Little stroll in the mountains...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Apr 12, 2015.



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  1. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I expected Aliso like crowds at the Harding trailhead, but it was just the three other crazies who expressed interest the night before: Mtnbikej, Cougar, and Runs with Scissors. One single speed hardtail, two geared hardtails, and one full suspension. If you've never experienced Harding, and it's on your list, now is the time. The trail is bone dry, and in great shape. It's still a brutal climb, but at least the trail conditions don't make it worse now. :lol: There are a few rock slides on the trail, but nothing that can't be avoided. The first 5 miles of the trail are the steepest, with the first mile being the worst. The views are worth the effort, though... The first part is where we normally see hikers, venturing out from the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, but there were a few much farther up today. Mtnbikej said we had David Whiting's column in the Register to thank for the extra trail traffic. No issues, though, and everyone was friendly. Note: There is a downhill around mile 7 that loses quite a bit of elevation, which you will regain before 4 Corners. If you give this route a try, the beginning of the downhill is the point to re-evaluate, and maybe turn back.

    After 9 miles of "gentle" climbing, we hit 4 Corners, and took a quick break. I probably should have snapped a few pictures here, but my phone was in my backpack, and it was a pain in the ass to get out. I'm sticking to the "no backpack" rule as much as possible from now on. :D It wasn't a PR up Harding, as we had regrouped several times, but the pace while moving was probably faster than I have ridden it before. Single speeds fly, and they keep their momentum even on the loose rocky stuff where geared riders have a tendency to switch to the granny gear, and scream "Uncle!". :D I experienced this on the rocky section below Modjeska Peak. I thought I was moving right along, until I slipped the back tire a little, and got passed in the blink of an eye. And he climbed 7,000 feet yesterday?!@#& I'd be dead. :angel: The good news, though, is the the rocky section is in much better shape than it was a few months ago, just after the snow. At that time, there was no line, as the trail was covered with fresh rock. It's had time to pack down a little, and it's mostly rideable. It's slow and rough, but it's doable- barely.

    The drop down from Modjeska into the saddle is always one of my favorite parts. It's a nice break from climbing. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long, and the last couple miles up to Santiago Peak are tough. Tougher on some of us than others... ;) I may have cried "Uncle" once or twice in this section. Mtnbikej and I did our good deed for the week, at the last exposed hard left hand turn. Two hikers, who had come up Holy Jim, were going the wrong way. We straightened them out, and set them off in the right direction.




    Main Divide from Santiago Peak to Upper Holy Jim is rough. Lots of rock, ruts, and loose... This is where Cougar really took off, and he and the Turner shined. I occasionally saw dust, but that was about it until he and J decided to wait for the stragglers. I'm more of a "let's make it down in once piece" guy. :oops: Runs with Scissors looked at the UHJ trailhead, and decided to stick with Main Divide to lower Holy Jim. In hindsight, I should have joined him. UHJ isn't my cup of tea, but the views are some of the best in the mountains. I wasn't going to keep up with Cougar and J, so I took my time, and stopped for a picture or two. My Salsa decided to throw me a curveball, and start to drop chains today. For the first time ever... and it happened twice on UHJ. :( Unfortunately, I can't blame the chain for the little spill I took on UHJ... A few scrapes, but nothing major. This was not a great run down...



    Lower Holy Jim is in great shape... There are a few more branches on the trail than my last visit, but nothing major, and the downhill was a welcome reward. The wash was pretty dry, and there were only a few cars to be passed.b I did, however, see a knucklehead in a VW Beetle trying to get to Cadillac. He made it about 30 yards in before he got stuck. I've owned a Beetle in the past, and would not have taken it on the "road" there, let alone driven off the road...

    At the end, we parted company, as I climbed Plano Trabuco Road back to RSM, and the rest of the gang set off towards Cooks Corner and Modjeska Canyon. Nobody took me up on the offer of a ride, as I had the wife on standby, just in case.

    I rode to Harding from the house, so I have some extra miles on the front end. And the gang rode back to their cars, which makes it almost a wash for mileage... https://www.strava.com/activities/284337633

    All in all... A great ride, which would not have happened without IMTB. Thanks, Mikie!

    IMG_4283.jpg

    IMG_4288.jpg
     
  2. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    Nice, way to git er done guys :thumbup:
     
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  3. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripmo, Ripley V4 & DV9
    It's painful just thinking about this:

    Props to you guys!

    harding.JPG
     
  4. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Great writeup Faust. First, major kudos to you guys for letting me tag along. It was a great ride even though I was really out of my element on Lower Holy Jim. Couple of spots scared the bejesus outta me.

    I ended up completely exploding on the climb from Cooks Corner. Much thanks to mtnbikej for the ride back to my truck up Modjeska Grade.

    Great day on the bike.
     
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  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Tracer and/or Who Knows?
    This may be the funniest thing I've read on this site! :lol: I would have thought by now that you and J and a few others would realize that long, steep climbs on fire-roads are really painful, thus not a hugely-popular attraction for the mere mortals that plug up the County Parks on any given weekend.

    Kudos for a great write up and another ridiculously strong ride. :thumbup: :clap:
     
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  6. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Thank you! You're welcome to head this way any time...

    If Holy Jim wasn't your favorite, I have a few runs on this end of town that I think you would love. The Bell to Caspers loop is a great workout- and very scenic. Depending on the route, it's easy to get 30-40 miles and as much elevation as you want.


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  7. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    What a ride. It was nice to meet some people from here finally (Faust and I have been trying for awhile).

    I'm totally spent now though, haha. My climbing is always slow, but it got painfully slow headed up the last slog to Santiago, but at least once there I had some downhills to look forward to. Slipped twice on UHJ, but didn't crash. That trail will get a lot more fun with more runs down it (it was my first time).

    J was a beast though, on both the ups and downs. I've been up LHJ a number of times, but never had the pleasure of dropping it. I was eating J's dust most of the way down, but lost a ton of speed navigating the switchbacks and he eventually pulled away enough I didn't see any more dirt Devils from him.

    Riding down the wash from the HJ parking lot is always a blast, and I laughed when Faust complained that there were no cars to pass... Then he found another gear and away he went, and sure enough there were three or four cars to pass.

    Escaping the wash took everything out of my legs, and there wasn't a ton left. (I was cramping pretty bad today for some reason) and ended up walking most of the live oak climb back to Cooks. I was.... cooked.

    I appreciated the patience and tolerance for my slow climbing ass, and even if it was a no drop ride, I always make it a point to be appreciative of the gesture (and their time) of those who regroup patiently with a smile.

    Thanks for organizing the ride. I might skip the next one! Haha
     
  8. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I wasn't sure what to eat after this ride, but the wife stepped up and recommended Jerry's Dogs in Ladera Ranch... I can recommend the Jerry's salad, and the jumbo dog, and the Italian sausage, and the fries, and homemade chips... And I think we're going to stop for pizza on the way home. And maybe some sushi...


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  9. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    Haha, the wife had an errand to run, so she brought back Chipotle with double meat for me (half chicken, half steak). I'm full now, but will likely eat again in an hour or two!
     
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  10. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Prescott
    Name:
    hill^billy
    I'm sure you guys are vaporizing your food as it hits you gut!
     
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  11. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    My son taught me how to order Chipotle after the Palm Springs Century! Double everything, and it probably weighed 4 pounds! I may need one of those tonight, too... :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Ok....I'll throw my hat into this report. :eek:

    First of all, except for riding with Faust29 for about 15 minutes at the Pioneer ride last week, I really didn't know these guys. I am a creature of habit, and riding with new people was out of my comfort zone. :eh:

    Good news is that the other 3 were all real easy to get along with. Not one of them had a diva moment.

    While talking to R w/S and Cougar, found out that they were both Harding newbs. :lolno: Harding sucks when you know what is ahead, sucks even worse when you don't...seems like it just keeps going and going.

    After my big ride yesterday, I figured my legs would be unhappy today, so I was happy with the social pace. Just kept turning the pedals over and the miles went by. Ran into a couple of other friends a few miles up...was good to see them. This was a no drop ride, so we tried not to get too spaced out and did a pretty good job at regrouping. Knew it was gonna be a long ride, so didn't want to burn anybody up early in the ride.

    Before we knew it, we made it to 4C. Nice and quiet up there with all the gates closed. After a short break, we headed off to the part of Main Divide I hate most. Ran into another friend at 4C and chatted before we rolled off. As much as I hate the ride out to Modjeska Peak...it is getting shorter, and honestly it was in pretty good shape today. Followed Steve's line into the chunky stuff, until his bike decided it no longer wanted to go forward. I went around and kept expecting to get off and walk the really bad section. Because it was in good shape, that wouldn't happen today.....and just like that, you are at Modjeska Peak. For me the so called "DH" into the saddle isn't much fun. Seems like you sure do have to pedal a lot to keep moving...downhill. Couldn't get any takers for Joplin so we continued on. The shady spots were nice and cool, especially with the breeze blowing. Then it was onto the rocky, loose, exposed sections up to the Santiago Peak. As Steve said, a couple of hikers were going the wrong way, since they wanted to go back down Holy Jim....what makes it even worse, is there is a big sign at the Peak that points down to get to HJ.

    Anyway, we make it to the Peak. At this point the bugs were finally starting to make their appearance....to this point they were a non issue. After a quick break we started on down to UHJ. Down before the 1st turn I heard something bounce off my bike. Turns out my mini pump fell out of my jersey pocket. Fortunately, I only had to back up about 75' to retrieve it. Always forget how rough/chunky/torn up Main Divide is from the Peak down to UHJ.

    At UHJ trailhead, R w/ S decided to take the safe(r) way down to LHJ. Probably was a good choice for him....but I imagine that the road was in pretty bad shape. Craig let him know where to find the LHJ trailhead was. So the 3 of us dropped into UHJ. This is such a fun trail. It is in pretty bad shape, but a good challenge....and did I mention how fun it is. ;) :lol: :cool: Had one "oh, Sh!t" moment...more so, didn't remember a rock drop being that tall. Passed a couple of hikers along the way. Regrouped at the bottom of UHJ, and as we started to pedal back to LHJ, R w/ S came riding up. Oooops....think he missed the LHJ trailhead. :p

    Anyway, the descent down LHJ is always a blast. Trail is really getting pretty overgrown.....really wish those Warrior Society guys would go out and do some trail work. :roll: Lots of poison oak out there. For as long at LHJ is....always seems like it goes by really quick. Stopped at the spring for a regroup. All the creek crossings at the bottom of the canyon were dry. Lots of hikers out there as well.

    I learned a long time ago, the best way to do Trabuco Creek Rd....is just put your head down and hammer it out. The quicker you go, the faster it is over. As usual, the headwind kicked in just before the RC Airport. Got dusted out by all the cars we passed earlier in the canyon. :x

    At the end of the TCR...we parted with Steve and the other 3 of us cruised through O'Neil Park....stopped for some water. Craig was hurting pretty good at this point. Fortunately for him, his ride would end at Cook's. At Monestary Rd, Mark and I took off....we would be riding back to Modjeska Canyon. Pace was good going up Live Oak, I was just following...then Mark pulled the rip chord and dropped off. Waited for him up at the top of Live Oak. Dropping down Live Oak was a nice recovery. About a mile up SCR Mike would pull the rip chord again for good. I offered to go ahead and get my truck and come back for him. By the time I got back to him, he was 1/2 way up Modjeska Grade. Tossed his bike in the back and drove him back to the Wildlife Sanctuary. Turns out he was only about 1/2 mile from the downhill run back to his car....oh, well, at least I know he made it back safely.

    Fun group of guys. Everyone had a positive attitude. Some pushed past their comfort levels. :clap: :thumbup: Good ride for sure.

    Ended up mileage wise a bit shorter than I kinda expected, but still ended up @ 35 miles/5900'.

    <a class="postlink" href="https://www.strava.com/activities/284381079" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">https://www.strava.com/activities/284381079</a>

    And yes, the pastrami sandwich I picked up on the way home.....hit the spot. :lol:
     
  13. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Tracer and/or Who Knows?
    Great report J! Sounds like you all had a great adventure. :thumbup:
     
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  14. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I turned off my Garmin when I got off the bike for good. I ended up with more than I thought I would at 33.1 miles and 5,518 feet. And it hurt. A lot. :eek:

    Only my second time to the peak and first time up Harding as beast j noted. :)

    Yes, I liked the climb. I need to do this again. :p
     
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  15. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    My Garmin died 300 yards from the house... Fortunately, I was taking a lap around the RSM lake, and wasn't robbed of any elevation gain. I did, however, see a family of 6 sandwiched into a rental "bike". I think the dad, and driver of that rolling abomination, would have traded bikes with me in a heartbeat.
     
  16. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    I've ridden Holy Jim once, we climbed it. Pretty tough from what I remember. We continued on the Main(pain) divide, then we rode the Wall..... boy that was tough!!

    39 miles is a little stroll? what is a big stroll!?!?!
     
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  17. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    39.01 miles :lolno:
     
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  18. pwe312

    pwe312 Member

    Name:
    Eric Thai
    good thing u guys skipped Joplin. I just did it last week and its pretty over grown and washed out. Can barely see the trail in some sections and was getting wacked in the face and hands a lot.
     
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  19. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I did Holy Jim with it's 17 sacred switchbacks with mike formerly known as Mike, Holy Jim was Awesome! I wish there were more trails like that closer to Frazier Park! What started kicking my azz was the main Divide road up to Santigo Peak that day. For some reason it just seemed the dirt was grabbing on to my tires and didn't want to let go. That dirt was evil...

    Coming down Joplin was a blast!
     
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  20. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    That section of Main Divide is brutal! On foot, on a bike, in a Jeep... Doesn't matter!
     
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  21. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    I like and enjoy me some pain and suffering....but I hate that section of Main Divide....just sucks the life out of you. :shock:
     
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  22. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    That was a good ride! I've done it the opposite direction the last couple times, but it's just as fun... :thumbsup:

    And two out of the 4 bikes in the picture are dead and buried! o_O
     
  23. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Yup....came up on the old picture slot machine.
     
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  24. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Yup. Great ride.
     
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  25. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Repeat?
     
  26. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    :D :thumbsup: :D
     
  27. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Might could be.
     
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  28. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I was thinking about a similar loop for this weekend, but I'm probably going to be dog slow.

    I saw the Doc last night. She was confident that the ears will be better after a couple days of the drugs...
     
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  29. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Honestly though....if it is wet, Maple Springs may be the better option. While Harding does well in the rain, it still feels mushy and slow, especially on the SS.
     
  30. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I was actually thinking of Maple Springs from home... then up and over. But I'm going to be slow...
     
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