Wow! The Trabuco Canyon – Bell Ridge loop is a bunch bigger than the 20-mile distance would leave you to believe. I have not crunched all the numbers yet but it looks like something like over 4,400 feet of climbing. There was supposed to be three of us, but one our cohorts in grime whipped out a “little” 70-mile fixie night road ride last night and somehow managed to oversleep. I have no idea how that could have happened 🙂
The ride started pretty rough for me. I participated in a hockey skating clinic yesterday and I woke up with some funky kinks and soreness in my legs. We had a five-mile dirt road ride to start things off before hitting the Trabuco trail. The road did little to get my legs to feeling better. It was not until somewhere around the turnoff for the West Horsethief trail where my legs seemed to start feeling okay. Of course this is also the spot where the Trabuco trail starts getting really tricky to climb in spots with patches of loose shale rocks that requires a bunch of finesse while extracting some extra energy from your legs.
Once we made it up to Main Divide Truck Trail it was time to take the Los Pinos trail a ways before peeling off onto Bell Ridge. This ride had some great views in all directions, but boy did we pay for the pleasure. Most of the time my butt was either on the nose of my saddle climbing or nearly dragging on the rear wheel on descents.
There were at least three sections that were Hike-A-Bike climbs and one that most riders would Hike-A-Bike down. I took a long hard look at the one gnarly downhill section in question and decided to hike it down. I’m pretty sure I could have cleaned it, but I was not so sure about doing it on the first attempt. Considering we were a long time away from help, I opted on the safer option. Next time I’m going to bring some protective gear and give it a shot.
The steep up and down action of the trail kept on going until the last few miles when grades mellowed out to “moderate” and the sight lines opened up to allow for some bits of sustained speed. We finished up the ride by dropping down into a neighborhood and take a bit of surface street action back to our truck.
Bell Ridge was a great ride that was a bit more challenging than unabated fun. Check back on the site over the coming weeks to see a full review and maps.
UPDATE: The Full Review is now posted