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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flynn Springs Trail in the east end of the area.
Some single track bits in the east end.
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.
Sweet little spot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love some of the variety you get out here. The natural rock chicanes here make for some sporty flat land bike handling.
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.