Doing the Caballo trail out a Daley Ranch requires a bit of a commitment as it will add some climbing to your day. The Quail trail is a much easier sell as it just adds a little work to your day. Both are worth the price of admission in my book.
The is more to Escondido than Daley Ranch. Valley Center is its next door neighbor and I did some snooping around along the seams near Daley Ranch. Not all of the route I did turn out to be fully legit but it sure was interesting. Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to get almost lost.
Daley Ranch sometimes get flak for having a lot fire roads and a lot of climbing. While it does it also has some pretty sweet bits of singletrack if you are willing to put the effort to link them together. Here are some of my favorite legal trails on the Ranch.
So I spent that a little over two months working in the Kingdom of Bahrain. No quality mountain biking to be had there. You could make do, and I know some folks who have because they lived there, but not worth it for a visitor. Anyway, I got back and have been hitting up some of the local goods.
I can really say I have been in much of an exploring mood, just getting in some local dirt. After being away for that long, I kinda want to spend plenty of time with my wife. There is also a considerable amount of things that have to be taken care of as well.
I did however manage to grow as scraggly looking beard while I was gone. I don’t know how much longer this thing is going to hang around
I went out to Daley Ranch to get my climb on as that place is really good for doing that. There were looks of puffy clouds in the sky which made for some really pretty scenery. I was pretty impressed with just how much water and moisture was on the ranch. Pretty much everyone of the ponds and water holding areas was at capacity. It was impressive.
All of that water was certainly allowing for spring to hold on strong as almost all of the grasses were still good and green and the wildflowers were plentiful.
During the back half of my ride the clouds darkened up and even managed to get sprinkled on a little bit. Not enough to make a mess of things but enough that I deployed the rain cover for my pack.
It was another good day to be out on a bike!
After partaking in all of traditional Christmas time feasting it was time to try to knock a little of the growing HO HO HO off of my belly with some miles and some climbing. Daley Ranch offers plenty of that. I decided to switch my routes some on my two rides out here this week. I decided to start out with a climb up the boulder loop which I have not done it quite some time. While on the climb I came upon a Kangaroo Rat.
So I have seen plenty of Kangaroo rats out on the trail when night riding. This was my first time seeing one during the daylight and certainly catching one. I actually caught this little critter several times while trying to get the photos. Other than a couple ticks on its under side it seems to be healthy. I’m pretty sure its behavior is going have it being a coyote or hawk snack very soon.
It was has been really pretty out here lately with the winter storms bringing in some much needed moisture.
It was pretty nice to do some of this area in the opposite direction than what I normally take. Seeing things from a different perspective as well as at a different speeds put a nice “new” twist on things.
I always think it is a treat to see and visit snow without snow coming to visit me.
MTB Life has mostly been about getting out on the local goods as of late. Recently I back out in the Laguna Mountains. We spent sometime playing on a few few rocks around the meadow. Later in the ride, while trying a tight little squeeze I managed to crunch up my derailleur a bit. I was able to get the thing aligned back enough to get the shifting back in order. Later on on the same trail, I have a rock kick up in a pretty freakish manner and get caught between my spokes, frame, cassette and derailleur. While I was able to get the bike back rolling again, I was pretty much stuck with a few gears in the middle of the cassettes range. Basically it was really easy to spin out on the flats and painful work on the climbs. The climb up Wooded Hills was brutal.
After that ride it was shopping time. I was running a one by 11 speed setup with a 11-46 tooth cassette in the rear and a 32 tooth cog in the front. With that setup there were two compromises I dealt with. The first was that the easiest gear was not as easy as the 2×10 setup I have on another bike. The other was the jump between the two largest cogs in the rear. The old cassette went from 46 to 37 and I often found myself in the one is to easy and the other is too hard situation.
The new setup is still an 11 speed setup with an 11-50 cassette and a 30 tooth chain ring in the front. It was a bit finicky to get setup on the bench but things came together.
To flesh things out on the trail, I decided Daley Ranch would be the proving grounds. There is plenty of varying degrees of climbing to see how the new gearing feels. I had to do some very slight tweaking on the trail to get things fully dialed when under load. I certainly enjoy the easier gearing and the better stepping of the gears through the larger cogs.
Surprised to see so much water in the ponds out at Daley.
Daley Ranch is still holding onto some springtine!
I did a loop that include the Sage trail up and over into Jack Meadow and the up the way an over to Engelman Oak and back around.
Sometimes I find myself with a ho hum attitude about the local stuff. This is particularly case after roadtrips. But rides like that this help to shake those feelings off.
It is with a bit of sadness that I must pass on that this beautiful old oak tree has finally moved on from Daley Ranch.
On my Sunday morning ride, I found this tree toppled over completely blocking the eastern half of the Jack Meadow loop. Half of this oak had come down a year or so ago, but the other half finally we over as well. Considering that Daley Ranch has a staff to handle this kind of stuff I imagine the tree came down on Saturday. Good bye old friend you were a most welcome shade spot.
In addition to all of the rain we are getting here in San Diego this winter (Which is a good thing) life has been busy over the month. Nichol and I bought a house and we have been pretty well occupied with closing that deal and then moving in and setting up shop so to say.
Most of rides during this time frame has been what I would categorize as local “maintenance” rides. I have been out to Anderson Truck Trail a few times.
Now MTB Life has not been all about just the same ole same ole. I revisited some old places that have had a new batch of trail gnomes out doing to good things. I’m not a liberty at this point to provide details but don’t be afraid to look around near your own backyard.
There are is plenty of green out and about right now, and so should you. Ride On!