Cannell Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . EPIC!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Mikie, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Today was the Cannell Trail aka the Cannell Plunge...
    I felt like Dr. Jekyll :D and Mr. Hyde :twisted:
    My voice is more sore than my body from screaming at the top of my lungs when we finally hit the descents of the Cannell Trail and in particular the Cannell Plunge.
    I have heard so much about the Cannell Trail that when it finally got to be the day to ride it that on the descent . . . I emotionally went insane!

    Yes, the ride report is long and there are a ton of pics! . . . I wish you were all there and we were all sharing the memories over a beer this very moment...

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    I'm naturally amped when I get to ride with this mixed bag of Over The Bars/Dirt Bags Club Members. These guys have such a passion for Mountain Biking. In most cases, the only rides they do are big Epics. In all honesty, for me . . . I just try to hang on. I have a tough job that demands a tremendous amount of week day time so I rarely get to get out and get the training in to ride well with these guys. But I have been lucky that the last couple of weeks just prior to Daylight Savings Time I was able to force some quick 1 hour sprint rides in during the week, so I have felt stronger than normal.

    Okay, Greg (aka Maddog) the master and keeper of all good trail knowledge had posted a ride opportunity that he and Mrs. Maddog were camping up in the Kernville area and suggested the Cannell Trail. He was attempting to get a local Shuttle Service to take us up but they would not drive due to snow conditions (according to them). So we tried to get in contact with Shuttle Bob, but he was employed by jfsh for an excursion they had planned for the same day. So in the end, we decided to self shuttle.

    Today's line up ended up being rossage, bigringrider101, maddog, and myself. . . good mix of guys. Ross (rossage) picked me up at the Flying J Gas Station at the Frazier Mountain Park Exit off Interstate 5 at 6:30 who was also bringing Berni (bigringrider101). It was really nice to not have to commute to a ride for a change and I really appreciate rossage offering to drive. I pulled up to the Flying J at 6:00am to get some money out of the ATM and they were already sitting in the parking lot...what the??? I got some money, got some travel food and we loaded up and hit the highway...

    WARNING: The following Ride Report will have plenty of Schmack Talk, Ribbing, Course Jesting and the like . . . . No Mountain Bikers were injured emotionally or physically in the recording of this Ride Report...

    We are all 3 chatterboxes and so it was none stop schmack talk all the way to Kernville. We were running behind, I gave maddog a call so Ross and Berni could stopped at the Cracked Egg in Kernville to get some burrito's. Which proved to give Ross the gut bomb grief for most the rest of the day... :(

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    So we met Greg at the Trails End, which for hikers would be the trailhead, loaded up everything in Ross's Tacoma and headed for the top. A self shuttle to do Cannell Trail will cost you an additional 2 hours (1 Hour up, and 1 Hour down). Since were were so hungry to ride it, we did it anyway.

    On the way up in the upper elevations we hit snow/ice on the road in a couple of the shady sections, even had to put it 4 wheel drive for a short section to keep the rear wheel from slipping...

    At the drop point it was like being on the top of the world! 9200 feet with a view. We could see the top of Mount Whitney to the northeast amongst others...nice.
    For November at that altitude it was ridiculously warm. We had serious debate about what we should actually take. I brought my HAWG Camelbak so I could carry the kitchen sink and chose to carry Leggings, Jacket, Arm Warmers and a Flannel DoWrap just in case but never needed it. In fact I was sweating as I was pushing my bike through some of the deeper snow sections and never got cold. Temperatures were in the High 60's...

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    We took off and the first quick section is a descent and then moves into a gentle climb, but with snow on the ground we often had to get off and push. We were the first bikes on the trail since the rain the previous week. Berni plowed through but it was almost better to be first as he would compact it and we had to try and miss his line to prevent the rear wheel from spinning on his snow converted to packed snow/ice tracks.

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    A couple of times on descents we would come across a snow patch in a corner and that made it very interesting as to which way it was going to throw you off course... good fun! :lol:

    The air crisp but comfortable we whooped it up on the descents and grinded up some of the climbs. There is nothing really formidable as far as climbs. The snow only really hindered us staying in the saddle in the upper elevations. The scenery is second to none having that alpine feel. Coming across meadows that reached to the next forest of trees, fall was definitely in the air.

    Crossing several fire access roads you are never really that far from an exit route if you needed to get out. But the sense of wilderness and distance from civilization was ever present as well. You're out there...

    ...and speaking of "Out There"...
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    We dropped on to a section of fire road that climbed to a summit and Berni and I chatted as we powered up to it. Berni is such a strong rider and I felt his presence. Dropping down some single track we started climbing more and more technical section of singletrack. I was sensing that "The Plunge" was nearing...

    We stopped at "The Cabin" at first the way they were saying, "The Cabin" I thought there was going to be some hazing...was I gonna squeal like a pig or something? Turns out it was just an awesome rest stop to kick it on the front porch and grab a bite to eat and look out at the amazing view of Cannell Meadow. It was near surreal! Dead quiet, not a breeze in the air, not a sound stirring. The sound of silence was deafening!

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    rossage . . . .always in style making my bike porn mo bettah!
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    Berni
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    Greg bypassed the cabin and so when we were down with our Rest and relaxation, we took off after him. He was going to meet us at "The Plunge" Summit. The next sections getting there were a combo of singletrack twist through the trees, singletrack through huge mass expanses of meadow, and drops of chunky rocky sharp edged granite. This trail has it all...!

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    Meeting up with Greg we dropped into the plunge. It was amazing singletrack. As we descended, all that crazy frustration from my job began to ooze out of me, a fury took over, I became insane with singletrack! I can't explain it but it was like I let off the brakes and dared myself to tap 'em again. Approaching a drop of boulders I would barely touch the brakes and just let the wheels catch just the peaks of the rocks. It was smoother at that speed and I screamed at times at the top of my lungs. I was purging Job-Hate out of my body and becoming one with my Yeti. It was nearly an outer body experience. What was happening to me!!!!

    Digging deep into the banked corners, sometimes it was a berm of dirt, sometimes it was a bank of granite, we continued to drop towards the valley floor at a crazy pace. I slowed a bit cuz I finally realized I was singletracking at such a crazy pace I had forgotten about my team mates. Ross caught up and we took off again. I like to ride close with my ride buddies. To me it's like jamming in a band and hitting the same notes or making the breaks or bridge at the perfect moment. This was my form of sharing popcorn at the movies. I was insane and digging it!

    At one point, just after all the crazy technical stuff it started opening up to some long stretches of singletrack where you just let off the brakes and hold on. The speed blurs your vision, your eyes begin to water as the wind curls around your eye protection. The singletrack is so narrow (maybe 16 inches) on the side of this mountain and we're doing around 25-30 miles per hour. I come around a sweeping corner to find a rain rut "V" cut right in the middle of the trail: I DON'T CARE.
    It's scrubbing some of my speed simply because of the tire resistance. The trail slowly sweeps too the right and up ahead is this huge monolith of granite. My front wheel comes out of the rut to the left, rear stuck in the center. I keep going I'm going to hit that boulder the size of a house head on at 25 miles per hour. I tap the front brake and lift the rear wheel out of the rut onto the left side (inside of the trail) lift the front wheel up and over the rut to the right side of the trail (outside). The granite wall is racing toward me, just at the right moment I tap the rear brake which starts to point the front end outside pointing my front end out off the cliff of the trail I braced for impact and I'm thinking I'm going to break my forearm as I smash into the boulder. But as the back end lined back up in the rut my right arm did a body check off the boulder and I do not take the full force and slid on by grating my arm across the granite. I scream at the top of my lungs a victorious yell, let off the brakes and take off like my life depended on it. What the hell is wrong with me?!?!?!? I'm just a weekend warrior . . . but I was alive with Mountain Biking! My long sleeve shirt was soaking with blood but I didn't care...!

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    We stopped from time to do a buddy check and as the miles went by the valley floor was coming up to meet us. I was almost depressed. When we past the last gate and gave it our final run. I was dismayed that it was over. We pulled up next to Greg's truck and I was sad. But I was glad at how much every bit of my hope for this being an EPIC, paid dividends!

    Berni headed down to the Kern Brewery (no sense in all of us going back up to get Ross's truck). Remember, 1 hour up, 1 hour back down. I rode back with Ross in hopes that we would all meet back up at the brewery but as usual on a Saturday night...it was packed. Berni said there was a jfsh siting at the Brewery. Greg headed back to Mrs. Maddog, (as usual, another Maddog Epic Adventure!) Thank you Maddog!!! We grabbed Berni and headed out looking for a place to eat. We found NOTHING until we found Anita's on the 178 just outside of Bakersfield. I had heard from some guys in the Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association that Anita's was a good place to eat, and it was! The fish tacos were awesome! We tried to take a victory shot inside but it was too dark. I got one of Berni come out and then my camera phone died...no more pics...

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    We talked and gave each other sh!t all the way home. Ross dropped me off, gave each other our traditional bud hugs and they took off. Maddog knocked it out of the park putting this one together!

    The Cannell Trail is every bit worth the drive. It is NOT a beginner ride. It's a Cross Country ride with a maximum payoff at the end. But you gotta love the chunk and guess what??? Mikie LOVES the chunk. Mikie needed this . . . in a very VERY bad way. Cannell Trail Rocks!

    The author of this ride report spent hours putting it together, hope you enjoyed it . . . thank the suckah!... :D

    :cool: Bike On!
     
    Danimal, Faust29 and rossage like this.
  2. hill^billy

    hill^billy MTB Addict

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Bitches!
     
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  3. Bluesrider

    Bluesrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Newbury Park Ca.
    Name:
    Todd
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer T275c
    Looks like another Epic Ride. I've ridden Cannel once in 2010 and we had tons of snow all the way to Big Meadow. Awesome report Mikie.
    And yes if any one noticed, Steve (aka Kanga) is wearing a shower cap.

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  4. herzalot

    herzalot MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Forget the awesome pictures - that, right there, was a ride report! The energy in your writing was impressive. I could feel what you were feeling. In fact, even MY arm is bloody now! I was gonna say I hate you, because of jealousy, but all I can say is thanks - and I only hate you a little.

    :thumbup:
     
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  5. driffter33

    driffter33 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Buena Park CA
    Name:
    Warren Hornaday
    Current Bike:
    2013 Giant Anthem X 29er
    As always another great RR! I just want to see a pic of the tiny little scratch on the fore arm of the blood soaked shirt! ;)
     
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  6. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Ross took a couple of pics of my arm, Berni kept trying to lick-it (MTB Vampire?).
    You will prolly never see any pics from Vaporman, "It's too much of a hawsell dooood, don't harsh my mellow......" :lol:
     
  7. BBJohn

    BBJohn Active Member

    Name:
    John
    Thanks Mikie, I see you spent no time on that RR. :D Awesome buddy, just awesome! :clap:
    Gawd I hate work too, my boss is an ass otherwise I'da been there with ya.
     
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  8. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Hey thanks! But wait......aren't you self......oh, I get it! :lol:
     
  9. ridinrox

    ridinrox MTB Addict

    Location:
    Murrieta
    Name:
    Roxanne
    Current Bike:
    '16 Giant Trance Advance
    Always love your RR's, Mikie - very entertaining even though they're long as F*CK!!

    And I believe my right hand introduced itself to that boulder last time I was there..... :lol:
     
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  10. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    **Abridged Version***
    "We did Cannell Trail and it was mega bitchin' " ~Mikie
    :D
     
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  11. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
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    Fresh tracks for the day.
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    Ross in his "Walk of shame".
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    Some random guys, jealous 'cause they couldn't keep up with Mrs Jones.
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  12. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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    The only blood shed that fine day....
     
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  13. hill^billy

    hill^billy MTB Addict

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Beter than the hole body I guess. :cool:
     
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  14. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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    Chupacabra drawn to the blood!
     
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  15. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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    Mikie being an ass.
     
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  16. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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    Mikie took the same pic of Berni, you can see my hand/phone in his photo...
     
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  17. BBJohn

    BBJohn Active Member

    Name:
    John
    On second thought I'm glad I had to work. :lol:
     
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  18. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Pick one, got a few
    Wow Mikie, you are truly gifted and so are we to be able to read your awesome ride reports... Your brake pads must be short lived having stop so often and take all those badazz pictures.

    Question and please excuse my newbeeism.. Can somebody explain what exactly that is that Berni is riding?
    Never seen anything quite like it but it has a certain cool factor to it and who knows what I'm missing.
     
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  19. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Hey Tom! We gotta ride together :| !
    Berni is riding a Jones. The front end is all titanium and very rigid, but very light. Berni does have a flair for unique bikes, but it doesn't really matter. He still kicks all our azz's! :D
    Berni is like the Eveready Bunny, he just keeps going and going. There was a section on the Plunge where it just rockets to the sky for more than 100 yards . . . we all hiked it. He climbed it on his bike. :eek:
    Berni . . . . is amazing!
     
  20. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    Unsuspended Jones space frame with Ti Truss fork. Right now running a semi fat front tire. 29+ is what they call it but the forks can take a "full on" fat tire.
     
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  21. scan

    scan MTB Addict

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    trek ex 7
    NIIIICE!!!! That near collision with that huge rock.....you really tryin to get out of work!?!?!? Man, sounds pretty risky , on a trail you've never been on!! Injuries aren't worth it....ie your collar bone?
    Thanks for the RR, always entertaining!
     
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  22. CarlS

    CarlS Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    Name:
    Carl
    Current Bike:
    Walmart $50 special
    Very Nice RR. Wish I had a chance to go up there this year.

    Funny, I had the same experience with a boulder like that last time i rode Cannell. Same section I think... somewhere around where that awesome view shows up of the lake. I was into the trail havin a good time when all of a sudden a big ol rock got in the way. caught my right fist on the bar and almost broke my pinky finger off.
     
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  23. Mikie Robin Mcguire

    Mikie Robin Mcguire Well-Known Member

    Name:
    mikie and robin
    That is a Awesome Ride report! Mr.W. :) Thank you!
     
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  24. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    And I'm glad I passed on the "R&R" at the cabin with the boys! :shock: Great ride report Mikie!
     
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  25. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Fantastic work, gents. Congrats on bagging a classic. Nice report, Mikie!

    It's okay to stop quoting the pic with the crack in it...
     
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  26. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
    Why ARE you guys repeating pics of my azz???? :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :roll:
    Get over my buns-O-Steel!!! Sheeesh!
     
  27. BCrummett

    BCrummett Active Member

    Location:
    Pasadena
    Name:
    Brandon
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Mojo HD3
    Damn looks like such a fun time. I love that ride, and thanks for the great ride report. Maybe I can sneak one in on the Plunge before its done for the season...
     
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