Singletrack for the Soul

I had not seen my buddy Jerry in what seemed like half a year.  We had just not been able to get a weekend to mesh up.  The planets had finally aligned and both Bill O’Neil, Jerry and I managed to get together for a ride.  As an added bonus, SoCal rider at large and all around great guy Jeff Sherman managed to put in some last-minute commuting mileage to join us.  I had not seen him in over a year.  Today would have been a good day even if we would had went straight to shooting the breeze over some beers.    I as it turned out we had a great day out on the San Clemente Singletracks.   (For those that have been inquiring about when I am going to get a page up on this place, I’m close, make a week or so away.)

The day was mostly cloudy with the temperatures being cool but not quite cold.  The rainy season we are having has made the hillsides quite green and the singletrack is getting quite single in most places.   I have a feeling this place is going to be going off with colors in the spring. 

Singletrack Hillside 

I took the single speed out today and it was an excellent bike out here with only a couple of hills causing great distress and/or hoofing it.   The traction was pretty good with only a couple of spots that are not draining well.   I was having a really good time out here today and I felt like I was railing most of the turns.    I did however crash twice but came out absolutely unscathed.  The first one was on the steepest descent in the entire place.   After riding along a contouring hillside singltrack, the trail abrutly turns straight down the hill for a short bit.   I came into the top of the turn at the top of the hill too hot which started a comical four or five step process of near saves that amplified the next error until about half way down the hill, the bike and I went flying off into the tall grass.    I had stopped earlier up the trail to take the photo above so my buds were all waiting at the bottom the hill with ring-side seats for the “Bobbling Bill and Bike Show”.    You know you are will buds, when they immediately ask in a concerned tone “are you okay?” and as soon as you say “Yeah”  they break out into uncontrollable  gut-busting laughter.   Even I was laughing over that one.    

UPDATE: Here is Jerry’s photo “Bobbling Bill and Bike Show”.   

Bill Go Boom

The other crash was a bit more interesting,  I came into a turn at the top of steep chute too fast and went offline enough to have my front wheel get grabbed by a small stump and over the bars I went in slo-mo fashion.   While I came out unscathed, a strap on my helmet gave up the ghost for the cause.  Taking a peek at my tires I realized they were not doing a good job of shedding off dirt and mud which may have contributed to my follies off the trail today.  The rest of the ride was filled with more hella fun singletracking until we realized that there was damn good beers with our name of them waiting at the end of the ride.

 Jeff a climbing

Here is Jeff climbing. 

We had all brought a couple of our favorite brews to mix and match with the group but Jeff was the big hit by bringing a couple of growlers of Kern River Brewing Companies finest creations.   We finished catching up on things on a patio of a local burger joint.  Great singletrack with some great friends followed up with some great beers.   This was certainly and outing were the experience was greater than the sum of its individual parts.

San Clemente Singletrack Mashing

This morning was to be a fairly quick run through the San Clemente Singletracks in order to get back home to see the Chargers  vs Patriots game. (Yes, I know I’m still slacking on getting a page on this place put together)  I was meeting some folks up there but failed to realize they were meeting near the beach end of the place.   I went to the Dog Park start and did not figure out my mistake until it was time to roll.  It worked out well as I had a nice solo roll through a good chunk of the park to warm up with before meeting up with the group somewhere along “no-turns”.    After meeting up with the group it was apparent they were pushing a good pace.  Since I’m still having to single speed things right now, that was exactly what I was doing.  Either pushing or having a good pace.  Considering my current state of physical fitness it was a little too much pushing.  If I keep riding the SS that will go away soon enough.  I rode with the folks for the better part of thier route which included some loop-backs onto stuff I had done earlier in the day.  I’m still getting to know this place and they took some turns that I would not have done otherwise.  By the time I split off from the group I figured I had done somewhere around 15 miles or so and I still had to make my way back up to the dog park from near the south end of the system.   By the time I got back to my truck, my arms and lower back where fried.  Ahhh the joys of single speeding!

 San Clemente Singletrack