I've been wanting to do this ride for a long long time but just hadn't got to it. It's always a better ride when you do it with dirtbags, even better if they're buds. I showed up at Bouquet Summit and Man! was it cold at the trailhead! A few minutes later I see the time machine materialize, an (uncharacteristically) unhappy looking Mikie glaring through the port-side portal. The CHP rewarded his long drive out from Frazier Park with a citation (not for excellence in mtb). So Ed pulls up and soon after Doogie decides to show up wearing his skinsuit roadie getup - lol. He was visibly cold if you know what I mean... Scottay rolls on in with his 1X10 hard tail and we are ready roll. So the route was gonna be a mtb'ing beat-cop's dream, a nice chocolaty all dirt double donut. All rides out here start with the obligatory fire road climb, of course. But it's a short 3 mile climb and not too steep. And when you're chattering away with friends it feels like you're on an escalator. The great thing about this climb is you're rewarded with a 5 mile ST descent. It is a winding narrow ST hugging the side of the mountain with one 2/3 mile section aptly named "the Bobsled". Today it suffered a little from being washed out by some doofus moto rider who apparently could not and did not stay on the trail. Every turn was terraced and even most of the straights. It was still a blast but required a bit more care than usual. That was the first donut a gooey glazed delight. The second (a full on apple fritter) starts with a climb again but this time, a sweet single track up the shady side of the canyon. Under the trees and through manzanita tunnels we sweated and huffed up sinuous, buff, narrow, perfectly crafted trail. After about five miles of this we topped out on Sierra Pelona Motorway and got some really spectacular views of Acton and Agua Dulce with the Angeles Forest in the background. A short ride across the motorway drops you into the 5-Deer Tailhead. Now 5-Deer is in pretty good shape these days. I was pretty surprised! Some angel from heaven has done a huge amount of brush clearing. It's still a bit overgrown in spots but all of the PO is gone and only some occasional ducking and juking is required to keep from snagging a branch. 7 miles of amazing single track; alternating buff dirt winding under the trees and rutty chunky goodness. Halfway through I pull up to Ed who is hissing and sputtering; no, it wasn't Ed but Stan refusing to seal his punctured rear tire. The new formula just isn't the same... We get him patched up enough to complete the rest of 5-Deer thank goodness. So at the clearing where 5-Deer dumps out on Artesian Springs, we stop to take a quick food break and look at Ed's tire. All looks good so we start to pedal off. Ed decides it's much faster and safer to ride with his rear skewer unscrewed and hanging loose. His tire decides it doesn't agree and starts spewing more Stans out the bead. So we have another nice little break. There was quite a bit of debate over how many eediots it takes to fix a flat. In the end it turns out the correct number is 5 ( there were exactly 5 of us). We finally got his bead to seal, the puncture to stop spitting, and the skewer tightened. And we're on our way. Up another fire road. I don't like this fire road. It has zero redeeming qualities or memorable features. In fact, it's not even worth naming. It's just a 2.5 mile steep grind. All for the cause though. So eventually we top out on Sierra Pelona mtwy again and take a moment to soak in the views (Ed had to soak in some air) and take time hold the adventure thus far in our memories (Ed had to try really hard to hold in his lunch). We debated for a few seconds on the merits of climbing some more and exploring some unknown "google earth" single track. The decision was easily reached to instead bomb the singletrack back down to the canyon road. Man that is a sweet trail! Even the hiker we encountered was a cordial fellow and provided some interesting facts regarding the trail, which we were so happy to hear. I think we all gave a special salute to the dear fellow as we left him to continue our descent. All in all it was about 24 miles and 4000' of climbing. But the more important stat was 5 Dirtbags enjoying a great day on fantastic trails.