Wrightwood 50... The Butt Kicker

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Oct 16, 2016.



  1. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball
    I'm really not going to do this ride any justice with the report, but I'll try...


    I saw this ride posted last year, and it sounded like something I might want to try. It's an unofficial ride from start to finish, and you are largely on your own to navigate and manage your supplies. Sounds perfect, so I signed up. Thankfully, mtnbikej signed up, as well. If not, I might still be out there looking for some of the turnoffs and walking more of the climbs.

    The start time was listed as 6:30, so that means a really early start from the OC. I had everything packed the night before, so I only needed to stumble down the stairs at 3:45 and drink as much coffee as I could. Four Cuban espressos, and a large Americano for the road! Yeah... I have a coffee problem. But thanks to our recent thawing of relations with Cuba, I can enjoy actual Cuban coffee! :thumbsup: I had time for an egg with some toast, but packed the oatmeal in a thermos for closer to start time. I find that I really need to stick to habit for this type of ride, and I need to fuel 45 minutes or so before the start. Deviation is bad...

    On the road at 4:20 and into mtnbikej's neighborhood at 4:45. According to the magic voice (Waze) that would put us in Wrightwood at 6:00. We didn't realize it in the dark, but we parked right in front of Yodeler's bar and grill, which was the finish line. We geared up and rolled down to the start... Along with 20 or so others. There were only two single speeds out there yesterday and we got more than a few funny looks. :thumbsup: I'm starting to really enjoy the funny looks, and "you're crazy" comments. :whistling:

    Organizers surveying the Troops:
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    There is no slow warmup on this one. The ride started at just under 6,000 feet. In the first mile and a half, we gained 800 feet on pavement. The single/double track Acorn Trail took us to 8,240 feet by mile 3.6. Even the guys with gears were walking this one...

    Everyone walked this one...
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    At the top of Acorn Trail we turned onto the Blue Ridge Fire Road, which lost and regained some elevation, and by mile 6, my Garmin recorded its highest elevation of the day... 8,477 feet. The air is just better up there!

    The wind was howling... As it would almost the entire day...

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    All of the day's single track descents were epic, and as I process the day, I'm realizing that they became more epic from start to finish. The Blue Ridge Trail is a 2 mile twisty single track descent with soft switchbacks, rocks and roots. It was awesome. If all of the day's single tracks had been that good, the day would have been epic... What was to come, however, was even better.

    After dropping onto HWY 2, we had a short jaunt to Mountain High Ski Resort and some fire road climbing with awesome views. I was really turned around out there all day... The Garmin track and mtnbikej's cue sheets got us through the day. There were a lot of turns that were easy to miss...

    We hit the Leprechaun Valley Trail just under mile 16. I have no pictures of this trail... And a Google search does not return much. I'm guessing it's not really an official trail. Without the GPS and cue sheet, we would have never found it off the highway. It was raw and primitive from top to bottom. slightly overgrown, thrown together bridges, log features, and loose terrain to the point that the trail gave way in a few spots. I could hear mtnbikej saying, "This is awesome!" the whole 2 mile descent. And this still wasn't the best of the day...

    After some more highway and fire road miles, we climbed part of The Boy Scout Trail. It was a narrow single track with some legitimate exposure, and I knew we would be descending the entire section later in the ride. For this stretch, though, we turned off and dropped the mile long Fenner Trail. Loose, exposed, tight switchbacks, fallen trees, and views for miles. This trail had a couple really fast sections that ended in abrupt switchbacks. One of which I almost blew straight through... Mtnbikej yelled "Turn!" at just the right time. That prompted a discussion later in the ride about whether or not I should run a larger rotor up front. :whistling:

    After the Fenner drop, we climbed 4N12 to the only "aid station" of the day. A red cooler with beer, water, Coke, Orange Kit Kats, and Ghost Reese's! Eric, the organizer, was there. This was mile 24. We would see the red cooler again at mile 38. One rider opted to bail at this point and head back to town. I'd bet he wasn't the only one to do that... @bigringrider101 was there when we rolled up. He seemed a little surprised that we were still riding and may have said something to that effect. He made sure to get out in front of us... We'd see him later, however. :whistling:

    From the red cooler, we dropped 3n26. It was bittersweet, as I knew we would be climbing it later.

    The Manzanita Trail was the crown jewel. It was rugged from start to finish... With fast sections that quickly changed to "don't lose focus" sections. It was also the only point where I really regretted not putting on some beefier tires. The Ikon/Race King combo was not a good choice...

    Boy Scout Trail
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    Manzanita Trail
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    The first of 2 sections like this on Mananita... There is a navigable path through!
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    We guessed that this was the entry to a new trail. It looked more rugged than the one we were on.
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    Jason stopped to survey the construction ahead... He was like a kid in a candy store on this one.
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    My bars were too wide, and forced me to ride closer to the edge than I liked! Straight down from here. There were several sections to get through this part. My roadie Garmin mount made it easier to follow the purple line all day...
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    As fun as the Manzanita Trail was to descend, the climb back to elevation was not. We popped out onto the highway, where we promptly gained 1000 feet. This was also the point in the ride when it started to get warm for the first time. We had seen upper 40s and low 50s earlier, but the Garmin was saying close to 80 now. I needed to shed clothing... Fast.

    We pulled off the highway at mile 34 to a water spigot outside the prison. No facilities, but there was a large earth mover that provided cover for my striptease. Lose the tights, base layer, and arm warmers for the climb back to the red cooler.

    The Manzanita Trail dropped from 7,000 feet down to 4,500 feet between the trail and the fire road exit back to the highway. All of that elevation needed to be regained... It was mostly a HAB which got steeper as we climbed. :sick:

    manzanita and 3n26.jpg

    The red cooler was a better sight the second time... We split a Coke, and I couldn't resist the candy.

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    From here we dropped the entire length of the Boy Scout Trail... Over 2 miles of twisting narrow single track with legitimate exposure! It was awesome!

    There was another little single track after Boy Scout that took us out to the highway. It was another primitive (off menu?) trail with some overgrowth and loose unmaintained sections.

    Back on Big Pines Highway we saw our only roadie of the day. Yep... I had to chase the roadie up the hill at mile 42 and probably 9500 feet of climbing. I had to... He was the kind that kept looking back and spinning faster. He wasn't thrilled when I passed him. Fortunately, Jason has a bell, because I missed our turn at Appletree Campground in the heat of the race and he reeled me back in. :whistling:

    After some more fire road up and down... mostly up, we dropped back onto Big Pines Highway. This section was just as steep as the section before the prison. About halfway up, however, we got a glimpse of Berni. He was getting off to walk, saw us, and quickly got back on and started pedaling. Oh, that's how it is? Berni volunteered to be the rabbit. When I passed him, he said he'd been fighting leg cramps...

    Left onto Table Mountain road and more climbing on pavement. I was pretty beat at this point and walked a couple of the steeper sections, finally meeting Jason at the gate for the turnoff to 4n21. We actually waited for a few minutes to see if @bigringrider101 would join us. Then we made the call that he was a big boy and would find his way... 4n21 is a paved forest road that has some gentle ups and downs. No cars... Just families out hiking with the kids. It was a real nice change from the steep stuff we'd been riding all day. I thought that the single tracks were done for the day and it was all pavement back to town... Wrong.

    We turned off the pavement onto East Table Mountain Trail for a mile+ of loose flowing single track... Nice.

    Onto Highway 2 for the descent back to town... Garmin clocked me at over 40 mph. It felt great...

    Highway pic at 40mph. :thumbsup:
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    We arrived at Yodeler's to the sounds of cheers and clapping... Nice. Berni pulled in some time later...

    I've never eaten a 1 pound burger. I did yesterday. And fries. And some chicken wings. And some jalapeño poppers. And more fries.

    Of all the organized rides I've done, this was the most epic. Wrightwood has some epic trails. To hit them all in one day is probably insane, but it was worth it. :thumbsup:

    https://www.strava.com/activities/745892193

    https://www.relive.cc/view/745892193

    wrightwood 50 strava.jpg

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  2. rossage

    rossage MTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Nice ride! Great report and pics. Wrightwood has some great trails. I told you guys Manzanita was good, real good.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, PATKOUG and 4 others like this.
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball
    That was unreal... One or two of those descents would have been a great day. I'm still trying to wrap my head around just how many miles of good single track we actually rode yesterday!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Luis, pperrelle and 4 others like this.
  4. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Fantastic! I love Wrightwood, but have never been up there with a bike. Well, a shuttle once, riding back down to San Bernardino, but never on a MTB. Need to get up there sometime!
     
    pperrelle, Mikie, PATKOUG and 2 others like this.
  5. Cougar

    Cougar MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Niguel
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    What a ride! Nice work, and great pics :)
     
    pperrelle, Mikie, PATKOUG and 2 others like this.
  6. singlespeedrider

    singlespeedrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine
    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    On One Lurcher Single
    I saw this ride and wanted to do it pretty bad. If it was not for VQ being next weekend I would have joined in for sure.

    Awesome report and looks like a great ride. Amazing job
     
  7. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors MTB Addict

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Way to hang in there. Looks brutal. Great pics and great writeup!
     
    Faust29, Mikie and PATKOUG like this.
  8. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    I've been riding a long time.....and yet, I have never been to Wrightwood...for anything, ever.

    @Faust29 threw this out a while back...that it was free...that it was new dirt...it looked like an adventure...and with a website tag line of "GO GET YOUR ASS KICKED. . . AND LIKE IT" who could turn that down. Also like the ride stats I was seeing, made it look like it was worth the drive to get there.

    3:30 alarm wasn't too out of the norm for a Saturday ride. However this time I wasn't as prepared as I would normally have been for a road trip ride. I found myself scrambling to get my sh!t together. Felt rushed the morning. Knew @Faust29 was gonna pick me up at 4:45. As much scrambling that I did...I was still standing around for 10 mins waiting for him and he was on time. That early in the morning on a Saturday, it was only a 1 hr drive to Wrightwood.

    Rolled into Wrightwood in the dark....stopped at the market/gas station to use the facility. Sleepy little mountain town. Started to gear up, and it was breezy and cool. Made the correct call of arm warmers and knee warmers. Rolled down to the start and joined the other small group of riders. @bigringrider101 rolled up just before we rolled off.

    We started at the back of the pack...and in minutes we were climbing up the road through the neighborhood. We began passing those at the back of the pack. At about 1.5 miles we finally reached the dirt. Yup, we had already climbed 800'+. A few hundred feet later we reached the bottom of Acorn Trail. The sign said 2.1 miles/1500' . We didn't make it far before we were pushing.
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    We found ourselves pushing up with a local...who lived up at the top of the climb, and he was walking. At that point I didn't feel so bad about walking. Bernie walked some, then rode some. However, he didn't seem to pull ahead very far. The trail just kept going up. Good thing it was still nice and cool and the wind was blowing. We finally reached the top. Yeah, 2400' or so in the first 3.5 miles. (just for comparison Blackstar is 1900' gate to gate in 6.5 miles).

    This set us up for some ST and a little fireroad before we ended up at Blue Ridge Truck Trail....this would be the first time we got off course. Good thing we didn't get far before we realized it and turned back...but we got some extra credit elevation. Rolled along the BRTT, lots of hunters out. Caught back up to Bernie just before the campground. Again missed the turn for the singletrack, but only by a couple hundred feet. Down Blue Ridge Trail was the first taste of some great flowing ST.

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    After a few minutes we ended up down at Hwy 2. A short spin up the HWY before turning into Mountain High. No Snow....no people. The climb up the service road wasn't bad at all. This would run us back into Blue Ridge Truck Trail at the top.
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    Down the BRTT and back onto HWY 2 for another short spin. Through the visitors center parking lot before turning off onto Logging Road Trail. This looked like it used to be a road that was abandoned and regressed to singletrack. Another flowy up and down singletrack. At the bottom was the first time the trail crossed itself. A quick check of the cue sheet and we were off on the correct direction. We eventually dropped down onto Big Pines Hwy....we will be back here again later in the day. A few hundred yards up the road, was the turn off to Leprichaun Trail. What can one say about this trail....at times it felt like the lower tree and brush sections of Skyline Trail in Big Bear...just less traveled/maintained. I had a grin from ear to ear. It just felt so far out in the middle of nowhere. 2 miles of this just can't be beat. Passed a few hunters before getting back on a fire road. Gentle climb up the FR and we were once again on Big Pines Hwy. Another roadie spin to Mtn Oak Campground.

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    It was in the campground as we were refilling water that I saw the Food Lockers at the camp sites...this is when i dawned on me that we were in bear country.

    Headed back across the highway and back onto the trail. Now the next mile the route crosses over itself a few times. This is also where the organizer expected riders to get lost. We were able to get through it without any trouble. Began the climb up Boy Scout Trail. We would end up catching a couple of other riders and just followed behind them. Trail felt a lot like SART...narrow and exposure. Saw the double purple line on the Garmin so knew we would be coming back down later. Short time later we reached the turn off for Fenner Trail. This would end the "getting lost" section of the trail.
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    Fenner Trail started of fast and flowy...similar to Boy Scout Trail. That wouldn't last. It would become loose with sand, shale and leaves...while remaining fast and flowy. This would make last second braking into the switchbacks. Fenner drops us out at to 4N12 fire road and another gentle climb up to the "unofficial" sag stop. The red ice chest that we thought we had missed earlier in the ride. Yup, Bernie was there and rolled just as we got there. The leader and 2nd place went by about the same time. Refilled water, chatted with the organizer, and enjoyed a few peanut butter cups. We knew from here we would be doing an out and back loop. So the ride down 3N26 was fast...with knowing we would be climbing this later in the back of my mind. At the bottom leads us into the Manzanita Trail.

    Started off overgrown and narrow with a bit of bushwacking. It would eventually open up and become fast and flowy. Again more areas of narrow/exposed trail...stay away from the edge as it was loose. We then got to the first of the creek crossings....looking across made me realize how much water flows through here....Holy Crap!!! Good thing someone actually cleared out a trail across and this was one of the smaller crossings...
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    It just kept getting better the farther in we got. The grin on my face just kept getting bigger and bigger. The biggest stream crossing had a few lines through the boulder field, but it was hard to see them til you got to the otherside and looked back.

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    We even crossed over a section of singletrack that had a stream flowing over it. Who knew that there was actually free running water in So. Cal.

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    Continuing on through the tree lined flowing trail...up and down....in and out.
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    Giggling the whole way.....can this trail get any more perfect? Yeah, that's when we came around the corner and saw these:
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    This was just truely awsome. This would continue for a while. The trail would get narrow in some sections....just don't look up or down. We were finally at a point where we could see the hwy below and knew we were almost at the bottom. Spit us out into the Southfork Campground, then a quick fast dh down to Big Rock Creek Rd. It was getting toasty at this point. The paved road just kept going...just steep enough to not be comfortable, and almost no shade. We would come around a corner only to see it continue up. Add in the headwind to the grade and the heat and we both were feeling it. We finally reached the end of the pavement at the Prison Camp and found the water spigots next to the "so called baseball field".

    We knew the next few miles of road were going to be steep...really steep. Yeah we walked most of it. Think going up Coal Canyon after 30 miles/6500'....it wasn't fun, but at least it was mostly shaded. We just kept pushing on. Seemed to take forever. Finally we reached the bottom of 3N26 for the climb/HAB back up to the red ice chest. Towards the top I had enough walking and got back on to pedal. Good thing the road flattened out a bit. A little bit longer break at the cooler. We now knew that most of the climbing was over for the day....at least the big steep climbing. Down Boy Scout Trail was fast...and not nearly as trecherous as it looked on the way up. At the bottom back on to the FR before heading off on to another unmarked singletrack. We missed it, but didn't get far before seeing it on the cue sheet. More fast and flowy singletrack that would drop us down and around Jackson Lake.

    Another short roadie section to Appletree Campground before we headed back into the dirt....and more climbing. Fortunately it wasn't steep after the first 50' HAB. We would pass by a section we dropped down earlier in the day, then continue on for the section of trail before Leprichaun Trail. Back on Big Pines Hwy, we looked up and low and behold there is Bernie. We saw him hop off his bike, look back see, us then jump back on and start pedaling. We would reel him in. Turns out he was fighting cramps pretty bad. Somewhere around this point we were about 4 miles from the finish....Steve asks if it's road all the way back. Well the cue sheet says to turn onto Table Mtn Road....turns out it was a road climb...again, just seemed to keep going. Kept moving forward, but each pedal stroke was slow. Finally at the top at the vista point, was the gate for 4N21/East Table Mtn Road. Steve was a minute or 2 behind. We looked back and didn't see Bernie. At this point, I was about done...and just wanted to be finished. We figured Bernie could find his way back. Looking at the elevation profile, there were only a couple of light rollers before we reached the final plunge. Those rollers were on a nice single lane paved maint. road. A few minutes later we got to the turn off for East Table Mtn Trail. Dropped in. It was just as fast and flowy as all the other trail we had ridden all day. Few minutes later we were back on Hwy 2. The last mile down the road was fast and DH, with possibly a tailwind. Quick right hand turn on to Park Rd and a short sprint uphill to the finish line to the cheers and applause from the others that had finished ahead of us. Bernie rolled in not too long after.

    What a great day on the bike. What a great event. Loved the route. Loved the trails. I think some of the steep climb past the Prison can be ridden, now that I have seen it...but it's still a big effort climb. I'm glad we had cool temps for most of the day...I could not imagine doing this ride on a hot day. Even the bugs left us alone.

    Who knew they had all this great riding up there.....well, now this guy does.

    Will I do it again....oh, hell yeah.

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    Tom the Bomb, HBkites, Luis and 26 others like this.
  9. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    Way to go guys. Wrightwood is a great place to ride although 50 miles of it in one day sounds absolutely painful. Great effort & commentary as always...:thumbsup:
     
  10. scan

    scan MTB Addict

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    trek ex 7
    Glad you guys could taste the sweetness of Wrightwood. BTW Acorn is a great downhhill!!. Yeah, favorites: Blue ridge, leprechaun, boy scout, middle jackson lake (don't think you did that one).
     
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    Yup! Wrightwood, who would have thought. When I lived in Palmdale that was our go to back yard. Been riding there since the 90's. I think (but I'm not sure) I remember riding Boyscout when it was a secret trail with Greg Nelson. If ever there is a ride location we could all hit up, that would be a great place...:whistling: Excellent write ups an pics fellers. Glad you got to hit up epic new dirt!
     
  12. herzalot

    herzalot MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2015 Intense Tracer 275c DVO
    I climbed 1800' today and only stopped 7 or 8 times! :oops:

    Nice job boys! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: :confused::confused::confused:
     
  13. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball
    It's gonna take some time to finish processing this one...
    That was your recovery ride after yesterday's big ride! :thumbsup: And a lot more than I managed today... :whistling:
     
  14. StrandLeper

    StrandLeper MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Timothy M. Ryan
    Current Bike:
    SC Bronson 1x/Pivot 429 1x xtr
    Sick sick sick to my stomach that I missed this epic! (Darned job!!!!!!). But the glass half-full guy is thinking that now Jzilla and Beast (Faust) can show me the goods!
     
    Mikie, mtnbikej and Faust29 like this.
  15. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    Well.....considering that this was the first time up there.....looks like we finished right in the middle of the pack:

    2016 Results
    Scott Amundson 5:32
    Carl Bauer 5:34
    Darin Cartwright 6:35
    David Donatoni 6:35
    Tyrone Lumley 7:11
    Mark Jolin 7:15
    Jeff Maclean 7:29
    Alexi Desatoff 8:00
    Steve Macko 8:13
    Jason Martin 8:13
    Berni Avila 9:17
    Norm Bell 9:43
    Jason Roach 10:38
    Rusty Dudley 10:39
    Brian Graley 11:33
    Evan S. 11:46
    Angel Calleja DNF
    Geoffrey Mayne DNF
    Albert Anthony DNF - Hub Failure

    I think they gave us a free hour....cause Bernie was not an hour behind us.
     
  16. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    I did the very first of the WW50 two years ago.
    Last year my name was on the start list but at the last minute I opted out because I didn't feel in good enough shape to finish it. This time once @Faust29 and @mtnbikej jumped in I had no way out. Somebody had to show them the way and not let them get lost out there.
    I had a camp site reserved at Mountain Oak for fri/sat. I got there Friday just after 3 PM set up camp and just relaxed for thru the evening. No wood fires are allowed in the forest so I hit the sack pretty early.

    My alarm went off at 5AM, jumped right off the hammock. Made me some coffee and bacon and eggs (breakfast of champs). I kept looking at my watch and over to site 15 where @evdog was staying, I don't think he got up 'till 5:45. I had about a 12 mile drive to town.
    I got to the start line just a couple o minutes before we rolled out. Shook hands with Eric the organizer, he wished us good luck and off we go.

    I walked parts of Acorn trail just as pure solidarity to J Zila and Steve. I saw them walking and I got off my bike just to be part of the group "integration" is the key word, :Roflmao. Going up this trail my garmin kept telling me turn right or turn left just on switch backs, I thought that was funny. Then right at the top when we jumped on Blue Ridge Truck Trail it started telling me OFF ROUTE. After that I just ignored it and started following the route just using the odometer and cue sheet and part memories from 2 years ago. Just on that part of BRTT and a few spots on Manzanita trail, I wished I had some front suspension.
    We went down Blue Ridge trail about half way down I heard some one behind me. I pulled over and a guy just kept flying down the trail enduro style (Man he was fast). Fast forward to mile 24.1 where the ice chest was, Eric was parked there greeting riders as we went by. He got off his car and started chatting two more guys showed up, who I passed at the top of Boy Scout Trail. That's when we saw a guys riding up the road toward us and I go -Crap, is that the leader? Yup he had 14 miles on us at that point. I probably spent there 7 minutes sipping a coke and talking when I saw the single speeders pulled in. I just said joking of course -Oh, you're still in? and took off. I kept expecting them to catch up going down the Manzanita trail but they didn't. A local guy (Alex) passed me and I was able to keep him on sight all the way to the prison camp mile 35. When my agony started.
    I remembered this fire road from last time and I knew it would bring some pain but not to the level it did. It's only 2 miles of dirt fire road from the prison camp to Vincent Gap. So I allowed myself 45 minutes to do this segment. I probably rode the first half mile then the cramps started. Some times I would feel it coming and I'd jump right off the bike, take a few steps and try to get back on. Other times it would just shoot up my leg without any warnings. I took me exactly one hour for those 2 miles. The part I hated the most was the freaking hunters driving up and down the road. Twice I had to move over with cramps on my leg to let the by. I caught up to Alex at he ice chest and said he was cramping too. I thought to myself... -Well at least I found myself a brother of pain. Grabbed another coke and we sat for at least 5 minutes. We got our bikes and right at the top of Boy Scout trail, cramp again. I said -Go on I'll just rest a bit longer and wait for my friends the single speeders. I had part of my PB&J sandwich, ate it and took some salt that I had for my hard boiled eggs. No sign of the "Crazies" so I dropped down the trail. It's all down hill back to Jackson Lake.

    After that there's some climbing on the high way, then some fire road and this turned into single track. There's a steep switch back to the right and I thought...-Screw this, I'm not going to climb that and I decided to go straight thinking that would take me back to the high way. Wrong. I got to a dead end I could see the road but there was no way I could get to it. So I back tracked and walked the steep switch back. That was actually a better option than the road, ( I found out this morning as I drove out of there). Back on the road and I kept practicing my CX dismounting every time I felt a cramp coming. I think I was right across the Leprechaun trail when I did one of this dismounts, looked back and there they were J-zila and Steve catching up. They were both standing on the pedals riding up the road. Left turn on Table Mt rd, steep pavement climb. I got one more huge cramp going up this road, took me a while to recover from it. I knew there wasn't much left to finish, the thought of beer and french fries got me going. ome flat pavement and some twisting single track and back on High way 2. Then a good stretch of down hill.
    At the restaurant the cheering and camaraderie makes you feel that it was worth it. It took me 30 minutes longer than 2 years ago.
    Am I getting old?

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  17. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Name:
    Mike O
    Nice going, guys! What a day! Thanks for the rundown and pics. Looks like a great area. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
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  18. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower
    Excellent Berni!
    There was an @evdog siting in Wrightwood?
    Totally dig the hammock set up. Did you make that?
     
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  19. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball

    No... That's the way I remember it. We hung around forever waiting for @bigringrider101. Seemed like more than an hour, actually... I remember thinking maybe we should go back and check on him. :whistling:
















    Oh, all right... After we changed and loaded up the bikes, I heard Eric's wife (?) ask what time she should put down for us. They were pretty casual at that point. He told her that we came in right behind the 8:00 finisher, so she guesstimated. I see both of our Stravas list it as a little over 9 hours. I think we would easily shave an hour off that next time if we kept the rest stops short, and spent a fraction of the time with navigation checks. The navigation and taking it easy used up a lot of energy.
     
  20. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball
    I don't think there will be much arm twisting to get mtnbikej back up there! That area is a gem...
     
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  21. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    God! It took me an hour and 4 minutes to recover from that last cramp? Time flies.
    @Mikie, yes I made that portable hammock stand. The night stand was there.
     
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  22. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I never spotted the hammock stand. Ya know, there are these things called trees? :) The stand is oprobably useful in the desert though! Nice meeting you Berni!


    So, I did in fact show up for this ride. I showed up at the campground late Friday night and the whole place was asleep. I took off a bit late for the ride and was riding up to the start just in time to see the tail end of the pack riding out of the parking lot. I got back to the Yoddler just as Eric and some others were leaving. Got my DFL! Got back to camp late enough it was lights out on our side of the campground. I finally met Berni when I got up the next morning.


    The ride itself went great for me. I normally ride a ton and am in decent shape but this year I've barely ridden at all. I got destroyed by elevation but rode myself back into shape somewhat in CO a couple weeks ago. I was hoping the altitude there would help me enough here that I'd be ok. I have only done one ride >30mi since Memorial Day and wanted to see if I could still pull off a 50 miler. I've ridden plenty in Wrightwood and the route seemed doable if I could pace myself and take care of hydration and nutrition. It was a bad omen when I arrived and discovered that of the clothing I had laid out to bring along, I had left my jerseys laying on my work bench at home along with a sweater for the evenings. All I could wear for the ride was a white undershirt. I did have a riding vest and arm warmers, and all the other clothes I would need, just no layers. Fortunately temps were great and I was fine. The cotton kept me nice and soaked and cool!

    Pics, to prove I was there!

    Driving into Wrightwood Saturday a.m.

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    Acorn was a nice kick in the nuts to start with. It has been years since I rode up it, and hopefully it is years til I have to again.

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    I rode a good amount of it, and walked the steeper parts. No use blowing myself up this early in the ride

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    Big trees compared to what we get in most of Socal

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    I liked the early start, temps were nice and since everyone had pulled away out of sight it was nice and quiet

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    Nearing the top the trail got more rideable for me. I stopped at the top and had a sandwich.

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    My solitude didn't last long as there were hunters everywhere on the truck trail. I wonder if these guys will ever figure out that they'll have more success if they actually get out of their trucks?

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    Top of the second descent.

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    Looking down over the high desert

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    Things were going well, I just kept up a steady pace, had a bite at the top of every descent and kept the fluid intake up.

    Cool log passage on Leprechaun

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    Doesn't show up well but this was another cool spot with tree trunks all burnt, above lush green bushes

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    I like the Boy Scout trail same as everyone else, really fun trail in both directions

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    Sketch section just before Fenner Saddle trail turnoff. No riding around this one. I see I'm not the only one who took this pic!

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    I crossed paths with 2 riders right at the turnoff, and another at the cooler - Eric was gone by then. I am always blown away by the circus at the Baden Powell TH at Vincent Gap, then you turn down Manzanita and you're on your own. I had a second sandwich at Vincent Gap.

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    Manzanita was in the best shape I've seen it with lots of fresh benching. Thanks to who ever is doing the work!

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    The notorious slide section. Still sketchy, but rideable

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    For some reason I always remember the paved road out of South Fork as flat-ish. It definitely was not, and I was suffering a bit on the climb out. Not my legs so much, but my butt from so much sitting and pedalling. While I didn't pedal much of the dirt section it seemed easier to HAB, not as long or steep. Took me 2 hours from South Fork back to Vincent Gap. This is where I made my only pass of the day, another rider who was having his own struggles. He told me to keep going on and not wait, so I kept going. I had a third sandwich again at Vincent Gap but never saw the other guy. He was hiking up, taking his time.

    I was thankful the cooler was still there. No coke left though, so I had to drink some lightly flavored watery beverage

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    I had the trails all to myself the rest of the way.

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    The rest of the ride was uneventful. The paved climb up Table Mtn sucked but I was stoked for the surprise singletrack descent down to the highway, I had no idea that trail existed.

    It was a quick final cruise down the pavement to town. I checked in at 6:20pm, no lights needed. The rider I passed didn't finish it seems, so I got the official DFL. Everyone was leaving by the time I got changed and headed back over. Burger and fries tasted extra good, and I hung out for awhile for a couple beers and watched the game. I was feeling pretty good all things considered. Tired but not devastated like long rides can sometimes leave you. No cramps, and still able to climb ok at the end. I'd call it a success!
     
    Tom the Bomb, tortoise, Andy and 16 others like this.
  23. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    Awsome.....sorry we missed you out there. Maybe next time. :sneaky: :thumbsup:
     
    Faust29 likes this.
  24. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    Oh crap! Somebody must have complained about the results. I wonder who.
    This is how they read now.

    Berni Avila 8:17
    Steve Macko 9:13
    Jason Martin 9:13
     
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  25. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    Nice pix Evil Dog. Good meeting you.
     
    Faust29 likes this.
  26. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Highball Al SS
    Screenshot (28).png
     
  27. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    Great accomplishment and report and yes, it was insane! The best way to do all these trails is with a shuttle:thumbsup:! 2 vehicles is good but 3 is even better! Eliminates most of that nasty climbing! I HAB'd up Acorn and Manzanita once each when I first started mt. biking 25 years ago just to see where they went and have only ridden down them since! Acorn is great downhill! Believe it or not, you didn't ride them all. There are a couple of trail tidbits not on the route and of course the SOT connector trail in various places. Thanks for the report!
     
  28. Faust29

    Faust29 MTB Addict

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon SS and Highball

    I always enjoy your ride reports! Sorry we missed you out there... Next time!
     
  29. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    The timing is also wrong on that Alex guy. He was still with me at the top of Boy Scout trail at the 8 hour mark.
     
    mtnbikej likes this.
  30. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Thanks guys! Next time, @Faust29 and @mtnbikej ! Nice job all on the strong finishes.
     
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