Mountain Bike Bill, The Dirt on the Dirt

Palm Canyon – Conditions Report

Palm Canyon is one of my all-time favorite epics in Southern California.   I ride it at least two to three times a year.   This ride can be a deadly furnace ride in the summer so the winter months are generally the season to get out here.  I generally organize a sizable group ride at least once a year here, but I prefer to do this ride in really small groups.  This my first ride of the season and it was sort of a scouting trip for the large group ride to be done later.   Rich (Taffy15), Bill (MrMountainHop), Steve (Aquaholic) and I were on the trail just before 9AM and were treated to a day of excellent conditions. 


There was some moisture in the ground that made for excellent traction.    The trail overall is in good shape.   The three-mile dry wash climb was as good as I have ever seen it but it was still a pain in the butt.   The Hahn Buena Vista trail was as awesome as always.    The unmarked trail that connects Dunn Road to Fern Canyon trail is also in good shape and is much more defined than in past years.

On the Indian Poterro Trail

 We made excellent time today.  We were not trying to hammer but finished in under six hours.   We had no mechanicals or flats which for those who have done this ride, you know this is nearly magical.

Rich on the Dry Wash Climb

There were a couple of things that ruffled my feathers on this ride.    The descent off the meadow on the Indian Poterro Trails has been heavily sanitized and the final bit of singletrack going down by the water tanks in the Goat Trails has also been sanitized with a bunch of cheater rocks below the drops.

Da Climb

Looking Down from the Hahn

  I don’t suspect this is the case, but if this “trailwork” was officially sanctioned then those people should be ashamed of themselves.    Most likely this is caused by riders whose skill levels are less than their ego levels.  If you can not ride this stuff — WALK IT! – DON’T MODIFY OR DESTORY IT!   You do not get credit for “cleaning” the trail if you had to dumb it down to do so.  If you want to be a better rider, try, try and try again until you either get it or have to walk it.    The Goat Trail section really pisses me off because it is a totally optional trail.   If you can’t ride it, take the fireroad down.  If you want to do trailwork then get with your local Mountain Biking advocacy group for a legititmate trailwork day


Ranting aside – Tis the season for Palm Canyon!

Update:  Here are some more pictures on MTBR’s SoCal Forum

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2 thoughts on “Palm Canyon – Conditions Report”

  1. ummmm. not only is your route f’d up. but the way you talk down to other riders regarding trail grooming is straight up rude. how do you know it wasnt hikers fool. and YOU talk ego, thats an irony…somebody told me you guys were a-holes now i tend to believe it. you arent the king of everywhere bro, especially not Palm Canyon. great site for maps, not for verbage thats for sure. oh, and the dizzy and dumb helmet cam videos, dont get me started on that. try turning that thing around once and awhile and filming the rider behind you.
    its hard to watch an entire clip without feeling a hurl coming on.


  2. Hey DFS,
    I did not get a response to the email address you provided, so I’m posting here. There is a bit more here than my orginal email to you. If you have a beef with the site, it would probably be better to bring it straight to me, vice out in public. I’m 100% positive the cheater rocks and sanitizing is the work of bikers. Hikers go about that stuff in a different manner. I’ll assume that you are into technical riding considering email address you provided. Don’t you get pissed when people dumb down a stunt? It is the same thing with raw and untrammeled trails for me. I hate to see a great section of trail turned into an “okay” section of trail. There is difference between grooming/maintaining trails and santitizing them. What happened to those trails was sanitizing. The trail was made easier simply so a lesser skilled rider could ride it. Those technical features were not hucks or freeride stunts. They were challenging natural trail features that could be accomplished on a XC rig and some skill. Were my comments emotional charged? Yep, that is why I put in post in the “RANT” category. If you are in the Palm Springs area please let me know who the trailwork/adovacy folks are out there. I would be more than happy to come out and help with trailwork and/or give their efforts some space on my site.

    If you have a better idea for the Palm Canyon route, please let me know. I like to help people get the most out of a ride and the Palm Canyon ride deserves to be the best it can be. I have been thinking about a site redesign that would allow for collaborative trail review creations. Do you think that would something you would find useful?

    Who, besides myself, are you referring to with “You guys”? I ride with lots of folks, some are cool and some can be A-holes. I bet I can give you the specific encounter where that may have gotten started. It was an online encounter vice an on-the-trail thing and I challenge you or the folks that told you that to show where I was personally an A-hole to anyone. If someone has ridden with me and thinks I’m an A-hole that is one thing, but if they have not those people might be jumping the gun. Where do you normally ride? I would be more than happy to hit up a ride with you. If you think I’m an A-hole after that then that is that.

    As far as the vids go, that is why the site is free, so you should not feel cheated if something on my site sucks.


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