Saturday the San Diego Mountain Bike Association had it’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Visitor’s Center of Mission Trails Regional Park.
The event started off with an afternoon ride through the park. A sizable crowd showed up for the pre-festivities ride that included three different routes for various skills levels.
I ended with the group that I believe should have been called “Should have known better group”.
We decided to climb Jackson to Suycutt Wash and then up to the saddle between North and South Fortuna Mountain. There is some steep freaking fireroads on this route. Somewhere near the top of the saddle, I remembered why I don’t ride much here. Freaking fireroads everywhere trying to be passed off to the public as trails. Just because you designate something a trail does not make it a trail. I did chuckle pretty hard later in the day when someone said this place should be called “Missing Trails Regional Park”. The rumor/good news is that the management is starting to see the light on sustainable multiuse singletracks. Okay rant aside, after making it to the saddle we hung a right and climbed up to the peak of South Fortuna Mountain were we got in some cool views of downtown, Point Loma and the Coronado Islands. From here we got in some mighty zippy descending that included some hike-a-biking down a portion of “The Steps” trails Before long we were back to Jackson Drive and dumped a lot of hard earned elevation down the gravely fireroad.
Back at the visitor’s center, I along with a bunch of trails rats and dirt divas enjoyed a good time hanging, grubbing and conversating with each other. Some of these folks I only see during trailwork events. It was certainly a good time.
Some people looked to be planning for world-wide singletrack domination.
It was a pretty lively crowd and there was a rumor that a gang sign or two might have been thrown around. (I think I caught the highly secretive “Sparticus” sign in use)
Later in the evening, there was some absolutely funny awards and killer swag handed out. Many Shimano shiny bits, cool clothes and various assorted goodies found there way to good homes that evening. Nobody left empty handed.
There was one huge item left to the end for SDMBA’s Volunteer of the Year. For that Dave Turner was on hand to present Mike MacGregor with a brand spanking shiny new Turner Frame! Mike logged a grunch of trailwork hours at SDMBA events over the past year, established and headed up the new Trailwork committee and devoted a mountain of time off the trail to help out SDMBA and the MTB community at large.
Special thanks to Andy, Minette, the Social Comittee and rest of the folks that put this thing on. I think everyone that was there would say it was a really great event.
Put this on your calender folks. If you not being riding/following Calvera lately, there is lots of activity going on, both good and not-so-good, with this area. The CA Dept of Fish and Game has not exactly be a “welcoming with open arms” kind of group towards mountain bikers so our community showing up in good numbers will go a long way towards establishing a good relationship with them here. Come on out, do a little trailwork and then do a little riding.
The below information is from Erik Trogden, the North County Coastal Liaison with the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.
February 28th at Calavera
This is an important opportunity for mountain bikers, hikers, and others to come together for the common cause of taking care of our precious open spaces. Let’s demonstrate that we are responsible stewards of Calavera by pitching in to make it a better place for everyone who enjoys it.
SDMBA is collaborating with the CA Dept. of Fish and Game to do habitat restoration and erosion control on a heavily used trail falling southwest away from the quarry; sometimes referred to as The Spine or Mordor. The 200 yard long stretch of trail has widened significantly over time and needs some work to repair damage from rain and overuse.
9:00 to Noon. Staging area TBD. Same format as La Costa with food, schwag and lot’ s of education about how YOU can make a difference.
North County Coastal Liaison
Yesterday I planned on attending the San Diego Mountain Bike Associations advocacy meeting at it’s usual location at the Mission Trails Regional Park’s Visitors Center. The meeting was not until 7pm. Just enough time to get in an after work ride, get a bit to eat and get to the meeting. I had not been up on Cowles Mountain in a long time so I was excited about hitting it. I started from Mesa Road and caught the Mesa Trail. The chaparral had been growing nicely since my last visit and in many spots you are in a vegetation tunnel. This was really nice as it was quite toasty when I started so shade and a bit of a breeze kept the bake factor down a little.
Waterbars, Waterbars, Waterbars…There were just as many as I remembered. I like them as it is the uphill ledge action is a good skillset to hone. Since my last visit there has been a lot more go-arounds and widening created. Plenty of evidence of both shoes and tires as the culprit. Once up on the fireroad the state of my “slackerness” became apparent of the climb up to the top. No cleaning this mountain today as twice I had a total cardio redlining followed by a meltdown.
While it was not as clear as I have seen it in the past it was still a great viewpoint. The out-and-back to Pyles Peak was great. I basically owned that entire section of trail as I was the only one on it. The “in-town” solitude you can usually find on this trail combined with more waterbar action is one of the reasons I like it so much. The returns trip back up to Cowles had plenty of technical climbing challenges. The worst of them come when you are nearly back to the top which means most people (including myself) are nearly spent. There is one set of waterbar switchbacks that I have still yet to clean.
The ride back down the Big Rock trail was a cool as ever. Condition-wise the trail could use some work, but at the same time I like it as morning challenging with the ruts and such.
Post-ride, I cleanup and head while heading to a nearby store to grab some Gatorade, I spied a treasure that I could not let slip away. A bomber of the Stone’s 12 Aniversary Ale, A Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. To say it was yummy would be a grand understatement. Did I desire so a beer after just a rather small mid-week ride? Well no I did not. I owe the beer and bike gods an epic ride at a later date.
The SDMBA meeting was a good one, lots of stuff discussed There were some fresh new faces that are energetic and already taking action to further legal mountain biking access in the county. There were plenty of words like jumps, downhill and freeride talked about. Lots of things in the works and you can expect there will be plenty of oppurtunities for people to help. The meeting went long and I was pretty darn pooped by the time I hit the sack. Another good day to be a mountain biker.