Mountain Bike Bill, The Dirt on the Dirt


I really enjoyed being back back on the bike for the last two months.   I started out sticking to tamer trails as I was still dealing with some sternum discomfort related to the wires used to initially close up my chest.   When the trails got chattery, it was uncomfortable enough to be distracting.   Not where you want your head when getting into techy bits.

My heart surgeon advised me the discomfort was common beyond the 3-month mark with it typically subsiding by the 6-month mark.  In some cases people have mild discomfort well beyond that.

The discomfort has indeed been getting better.  I am pretty sure that early on after my return to the bike there was a fair amount of just building up my tolerance to the discomfort.   

Nice to ride some tech.

Over the last few weeks, I have been riding more technical trails and getting more comfortable on them.  The chest discomfort is nearly gone and no longer a distraction.

I don’t quite have my technical chops back yet and I know its mental thing about not wanting to deal with a superman endo to the chest. I’m sure that will come back as well.

Photobomber Alert!

Enough on recovery, I’m Calling It DONE!

While out riding with Steve last week we played around a rock formation for 15 or 20 minutes.   We collectively rolled up on the entry rock about half a dozen times before noticing a sizable rattlesnake warming up underneath it.  We both kinda wigged out for a bit as we had been scrambling all over the rock formation looking for lines to ride.

Another Spectator

We then took a closer look around and saw another rattler hanging out on the otherside of the same rock.   It was time to call it a day for playing on the “Snake Eyes” rock.

Steve playing on “Snake Eyes”

Tasty Burritos closed out a great day to be on the trails.

Home Dirt

So I spent that a little over two months working in the Kingdom of Bahrain. No quality mountain biking to be had there. You could make do, and I know some folks who have because they lived there, but not worth it for a visitor. Anyway, I got back and have been hitting up some of the local goods.

Daley Ranch
Daley Ranch
Candygram out in Santee

I can really say I have been in much of an exploring mood, just getting in some local dirt. After being away for that long, I kinda want to spend plenty of time with my wife. There is also a considerable amount of things that have to be taken care of as well.

What the hell is that?

I did however manage to grow as scraggly looking beard while I was gone. I don’t know how much longer this thing is going to hang around

Playtime in Santee

I was long overdue for a ride with Steve and Brian so Wednesday, I met them out in Santee for  some play time on the “Mel Brooks” trails.   The loop we did was only about nine miles but the trail was a beater.   This trail is all about the play not the distance.  With names like Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, Mongo and Spaceballs how can you not have some fun.

Playing around in Santee


Last weekend I joined hundreds of fellow mountain bikers for a  Protest Ride at  “Missing Trails” Regional Park. MTRP-ProtestRide-11JAN14-25

The article linked above gives a little bit about the story.  I plan on dedicating more to the trail problems in San Diego County in the near future. Santee-Mongo-11JAN14-01

After the protest ride a handful of us worked our way over into Santee to play on some of the real trails in the area.   By real I’m mean the city and county had absolutely nothing to do with their creation.


Evan playing on the rocks


I even managed to get both wheels off the ground.  (Photo by Sean)


In the category of “Stupid Human Tricks” I was trying to get a low angle looking up shot of Steve going off a rock jump.    I have probably taken over a 1,000 pictures of Aqua doing stupid human tricks in the past.  I’ve come to know the sound of his bike coming in as planned.  That was not the sound I heard on this occasion.


I already started my air raid rollout when Evan got the first shot.  Other than a handlebar in the back it was kinda nice getting in a little cuddle action in on the side of the trail.


This was the shot I was originally aiming for.  There were tasty post-ride burritos had and Steve even sprung for the burritos!

Mission Trails Northeast (Spring/Oak)

I grabbed an after work ride on Tuesday out at “Mission Trails Northeast” aka Spring and Oak Canyon.    

 SpringOakCanyon-05MAR13-13f it.

While there was some weather starting to roll in but there it was plenty nice out on the trails I was cruising on. 


It has been awhile since I had last been here and there was a lot more out here than I previously remembered.   The plants were blooming which made for some pretty sights while grinding climbs and grinning on descents. 

This entire area was burned out in 2003 so it was nice to see the continuing regrowth and the colors of spring out here. 


There were far worse things to do after work on just about any given Tuesday.

Sycamore and Santee playtime or “Plague-aholic” rides again

Wednesday afternoon I got out for a ride out at Sycamore Canyon and the Santee area in general.  Steve had been off the bike for over two weeks with what he described as “The Plague”.   Last week  the germal infestion caused an aborted attempt for a ride with Steve, but this week “Plague-aholic” made the show.  Not wanting to push his recovery luck we opted for something much more XC oriented and mellow than the typical Wednesday stoke rides. 

This area is pretty singlespeed friendly  so I decided the bring out my one-geared steed out today for a little bit of trail luvin.

XC mellow day or not Steve has a passion for rocks, so I made a point show him a couple of play spots

The steep head angle of this bike was not most rock hounding capable rig (for my skills) so picking the lines carefully was the name of the game.

We ventured over towards Santee and did some more line scopeage and rock play.

The texture of this rock was pretty freaky and we could not help but want to call this the “Brain Rock”

We played and snooped around until daylight became and issue and then headed back.  Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday afterwork.

(Photos: Mostly by Steve, all with his camera)

Snooping around near Santee

Yesterday, I met some of the usual and some of the not-so usual suspects for  a bit of riding and exploring around the Santee countryside.

We certainly got in some tough climbs.

We also got in some skinny singletrack


The Santee hillsides are mighty green this time of year.

We got to watch a coyote stroll along the far side of a hillside we were on.

He was a healthy looking fellow.

Later on in the ride we came across a fairly large red-tail hawk that allowed me to get surpisingly close.

After the bird encounter the rest of the ride was a series of steep up and down fireroads before calling it a day.  It was a good day to be on a bike.