Yesterday I planned on attending the San Diego Mountain Bike Associations advocacy meeting at it’s usual location at the Mission Trails Regional Park’s Visitors Center. The meeting was not until 7pm. Just enough time to get in an after work ride, get a bit to eat and get to the meeting. I had not been up on Cowles Mountain in a long time so I was excited about hitting it. I started from Mesa Road and caught the Mesa Trail. The chaparral had been growing nicely since my last visit and in many spots you are in a vegetation tunnel. This was really nice as it was quite toasty when I started so shade and a bit of a breeze kept the bake factor down a little.
Waterbars, Waterbars, Waterbars…There were just as many as I remembered. I like them as it is the uphill ledge action is a good skillset to hone. Since my last visit there has been a lot more go-arounds and widening created. Plenty of evidence of both shoes and tires as the culprit. Once up on the fireroad the state of my “slackerness” became apparent of the climb up to the top. No cleaning this mountain today as twice I had a total cardio redlining followed by a meltdown.
While it was not as clear as I have seen it in the past it was still a great viewpoint. The out-and-back to Pyles Peak was great. I basically owned that entire section of trail as I was the only one on it. The “in-town” solitude you can usually find on this trail combined with more waterbar action is one of the reasons I like it so much. The returns trip back up to Cowles had plenty of technical climbing challenges. The worst of them come when you are nearly back to the top which means most people (including myself) are nearly spent. There is one set of waterbar switchbacks that I have still yet to clean.
The ride back down the Big Rock trail was a cool as ever. Condition-wise the trail could use some work, but at the same time I like it as morning challenging with the ruts and such.
Post-ride, I cleanup and head while heading to a nearby store to grab some Gatorade, I spied a treasure that I could not let slip away. A bomber of the Stone’s 12 Aniversary Ale, A Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. To say it was yummy would be a grand understatement. Did I desire so a beer after just a rather small mid-week ride? Well no I did not. I owe the beer and bike gods an epic ride at a later date.
The SDMBA meeting was a good one, lots of stuff discussed There were some fresh new faces that are energetic and already taking action to further legal mountain biking access in the county. There were plenty of words like jumps, downhill and freeride talked about. Lots of things in the works and you can expect there will be plenty of oppurtunities for people to help. The meeting went long and I was pretty darn pooped by the time I hit the sack. Another good day to be a mountain biker.