Gridley-Pratt loop(ed)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Voodoo Tom, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    Ojai is a great place to ride. Stunning views that on a good day have you staring at the channel islands from high atop the mountain. Several trail options ranging from mild to wild. Most are pretty well maintained and well marked. One thing all the trails here do have in common though is that you've gotta pay to play. Lots of front loaded climbing to get to the goods. Easy to string together a long day with big elevation if that's what you like. Sorry only took a couple pictures(maybe Mikie has a couple) as this one ended up being more about survival for me. More on that later.

    Today we wanted to try something different so I half assed planned a couple routes and loaded them on the garmin. @Mikie was just coming off illness the prior week and I wasn't feeling perfect myself so we tried to pick something sane. Got this big bad Yeti 5.5 in the garage so I told Mikie we needed to ride some chunk. Inspired by @Luis and his prior reports we decided to climb Gridley then cross over to drop Pratt.

    Seemed to be way more HAB going on than last time we were here. I know I did a lot of walking.
    IMG_6691.jpg

    Just getting started. Probably should've just hung out here and munched on avocado's all day.
    IMG_6689.jpg

    Gridley is a great trail to descend and yet still climbable. We have climbed it before and it wasn't too bad. Well today it was a rough climb. Great temps but high humidity had us both sweating this one out. The Yeti gearing isn't very low and it's a bigger heavier bike than my billy goat Ripley so it worked me. The ride started out quite and uneventful but a couple miles in I started hearing a light creaking from the yeti. A mile or so farther up this turned in to a god awful creaking that had me even unclipping my left foot from time to time just so I didn’t have to listen to it. Dead bottom bracket no doubt. I hate creaking bikes and this one was so bad I considered just shoving it off the side of the trail and just hiking back to the car.

    So we make it to the top of Gridley and catch our breath for a minute before heading over to Pratt. Luis's prior reports said there was still some climbing but it was only a mile or two to get there. Lets just say this mile or two sucks almost as bad as "the wall of death". We made it up to the lookout though and I had to climb up and check it out and Mikie followed. Bad idea for sure. Got up on the platform and instantly felt woozy and uneasy and started reaching for a railing to hold on to. Really weird as I've never felt like that before.

    Good thing is from the lookout it meant it was time to start descending. Things sorta drop in a hurry from here. About a half mile later we were at the trailhead for Pratt. I've read the descriptions of the trail starting out fast and flowy and getting progressively more chunky the lower you go. We decided to just cruise since neither of us had ridden it. When this trail starts pointing down it becomes quite the brake burner with some flow mixed in. Trail was pretty narrow and overgrown and uncared for but that's fine I like those kind of trails. Maybe 1/3 of the way down it starts getting more exposed and a bit chunkier and this is where I was thinking to myself "great this is what I came for". This thought was short lived though. A couple corners later in a moderately technical section my damn bike decided to spit me off again. This one was not a clean dismount at all though. Midway thru my otb adventure I became tangled with the bike before being slammed to the ground. Jumped up and hobbled around for a few seconds, just long enough to do an inventory of what was hurting then was told promptly to sit down by my buddy Mikie. Apparently I wasn't getting around as good as I thought and was bleeding from a couple spots . Pretty sure nothing was broken but man was I sore. Had to get up and move around because things were starting to stiffen up. Looked back at the section that tossed me and I was mad and embarrassed at the same time. I'm a better rider than that normally. From here on it was more of a cautious/survival mode for me. A couple more miles of fun trail then I'm pretty sure we got off course a bit on to some fire road. Eventually spotted a cutoff trail called cozy del/foothill and knew that was the way we were supposed to go. This was pretty much a skinny foxtail infested HAB for me. Eventually we wound up back on Pratt trail again hmmm. Went the wrong way from there for a bit before turning around. Talk about major chunk, the very end of Pratt has it and after the day I had I walked all of it. From here we just needed to find our way back to the car. Tried to follow the garmin course I had but wound up semi lost in a multi million dollar neighborhood but at least we were headed the right direction. A mile or so of blacktop and we made it back to the car. Some days are better than others. Beaten and battered, creaking bike and all it still beat going to work.

    Ever have one of those days where you and your bike don't get along. I did.
    IMG_6699.jpg
     
  2. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball
    Oh man... I read that and laughed in sympathy... And understanding. Great write-up of one of "those days." We've all had 'em. Keep moving and lubricate the parts with some liquid bread (as the Germans say).

    I just can't believe that @Mikie is flying the bird to a Yeti! Oh, how the times have changed.
     
  3. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    Perhaps @Voodoo Tom and the SB 5.5 are just not meant to be. :unsure: :cautious:
     
  5. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    heal up, you will not really know until Monday. Hopefully no ribs
     
  6. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Name:
    Mike O
    Damn, VT, bummer about the stack...be thankful the outcome was no worse. But yes, the aggravation can be f'ing INTENSELY EXCRUCIATING...

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained in bike ownership terms. Sometimes it's love, sometimes not...

    Heal strong and enjoy those little pains that remind you that only lame people stay home and never get hurt. :sneaky::thumbsup:
     
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  7. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    There's a fire road that cuts across from the bottom of Pratt over to Gridley. It's easy to roll right past it. I'd like to get back up to Ojai soon.
     
  8. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    You got that right...:(
     
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  9. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    I was just going to toss an "I Rode My Bike" post in, but now that @Voodoo Tom threw in some bigger postage...
    I did start out thinking I felt frosty but Gridley soon beat that out of me and I lost all my superhuman powers the minute we got into the climb. Literally around the 5.5 mile marker on Gridley I secretly was ready to throw in the gloves. Someone had stolen my lungs! :eek: But coming around the last corner and seeing the ridge road off in the distance I got a second wind and we made the top of Gridley. VT was saying the next mile or two got steep to some look out tower. Yeah, that was steep. I slogged it on the pedals the whole way but I was running out of mojo again.


    gridley.to.Pratt.PNG

    I have never really done well with heights so climbing up on the look out made me way out of balance. I took some pics and its a real shame the bright ocean off to the west did not show in the pic, it was magnificent!

    Bombing down to Pratt gave me hope again, ha hah! Hearing about the flow then chunk was what I was there for. Loved the exposure but by the time we got to the chunk we were wore out from hike a bike on I believe the wrong trail. Looking at STRAVA, if our intent was to indeed do all of Pratt, then we got off course. Tom and I are usually okay with that as we like the hidden gems and the adventure. We also like the scratchy sketchy slightly overgrown fast chunky trails as well. Probably why we like riding so much together.


    The Look Out Tower
    DSCF1701.jpg



    Tom feeling whoozy on the look out tower.
    DSCF1702.jpg



    Yeah, we climbed from down there...
    DSCF1703.jpg



    The Views, the views...
    DSCF1705.jpg

    There is indeed an ocean out there. Bummer you can't see it!

    DSCF1708.jpg

    I guess that Trail 23W09 is aka Pratt Trail. You can see the Look Out Tower above the sign. Pratt Trail is just above the sign and off to the right as it drops.

    DSCF1709.jpg

    Like Tom said we were heading into some chunk on a right turn... a drop down a rock stairway when I heard an "AHHHHH!" behind me. I turned around to see Tom in a crumpled mess! Man my mind raced. Broken bones? Walking out, What?
    I can tell when he got up his bell was rung. Meandering around, finally had to tell him to sit down, no rush brother!

    After that we were both spooked some and cruised the rest. No good to try and grab the goods when you are tired, we were both tired.

    Hit the pavement in a very classy area of Ojai I had no idea existed and meandered our way back to the car.

    I would do it again, when I was a little more fresh and not just off being down with the flu. I would like to do the whole Pratt trail to see the goods it had to offer.

    In regards to the Yeti "flip off" back at the car. I was just mad at the 5.5 kicking my buddy off . I know Tom is a way better rider then that which tells me the bike is not right for him. It's been that way since the day he got it.
    I told him there is only one remedy for this ailment. Santa Cruz Hightower as new member to the Cruz Brothers!
     
  10. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Name:
    Mike O
    Good job, Mikie (and Tom). Those tough rides make you appreciate firing on all cylinders! And as Faustie reminded me, you gotta pay into the system here and again.

    Nordhoff is one big, bad ridge. You have to be feeling good to dispose of anything up there. Good job bellying up and sending. :thumbsup::)
     
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  11. hill^billy

    hill^billy MTB Addict

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    I’m happy it wasn’t serious today Tom and you can keep on riding!
     
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  12. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb MTB Addict

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Well glad all is good. You may want to take some measurements on your Ripley and try to duplicate them on the Yeti. I have encountered the same feeling going from one bike to another. I made sure the length from the nose of the saddle to the middle of the bars straight forward was the same and this was key for me. If your shock is feeling a bit stiff, compression dampening can be revalved down too. The factory puts compression dampening in that you can not tune out with the climb, trail, descend lever. It looks like you have the large evol can on your shock. There is probably an air volume spacer or two in that shock too that you can remove easily with a strap wrench that would make it much more plush. Did that on my Niner. I you need some directions give me a call.
    Good luck
     
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  13. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    There once was a bike called a Yeti
    That definitely didn't make Voodoo sweaty
    It bucked him once
    It bucked him twice
    Now the wood chipper makes Yeti confetti!
     
  14. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    Bwaaahahaha... Read that one to my wife and she loved it.
     
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  15. herzalot

    herzalot MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2015 Intense Tracer 275c DVO
    This is very interesting to me. There are sooooo many great bikes. All have strengths and weaknesses. Most of us adapt to the bike's characteristics, but there are times when the chemistry is just not right, no matter what the spec sheet says, or the reviews say. Since riding the tough stuff is all about confidence, and you have no confidence in your pretty but ornery Yeti, and because you had such a great time aboard the borrowed Hightower, I see no other solution...

    Best wishes, and heal up quick my friend!
     
  16. hill^billy

    hill^billy MTB Addict

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Easy to blame the bike. My question is how were you feeling before your descent, knowing the fact that you were seemingly sort of spent, and had a dizzy spell shortly before. You ride alot dude! Ever thought about a little rest? Maybe it was just one of those days when you know you got to dial it back a notch or two, believe me there is nothing wrong with that. You can’t be on your game all the time.
     
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  17. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    That was me you described. I was tired and didn't even know I was tired...
    Tom has been fighting that Yeti since hour 1. The day he pulled it out of the box he stated he has been fighting that monster. Sit's too tall, too long, to stiff, adjust adjust adjust... Always compares it to his Ripley and now the Hightower.
    It's more than tired, it's a Voodoo Yeti, that Yeti needs an exorcist!
     
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  18. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    You are right @hill^billy and all points well taken. Not the bikes fault that I picked a bad line and didn't have the skills to save it, just doesn't make for a good story. Think I was more frazzled from listening to the creaky BB for 2+ hours of climbing.

    I love challenge but I'm not a huge risk taker and never been to proud to walk a section to get home in one piece. I bought this bike looking to up the fun factor and so far it just hasn't happened. My fault for buying a used bike that I'd never thrown a leg over. I think it's just a different bike than I am a rider. It probably wants to go fast and straight plow thru stuff and be hucked around but that's not me.

    I do ride a lot. Vast majority of those rides are solo rides to and from work on a full on 22.5lb xc hardtail(with dropper of course). Nothing challenging just fitness & sanity saver rides that I have to look for ways to mix up. This is another part of the problem. Riding the xc hardtail all week then jumping on the yeti or any other bike for that matter ain't an easy transition. When the Ripley was my only bike it was simple, I just rode it for everything and maybe that's why we got along so well.

    I'll get the Yeti cleaned up and fixed up and hopefully find it a good home. Not liking the taste of humble pie...
     
  19. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    At least you have a bike in mind when you get rid of the Yeti? There were so many bikes I wanted to love but none of them quite felt/fit right for me. Until of course I rode the Jet 9. Good luck in finding your unicorn!
     
  20. hill^billy

    hill^billy MTB Addict

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    For the record I never mentioned anything about skill, if you ride with Mikie than you got skill, but fatigue can easily have something to do with the choice of a line. And yes, I would have to imagine you picked a small for a frame on 29” wheels. I think you are taller than me, but probably not so much to warrent a medium. 27.5 is going to be in my future unless they quit making them along with pedals. I would maybe foster you’re bike if it weren’t a 29er. Good decision to get off and get on what makes you grin, and make sure it’s ear to ear!
     
  21. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Name:
    Mike O
    Hey, VTom, if you're not on any pace for a Yeti replacement and want to test a GG Smash before committing to something, I'll be in SoCal next month. We're about the same dimension; a medium GG will be your size. Disclaimer: It might ruin your current MTB romance like it did mine...and make you scoff at a few pounds of bike weight. :)
     
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  22. AKAKTM

    AKAKTM Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Tony A
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Mojo 3
    VT, if you decide to sell the Yeti, I'd like to try it one time and compare it with my Ripley LS. You are welcome to try my LS if you'd like.
     
  23. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer MTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    I know what you mean about having to adjust to riding different bikes in one's quiver. I am all about pedaling efficiency so my 29er HT is my main go-to ride. But every once in a while I get sore from all the beating a HT frame delivers. That's when my Remedy get's some attention. But the two feel so different. The Remedy is a magic carpet ride and with the 27.5 wheels and even though this bike's wheel base is wider, it turns noticeably tighter in switchbacks and the bike is basically more flickable. It takes part of a ride to refamiliarize myself with the full squish bike after I have been off of it for a while. The thing is, as you have already stated, these bikes are meant to be ridden aggressively. They will indeed plow through something your other bike(s) had a little trouble dealing with. It's scary, but rewarding when you garner up the gumption to just let'r rip. Builds confidence.
     
  24. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    As reported yesterday: Sisar Canyon is engulfed in flames all the way to the top. Horn Cyn is mostly done, the fire is still burning on Pratt. There are spot fires all the way to Gridly, but the entire hill is not on fire. I am hoping the Sisar part will not spill over into Santa Paula Creek (funny because this is where the orignal fire started, just down on 150). The southern flank is pretty much out, with no glow on that end. But now the north side of South Mountain is going up HOT. Its called Black Mtn on Mikies posted RR above
    Happy night vistas on the single track.
     
  25. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    So sad, such a beautiful area. My heart goes out to those affected.
     
  26. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Name:
    Mike O
    What a loss. Thank you for that update, @da big hills.

    Additional incentive to go ride every trail you can with no delay.
     
  27. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    Sisar is still burning over the entire canyon. It tried to get into Santa Paula Creek today (East, up wind). The other side of this hot spot has now burned all of Horn Cyn and it is eating up the slope top to bottom upto or close to Pratt. VCFD says the Santa Paula Creek was a blessing since the terrain allowed them to get hand crews on the line. No ride for me today, (and Yesterday) since I left and came home in the dark. I cannot tell the air quality without sunlight, so I skipped it assuming the worse. You are welcome John Q Taxpayer.
    Happy skipping night rides on firey nights.
     
  28. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    Pratt is 5, Horn cyn 10, Sisar cyn 3 & 11, Sisar fire road is 3

    Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 11.09.37 PM.png
     
  29. Daddy Dirtbag

    Daddy Dirtbag Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Jeff Johansen
    Current Bike:
    2016 Trek Stache 9 29+
    If memory serves me correctly, 5 is Gridley.
     
  30. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Correct. :thumbsup:
     
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