This weekend I got up at O-damn early and I traveled up to the Los Angeles area to catch up with an old friend. What better way to catch up on things than during a bike ride. After swinging by his place we continued northward to spend some time on the Golden Eagle Trail. What a nice chunk of trail.
The lower portion of the trail was scorched by a wildfire in the last couple of years but the recovery process is well underway. The climb was a good punch to the cardio system. The two McDonalds sausage biscuits that I had just recently polished off for breakfast and were now sitting like a couple of bricks in my gut also helped with the challenge. I should know better by now, clearly I’m a slow learner.
Sausage sweats aside, once we got a little further up on Liebre Mountain we cleared the burn area and things got back to how I remembered them. (Both for my stomach and the trail!) There are some seriously nice ribbons on dirt on this mountain with incredible flow across both grassy hillsides and through forests of oak trees.
Now Bill and I have done many a road trip together over the years and somewhere along the way, Bill got me sucked into the pursuit of tasty bourbons and scotch. So in addition to enjoying some awesome single track on the mountain we both brought some spirit samples from the home cabinets to share. I’m pretty sure bourdon taste better outdoors and adds a little something to the flavor of a Clif Bar
After tooling around on the Liebre Mountain ridgelines the descent down the Golden Eagle trail was quite a rip. It was the awesome kind of situation where all your sensory systems are fully engaged to help produce the required muscle/body action and your brain seems to shift from conscious controlling to supervising. That wonderful state of being fully in the moment. While I did not notice it on the climb, the fire damage near the bottom had made the usable trail’s usable tread even narrower than normal in spots which required some high speed precision in spots. It was a great day to be on a bike.
I’ll be tweaking the route description on my page in the coming days to reflect my latest understanding of the place.
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!
Four months ago a good friend of mine Bill O’Neil pretty much destroyed his left wrist in bad crash at Soquel Demonstration Forest near Santa Cruz. His story of the crash as well as x-rays and operating room photos are chronicled on the SpokeJunkies forum. Be warned there are a few pics not for the squimish.
Like any good friend I made a point of sneaking in some comedy with my Beer Sherpa job opening.
Well it took four months but MrMountainHop is back on the bike and once again telling good stories about it. Check out his story of the return to the bike.
Welcome back Bill! We were missed. Now lets go ride!
Well this is not a real recent ride, but it is new page on the site. With all the tinkering with getting the new version of the site put together, this ride just sort of got pushed to the side for awhile. There was a bit of research I had to do with this ride as the trails were not well marked and various map sources had conflicting information. Eitherway, I finally got around to putting this one together. With all of the rains when have been having as fo late this trail would be really good when it has some moisture on it.
Here is my whole take on this ride.