Big Laguna Camping

Over the July 4th weekend, we did some camping up in the Laguna Mountains.   We were there for a long weekend so several rides were had between chilling at camp. Here are some random thoughts and pics from the weekend.

Climbing up Aqua Dulce

One of the many nice things about camping there is you can roll right out camp so there is no pressure to try and get it all in as you did not do a big drive to get here.  You can a short loop around the meadow, have lunch and go back out for some more.   Or take a nap 🙂

Big Laguna Meadow

It got pretty toasty during the day so some dawn patrol rides were in order.

Nichol eyeing up the line 🙂
Fresh new stickers on trailhead markers.

One of the loops I did included Red-tailed Roost.   I was pretty stoked with the effort I did on the climb up to the top.   It was the best I have ever done. I knew that eBikes were not authorized on USFS lands, but seeing the new stickers on the trailhead signs drove home that I would have a tough time having an eBike as my only bike as I would not want to give up riding out here.

Upper bit of Noble Canyon

As much as I have ridden out here I have never gone up to the SDSU observatories.   Instead of doing my usual of climbing up Wooded Hills I continued up the old county road and crossed sunrise highway to the paved road that goes to the observatories.   Shortly thereafter I picked up a single-track that avoided the road.  It was nice bit of trail.  There is another trail off of this one that connects to Thing Valley road that I will be checking out soon as well.

The view from one of the observatories

Altogether I got in a handful of rides and really enjoyed ourselves.

Ohana Trails, Oahu

How quickly stuff piles up when you are out playing. Then there is that whole pesky work thing that tries to slow my roll. While in Hawaii last month, I was fortunate enough to meet a killer group of locals who helped get me on some great trails while I was there.

Bikes taking a rest in the Ohana (or was it the Aloha trail)?

The Ohana trails were some of those goods. This network had mucho flow a plenty if “micro-tech” to keep you honest.

View from the trailhead.
Sublime bermage
Rolling through woods
One of the regroup spots. AKA waiting for Bill to catchup. The fellows roll!

I have some video footage from this area that I am going to get together at some point, but one thing is for certain. If you should find yourself in Oahu you should definitely check out this trail network. If you use the Trailforks App, it pretty darn easy to find your way there. It is listed as Olomana Trails but most of the riders refer to the area as the Ohana. The next time I get back to Oahu, this is trail #1 on the list.

Hurkey Creek – Post Fire

Nichol and I spent this weekend at the Hurkey Creek Campground.   While there I got a chance to get check out some the trails that were impacted by the 2018 Charston Fire.    I am used to the shock of post-wildfire landscapes but I was particulary taken back by some of the damage nearly three years later.   It was not all gloom because at least a couple of the trails I checked out are only a little worse for wear.   Others are still a complete wreck. 

  

At the northern end of Coyote Run just before it gets faint.

I put notes on all the trails I checked out on my Hurkey Creek Page. The most encouraging thing I saw was the Johnson Meadow trail as it was minimally impacted and is pretty good shape. 

Johnson Meadow

The most disheartening thing is the Keen Camp climb as maybe 50% of it is rideable and it will require a lot work to get it functional again.  Without this trail there is no practical way to loop the trails together from Hurkey Creek Park.

Keen Camp Trail destruction

I did see some flagging in the Keen Camp climb corridor so hopefully there is some work planned. I don’t know about you but I would down to help out with that effort. I hopento chase down if something is indeed in the works.

Updated Hurkey Creek Page

Help Save “Urban Legend”

My lame attempt at hitting these features

Located in Pupukea, the short but fun “Urban Legend” trail that is just one of dozens of MTB trails in the area. It is unique in that it man-made built up features that is worth keeping around. Please read the petition linked below and think about signing it. Show our MTB brothers and sisters in Hawaii some Aloha by supporting the petition. And please don’t my lame ass attempt at riding this trail dissuade your thoughts on the coolness of this trail.

https://www.change.org/p/attorney-gen…

Cannell Plunge – Remastered

The latest of my older videos to be remastered is of an outing on the Cannell Plunge in June of 2006.

I’m overdue for a return to the Kernville area to check out some stuff I have not done as well as revisit this trail as well. The snow should be clearing from the top before long so the season is nearly here.

Hawaii’s North Shore – Pūpūkea

There is more than world-class surfing on Hawaii’s North Shore. There is also some mighty fun MTB trails to ride as well. I have ridden there twice so far and I had not been disappointed.

The Top of Bobwire

The place is a maze of interconnected trails and even though I had pretty detailed layout of trails from Trailforks, they were still kind of hard to follow as there was so many trail junctions.

This sign has some pretty killer classics on it

You ride out here you will eventually end up at Lilikoi Junction. It might be one of the coolest trail junction signs ever.

Is this organic wall ride?
Iggy Squiggly

My second time out there, I had one of folks I have been riding with out here show me around and that was so much more fun as not having any navigation responsibilities.

View from an Old WWII pillbox
A trail less traveled

I’m not sure I will get back out there on this trip as I already running short on days and I still have some other stuff I want to hit up. I have some footage from both outing that I’m going to put together at some point, but I may not occur until after get back home. One thing is for certain, this is a fun place to ride.

Peacock Flats Loop + Video

Boy have I had a great week of getting out on the trails here on Oahu. I have a pile of pictures and footage to sort through already as well as great stories to share.

Jeep trail in the Mokulēʻia Forest Reserve

Last week I did the Peacock Loop. Sometimes just referred to as Peacock Flats. It is a big ride with big views!

On the Kuaokala trail

It starts at Dillingham Airfield on Oahu’s northwest corner. You will do a paved climb up to Peacock Flats and into the Mokulēʻia Forest Reserve will you will do some ridge riding (aka ups and downs) into the the Kuaokala Forest Reserve and Game Management Area were you will pick up the Kuaokala trail some amazing bit of single track before getting back onto jeep trails and more ups and downs.

Singletrack goodness along the Kuaokala Ridge Trail
Pointing to Japan
Working my way down the Kealia trail.
Descending the Kaelia Trail

You will finish up the loop with the Kealia Trail which is a pretty serious bit of steep rugged single track that I have heard called a hiking trail that bikers sometimes ride. I was somewhere between pooped and cooked at this point in the ride which make technical riding that much more interesting. All together you will do 21.2 miles and 3,700 feet of climbing. If it is clear out, I say the price of admission is worth it. If you are a Trailforks user you can find the route here, but realize that this route over estimates the total ascent by a bunch. Here is my Strava from that ride which shows the elevation better.

Finally here is the video I put together from this day’s adventure.

Hawaii – Ka’ena Point + Video

I have a work gig in Oahu, Hawaii for pretty much all of April. Getting ready for this trip I decided that my it was time to upgrade my luggage. My Trico hardshell travel case has already been long in the tooth and it was time to retire it after 16 years of service. I bought a the EVOC Travel Bike Bag Pro with the internal stand. What a difference this bag made. It was so much easier to wheel it around the terminal and getting out to the rental car.

EVOC bag all packed up.

After getting into Hawaii, I spent the afternoon checking into my accommodations and making the first run to stock up the fridge and cupboards. I was sacked out pretty early. The body clock was off which had me up pretty darn early. I decided to make use of the time and got the bike put back together just about at sunrise.

O-Damn Early Start

After a having a leisurely morning that included a nap I had to get going. I do not know the reason way, but often times a three hour time shift seems to hit me worse than a 12hr+ shift does. Maybe it is a matter of expectations. Either way it was time for a shake down ride with the bike and maybe shake off some jet lag.

The bike is ready to roll

I have been out near Ka’ena Point numerous times but have not taken the old road/trail out to and around the point before. I had read that some vehicle break-ins had occurred right at the trail head so I took some local advice and parked at Dillingham Airfield about 1.5 miles short of the trailhead which is considered less prone to that type of thing.

Happy Bike

The cruise along the road was pretty darn easy and I was soon out on the old road. Trailforks has the orginal old road shown as the trail but there are numerous trails and path between the original road and the ocean. On the way out to the point, pretty much any of the paths/trail closer to the ocean will be more interesting than the old road. It did not take me long to figure that out. The scenery was incredible.

Out at Ka’ena Point

The tip of the point has a long heavy duty gauge fence fit for keeping out vehicles and just about any land critter without opposable thumbs. Once in this area there are two major paths with one being much further out on the point than the other. The trail going out further out on the point gets really sandy and you will end up pushing your bike. On your way out its is worth it to do a little pushing to see the views that you will not get otherwise.

Trail is in the upper left

Once around point the two trails rejoin and you will soon go through the other end of the significant fence. The road now is much more interesting and narrow. There is a washout of the road about a couple hundred yards after the fence but there is a foot scramble trail that goes around it. Don’t worry if you miss it, When you run out of road, turn around and go back about 50 yards or so. After the washout the old dirt road continues to impress with amazing views right along the ocean.

Pretty killer scenery along this old road

At around 7.4 miles (From Dillingham Airfield) the dirt comes out to a gate and transitions to pavement. There are a handful of options to extend your ride from here but this is where I decided to turn around today. The ride back was just as amazingly beautiful. Out the near the point I did take the route that stays closer to the mountain and further from the point. Once around the “corner” I had quite a hard breeze in my face which caused a bit more work than on the out portion of this route. This is most likely the flattest trail you will find on the island and it well earns its “green” trail rating. It should not however be overlooked. This is an amazingly beautiful XC trail that provides a unique and quality outdoor experience.

Not a bad start to a work trip at all. It was a great day to be on the dirt (and lava rocks)!

UPDATE: Added the video I shot on this day

Recovery….DONE!

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.

Remastered Freeman Creek video

The Freeman Creek trail located in the Giant Sequoia National Monument is a pretty unique trail that drops you down through the Freeman Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwoods.   The size of these ancients of the woods will skew your perspective of big in regards to living things.   This grove is the largest grove in wilderness condition (having never been logged) outside of the Sequoia National Park further to the north.

Here are some more of my ramblings on this trail

While the Bear Creek and Camp Nelson trails see more MTB action, this is a trail that is worth checking out if have the time. (At least based the last time I rode it)

I LIKE big trees and I can not lie!

Shortly after this video was shot in 2006, the trail was severely sanitized by a trail crew using a bull-dozer.   The trail eventually eroded back into something akin to single-track.   In 2020, a wildfire went through the grove.  Some of my friends that live in the area have not been back on the trails since the fires but the area was hit pretty hard.   Wildfires are part of the lifecycle of the Giant Sequoia’s so I suspect they survived. 

At 6:18 you can really see how these trees are adept at surviving wildfires.    It is worth noting that the rider (JD) is about 6’4″ to give some perspective on the size of that trunk.

At 7:14 there is a scene of me riding on a fallen log.  The other rider on the trunk is 6′ tall.  Take note of the perspective when I start to ride back and he is standing on the trunk part and I’m about to start rolling from the base/root part.

From 8:00 until the end of the video, we are actually riding a short section of the Summit Trail (FS 31E14) on our way back to the Quaken Aspens campground where we were staying.

While the Bear Creek and Camp Nelson trails see more MTB action, this is a trail that is worth checking out if have the time. (At least based the last time I rode it)