Desert Riding 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by evdog, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Here's day 3 to keep the stoke alive.


    Changing plans to ride Picketpost on Saturday shifted my plans for Sunday to ride something nearby like Gold Cyn, or AZT up Reavis Cyn or Boulders/Ripsey. Since I'll be riding the AZT 300 next week I wanted to check out the water cache's at Kelvin and Freeman Rd and refill any empties if need be. We'd heard from hikers there was a trail angel camped at Freeman Rd but I decided to check it out and ride that segment regardless.

    I brought the moto along so I could self shuttle, its great to have that so I don't have to depend on others to get in awesome rides. Camped nearby, left MTB at trailhead, then dropped truck at the end and rode back on moto. Easy. Except damn was I tired after a couple big days. Ended up sleeping in and didn't start riding til almost 1pm.

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    It was true the trail angel was camped there and will keep water topped up til Apr 3 so no need for me to refill anything.

    After setting up I was off for some fast miles through the Boulders segment

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    Counterweighted gate

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    The namesake boulders

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    This segment is sweet but it isnt' all rainbows and unicorns. There is an annoying amount of jeep trail, but its still good riding (except for this hill)

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    Back to open singletrack

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    Ripsey comes into view. I will be climbing those switchbacks shortly. Fortunately it only takes about 15 min to climb the whole thing

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    After a fast drop into Ripsey wash I begin the climb out. All the wash crossings were rideable, things are in great shape !

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    Climbing the Ripsey switchbacks, had to stop and take in the view

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    Awesome flower display continued

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    Ripsey is generally known as the best ridgetop ride in AZ. I'd highly recommend checking out this ride and Picketpost for anyone who gets the chance.

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    Some self timer action shots

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    Ridgeline continues

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    Nearing the end

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    I finished off the descent quickly and made for the swimming hole!

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    Great way to end a trip. The only misfortune was starting late meant ending late, but I did make it back to the start to pick up the moto before dark, so there's that. Drive home was uneventful.
     
    bvader, Sidewalk, scan and 13 others like this.
  2. bigringrider101

    bigringrider101 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Winnetka CA
    Name:
    Berni Avila
    Current Bike:
    Jones Space Frame Ti truss for
    Let me know if you'll be doing carrizo plains this spring. I had that in my list for a while now.
     
  3. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    ^ Simply outstanding! :thumbsup:
     
  4. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    @bigringrider101 I've been wanting to do the Tour de los Padres for ages. It's hard to make it work this time of year though. Flowers will apparently be good til late April so maybe I can get it in end of the month. Will have to wait and see.
     
  5. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Well I thought desert riding was done with for the season, but a cold snap this weekend gave us the chance for one more weekend of riding, which we did not pass up! I hit up Mt Laguna Friday for a ride, and was planning to do some more exploration for a future trail connection Saturday. It was nice overnight and early morning, but in the course of 30 mins around 8am the temps dropped 20+ degrees and the wind picked up. By the time I got to the spot I was going to explore heavy misting clouds had moved in with strong wind. Brush was already soaked and I was not equipped to handle those conditions, so I bailed off the mountain.

    Not having other plans aside from Palm Canyon Sunday I headed up that way. It was very cold and windy up at Pinyon so that ruled out any ride up top. I had time and decided to head up to Joshua Tree and check out Section 6, a small trail system I've been wanting to check out for a while. By the time I got up there, I had just 2 hours of sunlight. This turned out not to be a problem as I was able to ride most of the trails in that time.

    Right next to my parking/camping spot

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    Trails were rocky and fun. Maybe not flowy enough for some...

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    I rode the eastern trails first, then moved back to the west.

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    Most of the trails were good. Only one, the Luge, sucked because of sand. I did a bit more exploring to see if I could find a more sheltered campsite but they all seemed to have lots of wind exposure. It was a fun ride but not the most restful night.

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  6. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Sunday was the main event. We had considered Palm Canyon the weekend before when forecasts had briefly showed mid 80s for a high. That never happened, but when I saw high of 70 for this weekend I was going to ride it for sure. A few were interested but ultimately all bailed except for one.

    I had thoughts of using the Crazy Bear which had scheduled a Sunday run, but coming from San Diego that doesn't really save us any time as we still go back up the hill to get home. We wound up at the top just as 2 vans unloaded. Most of the riders took off ahead of us and we'd never see them again. A few others we would leapfrog through out the day.

    The forecast had showed a threat of rain with thunderstorms possible after 11. It looked good when we got up top, just the odd sprinkle let loose as we pedalled.

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    Clouds were hanging over both the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mtns

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    With a bit of moisture the trails were running fast and we were having a great day

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    The sand wash was nicely packed as it has been most of the season, then it was up Hahn. I had to stop close to the summit and put my raincoat on as we got pelted.

    We got rained on the whole way down Hahn, then it was just off and on.

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    We did the standard route and climbed our way up to the saddle and along the final ridgeline.

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    We made good time on the final descent. We definitely lucked out on the weather and had a great day. I was stoked to get in this one last ride for the season!
     
    levity, herzalot, kioti and 7 others like this.
  7. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Section 6 has been a regular place to play for me since it was built. I spend a considerable amount of time in YV/JT every year and I always bring a bike or two.

    Did you see any other riders up there?
     
  8. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Guys, this year May is forecast to have below average temps. Maybe another ride through there? :thumbsup:
     
    DangerDirtyD likes this.
  9. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Nope, had the trails to myself. There were quite a few people out camping. Err, trying not to get blown away by the wind....
     
  10. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Do you or any of the other riders have a Strava for this? Kicking around the idea of over-nighting it out there.
     
  11. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    No strava but if you PM me your email I can send you a gps track.
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  12. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    So this happened over the weekend! I went down south with @riiz (THANKS for driving!!!) and we met our friend David down at his house. The original plan was to head out and camp in Canyon sin Nombre on Fri night, ride Sat, and then bang around the desert Sun morning. Well, he couldn't get off work, so we settled for "camping" in his spare rooms! We did get to ride the Del Mar Tunnels trails, which was a blast. I have been there a couple times, but Eric's first new dirt experience!

    Sat morning, we headed out for the desert. Breakfast and coffee in Alpine, then up and over to Ocotillo where we met the rest of our group. We got a late start, but weather was PERFECT, and never got really hot. We drove out to Dos Cabezas cross-roads/water tower, geared up, and were off! The 15 mile ride ended up turning into a 30 miler as we ended up riding up the tracks to the far end (almost) in Jacumba. That was fine and good, but none of us planned on that for nutrition, gear, battery life. We survived after splitting some rations, took a lot of pix, and headed back down the trail. My phone was one that wasn't fully charged, so I just captured the Strava on the ride up, not the fast trip back down: https://www.strava.com/activities/1261462010

    We picked up some Marines and dropped them off at the Lazy Lizard in Ocotillo. Then headed out to the desert. Banged around trails, got sorta' stuck or at least flummoxed by one feature, turned around to retrieve our precious cargo left at the trailhead (beer), and found a PERECT camping spot at the head of a little slot canyon. Cold-ish beer, and grilled Korean bulgogi. Asleep at midnight, waking up sometime the next morning. Again, perfect camp. We drove around Sun, heating some of the big off-road features in that area with little drama. Hiked in some really cool caves along the trail. A LONG drive home with road closures, slow trucks, and RVs that didn't pull over with 24 cars behind them. Made it home by 5:30, and the house was still standing!

    If you haven't been on this ride, I think it's one of the required SoCal epics you should do! Get out there this fall/winter and ride it with some friends... it's a unique experience you won't forget! Thanks @evdog for talking this up and providing the info on it... it's a good one!

    Full pix here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclotourist/sets/72157662323451708

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  13. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Good job! I've been hearing the call of the desert lately.
     
    Luis and Cyclotourist like this.
  14. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    Desert RR:

    Did the Geology Tour Road lollipop in JTNP today with my cousin. 17.18 miles. Perfect temps with a nice breeze to keep us comfy. Almost no cars on the ride until we were climbing back out of Pleasant Valley. Passed by Berdoo Canyon junction on the way through. Stopped along the way to check out some abandoned mine ruins.

    Yes, my cousin rides a 26er!

    RELIVE: https://www.relive.cc/view/g15406053416

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    littlewave, mtnbikej, Faust29 and 5 others like this.
  15. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Good to see you had a great time @Cyclotourist

    Plenty to explore out there! We were nearby on Sunday at Mccain valley.
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  16. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thanks, an all-around great weekend! You helped inspire this one!!!
     
  17. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Chameleons everywhere!

    What are your first impressions?
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  18. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    They're taking over #chameleonclub

    This was the first real riding on it. Tire grip is amazing. Just grabs and grabs and grabs. I'm getting used to the wide bars, they're okay-ish. Like the dropper. It's pretty cool. Biggest disappointment is how heavy and hard to lift the front end is. I can't loft it over anything. Tell me it's just a technique thing, and not intrinsic to the geometry of the bike!!!
     
  19. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Addict

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Use the Force, Luke!!
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  20. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Too busy hanging out in Tosche Station
     
    Runs with Scissors likes this.
  21. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    You'll figure it out. The front end is heavier than what you are used to. You'll adjust, and soon the front end will come off the ground like second nature.
     
  22. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I was several weeks in before I got comfortable on it and got any part of the bike off the ground- especially with the plus wheels.

    Push ups help. :p
     
  23. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    I got used to the wide bars I was bemoaning previously, so figure the front end will start to feel right in a bit. By the end of the ride I was charging down a couple drop-ins that I wouldn't have been comfortable with a few hours earlier! But definitely a different beast than my Gunnar. I was expecting the short stays to balance out the slack front, but guess not!
     
    mtnbikej likes this.
  24. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Addict

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    As Captain Jack said, it's all about leeeverage. Shorter chainstays means a shorter moment arm, which requires more force due to the more-forward axis of rotation. :sneaky:
     
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  25. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    So pull harder!!!
     
  26. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Final rides of 2017...

    Last year I got invited out to Phoenix to do the Curmudgeon 100, a fun day ride in the desert. I got the invite again this year but being scheduled for Dec 30 it would be hard to make as I was heading back to BC to visit family. Rain pushed last year's ride into January which made it easy for me to get to. To make it work I drove out to Phoenix before the holidays and flew home from there, leaving my truck at airport long term parking with bike hidden/locked inside. As a bonus there are plenty of direct flights from Phoenix whereas San Diego only has one and it isn't very convenient. Not having to do a stop anywhere made the drive time almost a wash, as you don't dare leave less than 2-3 hours for a connection at holiday time. Had a good visit with family and a white Christmas.

    The welcoming committee into Vancouver
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    It was cold and grey most of the time on Vancouver Island. No riding this year...
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    I have no interest in living in winter anymore
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    But it is nice to visit for a week
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    Heading for departures at 6am
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    I flew back to Phoenix early on the 29th which meant I'd have time for a ride that afternoon and make sure my bike was functional. Papago Park is close to the airport and mostly easy-ish trails so I decided that would be a good spot for that afternoon.

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    Many trails were marked but there were a lot of social trails too, which made navigation harder in places. I just took whichever trail looked most interesting, and generally headed north. There were a few large outcroppings and peaks with trails around each one.

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    There were also quite a few man-made lakes and some streams, being it is right next to a canal and the zoo. Made for a pretty nice and diverse ride

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    This one especially was really nice and had lots of picnic sites around it. People were fishing too.

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    The way back was pretty quick with less navigation required, and I passed by the back side of the zoo where the bighorn sheep hang out

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    I finished around 5 and then headed out to get some dinner and supplies for the next day.
     
    bvader and Cyclotourist like this.
  27. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I stayed at Jeff and Nancy's house again as did a number of other riders coming from any long distance away. The ride starts at 530am so this was welcome accommodation. I think there were around 12 riders this year.

    The fast guys were gone instantly, and the rest of us settled in for a slight climb the first few miles. Brief stop with Curtis and Schillingsworth at the first turn

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    It felt like our pace was good but we were definitely slower by 20-25 min the first 10 miles. It was still pitch black at this point last year. I was about to turn my lights off here.

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    Looking west from the ridge top. Next we'll be riding over to the mountains in the distance - then along them north to south, loop a couple trails, then back S to N.

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    The sun finally makes its appearance

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    9am, 25 miles in we hit Pemberton Trail. Time for the first rest stop. Schilling had been having random cramps and dropped back for a while. Shannon and Beto caught up to us here.

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    There was some nice decorating work in place here

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    The lollipop to the south went by quickly and we were at the coolers around noon. Ben and Kim showed up on their tandem as we were eating

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    It turned out I'd be the only one continuing on the route through Brown's Ranch from there. And like usual I was the last rider.

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    The route through Brown's would be quite different and going opposite direction we took the prior year. I like the riding there - lots of big rocks make the terrain interesting, and it is quite twisty/turny.

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    Most of the route on the west side was new as they have acquired land and are adopting some existing trails and building new ones.

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    I was hoping to finish the whole ride before dark but things were slowing down for me. The knee pain I'd had prior to the holidays came back around mile 40. It was fine for a while after the lunch stop but came back, this time in both knees, around mile 65-70. Not horrible, but annoying.

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    The before dark finish was not to be again this year. At least I made it back past the cooler without needing my lights. Then it was another 1:15 back to Jeff's. I actually finished 20-30 mins later this year right at 8pm. I guess the Ibis isn't faster than the hard tail after all!

    I had planned to ride again Sunday and Monday, but my knees were too sore the next day to do anything. We all cleared out of Jeff and Nancy's by around 9 Sunday morning, and I just drove home. Then had a nap... Definitely a great way to end the year! Thanks again Jeff & Nancy for setting this up and hosting!
     
    Fanatic, herzalot, bvader and 4 others like this.
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