I got an afternoon ride in the Laguna Mountains area on Wednesday and went back on Friday to some more exploring. We rode some of the classic routes as well as some stuff that gets basically no action at all. I’m gonna have to do some further research to see if some of the stuff is fit for public deseminaton but it was pretty awesome to point the bike in a new direction see where things would take us. For now here are some pictures.
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.
So man, long time no post for me. Truth be told, I have been enjoying other pursuits as of late. After spending plenty of time traveling and riding over the summer I have found life at home in the “slow” lane really freaking fun. I have been on the bike a bit, but first a little catchup.
The family (and a couple of friends) played hookie one day and enjoyed some mid-week fun at Knoxberry Farm. No lines was pretty freaking awesome.
Over Thanksgiving, we kicked up some dust in my Brother-In-Law’s yard with the go-carts.
Then there has been the weekly hockey practices and games. If it is not Jake on the ice at the Escondido Iceoplex,
It is Will at Tricity Inline rink. Always good times.
Early this week, a few friends and I did a little riding east of the Laguna Mountains. This is an area that I have not done much riding in so it was cool to check out some new stuff. Kitchen Creek, Fred Canyon, and Thing Valley were all on the menu.
It was not too long into our uphill exploration that some of the white stuff made an appearance. While just in the shadows at first, by the time we got up into the Lagunas proper there was more snow that not on the trails.
It is always a treat to get snow on your tires here in Southen California. Today’s dosage was just right, while enough to be a bit burdensome in spots it was for the most part fun to hear the crunch under your wheels.
After bit of play up top we worked our way back down to lower elevations and a welcomed bit of warmth. There looks to be some good scenic loops that can be put together out here. I have to go back a time or two to get everything figured out. One thing is for certain, I had a pretty cool time out there on the bike.
FORWARD: This is repost of an online post I made in September of 2007 after my boys and I spent a weekend camping in the Laguna Mountains. I am in the process of updating my page and maps on the area. While doing this I noticed I did not have this story anywhere on my site. This post here is designed to “capture” the story within my site.
Me and my boys are in between thier youth hockey seasons right now so we took advantage of one of the free weekends to get in a little camping and riding in the Laguna Mountains. While the biking was not the primary goal for the weekend we had a lot of fun and I am quickly starting to get a couple little dirt addicts on my hands. We got to the Laguna campground late in the afternoon Friday and just did get setup before dark. Saturday morning we took a spin around the Big Laguna Trail.
The BLT is a great place to take kids that are looking for a “big” ride. My youngest Jake was getting a bit bounced around on the uphills with rocks so we stopped and did some sessioning on how to unload the front wheel when going over the stuff. He picked it up really quick and owned the stuff the rest of the morning.
We stopped and messed around with the cows
Hmmm……..cranberry sauce, gravy…..
By 1PM we were out on nearby Lake Cuyamaca fishing. The keyword is Fishing NOT catching.
So it was Chicken for dinner that night. The rest of the evening we spent screwing around with the fire, smores, and flaming balls of marshmellow goo.
The next morning we decided to do the BLT in the other direction this time.
Stopping to check out the Indian Motareos(sp?) (In case your wondering my oldest boy Will gets that from his Mother
Jake’s handiwork with the camera.
And Will messing with the camera around camp.
After the ride, we took our time breaking down camp and where rolling towards home by 1:30pm. It was a great weekend with the boys and if you are ever looking for a good place to take your kids beyond the local parks this place is pretty good in my book.
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.