Kevin and Greg direction.

Back in the Lagunas

I spent most of January working in Jacksonville, Florida. Below is a picture from the commute out to the jobsite that seemed out in the sticks.

Sailboat Sunrise
Favorite Picture of the trip

Once back in town it was time up one my old reliable trails, the Lguna Mountains.

Views from up near the top.

The skys were super clear and we could see Point Loma and the downtown skyline some 40 miles away as a crow files.

Point Loma and Downtown
Point Loma and Downtown

We did not do a particularly good job of chasing the sun and pretty much finish the last minutes of the day. There are worse things to be bad at.

Steve showing off.
Steve showing off both of his girlfriends!