What a great couple of rides I had this weekend. I took Friday off to show my bud Matt one of my favorite around around Idyllwild.
We started off my dropping a truck off at Herkey Creek and then continuing on up through Idyllwild to the top of the Ernie Maxwell trail. This trail sees a lot of hikers on the weekend to the point that they can kill your “flow buzz”. But on this Friday morning there were only a couple of hikers to be seen and singletrack bliss is about the best way to describe the descent.
After Ernie, the fireroad climb up to the South Ridge trail wipe the smile off our face but the views from the top were worth it. There was a singnificant marine layer to the west but Santiago and Mojeska peaks in the Santa Ana Mountains were easily seen peeking up on the horizon.
From here we dropped into the May Valley area. Despite the dry and some what loose conditions there was much grinning and lots of whoops and hollers.
The fall colors were really awesome up here with vibrant yellows on the trees and the various diminishing shades of red to brown leaf litter on the trails. We had an awesome time checking out on the trails in the upper area until we started to feel some cookage in the legs. After that we hooked into the Herkey Creek race course and rode towards the sounds of tiny bubbles in brown bottles below. Matt went off to find a camping spot for a Mega Palm Canyon Epic the following day while I went back to San Diego to play Dad on Saturday.
Sunday I met up with some of my riding buds that I have not in quite a few moons. Bill, Billy, and Cliff. Yep, three Bills and a Cliff, it already sounds like an epic in the making. Our plan was to take the SART and from South Fork campground to Mentone. After dropping a truck off down below at 8AM we were heading up the mountain and decided to go a bit bigger. We continued past South Fork and started up in the mountains near Big Bear. (Yes, I’m being vague for a reason 😉 ) . The temps were nice and the air was thin.
After heading up our bonus mileage, we connected up with SART at South Fork and proceed along our or orginally intended route. I the colors of falls were impressive through here. There were several sections where a good breeze was blowing the leaves off the trees and it looked like a gentle snow storm of giant yellow flakes coming down onto the trail. Blissful moments for sure.
We came across a group of 20 plus riders from SocalTrailriders.org at Glass Road, but besides that we pretty much had the trails to ourselves for the day.
The SART from Glass Road to Middle Control road was a good as I have always remembered it. We have all ridden this trail quite a few times so we all got into our own groove and just rolled. This is such good trail.
Once at Middle Control road we decided to take the road up to the Post Office to grab some snacks and liquids for the rest of the trip. We were all feeling it on the climb. With Cliff being the sole single-speeder in the group today he obviously got up to hill before us. This pictures pretty much how we all felt at this point.
The consenus was that the little break at the Post Office did not do any us any good as we were all feeling a little stiff as we headed out to hook up with the SART again. Beyond this point it was new trail for all of us. There was bit more climbing that I expected in this section but the views were pretty killer.
After what seemed like a long time of climbing, things finally turned downhill. The technical factor and exposure went up in some spots as well. I don’t have much in the way of pictures beyond this point as we were having too much freaking fun to stop.
We did not leave much of the day behind once we got to the bottom. For those that like numbers, we knocked out about 2,500 feet of climbing and 7,500 feet of descending over 34 miles. For me a better measurement is that my soul was full and my body was drained. Here is a view of the remains of the day on our way back to fetch the upper truck.
I have enjoyed lots of new dirt away from home over the course of this year, but getting on new stuff near home turf was a real treat.