Life has been busy. In a good way. Busy enough that I have been living life and not carving out time to share it in this format. I go throgh these spells. I have come to realize that this blog is just as much a sanitized log of my life on two wheels for myself as much as it is for sharing with others. So I’m going to fill in the historical gap from my last ride until present with a handful of ride stories and pics to tell the story. It is currently the later half of August but this post is going to be date back to middle of May. I will close the gap until the posts about the amazing times on the bike I am currently having in Washington state.
—— Now onto the catchup ——
So I bought a new toy. A 19-foot travel trailer. Its has a queen size murphy bed for my sweetie and I. Along with that he has two bunks so it could also support MTB roadtrip with the broz. After a very close to home shake down outing we took it up to Laguna Meadow for our first real outing.
I did not have a reservation but the campgroup has a number of sites that are not part of the reservation system. So I went up midweek grabbed a spot for the remainder of the week and the weekend. After setting up the trailer I went for a spin around the meadow, up Chico ravine and down Los Gatos.
There was plenty of springtime going off on the meadow. I have to say it was very cool to have a baby house waiting for me at the end of the ride. I ended up spending the night there and going straight into work in the morning.
Some shots of the after-work ride on Thursday up in the Laguna Mountains with Steve. The toes are still a bit of distraction but things are better than last week. The weather was pretty freaking awesome with low-mid 70’s and a nice breeze.
I am such a fan of the Laguna Mountains. There is a good variety trails and routes to choose from. Steve and I refer to our time our here as Soul Rides paying homage to wildly popular book “Chicken Soup for the Soul”
This weekend I joined Chip, and crew out in the Laguna Mountains for some good times in the dirt. We started at the top of Redtail Roost and dropped the singletrack down to near the meadow. We then climbed up Aqua Dulce to the top of Los Gatos. After taking Los Gatos down to the meadow we looped back up to the top of Los Gatos via Chico Ravine. After descending Los Gatos a second time, we took a lap around the meadows before climbing back up to the Redtail Roost. Good times!
Here a few pictures of the dirt hulligans on this outing.
Chip and Roger
The crew at the top of the Meadow. (Photo by Chip)
Jason and Amy
Chip playing with his new bike
At the top of Los Gatos with Jason, Jason and Tony
This past weekend Nichol and I did some camping up a Big Laguna Meadow for a couple of days of enjoying the trails in the area.
The last bit of rain we had did the flora some good and it look downright like spring up here.
There was plenty of color both out on the meadow and in the trees.
Some pretty white stuff on the Big Laguna Trail. This particular section is one of the reroutes from a couple of years. I said it before but once again, thumbs up to the ranger out here was made it happen.
Saturday Nichol and I went up to Big Laguna Meadow to get in some biking and a night of camping.
It was quite a pretty day with some fall colors up in the trees and exceptionally nice temps. After setting up camp we did a cruise around meadow.
We were up bright and early the next morning to meet a gang-o-folks down at the lower Noble Canyon Trailhead for some playing around for the better part of the day. We left some vehicles at the bottom and then drove up to the Redtail Roost trailhead off of Sunrise Highway. There were at total of 10 of us in the gaggle. Redtail roost is a fun trail that goes along a wooded ridgeline for a ways before descending down into the Laguna Meadow area. Encountering a dude all decked out in camouflage early along the trail was good reminder that it is hunting season up here. I was also glad I passed on wearing my buckskin jersey and Viking helmet on this ride.
After descending Redtail Roost we climbed up Aqua Dulce to the top of the Los Gatos trail where we then descended down to the meadow. But not without playing a few features here and there. Here is Michael playing on a skinny.
Dave getting in some log action as well. Once down on the meadow we went up the east side of the meadow a ways and the did a side loop that included a portion of the connector trail that goes between the meadow and the Pacific Crest Trail. Once back at the meadow we went around and up the west side of the meadow and caught the connector over to Penny Pines and the upper Noble Canyon trailhead. It was here that David’s frame broke where the downtube meets the bottom bracket. So he broke off from the group for a very dodgy ride back to Redtail Roost along Sunrise Highway.
It was Noble Canyon time now and there was plenty of good stuff as always between the top and the bottom. Here is Jenny rolling through the woods up near the top.
James playing on a jump about halfway down or so.
James rolling into the “Stairway to Hell”
Kevin meets Stairway to Hell. I was kind of jealous of his superlight rig earlier in the ride, you know like on the climbs. I was pretty stoke with my rig through these parts. After spending most the summer riding a XC hardtail rent-a-wreck my long-legged stretched out full suspension couch felt awesome through this stuff. Woot Woot!
James working through some chunk. By the time we hit the bottom trailhead most folks’ mileage device had us doing between 24 and 25 miles with a little under 2,800 feet of climbing in. While the rest of the crew headed out, I went back up to he meadow and we broke camp down at a leisurely pace and then headed out for tasty BBQ and Beer at Alpine Beer Company. Another good weekend on a bike.
Time to catch up on some photos that have tried to get lost over the last few weeks in a smorgasbord of work, holiday parties, family visits and a cross country road trip (non-biking..but some intel was gathered). A few days before I headed out to the east coast to start all of the festivities, I meet up with some of the SDMBA folks and Leslie Kehmeier, IMBA’s Mapping Specialist. Noble Canyon is one of IMBA’s Epics and Leslie while on a Southern California swing wanted to refresh the information of Noble Canyon and check out the trail for herself. Mark (SDMBA’s USFS Liason and Board Member) had put together all of the logistics together for the ride and a great day out in this awesome area soon followed..
The route that was put together for the day was a point-to-point route from Red Tail Roost in the Big Laguna Recreation Area, down into the Big Laguna Meadow proper and then onward to drop Noble Canyon.
Leslie is an avid photographer and was sporting a DSLR along with a couple of lens. I know first hand what a pain carrying that gear can be sometimes and she was carrying around more stuff that I normally do. Here is Leslie getting some monkey action on to get the shot on the Gatos Ravine trail. Some of the pictures in this post are from Leslie.
Los Gatos near the top
Big Laguna Meadow has brown up for the winter but it is certainly still pretty. At the time of this posting, the meadow is most likely covered in snow.
Mark working the “Stairway to Hell”
A shot by Leslie of me on “Stairway to Hell”
Leslie working through the chunk of “Extra Credit”
Mark riding the “Roman Wall” near the bottom of the trail.
A wad of short blonde hair going in 27 different directionsu nearly buried under a pillow was all that could be seen of youngest son, Jake’s this past Sunday at 6:30AM when I went to wake him up. 13 year old boys are not fond of this time in the morning and he fully looked the part of a coma rattled teenager when I rousted him out of dreamland. We were headed out to Laguna Mountains for a different kind of bike ride.
A few week ago a good friend of mine Cliff Walker made an unscheduled dismount from the ride of life. I can’t use the word “close” and “dear” without feeling some sense of guilt. Cliff had lots of friends who were much more involved with his day-to-day life than I. Cliff was one of my “MTB Buds”. One of those friends that you primarily assoicate with while mountain biking. We have done a couple of road trips and races together as well as many rides and some epics together. A solid good person you just a joy to be around.
Jake and I were headed to the Laguna Mountains to join some of Cliffs other friends for a memorial ride. Twenty-nine riders gathered up to take a spin around Big Laguna Meadow and honor Cliff’s Life.
The ride was timed to end at about the same time that some of his family and no biking friends could gather up as well to celebrate Cliffs life. The gathering swelled to over 70 people who sit under the shade of the meadow’s pine trees to share and tell stories about how Cliff had touched each of thier lifes in some way. Cliff had a very diverse group of friends and the stories about Cliff I had never before really showed just how impressive a life he lived and how he had touched so many people’s life in a positve way.
There was more than a couple of stories that included Cliff’s perpencity to be the first person up the hill. More than a few of us recalled getting up to the top of the hill to find Cliff walking around in circles looking under the various bushes and behind the trees. Once we questioned Cliff would look at you with this devilish smirk and reply “I dropped a hammer have you seen it?” It was always good for a laugh and the celebration of his life gathering was no different. A special thanks goes out to Chip Brent for making the celebration event happen.
Afterwards, Jake was down for just a father/son ride. The memorial ride was just along the meadow and he had not down some of the other trails in the area before. We decided to add Wooded Hills and Los Gatos Ravine into the mix. A pretty significant event happened on the Wooded Hills climb. Jake was riding strong and then you decided to see how quick he could go. I saw him lift the pace and I was having a tough time matching it. It was not long before kicked up the pace enough more.
I saw the half-sly turn his head to see how far back I was. That was his moment. The moment when a Son knows he is beating his Dad something. Not just something, but his Dad’s thing. He knew he had me and he was not letting up. I knew he had me too, I was not going to catch him, the best I could do give a good showing for second place. I was weird mix of pride in my Son and a relevation that I’m slacking. Sure I could make excuses and rationalize things like the fact I weigh about 90lbs more than he does and I did a respectable climb after a couple of beers at the celebration but no matter who you slice it my son kicked my ass up that hill. I got to the top about 45 seconds behind Jake and he was already off the bike with his helmet off and was hoofing and puffing. After a bunch of praise from me, he looked a me with a very smirky look on his face and calmly said, “Yeah, I dropped a hammer. Did you see it?”