Yesterday I attended what was a very cool ride that showed just how awesome our community of knobby tired freaks can be. This was by far the largest group ride I had every been on.
Here are some of my pictures from the ride along with a few words. To get a bunch of words, read about The Ride from the perspective of all that were there as well as the BBQ afterwards that I could not stick around for.
The reason I could not stick around was I had to do some cool “Hockey Dad” stuff. My oldest boy has been really doing well with the Hockey as of late. He was asked to practice (In preparation for tryouts after the first of the year) with one of the really good tournment teams here in San Diego. The level of play was a big step up for Will. He looked a little overwhelmed for the first five minutes or so but settled down before realizing he had to dig deep to keep up with the pace. It was the classic Big Fish in a little pond, does not look so big in a bigger pond thing. Between the ride and watching my kid, I was proud to be a Mountain Bikers as well as Dad today.
I have been working on a face-lift for the site for quite a few months now. Much of the work involved correcting a bunch of poorly written code that was not up to current standards. The new version of the site is standards based and should be much easier to maintain.
Here are are a few of the new features of the site:
- Better Setup for larger screens. While 1024 by 768 is the smallest screen resolution that will show the site as designed, the fixed menu areas combined with a fluid content area allows the site to “spreadout” better on the screen. I think you will find that a resolution of 1280 by 1024 looks best.
- Printer Friendly Pages. The old version was downright printer hositile. Not what I wanted at all. From disucssions with many of the site users, most people want to print out the pages and maps and take them with them on the trail. The new version is print friendly and fits into that idea. When you print a page, all of the backgrounds, images, and menus will be scrubbed out.
- Photo Gallery. I have picked through my site and compiled some of my favorites into gallery. Please wait for the page to fully load as the script that runs the gallery will not function properly if the page has not completed loading.
- This Blog – I’m going to use this as my What’s New feature on the site as well as routine riding updates. This will not replace my trail review pages what so ever. For example I ride Daley Ranch quite often, but not updating that trail review every couple of weeks. Instead I might through up a quick not and a picture or two here talking about that particular day’s ride.
- A Frequently Asked Questions page.
Getting the backend code up to standards is going to allow for some projects and future growth I thinking about for the site. Most of these ideas involves database integration for GPS and trail information as well as user interactivity, blah blah blah, technobable, technobable, etc…..
What is up with Freaking Advertisements? Yep I have stuck some ads on my site. Call it an experiment if you will. If the advertisments end up helping defray the cost of running the site as well as maybe be keeping a few tasty microbrews in my cooler at the trailhead, then I’ll keep them. Otherwise I might pull them. Please let me know if you think they are trashing your experience on the site.
There are a few little things that I am still working on at this point. Most of them involve working around Internet Explorer’s less than excellent support for web design standards. I recommened you give Firefox a shot as your browser. It follows the “rules” better and it displays this site exactly as I coded it.
Enough yapping on my part, get to clicking!
So I’m on my way from work to the San Diego train station to catch the train towards home. I ride my (gulp) road bike only about four miles or so to the station. Part of that route includes the extremely wide concrete pathway between the trolley and train tracks by the downtown convention center. This thing must be 25-30 feet wide. So I’m cruising along and these three freaking double-wide heefers are walking side-by-side and completely taking up the entire path. Now after I politely prompt them to let me by, they do but I was already in irritated mode by now. It seems that Americans will almost always walk side-by-side if given a chance. This includes our trails. If a trail is debrushed or swayco’d out to a doubletrack it is extremely hard for a moderatedly well-used trail to get back to singletrack as the casual American hiker will pull up along alongside their hiking partner. The Way Up trail at Elfin Forest is a good example of this. The trail was debrushed and widened to stablize the trail a few years back and it has never gotten back close to single track due to side-by-side hikers. You do not see this in Japan. While over there for the better part of 2004 I got to see how these folks hike single file. You know what? Their trails are much more narrow on average for the same general user density. I feel safe in saying nearly all of the “local” trails see at least three times the traffic that you average close to San Diego trail sees.
My point? I don’t know, maybe we should do less agressive debrushing but do it more often. We should refrain fron widening trails as part of maintenance unless there is no other option. Doing these actions will only encourage the side-by-side hiker crowds to stroll along and prevent our once single tracks from recovering.
I went out here today for the first time with a SocalTrailRiders.org group and I was pretty impressed with the single track out there. The place has lots of twists and turns while maintaining great flow. I did not take many pictures at all today (Busy trying to keep up) Here are a few:
The Warrior Society folks had a small contingent out there today as well. Here we are regrouping
While watching those guys work their way up a hill.
Some of the nice downs.
A not so nice up
Various folks from the ride.
With me living in North County San Diego this place is going to go onto my local ride rotation. I heard someone say this is one of Orange County’s trail gems. I would have to totally agree. Over the next few weeks I will be putting together a page and map up on the site. Mucho thanks to OMR for leading the ride today and all of the rest of the folks who made this a fun post-turkey burn ride.
I’m not 100% sure if this blog will be used long-term. I’m trying it out as part of my site, www.MountainBikeBill.com