This pasy weekend I ventured about as far as I am willing to travel for a single day ride. The Golden Eagle Trail is on Liebre Mountain about 60 miles north of downtown LA. It is a long haul from San Diego. Why drive that far? Well is a really awesome trail and with the recent snow and rain, the conditions should be prime. So I was up at O-Damn Early and headed north.
After meeting up with Bill O’Neil in the LA area continued onto the trail. We mulled over some kind of epic shuttle but our shuttle vehicle was acting a little flaky so we opted for the out-and-back option.
It was a rather brisk start when we started the climb up the singletrack, but it did not take long to get warmed up. Most of the main climb up onto the mountain is on its north slope and offered some shelter from the morning breeze. The predominate ground cover on the north slope was this incredibly green grass that reminded me on an oversaturated photo. Simply incredible. What was not incredible was my climbing speed. Maybe it was too much breakfast, snacks and coffee on the drive up here but I was having “issues”. By the time I made it up onto the ridgeline I was feeling rather sick and something bad was about to happen. It was one of those feelings that creates uncertainity about what should be pointed where. After some gastrointenstinal “adjustments” I started to feel better and we continued.
Once up on the ridgeline we did quite a bit of rolling up and downs with each undulation gathering a little elevation for us. The trail not technical to speak of, just sweeting flowing goodness.
There were patches of snow here and there as we cruised along that for the most part were rideable. Some of the patches were as deep at six inches which offered some challenges to keep going and maintaining control. After handling a bunch of these patches I got pretty complacent with the stuff, hitting them with more and more speed. One particuarly small looking patch decided to refocus my attention as I got bit sideways in the patch. Upon leaving the patch and suddenly regaining traction, I aburptly switched from out-of-control cyclist to amateur geologist. FYI, there are much easier ways to take soil samples.
Soil samples aside, we had a great time on the ridgeline. Once the Golden Eagle trail ends you can continue along the ridge on a fire road and explore around a bit. We did this for a while until turning around. The return leg was really cool as there was more down than up along the ridge. The final segment is all downhill and it simple rocked. The conditions just don’t get any better. The trail in this section was incredible with the perfect balance between traction and speed. This trail is also open to motos so most of the turns have berms which made for some insanely fast turns. Bottomline – We ripped down this section back to the truck!