On a whim, I decided to head up to Corona and investigate a trail I have l been eyeing for a year or so. To get there I needed to climb the Skyline Drive Fireroad on the the northeast side of the Santa Ana Mountains. I arrived at the trailhead at fairly descent time and since this was an on-a-whim ride, I was joined by all of my friends. The temps were pretty nice as I started my solo climb up the fireroad.
While the grade did not seem steep, I was surprised how quickly the elevation stacked up. There were some nice views to the north despite the ickyness that was setting down in the valleys below (That is not fog).
The climb went by quicker than expected and I even got a really cool treat. I rounded a corner to see a young bobcat crossing the fireroad. The cat was not much bigger than your average house kitty. He climbed up a steep embackment and stood at the top looking down at me for a good 15-20 seconds. I was trying to get my camera out without causing him to bolt, but as soon as he saw the camera come out of the bag and me start to raise it, he stepped into the brush. Geez, he was pretty. It was awesome to get to admire one of these critters up close. It was not long after this encounter that I made it to Beek’s Place and continued along Main Divide past the golfball.
I have been tinkering with a new helmet camera mounting setup that would allow to get away from having a dedicated helmet for the camera system. Wearing the helmet camera on long climbs when you are not filming is a bummer. I want to be able to quickly remove the camera gear so that I could only carry a single helmet on a ride. The new setup basically uses the quick-release mounts designed for professional/prosumer grade camera tripods. When completed this setup should be must more versatile. So far I have only completed my full-face helmet. That was also part of the reason I chose this trail, it seemed silly to bring a full-face helmetcam out to some place like Penasquitos Canyon.
After about a mile of climbing on Main Divide Truck Trail, I reached the “Skyline DH” (Have no idea what it’s actual name is yet). I was looking at this ridgeline quite a bit on the climb up and it certainly looked to have some steepness.
Steepness it did have. While this trail felt a little like Bell Ridge at the beginning it soon became much more like Coldwater. These types of trails are somewhat of an acquired taste. There were some sections of pure adrenaline rush as you just flew down the trail. Other sections were so so steep that you had to be somewhat surgical with controlling your bike and the brakes as you could only marginally control your rate of acceleration let alone stop. I like sections like that for the challenge they present but they are not my favorites. As I neared the bottom, I came upon a firecrew contracted out from Oregon to do some debrushing for fire abatement on the trail. They were doing a fine job, but since I caught them in mid-workday, they had yet to remove all the trimmings from the trail below them. This made the last bit of descent slow going but overall this ride was well worth it.