Hellride 2015

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Grego, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Grego

    Grego Well-Known Member

    Current Bike:
    Woke up late (6am) and headed out to the Hellride. I had an rsvp with Crazy Bear but it was not confirmed since I had not paid in advance (No Pay-pal). Fortunately my bud HatTrick was attending this ride and looking for a way up the hill so we decided to shuttle ourselves. Got to Hanger 24 at 7:10 and CB had already left anyway I was told. HatTrick and I went up the Hill and started the ride at 8am, ahead of the herd. A few miles in I heard a guy on my tail and let him pass. It was Burt. I said hi but before he could hear me he was gone. After the second fallen tree I found some loopers Amber and Dan. Amber having a good time, Dan thinking wtf did I get myself into. We chatted for a bit as I told them I left in such a hurry this morning I forgot to pack any thing to eat. They were generous to give me some nutrition stuff which oddly enough, I didn't use the entire ride.


    At glass road, driffter33 and Cougar roll up in their Imtbtrails jerseys. Gotta represent.


    Driffter is a longtime friend and good to see him on something other than the Floop. Cougar I've never met before and I'm glad I did. Super cool dude that's fast on the flowey downs. I could barely keep up. We played leap frog throughout the first half of the ride. At the Jedi trail, HatTrick gets his first of two flats. Burp, and would not seal. Cougar was leading and I wouldn't see him for the rest of the day. Nice riding with you Coug!
    Had to flag down a rider with pliers because HatTricks valve stem was impossible to unscrew by hand as he needed to replace tubeless with a tube. Got that taken care of but climbing Morton, he got a second flat. Should of checked that tire for thorns etc. That's OK, I needed a break anyway.

    Views from Morton


    Rolled out of Morton on the fast flowey ST. Man this ride is so awesome, so much ST, but at this point I was solo. I found the trail by the water tank that leads down to the paved road as I remember in years past. But I found myself on some unfamiliar fire roads. with a barbed wire fence blocking the paved road I needed to get to. Threw the bike over first, then I jumped over the fence. The barbed wire snagged a hole on my butt pocket. On the pavement to H24 it was a mad dash. I still had energy. At H24 the double IPA sure hit the spot. Chatted and met with friends Burt, Bigringrider, driffter33, HatTrick, Mikie McGuire and finally met the mighty Mikie! What a day!
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I'm really glad you wrote this. I'm just too tired! Ha ha! Great report and I'm the lucky dude to finally meet Mr. Grego. (He's even better looking in person then the pics on imtbtrails!)

    Grego, Warren, Berni, & Luis!
  3. Mikie Robin Mcguire

    Mikie Robin Mcguire Well-Known Member

    mikie and robin
    Thank you! My report is I love seeing all the smiles : Fantastic day. :) :) & meeting some of our IMTB family and sitting next to Mr. Watson on the way home. Does not get any better than that. . Thank you! Hugs ..


    Me and BFF Mikie Watson!

    Jose, Mikie McG, and Mr. Watson trying to look stately?

    Luis, Mikie, Robin, Berni, Steve, & Jose.

    Mikie Watson and Jose jumping for joy!
  4. driffter33

    driffter33 Member

    Buena Park CA
    Warren Hornaday
    Current Bike:
    2013 Giant Anthem X 29er
    It was great to see all of you out there. As always I had a great ride, Hellride never disappoints. This being my 4th Hellride I was determined to hit the ST climb that cuts out the middle control rd climb. Like happen to Berni my friends didnt wait for me. Several other friends of mine continued on up the fire rd climb as I took a snack break at the ST cut off.
    I spent the next 1hr 45min riding solo. It was awesome. Such a great ride top to bottom. The weather was amazing. :cry:So many familiar faces. Oh can't forget I scored big at the post ride raffle. :sneaky::)

  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Wait a minute... Everyone looks like they're smiling and having a good time! Where's the "HELL" in Hell Ride?

    I hope a few more ride reports trickle in. It looks like a really fun time, even if there wasn't enough pain and suffering. :thumbsup:
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Since everybody did all the work here for me ha hah! I can now chime in. And, answer Faust29's question.
    Bike for Bender Hell Ride...
    I have no idea why they call it the "Hell Ride". For the mileage, there really is not a lot of climbing. One climb where you had an option of fire road or singletrack and one climb of fire road of about two miles. Other than that, the rest of the elevation gain is made up in little rollers, but most of the ride is descending singletrack fun and goodness. For some I imagine it has exposure, but I have experienced much worse. Tight tiny singletrack with a rut down the middle with a decent penalty for failure is something I (for whatever reason) really like!

    I met Luis and Jose at Luis' house in Sylmar just off the 210 freeway. Luis wanted to be on the road to pick up Mikie and Robin McG at 5:00am. So I got there at 4:40. Jose showed up minutes later. Popped on over to La Cresenta to swoop up the McG's. I finally got my much needed BFF hug from Robin. It had been too long and I was suffering from serious withdrawals. I see Mikie McG more than Robin so it was awesome to be with both of them together.

    Luis got us to Hangar 24 in perfect timing for waiver signing and we got to catch some more OTB/imtber's to include burt, Cougar, Berni, Warren Hornaday (driffter33), and Steve Messer (kanga) who is our fearless and astounding C.O.R.B.A. leader.

    Meeting Luis at his place. That Honda Pickup he has is awesome!

    Meeting the McG's at checkpoint two! BFF Robin McGuire!

    Motely Crew! Cougar, burt in the back, Jose, Some dude, Luis, and Warren aka driffter33. Capital "GG" for GREAT GUYS!

    Luis and Robin posing with the rides.

    We headed up to the upper trailhead and started getting ready to beat the crowd to the trail. There were several large shuttles rolling for this and a billion self shuttles!

    As we were pulling our gear out of Luis' Honda, I grabbed my gear bag to find the whole bottom of it was saturated in water. Luis had forgotten to close the bite valve on his Camelbak. AND THAT WAS AFTER HIM CHECKING TO MAKE SURE I CLOSED MINE BEFORE LOADING IT IN! Luis! What the?

    Fortunately, none of my riding gear was too wet, but my street close looked like I had an accident in them, :Roflmao!

    I have no idea how many people rode this event. It seemed like hundreds! This was here when we got here BEFORE the crowds!

    Luis' Honda has a compartment under the truck bed. Way Cool! He bragged earlier that it was solid with a drain plug so you could load it up with ice and drinks. Unfortunately it also means if you don't turn your bite valve off, under pressure it will drain your Camelback to soak all the gear stored in it! Ha hah!

    We were nervous about the big crowd so they said roll and we got rolling. It was kanga, luis, jose, and berni. We got separated a couple of times by the folks on the trail. Berni was riding another one of his weird bikes. This one had no suspension and very plus size tires. Berni has some cool bikes! But it wasn't until later that I discovered he had gotten two pinch flats on the front!

    The Santa Ana River Trail is mostly descending singletrack with some rollers and a couple of climbs, that quickly describes S.A.R.T., but the singletrack is mostly fast and flowy, with minor chunk, and some fair exposure. It felt like we rode fast singletrack for hours because we DID ride fast singletrack for hours.

    We were really lucky, we seemed to be in between slow groups, as for the most part we rolled at a fast pace. Not much traffic problems for us at all. When we did hit traffic, they pulled over right away so hardly any delays! Nice!

    Whenever singletrack or climbs stopped, people gathered to shoot the breeze. I have never ever in my life been to a social event ride. It was a new experience and I could really get used to it!

    Getting towards the end, with the lower elevations came the heat but great views!

    Cougar caught up to us after the last climb. He was on one of the shuttles that got to the trailhead after we left.
    Luis and Jose climbed the last little section to bag the peak and meet up with kanga and burt. I stayed back at the last trail head for the final section down as my baby toe was screaming at me from the fast fire road with all it's chatter bumps.

    I'm sitting on my bike waiting for Luis, Jose, burt, and kanga to come back down from the peak and this character shows up.... Cougar!

    Epic profile pic of yes? Cougar, the man....the legend.

    We hit the last section of singletrack, it was tight narrow and twisty with some fun exposure. The temps were getting up there in the lower elevations. On one short very steep section of tiny marbles over hard pack, right in front of me Cougar slid into home plate right in front of me, but I was able to avoid hitting him by going off into a rough section barely hanging on myself.

    Got to the bottom and it was a road ride back to the Hangar 24 (other than a small section of singletrack that kanga knew about that shaved some pavement off the finish. By the time we hit the Hangar, I showed 37 miles.

    Back at Hangar 24 the place was packed with the arrivals off the trail. Luis and burt posing.

    Luis, Jose, burt, and Cougar . . . . . NICE!

    With it being the day of Halloween, there were a percentage of people that dressed for the trail. There were some pretty funny (and sweet! ;)) outfits.

    Mikie and Robin McG were shuttling Luis' vehicle back down from the trailhead so they were off on their own adventure. They showed up about 45 minutes after we arrived.

    Had a couple of pieces of imported bad pizza.I had brought some Modello's with me, and Luis and I celebrated with one each. Met some folks from STR, Dirt Mistress, and Hatrick, I had never actually met them but knew them from the STR forum back a couple of years. Got lucky and caught GREGO, Warren, and Berni chawing on some of that bad pizza and having a brew inside the Hangar. The place was packed, I have no idea how many people rode that day.

    We said our goodbyes and loaded up and headed out before the raffle. Dropped off the McG's (I got to sit by Mrs. McG :inlove:, and blasted to Sylmar where we unloaded and parted ways.

    Hanging out with everyone was a blast! Big thanks to Luis for hanging with me as I struggled up the climbs from being out of shape. A huge thanks to the McG's for offering to shuttle us! WOW! Jose kept me laughing half the day! And it was really great to get a little trail time with Cougar!

    I can go on and on and on, and I am sure I am missing something that I will add later! It's grown apparent that there are a few folks upset we did not ride together. I apologize for that. I was caught up in the moment and when folks said we were rolling I just followed suit. I will be more conscientious of this in the future. I was just trying to make sure I made it through a bigger ride after surgery and not feeling fit enough to ride it. Again, my apologies! We will put an imtbtrails event together. I promise!

    This was a great time!
  7. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    The common theme for the day, is that this is the best weather the hell ride has had for years; especially compared to last year (freezing rain & hail). I'm totally okay with that being my experience for my first hell ride!

    My superpower is a double edged sword; I can wake up at any time of the night without an alarm clock. This means however that I often sleep really lightly for the few hours prior to wake up time as I'm regularly opening up one eye to check the clock. I was planning on waking up at 4:30, and ended up pulling out of the driveway at 4:30 instead. I pulled into the parking lot around quarter till 6, and was maybe the 12th car there that early. Got my shuttle confirmed, got my bike loaded up, then started looking for familiar faces.
    I have a Turner Bike, so I like seeing them out at events.

    The first person I ran into was driffter33, and while he wasn't a familiar face, he was sporting the imtb jersey! We chatted for a while and as it got closer to departure time more familiar (and new!) faces started congregating around. I saw a really tall guy in a blue jersey that looked a lot like Burt, except without a helmet I couldn't tell if it was him. However, I decided that there aren't that many really tall guys in blue jersey's and approached him guessing it was Burt. It was! Shortly thereafter Mikie, Luis and that shuttle showed up. I got a quick ninja hug from Robin (she was throwing BFF comments around and insulting all of her other BFF's in ear shot, of which there were plenty!), and before we knew it we had a small imtbtrails group gathering!

    Luis' shuttle group decided to head up before the paid shuttles left, so we waived good bye. Burt, Driffter33 and I were on the same first shuttle and we ended up sitting together on the school bus (a legit school bus) for the hour long drive up the mountain. Burt and I were chatting most of the ride, but forgot to really plan out our plan of attack. Once we got our bikes off the shuttle, as I was looking around to see where Luis' group was, Burt took a quick restroom break and took off down the trail saying something that apparently was "let's ride" but I couldn't hear. I was torn in trying to look for the self shuttle group versus (trying) to keep up with Burt. By the time I made a decision, there was nothing of Burt but the dust. hehe

    So I ended up latching on to Driffter33 and one of his buddies for the early top portion of the ride. He's a hoot to ride with, as he's one of those overly vocal "THIS IS AWE-SOME!" type of riders. Something we are all feeling, but he yells to let the trees know we are having a blast - thus making smiles creep up on the sides of the other riders faces as we are weaving down the mountain.

    There were two large trees that had fallen on the upper portion, but otherwise the upper trails were in good condition.
    We stopped at this tree to start taking off layers, which gave me a moment to take a picture.

    Immediately after this picture, Driffter33 had gotten ahead of me, and it set the tone for the rest of my ride. I would ebb and flow throughout the pack of riders meeting and greeting with lots of different groups and faces. At one of the regroup spots near forks in the trail, I had run into another new face in an imtbtrails jersey and it turned out to be Grego! We chatted for a bit, and then we ended up riding together for a while. I had taken the lead down a good flowy downhill section and it wasn't until I jacknifed my front wheel and slammed into the ground (twisting my handlebars out of alignment) that Grego caught up to me saying, "I've never ridden that section so fast, I was just trying to keep up!" He hung out with me while I was realigning my bars, and we set back off. I told him not to worry, that while I might have some downhill speed, he'll catch me on the climbs. I ended up dropping him on the next downhill section prior to the first big nasty fireroad climb (there was a singletrack climb?! I followed the wrong groups :( ). As expected, he caught me on the climb and then dropped ME! hehe

    Can't remember where I stopped to take this pic, but I know I didn't stop as much as I wanted to. The trails were sooooo good, but the views were good too.

    Random picture of some random people at the aid station.

    Grego, HatTrick and I hung out at the only aid station for a bit and refueled, and then we set off. More climbing, and then I noticed on my Garmin that we had a huge DH section ahead of us; I set off in front of the guys, and as Grego said we never saw each other again! I used this section of downhill (which was amazing) to catch up on some of the folks in the front of the pack. By this time we had figured that Mikie and the guys had left before we arrived so I was thinking I needed to hammer down to catch up with them.

    I think I stopped to take this before one of the good downhill sections.

    Much of this part of the ride was a blur, and then I got to the Morton Peak climb. I had ditched my jacket at the tree, but it was this peak that I finally ditched the armwarmers. It was pushing into the mid 80s by now (it started out at 41), and I was doing okay on the heat regulation side. I was wearing my long pants bibs, and had knee pads on over them, but my legs never really overheated. Thankfully (although the long pants bibs things.. whatever you call them.. have proven to regulate heat well for me in previous rides)

    A view while climbing.

    At the top of the climb, I ran into Mikie as he was chilling at the top waiting for the others in his group to finish bagging the peak. I had caught up to them, yay! Earlier in the day, the organizers had been warning us of the poor condition the Morton Peak downhill section was in, and they weren't wrong. Burt took off, and I quickly followed him, but in maybe the second or third turn my front wheel was washing out and I jacknifed again as I was trying to oversteer - but this time went superman OTB. My pride was hurt more than anything thanks to the same amount of dirt/dust build up that caused the wash out in the first place. So I let the rest of the guys pass me, and set off once more. However, my confidence was slightly shaken at this point, and the trail was really pretty crappy. So I ended up taking the rest of the downhill slower than my ability would have otherwise let me. But hey, better safe than sorry :)

    Given my shaken confidence and the crappy trail conditions, I didn't have as nearly as much fun on this bottom section than the top. But new dirt is always fun. At the very last dirt downhill drop on a pretty steep rocky section, I ended up overbreaking my rear tire (due to the congestion on the trail ahead of me) and my rear came out and I slid on my side as Mikie mentioned above. Again, a pride thing. That drop was totally within my skill level, but it's one of those where you just need to open it up and trust your speed. Unfortunately it was right after a regroup and we had a good dozen or dozen and a half riders all around us when we dropped it.

    Then it was the uneventful road ride to finish it out.

    We got back to the Hanger 24, Burt and I got changed, and then we set off to find the other guys. We found them, chatted a bit, but I was starving at this point. I had visions in my head about Hanger 24 being a food establishment and a brewery... unfortunately it was only a brewery (and I'm a teetotaler). So I poked my nose in, saw the poor offerings, and decided I needed real food. Given that it was early (1:30?) and the raffle wasn't until 3, I knew I could be home by 3 if I left and help the wife with the pre-Halloween prep. If it was closer to the raffle, I probably would have stuck around a bit, but as it was - my introvert nature won out and off I went.

    It was nice to run into everyone, and while I do like non-drop rides when coordinated as such, being solo and sort of ebbing and flowing through the entire field was a really neat experience too.

    I would easily recommend the upper SART to everyone (except Runs with Scissors - holy exposure batman) and might cash in wife points if ever I saw rides/shuttles for that trail posted, I can't recommend the Morton Peak section as easily - but once you are there, might as well. This ride will absolutely be on my calendar in the future, and hopefully the weather cooperates in the future as it did yesterday.
  8. burt

    burt Member

    Weather was indeed awesome, I love not freezing.

    The top section after the initial climb out of South Fork is in great shape. They came through and redid the bench cut on the few highly exposed turns.

    Once we drop down onto the Middle Control Road in Pinezanita you can either take that road all the way up towards the 38 and Angelus Oaks, or you can dive off to the left onto more of the SART for an extra 250 ft descent before the 1st big climb.
    For the record, Google elevation services reports the road route gaining 671 ft over 2.6 mi, and the singletrack 845 ft over 3.1 mi. The route for the latter attached as a GPX.

    The middle section between Angelus Oaks and Morton Peak was recently de-bushed by the awesome B4B volunteers. No Yucca stabs this time.

    Lower section is dry and loose, some of the switchbacks are eroding into s-turns.

    Good ride, can't wait till the next.

    Oh, and thanks for the awesome photos guys, I wish I took more.

    Looking Northeast towards the fire roads we came down after middle SART.


    Attached Files:

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  9. pinnacle10

    pinnacle10 Member

    Redlands, CA
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Highball
    I thought things went great this year. Thanks for everyone's support. This was, I think, our most successful Hell Ride. I certainly think it was the best raffle we've had and we've had some good ones in the past. Anyone want to estimate the # of riders? There were around 105 on the paid shuttles and about another 75 who self-shuttled who filled out a waiver. Outside of that, your guess is as good as ours. There's really no good way to count unless we had someone at Southfork bright and early counting people.

    Morton Peak singletrack could certainly use some love. It's a great ride down when that trail is in good shape, but unfortunately that's not often the case.

    The work we did on the trail before the ride was the first 6.5 miles from Southfork to Glass Rd. This section we have officially adopted. There were some real sketchy sections a couple months ago. We ended up doing 145 hours of work on just the first 4 miles of that trail.

    The other work was primarily trimming back the overgrowth in the Thomas Hunting Ground areas, as well as that last bit of singletrack before the long fireroad descent. We put in about 35 hours of work there just a week before the ride.

    Pioneertown is up next. We're working on a date right now and will announce details when we have them.
  10. Grassblade23

    Grassblade23 Member

    Current Bike:
    Iron Horse Quantum/Chumba XCL
    Grego, I was still taking it easy and having a good time at that point. :thumbsup: The WTF part didn't come till that ugly, chunky, treacherous, descending ST before the fireroad leading to the Morton climb/bailout fork.
    PATKOUG, Grego and Mikie like this.
  11. Grego

    Grego Well-Known Member

    Current Bike:
    That's my favorite part :D. Welcome to the forum Dan.
  12. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I just re-read all of these... Berni and his flats! I love my hefty wheels and plus tires, but this sounds like another one for them to stay home.
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