Poison Oak, Old Rigs and New Rigs

For the last week and a half I have not been riding as I had gotten myself a mighty fine batch of Poison Oak.    I had it in enough strategic places that riding a bike would not be fun.  I’m still dealing with some of it, but I’m beyond the worst of it.   This past Wednesday Matt came by Casa Del Bill with a whole bunch of bike goodies to rebuild and spice up his current bike. 

The first order of buisness was to get out all of the proper “tools” for this project.

New wheelset, cassette, chain, headset, shifters, crankset, brakes, seat, and seatpost made for quite a revamp for this bike.

It did not take long before all the bits starting coming together.  As usual, I found getting the front derailuer aligned properly to be a pain in the rear.   Here is Matt trimming the brake lines.

This overall ended up going smoothy as a three-beer job and before you know it was ready to hit the trail.  Matt ended up taking out first thing the following morning.

So Friday rolls around, and my various bits are are feeling up to try some saddle time so I swing by Matts place in Del Dios for a spin through Lake Hodges.   He has just picked up a new singlespeed and needed to get it out on its maiden voyage.   He had not been out to Raptor Ridge before so that was the destination.  On the way out there we scoped out the Pedestrian – Bike Bridge across the Lake which is nearing completion.

After a lot of boring dirt roads being passed off as trails we reached the Raptor Ridge singletrack.  It is a nice climb up to a ridge with some good views of the San Pasquel Valley.  Matt got a good taste of singlespeed grindng on this climb.   I was quite I had been off the bike for a bit as well.

After some chilling at the top we headed back the way we came.  It was a fun descent that was over far too quickly.  


 I have been trying to think of something nice to say about the section between the I-15 and Raptor Ridge and while there is some scenery, it is mostly a low-quality yawner of a route on manicured dirt roads.

PSA – The Future of Carlsbad Trails

Here is a cut-and-paste from some of the online forums that is important to you if you ride a bike in the Carlsbad area.


All who ride La Costa, Calavera and want to open more trails to legal status, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME IN NEXT 25 YEARS in NORTH COUNTY via the CITY OF CARLSBAD “Envision Carlsbad” Growth Plan Update. The staff has hired a great national consulting firm to gather input from citizens on what they want from the City.


March 23 MONDAY 6PM to 830PM Faraday Safety Center 2560 Orion Way (map)

March 25th, WEDNESDAY 6PM to 830PM TriCity Wellness Center 5260 El Camino (map)




If you are an SDMBA member or have participated in any trail volunteer events, remind the forum consultants that SDMBA has consistently been far and away the biggest contributor of hours, for the hardest dirt work, and set the best example and proof statement that:

“MULTI-USE MEANS MORE WIN-WINS” – hikers, joggers, dog-walkers, bike-riders, horsers and conservationists all have the same desire for a healthy nature experience, and have worked well together elsewhere, and have proven references from the most wise bio-science adaptive land managers to prove it works.

In these tough fiscal times, everyone is reminded that the simple things in life are the most valuable, and whats more valuable than neighbors learning to look after the land together, and become better friends and stewards of it for our future generations?


For more info contact Erik Trogden, N County Liaison SDMBA.

A quick spin at Spring Canyon

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.   

Anderson Truck Trail Sunday Action

Sunday, I went out to Anderson Truck Trail to do some playing on the rocks. Normally I only ride here during the week, but since I had not been here in a few weeks I was up for it. In addition to the usual suspects, I ran into some new peeps and well as some friends I had not expected to see today.

I ran into Allison at the bottom getting ready for a couple of shuttle runs.   Normally there would have some smack talk a fligging at this point, but since she had done some big run the day before she was cut some slack.  Take note that Allison has the St. Pattys day color scheme covered.

DustyBottoms on the climb.

MacRider and Jeff working the climb.

The view on the climb started getting pretty nice.

We are all the way up, time to put the saddle all the down. 😉 

This kicker is known as the Satan Jump.

Me hitting the “Diving Board”.   I was shooting some video so I did not take many photos.  Some of the photos here were shot by other folks in the group.

MacRider playing in the rocks.

Mark and Jeff cruising through the rocks.

Fun Granite Ahead!

We had a great run down the mountain after playing up top.  There was no carnage on the day, but my brake lever took a beating. Believe or not, this lever was able to be straightened out.

All Hail – Daylight Savings Time!

If there is ever a shortage of good times while riding in Bonita, I have note seen it yet. Yesterday, I hooked up with the Bonita Bikers crew for some South Bay riding. I actually recognized a few of the trails on this trip, but was still treated to trails I had not been on before.

It was an awesomely pretty day out and the greenery of spring is here.

(Don and Kimie strolling across a hillside)

Our route for the day?  Hell if I really know.   Bob and weave here.  Cross a street there.  Drop into culvert other way over there.   Oh yeah cool trails between all of that stuff.  

With all of the grow, some of the singletrack is tricky as it easily hides rocks that can give you a little trip up if you are not paving attention.  Hoserr working a climb. 

Gill gruntin’ over the top of a rise.

Ahhhhhhh  Singletrack!

Greg cruising up “Seven Bitches”

Kimee styling on a bridge.  Daryl was rather elusive for getting pictures on this ride as he was always out in front making us all look bad on his singlespeed.  I did manage to catch him off the bike here.

In addition to the seemingly never ending cool trails down here, it was awesome to that extra hour of daylight freedom with the time change.   There is nothing wrong with night rides, but having that late in the day sunshine to play in is just killer.    I have no idea how many miles we did, but it was sizable and felt more like a weekend ride than a midweek ride.     If you are interested in catching this ride during the week, it goes down every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30pm from the the parking lot at the Performance Bike Shop in Bonita.

San Dieguito River Park Trailwork

Saturday I spent a good chunk of the day helping out with the construction of a new section of trail that will be part of the Coast-to-Crest trail.   This was a a short notice trailwork to get some things accomplished prior to March 15th when restrictions on access to the area take effect in an effort to give the threatened gnatcatcher bird a better breeding season.  

Before we could get started in earnest we had to relocate a couple of the “locals”.

I was pretty stoked with this shot above as I got this snake’s eye in focus and the light was good enough that you could see the flash of the camera.  While nobody but me can pick it out, there is a bit of my reflection in the it’s eyes.   I can’t help but wonder if I had one of those $5K 22MP cameras and some L-series glass would I have been able to pick that up better.

This was some exceptionally tough work done that involved almost exclusively rock work. This section of the trail is within the 20 year flood plan of the San Dieguito River so it will be a raised section of trail with periodic culverts. Our main jobe today was to frame in were the trail is going to go and start on the foundation of rocks that will eventually be filled with dirt.  

We used some sizable rock to make the frame of the trail. There was one rock large enough to be dubbed “The Asteroid”. When completed it will be cool to ride by that spot and say “Yeah, I help put that rock there”

This was the first time that SDMBA has worked with the SDRP folks and I think we left a good impression about the quality of work SDMBA can produce. One this was for certain, I was good and pooped.

Here are some additional photos.

A singlespeed doubleshot

I don’t ride my single speed much.  I like to think that I ride it just enough to remind myself how much I love my full suspension bikes.   When I went Lake Calvera on Saturday, I brought along the single speed for the post work ride.   Calvera does not beat you up too bad on a single speed, but it certainly adds to the effort per mile equation.  After the trailwork and the ride, I was good and pooped at the end of the day.

It did not take long Sunday morning to realize that I had not been liberal enough with the sunscreen yesterday.  I was not burnt, but a little toasty on the edges.  Just enough to really feel the sun on my face when I went outside.  It was an exceptionally gorgeous day and unseasonably warm in the 80s.  I got quite a bit of the house and family stuff taken care of and around 4pm, I decided to sneak in a quite ride before the day was gone.  So a quite 10 minute drive from the house and I was at La Costa for the second time this week.  I also grabbed the singlespeed on the way out as it was right by the garage door and not hung back up yet.  Ahh what the hell was the general thinking.

 The single speed put a bit of a beat down on me as I was just a little stiff from the day before. I ended up having a good ride and caught yet another good sunset to boot.

This photo was taken of me by my good friend “Ty Mer”.  He does some professional photography shoots on occasion.  You can reach him at

20D Canon Street
Circuit City, CA 92081 🙂

Lake Calavera Trailwork

Yesterday, around 60 people showed up to work on a troubled section of trail that was in need of erosion control. More importantly in was a chance for SDMBA to work the Department of Fish and Game. 

Gardner giving the safety brief prior to heading out to the work site.

Even though it has not rained in a couple of weeks there were still some wet areas due to poor drainage. Several crews built the neccessary drainage.

“Sparticus” in action. This is a really cool tool that is basically a spider web of chain that allows for really large rocks to be moved efficiently. SDMBA has built five of these so far and several were in use on this day.

In addition to some of the usual faces you see at these events there were also plenty of new faces including plenty youngsters and teenagers. These are the future stewards of these lands so it was great to see entire families involved.

This event included one of the largest water diversion projects I have seen at a trailwork event. The amount of rocks and dirt moved for this was truly impressive. I’m pretty sure everyone how had a hand in this section slept very well that night.

A special thanks is owed to Erik Trogden (The SDMBA’s Coastal North County Liason) for leading the effort to put this event together. Thanks to Bicycle Warehouse for supporting the event with the copious amounts of schwag. More importantly, thanks to Warren Wong from the Department of Fish and Game for allowing SDMBA to work with his agency to improve this trail. Hopefully this will be the start of a good working relationship to improve both the habitat and trail resources of Lake Calvera.

Here are some additional pictures.

After the trailwork a few of us went for a bike ride at Calvera.  While out in the “Back 40”, we got to see some “game” on the Fish and Game managed land.