Back on SoCal Dirt

Man, have I been busy since I got back from Washington.  After a solid week of honey-dos and a couple of lingering projects that needed my attention I was finally able to get back onto some SoCal dirt.   This weekend I’m helping out with SDMBA’s Archipelago Ride by providing some “Navigation”.   There was one section in particular that I have been looking for an improved route from last year so some field research was in order.

The area I was focusing on was by the San Dieguito River Park and the Santa Luz area.  I found some good stuff that fits the bill for real trails.   It should be a good addition to the route this year.

Here is a mule deer buck I encountered on the trail.  The buck is on the trail.  Yes, there is a trail there.

Here is the trail from another angle.  Good stuff.   

After spending three weeks in the Pacific Northwest, 81 degrees felt down right hot!   It was however a good afternoon in the Sun.  I’m looking forward to leading the way to the goods on the Archipelago Ride.

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.

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.