January 21st, 2014 by MTBBill
This past weekend was mighty nice up in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area also known as the Big Laguna Trail. The cool crisp air was a real pleasure to be in.
Anytime you are out with Steve on a trail impromptu log riding can break out.
We hit some routes that I have not done in a long time or had not done in that direction before. Here Steve and Mark climb Lightning Ridge. While I have descended this trail plenty of times this was my first time going up the trail.
I was digging pine needles and oak leaves under the tires.
A view down into Big Laguna Meadow.
A view across an area affected by the Chariot Canyon Fire. Hmmm some Perfect Cycling Trail can be seen in the distance.
Grabbing some snacks at the General Store.
(Photo by Steve)
Next snack stop would be at Alpine Beer Company for some pulled pork and IPAs.
January 19th, 2014 by MTBBill
Last weekend I joined hundreds of fellow mountain bikers for a Protest Ride at “Missing Trails” Regional Park.
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.
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!
December 30th, 2013 by MTBBill
I needed to pedal off so Christmas cookies calories so Dave and I headed up to the San Juan Trail to get in some climbing. I’m pretty sure there are some Thanksgiving Turkey, Halloween Candy, San Diego Beer Week and Octoberfest calories to be dealt with as well
It was a bit cool at the trailhead but just a few switchbacks up the trail it was quite comfortable. The day turned out of to be simply awesome with warm sun and superbly clear skies. San Clemente and Catalina Islands were easily seen. The further up we climbed the more impressive the views became.
I have been spending most of my riding time lately on my XC hardtail so taking out the my long-legged UZZI with it additional weight and heft on this ride was quite a bit more work on the climb. I was quite happy to see cocktail rock when we got there.
We did the traditional loop at the top in the counter-clockwise direction. I had not forgotten how fun this trail can be but I had been away from it just long enough for each to turn had a bit of “Oh I remember you” excitement to it.
The main descent back to the trailhead was a rip roaring hoot. I have ridden this trail in what I would call perfect conditions before where the dirt could be best described as “Hero Dirt”. That was not the case on this day, I would call it “Normal” which was also great. It was the kind of dirt where you could easily overdue it in the turns and ending up loosing control. But if you paid attention you could hear your tires and the dirt telling you when you were approaching the limits of traction. I had big stupid grin on my face every time I was able to make the tires and dirt sing to me in the turns as my long-legged bike was shining in gravity direction it is optimized for. We polished off a great day of riding with some tasty burritos in San Juan Capistrano before heading back to casas.
December 19th, 2013 by MTBBill
Last I made two trips out Crestridge Ecological Reserve area to check out the trails. This place has been on my get to know list for years now but I keep finding myself going just a little further down the road to Anderson Truck Trail and other trail goodness. I found lots of fire roads and single tracks out here of varying quality along with plenty of elevation change. Putting a good hurting on your legs and lungs is most certainly an option out here. Getting in some flowing trails smiles can certainly be on the docket as well.
Flynn Springs Trail in the east end of the area.
Some single track bits in the east end.
There are plenty of fire roads in the area as well as some single track. The trail pictured above was in what I was call the west end and it was a nice contouring trail up and over a saddle.
Sweet little spot.
I have climbed uglier fire roads.
I’m going to add this area to my site in the near future after GPS out a few more corners of this place so stay tuned.
December 8th, 2013 by MTBBill
It had been about five years since I had last been on the Santa Margarita River Trail. This trail systems was a victim of the 2007 wildfires in San Diego County but has made a remarkable recovery.
There had been quite a bit of rain in the previous days before I did this ride. This place has quite a bit of sand and the previous rains had the sand nicely packed. The flora had also quickly responded to the moisture and where flush with color.
There were some spots of dramatic change since the fires. After the fires a lot of the retaining vegetation was destroyed . When heavy rains swelled the river the following river mother nature grabbed a sizable chunk of the bank. In the picture above, the trail is now right on the edge of the back when it used to be 10-20 feet away from the waters edge.
I love some of the variety you get out here. The natural rock chicanes here make for some sporty flat land bike handling.
Then there are these flowing smooth single track sections under the trees that just make you grin. It is a great time of year to get out there so I you have not been out here before it is worth checking out if you live here in the county and looking to check out some new turf.
November 7th, 2013 by MTBBill
Work this past week has brought me back to Japan on a short trip. I did bring along on my bike essentials and on Sunday I was able to take the rental bike out through some old stomping grounds on the Muira Peninsula. It was a cloudy overcast day and while the sun seemed to threaten to make an appearance it never did. The good news was it was not raining.
This started out with a bit of street riding from Yokosuka over to the town of Zushi. I had forgotten to bring my GPS and maps of the area on this trip so the plan was going to be to stick to know routes. When I first got into Zushi was when I had to make my first decision about where to ride. I could either roll over to the “Duck Pond” area ride that stuff and then link up with the Tennin trail system and drop down into Kamakura or I could turn south and hit the Fugato-yama area.
I opted for the latter and after a bit of street climbing and some steep cement steps I was into the woods. The rain from previous days made for some treacherous bike handling as the clay bases soil in the area gets a traction rating of “butter” when wet. Slick sections of clay and wet angled roots all added to the overall excitement of being back on the trails that I have come to enjoy so much. The loop I had planned in the Fugatoyama area included an out-and-back segment up to the peak. On my way back from the peak I stopped at the junction of a trail I had never taken. It drops you way down into a large basin area to the south. Several years ago I had explored down in that basin coming in from the other end. I was quite certain I had been at the other end of this trail down in the bottom of the basin. Taking this trail would not only be a bit of exploration but would also mean committing to the follow the basin trail system down to the west and out on the opposite side of the peninsula from where my hotel was at. I took the path I had never traveled.
The trail was somewhat I expected in that it was steep and followed along a watershed. The previous rain made part of the trail more stream than trail in spots and it was always fairly narrow. I was digging being on some new dirt while hearing the little voice in my head fretting a little that I might be wrong about where this trail is going.
Turns out I was right about the trail once down into the basin, I turned onto a trail that flowed a stream down to the west. The trail was extremely small and rugged with lots of water crossings at this end. The further west you go the more established and less rugged the trail becomes as this trail seems see more usage by hikers at that end.
After following the trails out to a trailhead I followed a series of streets out to the western shore of the peninsula. From there I turned south and followed the roads and streets south through Hyama. The route turned out to be a little longer than I remembered. I was happy to recognize the turn off for the dirt road up Ogusuyama, the highest peak on the peninsula.
I was due for a pick me up so a snack from a local store and one of favorite treats was in order. Canned coffee served hot from vending machines that are all over the place here.
After the caffeine hit I started the grunting up to the peak. I made my way up to the an observatory at the top. From there I took a trail my friends here have simply referred to as “Trail 2″ that will take you into the Kinugasa area.
This may be the first time I have stopped to take a picture of this section. Its mighty zippy through here.
Another fine section of trail. Not too far beyond this point I was back on streets and roads and headed back to my Yokosuka hotel. My legs were fairly cooked and mud splattered grin from ear to ear.
September 8th, 2013 by MTBBill
I spent the tail end of July and most of August working in Bahrain. For those who have never heard of the place it is an island in the Persian Gulf east of Saudi Arabia. The maximum elevation is maybe 100 feet and pretty much everything is sand so the mountain biking opportunities are mighty freaking limited. Of course a Surly Moonlander would help a little in that department. Hmmm I wonder if I could get one with some S&S couplings on the frame?
Even with a bike, I would have a hard time getting motivated to get out in the heat and ride. Everyday it was over 100 by 10AM. Several days in particular it was 108 with 74% humidity.
I did manage to get out and grab some sights while I was over there including the Grand Mosque
I took a tour of the Al-Fateh Grand Mosque on one of their “open houses” for non-Muslims. [aka Infidel Outreach Day :-)] Work involved a lot going back and forth between an office and the outside. After a few weeks of the cycling in and out of the heat and AC I came down with some chest and sinus crud that required some antibiotics to knock down. The project I’m working has several phases to it so I was able to come home for a couple of weeks in between one of the phases.
I was still not completely over the crud when I got home so I refrained getting back on the bike and potentially backsliding with the crud. My girlfriend and I did make a trip up to Palomar mountain for a bit of mild hiking. It was really nice to see some greenery in mild temps.
One of the locals we saw along the trail.
By this past Friday I was feeling well again so a dawn patrol ride out at Mission Trail Regional Park was in order. There was some weather moving through the area which made some cool rainbows. I had ridden on the west side of the park in quite sometime. So I hit up the Jackson, the Rim trail, S-turns and the Soycott trails. I had not checked out North Fortuna from the north slope so I looped back around and when up North Fortuna from the north slope. I had my long-legged bike so it was overwhelming a hike-a-bike in that direction but would be a very techy ride on the descent.
After getting up to the North Fortuna peak, I descended the south slope to the saddle and then continued on up to South Fortuna. It had also been a long time since I had taken the South Fortuna staircase. I knew there were many spots were you had to pick and choose your battles but there were quite a few more than I remembered from my last go at this trail. I want to say that the techy sections were in worse shape than before, but it is more likely that my skills and/or nerves have slackened up some.
Either way it was great to be back on the bike and again. I’m heading back to Bahrain tomorrow and I’m not looking forward to another stint of being off the bike. Work can be so pesky sometimes!
July 26th, 2013 by MTBBill
For those of you who have every been on some of Hoser’s Bonita rides leaving from Donny’s Café you know there are 5o,000 ways plus to put together some serious miles out in this area.
You also know that trying to give by turn-by-turn directions for some of these routes would be pretty damn difficult.
In the past I have just always tagged along behind other folk’s wheel and just enjoyed the various route without really caring where on how I was getting where.
Lately I have been putting in some solo miles in an effort to calibrate my own compass out in this area.
The Rockhouse area has been the latest section of stomping around and figuring out.
I have been traveling trails and adding new bits with every visit. There is lots of good stuff out here
Here are a few pictures from the area from the various rides so far.
June 25th, 2013 by MTBBill
Where The Hell Have You Been? I have gotten that question a couple of times as of late. Yep I have been slacking on the posting stuff of my Blog.
I have been getting in some quality Hockey Dad time in with my youngest son on most weekends as he is playing on two In-Line hockey teams. One recreational league team out of Kit Carson Park in Escondido and a tournament team (The San Diego Stingrays). This works out to practice and games commitments of four days a week.
With both teams practicing out of Escondido I have been getting in quite a bit of riding in at Lake Hodges and the surrounding area as of late. Besides the stuff already on my site I have managed to find some cool stuff here and there like this patch of woods between Lake Hodges and Poway.
I have also managed to find some complete crap as well. This tripe located in the city of Poway is simply insulting. They dumped 4-6″ of gravel beside a stupidly steep road and called it a trail. The unprofessional asses that did this debacle did not even bother to compact the gravel down. This thing is so F’d up that had to put signs up ever 50 feet to try and convince people that it is a trail. City of Poway—This is not a F$%^ing Trail! If you would care to improve your trail building knowledge why don’t you spend an afternoon on the playground at Chaparral Elementary School. Pay attention to the six year olds with the Tonka trucks, they get it more than your “trail builders” do!
Enough about city governments wasting money, I managed to catch a baseball game with my girlfriend. The Padres even managed to win on the night we went.
Of course San Diego is arguably a Craft Beer Mecca so there has been plenty of outings to check out what the latest awesome offerings are from the over 71 (and growing) microbreweries in the county.
Recognizing that mountain biking is a preexisting condition with me my, girlfriend he has gotten onboard with the program and is coming up to speed quite nicely.
I have also managed to get in some dirt time at La Costa here and there. If for nothing else than to check out some advertising dollars well spent on the Copper Canyon Bridges.
My work schedule as of late has been conducive to grabbing some after work mileage out in South Bay. I have ridden out here numerous times and there are lots of trails to push the pedals around on. In the past I have nearly always been with somebody showing me around through the maze of canyons with interconnections through parking lots, culverts, streets and backyards. It has been kind of fun trying to use the “Swartz” on solo efforts to retrace some of my previously guided steps. More to follow as I continue to get semi-lost with that ongoing effort.
So as far as where the hell have a been? I’ve been around on my bike….
April 17th, 2013 by MTBBill
So I have finished migrating my website stuff from one server farm over to a new mo better one with new hardware and software stuff on the backend that will support the front-end better.
Not my stuff I swear!
Like all things touted as “seamless” in the IT world is often does not quite go that way. Early on in the migration the site was down for a few hours when some DNS records got update too soon and prematurely sent folks to the new server that was not ready yet. There were a couple of folks who either left comments on the blog or registered for an account, right in the middle of the cutover which will have resubmit there stuff. Besides that all has all been ironed out and things seemed to be going just fine on the new stuff now….for now. Time to go ride a bike