bikepack TR - Tour de Los Padres

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by evdog, May 8, 2020.



Want to donate to imtbtrails?



  1. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    The Tour de Los Padres is a 260ish mile bikepacking race/route around the Los Padres National Forest northwest of LA. It was originally a point to point route from Frazier Park near the top of the I-5 Grapevine to Santa Barbara, but Erin Carroll re-designed it this year to be a loop starting and ending in Santa Barbara. I've never been able to do the TDLP as something has always come up this time of year. The China flu was threatening my chances again this year with the group start being cancelled. A solo attempt was still possible but there was an ethical dilemma given current events. At home San Diego opened its beaches two weeks ago drawing hoardes of people into my neighborhood to recreate. It got to a point where I'd encounter far fewer people in the backcountry than I would if I stayed home and exercised locally like I'm supposed to. A break in my schedule came up at the same time as a good weather window appeared. Time to get the F outta town for a few days!

    There had been some chatter earlier on with a few others still interested in doing the ride. I wasn't expecting to see anyone so I was surprised when Erin and Gregg pulled up to Romero trailhead just as I got there. Two other groups would apparently be out riding as well, both going the opposite direction. I had five days available but was aiming to finish in four.

    Erin, Gregg, evdog

    DSC05227.jpg


    Starting the climb up the old Romero Canyon Road trail - an old road bed that turns into a nice singletrack climb.

    IMG_0287.jpg


    I'd wanted to get up to SB well before sunrise to catch sunrise from the trail. Fog layer would have blocked the view anyways so it was no big deal I got a late start

    IMG_0300.jpg


    Nice breeze and a beautiful morning

    IMG_0313.jpg

    IMG_0325.jpg


    Numerous rock falls have made the trail more interesting

    IMG_0334.jpg


    A couple hours and we were at the top of Romero. Lots of flowers out!

    IMG_0344.jpg


    I stopped to eat half my breakfast burrito while Erin and Gregg rode on

    DSC05234.jpg


    The route dropped down to the Santa Ynez River with plenty of water crossings to filter from

    IMG_0349.jpg


    The route was already getting rustic but beyond Jamison Lake the Juncal Road was little more than an overgrown road bed

    IMG_0368.jpg


    Climbing away from Jamison Lake

    IMG_0370.jpg


    Navigation was easy following Erin and Gregg's tracks through the grass

    IMG_0378.jpg


    After summitting the second big climb of the day to Murietta Divide it would be mostly downhill all the way to Ojai

    IMG_0386.jpg


    I caught up to Erin and Gregg soaking their feet here in Matilija Creek

    IMG_0396.jpg


    After a quick pavement descent toward Ojai we opted to bypass town on the Cozy Dell Trail. We were definitely not going the optimal direction with numerous rocky switchbacks. It was getting hot by this point and the trail climbed steeply up to a ridge top.

    IMG_0399.jpg


    Water and snack break in the shade to cool off. The sign behind Gregg points out the poison oak patch behind him.

    IMG_0402.jpg


    We continue to traverse across some nicely re-built singletrack toward Gridley Trail

    IMG_0408.jpg


    Gridley trail is another pretty nice climb like Romero but a bit steeper at 2700ft in maybe 6mi

    IMG_0423.jpg


    Gregg and Erin were planning to camp near the top of Gridley. I had been planning to ride further but was starting to fade and found myself walking some sections I should be riding

    IMG_0435.jpg


    Getting to the top just after sunset. Half mile on Nordoff Ridge road and I found the campsite where Gregg and Erin were. I was done. A bit windy but pretty nice temps.

    IMG_0438.jpg

    Dinner of cold soaked ramen noodles and instant chocolate pudding hit the spot as I was trying to stave off cramps in my feet of all places. The others were asleep by 930, I was lights out soon after.

    IMG_0442.jpg


    Stats for the day - 48mi, +10,140 / -5,980 ft
     
    ~JB~, JordanHMay, Faust29 and 26 others like this.
  2. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    YESSSS!!!!! I want to get out for some camping/overnighters, but am content to look at this for now! Loved the original route when you posted it!
     
    Faust29, Tom the Bomb, evdog and 4 others like this.
  3. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    I think you need to get paid for these trips, write a blog or a book a podcast or something!
    Top notch as usual Evan:thumbsup:
     
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Nice! When I first built the forum Erin and I happened to connect online as I was surprised there was a bikepacking event that actually started out of Frazier Park.

    Great pics and write as always Ev... :thumbsup:
     
  5. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I'm pretty sure you need to win races to get paid to ride. Or be better at social media and stuff.

    Although interestingly Erin mentioned I'm the first person to complete this whole route, and since he and Gregg were on a full 5-day pace I also have the fastest time to date. :whistling:
     
    Faust29, Mikie, OTHRider and 6 others like this.
  6. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    That’s awesome! Seriously tho, you’re good at the pics and write ups, and your IG is pretty decent.
    Also..will you adopt me as your sister so I can get in on some of these big rides and not get into trouble w the hubs o_O
     
    Faust29, Mikie, OTHRider and 5 others like this.
  7. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Day 2

    I'm normally a night owl and not used to getting a lot of sleep. So going to bed by 10 meant I was waking up numerous times starting around 3am. When the sky first started to lighten I debated getting up. Instead I laid there and stretched my legs for a while since my feet were still trying to cramp on me. Finally got up once the sun appeared soon after 6. The wind from the previous night had mostly died down but it was still pretty chilly.

    IMG_0445.jpg


    We ate breakfast and packed up. Right below our camp was the upper trailhead for Howard Creek Trail. I'd never heard of it but apparently it's popular with the gravel ride crowd with maintenance sponsored by some well known bike co's

    IMG_0466.jpg


    It seemed a bit rowdy for a drop bar bike but Gregg wasn't having any issues. Pretty nice trail!

    DSC05253.jpg


    Lots of flowers out. After we descend to Hwy 33 we'd be climbing up and over the mountain range in the distance there

    IMG_0475.jpg


    After an 11 mile pavement ride we started the 3,000ft slog up Chorro Grande Trail. The first couple miles of trail were mostly rideable then it was almost pure hikeabike for the final 3. Gregg had to chase a rattler off the trail lower down, the only one we'd see.

    IMG_0485.jpg


    Views were great though and there was a nice breeze

    IMG_0494.jpg


    Keep pushin'!

    DSC05262.jpg


    I descended this trail years ago and knew it wouldn't be a great one to descend bikepacking due to sharp switchbacks, steep grade and rocky sections. Erin had said the Boulder Creek trail we'll be dropping off the far side is more flowy for bikepacking.

    IMG_0498.jpg


    You know you're getting near the top once you get into the big trees

    IMG_0500.jpg


    Lunch stop at the top. I polish off the other half of my now two-day old breakfast burrito. If you look closely on the right side of the pic you can see the beach down in Ventura

    IMG_0510.jpg


    Hey Erin, I thought you said Boulder Creek Tr was all downhill?

    IMG_0513.jpg


    The trail was a mess of downed trees up top but then it cleared up down the ridgeline and some great views opened up

    IMG_0519.jpg


    We'll be finishing the descent in the valley below. Then doing a big loop east and eventually coming back to this valley further north tomorrow before climbing up to the mountain range on the left.

    DSC05267.jpg


    But first we have some descending to do on narrow, raw singletrack

    IMG_0529.jpg


    Next up was a segment I'd been dreading, 18 pavement miles with 3000ft climbing on Lockwood Valley Rd to get over to the east side of the forest.
    A water stop was in order first, as the rest of that segment would likely be dry. It was mid afternoon and fairly warm so I forced myself to chug a couple bottles of water each time we stopped to filter.

    IMG_0535.jpg


    Gregg was way off in front on these road segments. I was middle child, and Erin just a few mins behind. The climb turned out to not be as terrible as I thought and was over in a couple hours.

    DSC05270.jpg


    We turn south off Lockwood Valley Rd and climb for another mile to get to Yellowjacket Trail, a moto trail that will take us 5 miles north. It was close to sunset and Erin and Gregg decided to camp just below the trailhead, having found a nice spot next to a stream with fire pit that was sheltered from the wind. I carried on as my stomach was set on making it to Mike's Pizza near Frazier Park, another 15 miles away.

    IMG_0547.jpg


    Yellowjacket was in pretty poor shape compared to the previous time I rode it with lots of erosion damage. Slow going. After turning onto Miller Jeep trail I ran into Wes, Ian and Drew the first group doing a modified tour version of the route, just after dark. I had 45min to get 5 miles to Pizza.
    They recommended calling ahead but I had no service. Worst case the general store next door would have food.

    IMG_0548.jpg


    I made it there before the known closing time, but pizza had closed already. So I had a nice dinner of yogurt, apple, mexi-coke, cookie and hot ramen noodles, thanks to the kind folks at the Mountain View Mini mart who offered me hot water!

    IMG_0551.jpg

    I was ready to be done for the night but had to get to public land beyond town where I could camp. A few miles on Cuddy Valley Rd and then through a rural neighborhood brought me to a gate to a trail system into the national forest. I had to go in further than I thought I'd have to as all the local dogs were going apeshit barking at the intruder in their 'hood. I wanted to get close to the Mt Pinos fire road but started encountering deadfall obscuring the trail so I called it a night and found a flat spot to camp.

    Stats - 66mi, +9,360 / -8,360 ft
     
    ~JB~, OTHRider, Poofighter and 23 others like this.
  8. Bryon

    Bryon Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Bryon Walsh
    Current Bike:
    Giant XTC
    I'm loving this ride report! Great stuff.
     
  9. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Come on, day three! :D
     
  10. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Dunno about that, 1 sister is enough! You're welcome to come and ride anytime though. I still need to make it up to your area to ride some stuff :sneaky:
     
  11. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Here ya go, @mike ... Day 3


    Awake not long after sunrise. Despite some tree cover I had to lay my sleeping bag in the sun for a while to dry it out. Riding by 8.

    IMG_0553.jpg


    I had to finish the singletrack traverse over to old Mt Pinos road. I was glad I didn't try and finish that part in the dark as there were tons of downed trees that had been there for ages and numerous paths around them, it was hard to get back on the right one even in daylight.

    IMG_0557.jpg


    The Mt Pinos road started off nice and mellow then got steeper higher up. About 1800ft total before hitting the pavement for a final mile

    IMG_0563.jpg


    Due to snow the route wouldn't climb to the top of Mt Pinos, instead hopping on the McGill trail at the second road crossing at McGill campground. Proof of finding snow:

    IMG_0566.jpg


    McGill is a popular shuttle descent and a popular hike. Since the road up was closed to vehicles I only ran into hikers on the descent.

    IMG_0571.jpg


    A few pavement miles brought me to Pine Mtn Club, a private golf course community. Stopped for tacos and breakfast burrito at La lena mexican. Then headed west out of town on some nice buff singletrack

    IMG_0573.jpg


    Nice climb to the saddle. Was glad to not be riding pavement

    IMG_0580.jpg


    The next 48 miles would all be road to New Cuyama and then up into the mountains. The Quatal canyon road started off nice and interesting

    IMG_0592.jpg


    But then turned into this for 8-9 miles with no shade and lots of OHV traffic kicking up dust

    IMG_0597.jpg


    Rolling into Ventucopa on Hwy 33

    IMG_0598.jpg


    Stop for late lunch at The Place, a biker bar in Ventucopa. The other places I'd stopped at were all over masks and social distancing. Not The Place. Patio was open and people sitting at the bar inside. I sat down at the bar and ordered food and a beer. 5 minutes later the owner comes out and says that guy just drove by, need you all to go sit outside. Apparently a local has been reporting him to the county for violating closure rules.

    IMG_0600.jpg


    Had to do a lap around the sign to make this county #4 on the trip after Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern. About 20 more miles of pavement like this coming up, fortunately flat or slightly downhill

    IMG_0603.jpg


    I stopped at the market in New Cuyama for a cold pepsi and to resupply on snacks. Locals must be stir crazy, lots stopped to talk and ask what I was up to. A bit more pavement out of town to get back into the mountains

    IMG_0610.jpg


    A whole herd of cows started running toward me when they saw me, then turned and paced me next to the road for a while.

    DSC05282.jpg


    Passed through an empty but not gated Aliso campground. Nice spot, under big oak trees. I followed the road through which continued on. I had 2,000ft of climbing to go to reach the Sierra Madre ridge top

    IMG_0622.jpg


    The last 2 miles were singletrack. A little too steep to ride, especially 70mi in to the day. But parts had been brushed which was nice. A local in New cuyama had told me an E-biker from SLO has been working on the trail.

    IMG_0627.jpg


    Hit the top! Time for dinner.

    IMG_0628.jpg


    Meat sticks and chips made the tuna wrap better. Oreo instant pudding for desert.

    IMG_0629.jpg


    Then a few more miles of nice riding to Painted Rock campground. I spotted a huge bobcat just before the campsite. Could smell campfire smoke and saw reflective material of a tent at the camp but no lights, so I didn't go in not wanting to crash someone's campsite. Found a spot in the grass just above the road and was soon out cold.

    Stats - 76mi, + 7,200 / -8,280ft
     
  12. SS Barby

    SS Barby Member

    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Name:
    Barby
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS/ Niner Sir 9 SS
    Wow, evdog great report. I would really like to give bike packing a try. I unfortunately don't have the bags, got gear because I have backpacked. My biggest problem I am sure would be trying to ride too hard and I'd get wiped out by day 2.
     
  13. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Fantastic RR!
    I reread the whole thing with my hot cup of tea this morning, thanks for sharing!
     
    Steve/Steverino, Mikie, evdog and 3 others like this.
  14. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Haha, just LMK when!
     
    Steve/Steverino, evdog, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  15. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower 27+/ 29r
    Evdog your posts are awesome! You are obviously an awesome athlete. Both my wife and I have concluded is that you have a cast iron stomach.
     
  16. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    @evdog, after day three I need a rest day. Those are big days, man! I’ll need some caffeinated TW by day five for sure.

    TIAFPU! :thumbsup:
     
  17. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Evdog!!!
     
    Tom the Bomb, evdog and Mikie like this.
  18. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    You are the man @evdog, those sound like some tough days to string together. Thanks for posting all this up.:thumbsup: Hey @Mikie there's gotta be some good day trip stuff we can extract from this...:rolleyes:
     
  19. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    The good news is you don't need much to start. Get a compression sack of 10-12L capacity (max about 7" diameter when filled) and strap that to your handlebars. Sleep gear or clothing goes in there. You can get a smaller one and strap that to your seat rails. Then put the rest of your stuff in a backpack. As you get into it and figure out what works you can buy frame/seat/accessory bags if you want. Lots of people make their own bags. Feed bags and top tube bags are very useful for day riding as well.

    There are lots of misconceptions about bikepacking. This article contains a lot of them and is a good manual on how not to start off: https://features.bikemag.com/coconino/ Don't worry about ride distance or blowing up. Bikepacking is not all about big events like TDLP. It can be whatever you want it to be. I'd start with something like a pedal to the top of Pacifico Mtn or Blue Ridge, camp, and then ride back. Do a few easy rides and then try 2 nights and/or harder singletrack. You'll get used to riding loaded quickly. Then you can start putting routes together. The cool part is linking together stuff you wouldn't normally be able to with day rides. When you do bigger routes it is definitely more committing and you may have to take on more miles to complete it in time. You will be amazed what your body can accomplish especially with proper hydration and food intake, and when you aren't limited with a defined end point for the ride. Just keep riding until you don't want to anymore. You can stop any time since you have camping gear with you.

    Haha, thanks but not sure I'd call myself an awesome athlete. I am slow, consistently averaging about 5mph on all my rides. I just crank out longer hours. The real endurance athletes normally finish in about half the time I do. And as for food, we are often stuck eating gas station and convenience store food on these trips because that is often all we have to resupply from. Contrary to what some people will tell you, you don't need to eat a balanced diet or "real" meals, you just need sufficient calories to get you through. It's more important to bring food that you'll want to eat, so that you do eat. Hence my pack was full of stuff like potato chips, M&Ms, swedish fish, and pudding. And a breakfast burrito when available. And yes tailwind to supplement it all.

    Start with Chorro Grande and Boulder Creek Trail above Ojai, easy drive over on Lockwood Valley Rd. And check out Howard Creek trail off Nordoff Ridge near the top of Gridley. Lots of stuff in the Santa Barbara backcountry but that's going to be a bit far for a day trip. The Sierra Madre ridge is pretty awesome as well. Mostly fire road but would make for a good point to point adventure ride. It's a very scenic area.
     
  20. SS Barby

    SS Barby Member

    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Name:
    Barby
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley LS/ Niner Sir 9 SS
    Thanks, @evdog. I will checkout that link. I have gone on bikepacking.net a lot but there is no real advice on how to get started. They encourage getting everything and then if you don't like it what now? I am really interested but I thought you needed all the bags to really do it and that has been cost prohibitive, knowing it might not be what I was expecting.
     
    Cyclotourist and Mikie like this.
  21. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I can assure you that you don't need all the bags. My first overnighter was with the compression bag strapped to bars and everything else in a 25L backpack. After that I got a half frame bag, then a seat bag, then feed bags and top tube bags.

    Eventually you'll want to try and move heavier stuff like tools/spare tube and possibly water onto the frame. Riding with a large backpack can wear on your shoulders.

    But on the other hand if you watch some of the Bro-shredits the guys up in BC are mostly just carrying everything in a large backpack rather than use all kinds of bike bags. Whatever works!
     
  22. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Day 4


    It was perfectly dry when I set up camp the night before. Around 3am I woke up and realized it was no longer dry as some low cloud had moved through. All the clothing I'd laid out to dry was now soaked thoroughly. I'd brought a lightweight emergency bivy which would have kept the moisture off my down sleeping bag but there was nothing I could do about it now. It wasn't a cold wet so I just went back to sleep and would deal with the soaked gear in the morning.

    IMG_0634.jpg


    When I woke and started packing I realized the campers were Joe and Duncan, another group of bikepackers on the route. Headed up to say hello. Found my team, Team DFL! Nice meeting you guys in person! Not going up there the night before was the right call, just one small campsite and they hadn't woken when I rolled in

    IMG_0640.jpg


    The painted rock at Painted Rock campground

    IMG_0644.jpg


    Awesome view from the shelter of the rocks

    IMG_0648.jpg


    Rolling out into grassy fields

    IMG_0666.jpg


    I soon came across this awesome rocky canyon. There weren't any signs like at Painted Rock but I imagine this was a site of native american camps

    IMG_0679.jpg


    Looking back from the south

    IMG_0692.jpg


    Cool rock outcrops in the meadow

    DSC05300.jpg


    Looking east towards Mt Pinos and Frazier Mtn

    IMG_0735.jpg


    The terrain thus far had been stunning and it continued that way as the flowers only got better

    IMG_0758.jpg

    DSC05304.jpg


    Finally the ridgeline transitions into sage, scrub and manzanita under oak and pine trees

    IMG_0779.jpg


    This is the Socal I recognize

    IMG_0781.jpg


    Chokecherry spring. This was the first real water source since I'd reached Sierra madre ridge

    IMG_0785.jpg


    I'd been slowed all morning by stopping to take pictures. When I finally reached a notable descent, I was slowed by repeated rockfalls.

    IMG_0799.jpg


    As the day warmed up I found some very welcome shade

    DSC05323.jpg


    Pine cones on the climb up to Big Pine Mtn

    IMG_0805.jpg


    I took some time and did the side hike up to Big Pine Mtn. This was the view looking north

    IMG_0822.jpg


    And the view looking south after I started the descent. The far ridgeline was my original goal for the night. The hazy hills in the far background are the Channel Islands off the coast.

    IMG_0831.jpg


    The drop off Big Pine Mtn was interrupted by four distinct climbs. When I finally got to the real descent it was close to sunset and getting chilly

    DSC05332.jpg


    I'd been hoping to make it to East Camino Cielo with a view over Santa Barbara for sunset but I was a few hours behind that pace.

    IMG_0865.jpg


    I'd have to settle for Camuesa Connector trail at dusk

    IMG_0866.jpg


    Crossing the Santa Ynez river in the dark was fun... had no idea how deep it was going to be. Fortunately not much more than knee deep.

    IMG_0870.jpg

    Crossing the river put me on pavement for a mile or two, before crossing the river twice more plus a stagnant side channel crossing on the lower Arroyo Burro fire road. I still wanted to make the ridgeline to catch the sunrise over Santa Barbara but had a couple choices. The Arroyo Burro trail peels off the fire road early in the climb. The fire road had already narrowed down to singletrack so I didn't see a point in taking that. A mile later the Matias Trail met the fire road. Erin had let us know this was an alternate ending for the route. There was still a 1,000ft to climb on the fire road and another 1,000 on paved Camino Cielo if I continued on the official route. The trail would have some incidental climbing but would bypass a peak the paved road climbs over. It didn't matter for now, I was done climbing for the day and would decide when I woke up the next morning. There was a nice flat spot just above the trail turnoff and I was soon out cold. No more messing around, I used the emergency bivy this time!

    Stats - 54 mi, +6,480 / -9,220 ft
     
  23. Walleye

    Walleye Member

    Location:
    Vista
    Name:
    Bill P.
    Current Bike:
    Trek Fuel EX7
    Outstanding reportage, Evdog! You're the KOBP (King of Bikepacking)!
     
  24. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Awesome Evan. You are one tough dude!
     
    Mikie, evdog and Steve/Steverino like this.
  25. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Day 5

    I woke in the middle of the night to find everything soaked again as more low cloud rolled over. A bit later I felt the wind pick up and when I woke up again everything was dry. Could have used that wind the night before!


    Sunrise. But not for me. I rolled over and slept until after 8 when it started to warm up.

    IMG_0873.jpg


    Is it bad foreshadowing when the trail sign is overgrown with poison oak?

    IMG_0879.jpg


    I decided to roll down the trail a bit to see how it looked and got suckered in to continuing by recently built berms and jumps.

    IMG_0880.jpg


    Soon after that I came across the trail crew digging away. Thanks for the work! After passing them the trail was much more raw, but still pretty nice.

    IMG_0888.jpg


    It generally traversed east but had a lot of short steep climbs and descents. Fortunately there was lots of shade as well, as it was cooking down in the valley with no breeze.


    Looking up at the north leg of Tunnel trail that I'll be climbing. It's nothing like the chunkfest Tunnel on the front side.

    IMG_0905.jpg


    How do ya like that deet? Tick #1 beats a hasty retreat soon to be followed by #2. Not as many ticks as I expected on this trip but still had to keep an eye out for them.

    IMG_0911.jpg


    There was some nice bench work on Tunnel as well

    IMG_0912.jpg


    It was a lot more rideable uphill than I thought it would be. And thankfully lots of shade.

    IMG_0916.jpg


    And ferns! Not very many places we see these in Socal.

    IMG_0926.jpg


    Finally reached the top and did the traverse across paved Camino Cielo. Matias was more work than staying on Arroyo Burro Rd but also bypassed a 700ft pavement climb

    IMG_0952.jpg


    Views from the Romero descent were awesome

    DSC05361.jpg


    Sweet singletrack all the way down

    IMG_0959.jpg


    Stopped at a stream crossing to soak for a few minutes then enjoyed the final miles back to town.

    IMG_0962.jpg


    I hit the lower Romero trailhead just before 3pm so my total time on the route was 4 days, 6 hours. That includes a 90min time credit for hiking up Big Pine Mtn. According to Erin I was the first person to finish the new loop version of the route and therefore held the fastest time. He and Gregg finished later that evening. My "record" has already been broken though as another rider did a big push this weekend through what I did on Days 4 and 5 in one go, for a time of 3 days, 21 hrs. I'm sure it will go under 2 days once the serious racers show up.

    Stoked I could finally get time to do this ride. And I think the loop version is a winner over the previous point to point version. I'd like to check out what we skipped through Carrizo Plain but that can be done earlier in spring before temps start to increase. Great route, Erin, there are some real gems on that route!

    Stats for the day - 26mi, +3,030 / -4,790 ft.


    From Romero TH I had a short road pedal back to the truck. There was a big pullout next to San Ysidro creek and it was flowing well so I headed back there for a quick swim. There was a crash and big traffic backup on Hwy 101 so I took back roads over to Carpenteria to bypass it, and got tacos there.

    I drove the PCH Hwy 1 through Malibu on the way home. Not much traffic, and got to watch the sheriff's dept chasing parked cars off from roadside pullouts a few times. Beaches were still closed, not that you could tell.

    IMG_0987.jpg
     
  26. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Kudos Evdog, you rock Buddy!
     
    evdog and Cyclotourist like this.
  27. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Whew, I'm worn out.
     
    Tom the Bomb and evdog like this.
Loading...



Want to donate to imtbtrails?