It had been far to long since I have have been out to play on one of my favorite tech play grounds out in Alpine but I finally got back out this week. This ride was nearly called off due to impending rain, but since San Diego attracts on the sharpest weather guessing minds, the afternoon turned out to be a go.
There was some new trail side decorations on the climb up. Silly 4x4er, this is a bike trail!
It is funny how after a bit of time away for this trail the rocks look gnarlier upon your return.
The storm was coming in and the clouds made for some interesting backdrops for pictures that we typically do not see much of here in SOCAL.
Front row seats for Circ-de-Soul-Steve. In a rare moment seldom caught on camera Steve did prove that he is indeed not a green blooded alien from a far away solar system in the in the Dirtus-Major Constellation.
A mighty fine afternoon on a bike
Okay, it is that time again lots of rain and we all want to go for a ride.
Take a look at Wet Trail Rating Page here.
Want to get in the conversation? Check out this thread that comes up every year about this time.
BOTTOM LINE – Give the trails some time to dry out, going out to soon will screw our trails up.
With all of the rains we have been getting a good number of our trails have been soaked and need some time to dry out. I see on a number of forums some selfish freaking idiots/don’t-give-a-shit-types going out on the trails right after the rains and rutting up the trails and going around puddles making our singletrack wider. It amazing these jackasses are so hardcore they can go out during or right after a rain but have to go around ever puddle. Anyone who does this crap is not hard core, rad or “gnar”. They are a selfish jackass!
Please give the trails thier due time to dry out and spread the word. We only get to ride a mere 330+ days a year here in San Diego, surely we can find something else to do for a few days after the rains.
Here is a wet trail rating guideline that floats around every season. It is just a guidline and after these current rains, the trails will need even more rain than suggested.
Boy this last week has been a bit of a pisser. Actually I’m just a spoiled SoCal weather weenie. My riding days as of late have been pretty locked in over the last few weeks due to various commitments. It just so happens that on all of my riding days ended up being rain days as well.
Of course I show up for work on Monday and the sun is out!
I whine on!
On the BLOG side of the house, I have some Anti-SPAM filters in place that help to keep SPAM from getting on the blog. Over the last couple of days the blog has been getting bombshelled with SPAM. Now all of this SPAM is getting caught in moderation but it is becoming a pain in the arsh to weed through so I am making a configuration change that should cut down on that stuff.
As a bona-fide user you may find it slightly annoying, but here it is:
To add a comment to the blog you must register (Only have to do it once) and log-in to the blog first.
Registration is free and I am not going to be sharing your information with anyone. This should cut down all of the bot-generated junk that currently hitting the blog.
So my boys were pretty pumped up about the riding at La Costa on Saturday and they were itching to ride again. I had plans to take them to Lake Hodges or Penasquitos Canyon since that would be fairly kid friendly. When I woke up this morning to see that it had rained the night before, I shelved both of those trails since they do not fair well after rains. We hung out around the house until almost 1PM catching one of the new releases on Pay-Per-View. They were still itching to go so I offered up Daley Ranch which is one of the best places to ride in the county when it is wet out. I warned them that there was a bunch of climbing to do at Daley. They were undaunted so we loaded up and headed to Escondido.
The weather looked questionable at the trailhead, but we opted to head out. We took the right out of the parking lot onto the Creek Crossing trail and then out to the Sage trail for the typical (and substantial) starting climb. I was thoroughly impressed with both of them on the climb as they never stopped due to being tired. (They did dab a couple of times, but they did far better than I did when I first came out here some years back) Due to the moisture we opted to skip the Coyote Run and Rattlesnake singletracks and stay on the fireroads. It worked out well as the boys really enjoyed catching bits of air off the rocks in the fireroad on the way down to the meadow. We stopped at the first good view of the meadow and we could hear a pack of coyotes yipping it up below. Will was even keen enough to spot them before they headed off into the trees.
Once down in the meadow we did the Jack Meadow loop starting up the east side. We took a break at a little kicker rock so the boys could get some “mini-air”.
Once we reached the north end of the meadow and headed down the west side it was mostly a gradual downhill affair from there. I reminded them that they had a big ring on thier bike and it was game on after that. With my gearing at 32:18, I had to put on some serious cadence to beat them to the Ranch House.
The damp and cool air kept us from lingering long during our break at the Ranch House. They were trying to talk me into going to Wings and Things after the ride so I made a deal with them. If we took the East Ridge trail back instead of “wimping out” on the road I would take them. (I was going to take them anyway, but they did not need to know that.) The thing about the East Ridge trail is that there is one really nasty steep section and I wanted them to get a taste of some hike-a-biking. I really talked up “The Wall” to them and when they first saw it ahead they both gave a big “Whoa!” They both gave it a good shot making about a third of the way up each.
I got pretty lucky on that climb as the wet weather made the traction like Velcro and I managed to clean it, my first time ever on the SS. After that we connected back up with the Creek Crossing trail and made our way back to the trailhead. I had tired but jazzed kids on my hands who made quick work of their dinner at Wing and Things.
Okay I’m getting a bit stir crazy with having to take some time off the bike as well as all the rain. Folks please give our wet trails some recovery time after these rains. Here are excerpts from a couple years of this topic being float around on some the various forums sites. Most folks think there should be some sort of disclaimer with this type of guideline. Stuff like the rating depends on how much rain we got. These ratings are based on a good rain. What we have have had this last week has been a pounding! Please be cautious and add a few more days at least to this recommendation.
Here is what I’m thinking of for a rating system for the San Diego area trails.
1 – Could ride there in rain or the day after.
2-5 – Two to five days
6-7 – About a week
8-9 – More than a week upwards to three weeks
10 – Place is a wreak after a rain, can take more three weeks to dry out enough so riding on it will not trash it.
Here are the trails I’m looking at (Most here on the site)
Calvera Lake – 5
Daley Ranch – 3
Elfin Forest – 3
Flightline – 4
Lake Hodges – Northside -7
Lake Hodges – Southside – 7
Nate Harrision Grade – 2 –
Santa Margarita River Trail – 1 – Mostly sandy trails that are best after a good rain packdown.
Tenaja Truck Trail – 2 Mission Trails – 4
Cowles and Pyles Peak – 3
Spring and Oak Canyon – 3
Penasquitos Canyon – Most Trails – 5
Del Mar Mesa – 7 – Place gets some of that sticky clay that will freeze up your tires
Sweetwater – 10 – Probably the worst area in San Diego. Give it a freaking month.
Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch – North End – 4, South End – 8
TriCanyons Area (Rose, San Clemente, Tecolate)East County
Anderson Truck Trail – 1 – Probably the best in area for after rain riding
Black Mountain in Ramona – 4
Cuyamacas – 6
Lake Morena – 2
Laguna Mountains/BLT – 6
Indian Creek – 3
Noble Canyon -3
Oriflamme Canyon -4
This would also be a good time to gather up some “rules” about San Diego riding after rains. Like:
– Give the trails it due time.
– Use your brakes wisely, Don’t be a Skidiot!
– Ride through any puddles not around it. If you don’t like getting dirty, get a road bike. This caused quite a bit of discussion. The general thinking being that if the puddle goes all the way across a trail, trying to go around it is only going to widen the trail and make an even bigger puddle. Under these conditions it is best to go straight through the puddle. Now if the puddle does not go all the way and you have room on the orginal trail line, go ahead around it.
– Stream crossing – even a small fast moving stream can be very powerful and dangerous.
When in doubt call the land managers to find the full scoop. SDMBA has a links to them, or if you can’t get in touch with a land manager, email a SDMBA Liaison, link to SDMBA Liaisons.