Big Laguna Meadow Cruise

The weather was pretty freaking awesome this past weekend out in the east end of San Diego County.     It was a wonderful time to head out to the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area for some playing around on the Big Laguna trail.


While just a few days away from the offical start of summer, there was plenty of green and patches of wildflowers here and there.


While riding technical stuff and challenging yourself is always fun and exciting sometimes just getting out on a nice sliver of singlerack in some beautiful countryside good for the soul.  Such was the case of on this day.

Tasty Beer from Alpine Beer Company afterwards does not hurt either!

Noble Canyon and the BLT

What an awesome weekend I had.   Jeff Sherman was down for the weekend from Kernville for the weekend and Bill O’neil came down from West LA as well.   Friday was yummy grub and tasty beverages at Stone Brewing Company.   Saturday was Big Laguna – Noble Canyon ride.   We had a sizable group of 11 and did it in semi-slacker fashion by cutting out the Pine Valley and Indian Creek segment and doing a point-to-point ride versus the classic climb-o-rama Tour De Noble

We started thing off up top by taking the Redtail Roost singletrack down into Aqua Dulce,  from there we worked our way up to the top of Los Gatos Ravine.  We did of course play on a log or two in the process. 

Trickier than it looks.

Once on Los Gatos we stopped and played on an feature or six.   Here is “Dental Plan” 

 Some more of “Dental Plan”

There was some log ridage and log pileage to be played on.

Once down on Big Laguna Meadow.  We went clockwise around to the west side where we found the “Water of the World” pond almost frozen over. 

Halfway up the west side we cut back over to the east side of the meadow at the lake and the went up the meadow counter-clockwise.  There was some log chunkage found to play on before making our way over to Noble Canyon.

Noble Canyon was as awesome as always and the there was some log airage to be had.  

As well as some Rock Airage.

Stairway to Hell did not disappoint.

Stairway Chunkage.

A bit of roman wallage on Extra Credit. 

After polishing off the trail we were treated to the first release of Kernville Brewing Company’s Chocolate Porter creation courtesy of JFSH…….Tasty Stuff!

A mighty fine day on a bike with old and new friends a like.

A Week of Meadows, Lakes and Peaks

I had an exceptional week on the bike.  There was plenty of work, family and riding which did not leave much time for the keyboard.  So here are a few pics from the week.   For the mid-week stoke, I met Steve, Eric and Todd for some fun in the Laguna Mountains on the Big Laguna Trail and surrounding area.  I forgot my camera at  home so these pictures are courtesy of my fellow riders.

Some log riding on the Los Gatos Trail

Some playing was done on the rocks.

Not your average dry and dusty SoCal trail.    We had an exceptionally good ride and clocked in around 17-18 miles of good alpine meadow goodness.  

Friday, I got in a lunch time quickie at La Costa which is always a good place to get in some short but quality mileage.   No Pics

Sunday, I finally got around to doing a ride that I had been curious about for a number of years.  The Highpoint Truck Trail that goes up the north side of Palomar Mountain.   My bud Clayton, with whom I first rode with in Japan in 2004, just moved back to San Diego so he was up for a ride.   I was surprised to see him show you for this ride with his singlespeed.    While I be putting up a page on the site in the coming weeks, the quick numbers on this ride are it is a 12 miles long climb that gains 4,400 feet up to the Highpoint Lookout Tower. Needless to say, Clayton earned major climbage points today as a one-geared wonder. 

Grunt, Grunt, Groan, Groan

Killer Views from the top.

I see the observatory rather often from the various SoCal highpoints I ride to as a small white dot, This time it was a wee-bit closer.

The Highpoint Lookout Tower,  elevation 6,118 feet.   I’m sure there are worse ways to spend a workday.

When it was time to turn the wheels around we enjoyed cashing out the gravity points we had earned.    Some people hate fireroads, but 12 miles of downhill with some sketchy turns is pretty freaking fun.  It was a good way to finish off the weekend, Bring on Monday!

A Coast-to-Coast Big Laguna Ride

Back in the summer of 2008, while on a business trip to Philadelphia,  JD showed me around one of the local riding spots.  It was good stuff so I was glad to return the favor when my schedule and JD’s line up this past week.   One cool thing about air travel in the westward direction is the time zones work in your favor.  JD took the first flight out of Philly on Monday and was in San Diego just before lunch.    I met him at the airport with an extra bike and we headed east.   Well not directly east.  JD got here before lunch but his luggage decided to catch some brunch back in Philly and catch him at his hotel later.     A quick stop by a local bike shop netted JD a fresh set of SPDs and some shoes before heading out.

The Big Laguna Trail system in the Laguna Mountains Recreation Area was the designated “off-site conference location”.    Sure there are gnarlier bigger rides like the Tour De Noble nearby but this area is super pretty this time of year and we did not have all day. 

 Cruising the ridge off of Red-Tail Roost.   I’m a big fan of Red-Tail Roost followed up by Los Gatos Ravine.

Cruising the north side of the meadow.


 Yeah, Work Sucks!   I think we talked enough shop to confidently say we were not playing “hookie”.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

We did a pretty good chunk of trails in the BLT system.  On our final segment back to the truck the afternoon light started to make some of the colors in the meadow pop which made for a nice way to finish off the ride.   That’s the way Monday’s should feel.

Chicken Soup for the MTB Soul

During this past week, I took a “personal day” from work and headed out to the Laguna Mountains for a day on the bike.   I have ridden the Big Laguna Trail (aka “BLT”) lots of times but never really all the stuff at once.  The BLT has always been inconjuction with something else like a camping trip with the boys, the Single Speed Summit, or part of the “Tour De Noble”.   Either way I have done the various part but not all of it at once.  Today I was going to put all the pieces together.  

I left mighty early from home at my usual heading off to work time.   Right off the bat it felt great to make that first left when I usually go right.    The drive was great.   I felt like an enlighted lemmin heading towards a hills, while the rest of the world marched towards the 9-to-5 cliff in their shiny metal boxes. (Yes, I am a Police Fan).   I watched to the sun break over my destination in the distance.  I was enjoying a cup of coffee like I always do in the mornings.   This cup used the same grounds, water and machine as yesterday, but it just seemed to taste better when facing east and away from the city.

When I arrived at the trailhead at the Meadows Information Kiosk east of Big Laguna Meadow, it was a glorious morning with a slight crispness to the air with the smell sound of autumn as a slight breeze rustled through the trees that still head most of thier leaves.   Heading out on the trail it was obvious that I have been slacking on the bike as of late.   I really did not care at this point as I had the whole day  and I was out myself.  This was not to be a training ride, this was about “Just Riding”.  

All throughout the day, I took all the forks in the trails that I normally don’t take.   I went up trails I know are best done the other direction, but hey, I wanted to see what was at the top.    I focused on the all the upper trails to the east- northeast of the meadow to start with before venturing down to the meadow.   I would end making a couple trips down to the meadows just to catch the next spur trail that heads uphill and away from the meadow.


I would only see a couple of bikers and a hiker over the course of the day and it was just perfect.   I felt so alive and revived during this ride.   It is funny how therapuetic the sound leaves crackling under your tires and a cool breeze on you face can be.  This ride was an MTB version of a Day Spa and it was just what the doctor ordered.