I grabbed an after work ride on Tuesday out at “Mission Trails Northeast” aka Spring and Oak Canyon.
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.
This past week was such that I could get out a little more often but for not as long. They were the kind of windows that you don’t want to burn up too much of your time driving far to get to, you know, maximize your time on the trail and minimize your time on the road.
Monday was a spin through the Black Mountain Open Space Preserve. I started off on the east side of the preserve and did some tough climbing and a bit of hike-a-biking to get up onto the East Ridge. From there I did a sizeable loop that had me pretty pooped by the end of the ride
The loop included the Miner’s Ridge and Liliac Canyon trails as well as the service road up to the peak and some more trails back over and down the East Ridge.
Wednesday evening was the monthly San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDBMA) advocacy meeting so a group of us met up and did the La Costa trails prior to the meeting.
I was able to get out a couple of hours before the rest of the usual suspects so I did a couple of loops out there before the group ride. I was feeling pretty worked by the time I finished up the last loop.
Friday afternoon after work I squeaked in spin out in Santee near Mission Trails and Sycamore Canyon. Normally I am a stop and smell the flowers kind of guy but I have to admit that I somewhat enjoyed the pressure of having to be somewhere later and the “push” it forced me to do on the trail. Charge a hill here, push a harder gear there and general keep the engine rev’d higher than I normall would. It was a short ride that ended up feeling longer on fatique and quad burn at the end.
The weekend was pretty awesome as well, but it did include any biking. Hockey and quality time with boys were the story of the weekend. I took them to thier first concert Saturday night which was simply epic. Rush on thier Time Machine Tour. I have had a lifetime of missing Rush shows and this was my first time seeing them as well. They blew the place down and both the boys and I were completely stoked. It was a good way to finish off the week.
For the mid-week ride this week, it ended up being a doozie. The plan was to met up with some folks for a ride through Spring and Oak Canyon at 5pm. I was able to finish off the day’s work early and figured I had enough time to get some mileage before the scheduled ride.
I parked at the trailhead for the Spring and Oak Canyon ride (Bushy Hills at MTRP campground) and did some street riding over to the Mesa singletrack for a climb up Cowles Mountain. It was a beater as usual but love trying to clear the waterbars at their highest points but by the time I got up to the fireroad I was contend to get up the trails. The fireroad up to the top was as always brutal.
At the top of Cowles I was still looking really good on time so I decided to do the out and back to Pyles Peak. Plenty of waterbars here as well which made the down section pretty fun.
I was at the turnaround spot on Pyles Peak before I knew it and it was time for return climb back up to Cowles. I was still feeling pretty good when I got back to the summit and was all smiles on the way down the Big Rock trail. I got back to the campground just a couple of minutes before the first person showed up for the 5 pm ride. I could have been happy with a beer and some dinner at this point, but yeah I already said I was going to do the ride.
Spring and Oak Canyon was a good ride, but I had to dig into the energy reserves pretty deep to stay on pace with the fresh legged crew. I was good and pooped when we finished up and shortly thereafter we made our way over to the MTRP visitor center for the monthly SDMBA advocacy meeting. I slept well that night.
Yesterday, I decided to hit up the SDMBA advocacy meeting. The meeting did not start until 7pm and since I work in San Diego and live in North County what to with all that time between work and the meeting. Ah yes, the ole standby….go for a ride. The destination was Spring Canyon just north of the 52. This canyon is eventually going to be annexed into Mission Trails and link Sycamore Canyon/Goodan Ranch to Mission Trails but right now it is well “social” in nature. These trails have been for decades and it is such a poorly guarded secret that most of the public has no idea it is not a fully endorsed trail system. More often than not people assume it is part of Mission Trails Regional Park. The same folks also think these are by far the best trails “in” Mission Trails.
Okay enough with the history and issues, this is nice place to ride on real “Preserve Quality” trails, aka singletrack.
The weather was pretty darn great and the greenery and the flowers blooming was just awesome.
I decided to take the single speed out today, and while it is generally a good choice for out here, there was one hill that put a beat down on me for a bit. It is all good, as I need the beat down.
The return trip back to the trailhead was an all gradually downhill affair that was a bunch of swooping fun. There was enough turns that I only spun out on the singlespeed in a few sections. I’m no racer so it was just set back and enjoy the cruise through those sections. Good stuff.
While I could not stay for the entire SDMBA meeting (Had to pick Will up from Hockey practice) it was a good meeting with lots of exciting things brewing in SD County. We have multiple cities interesting in MTB Skills Progression Parks, corporate sponsors getting more involved, and the IMBA trail crew coming out this coming weekend. Lots more stuff as well so stay tuned to tby signing up for the thier free Trailnews letter.
On a more painful sidenote, after the meeting, I became aware that I have gotten into some Poison Oak on a “scouting expedition” the day before. Yeah!! At the time of this typing, I’ve got the stuff in a bad way and I’m down with the full regime of Zenfel and the various other products for dealing with the stuff. Not so good times, but hey it sometimes is the price you pay when looking for hidden trail gems.
Oh…Almost forgot, I saw two rattlesnakes on this ride and managed to get an picture of one of them. It is only March and I have already seen more snakes that I have in an entire year before.