Florida Canyon in Balboa Park

So I was tube locked for most of the day on Wednesday, but an appointment near Balboa Park gave me about an hour and half to squeeze in a quick ride in Florida Canyon.   Florida Canyon is part of Balboa Park and the canyon has trails on both sides of Florida Drive which goes down the middle of the canyon.   I have only ridden here once before about 13 years ago.  Besides that there is not much mileage out here I had forgotten my other aversion to this place.  I was obvisously overdue for a refresher.  

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While this place is very short on miles, the fact that it is bascally in downtown gives it huge bonus points.   The place is pretty and has enough ups, downs and turns to keep a beginner excited.

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Most of the trails are about sidewalk wide and while being solidly in the none technical category they do have some character here and there.  These trails are much better than the homogenized decomposed granite sidewalks that are so prevalent among most of the city and county created pathways/roads that they try to pass off as “trails”.

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There are some more narrower singletracks here and there.  The picture above is of one of the trails on the east side of the canyon.   Now I am routinely prone to taking the trail less traveled to try and figure out an area’s trail system and today was one of those days.   While over on the east side of the canyon just south of Morley Field (highlighted in yellow below) I spotted a few exceptionally narrow looking trails that seemed to not see much action so I flicked the handlebars and headed off down the second one I came across.   Turns out I was quite wrong about the whole not seeing much action assessment.  Less than 40 feet down the trail I hear somebody coughing off in the bushes in a manner that seems like they are trying to get someones attention.  I thought it wierd but kept on rolling.   Around the next corner I see some things that well (a) Ought to happen behind closed doors (b) Joe Public should not have to see in a public park  (c)  Just can’t be unseen!    Everybody (Straight, Gay, Trannies, Furries, etc…)  has to get their freak on but come on!  I should have to type in some keystrokes like C: <INSERT> ### into my computer to see some shit like that on an idle Wednesday afternoon.  I was certainly motivated  get out of this section of “social ” trails at this point so I give some extra gusto to the pedals.   These little trails seemed more  like a maze and this point and two turns later I encounter a very stylishly dressed man in surprising uncomfortable looking shoes strolling along this little trail towards me.   (Don’t ask me why I noticed the shoes,  I just did okay.   I have been paying more attention to peoples shoes ever since I saw Shawshank Redemption.  We should all be slightly suspicious of people wearing inappropriate shoes.)    He was a cordial fellow who wanted to chat while I figured out how to get around him with the minium of greetings exchanged.     The guy seemed to pick up on the fact that Homee don’t play that pretty quickly and I was soon on my way again.    A handful of seconds later I popped back onto the main trail to notice another well dressed fellow reading a book while sitting on a log seat and another guy just sort of standing around.   Weird!

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I then remembered why I had not been back over here in over a decade. Morley Field is a “Cruising” spot for gay guys looking to hook up for casual sex in the bushes.   To each his own but the Public Service Announcement for this trail system is

“Stay on the Designated Trails in Florida Canyon”   

Once I was back the main trail and checking out the rest of the trails I could not help but chuckle as dinner plans for the evening had already been made with my girlfriend.

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We had dinner at Hilcrest Brewing Company where they not only have good food but good beers as well.    Their pizzas are awesome and we had a tough time deciding between the “BBQueer Chicken” or the “Meatpacker”.   The Meatpacker won the coin toss and it went well my girlfriends  “Hoppy Endings”  IPA and my “Pearl Necklace” Pale Ale.   It was a very memorable bike ride with plenty of laughs and snickers afterwards.

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