Nothing like a 2:00 AM Start to Avoid the Heat...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Relive: https://www.relive.cc/view/1751829776

    The plan was to meet at the Christmas Tree farm... Looking at the mileage and elevation, they are very similar numbers for @mtnbikej to roll from his house as it is for me to roll from mine. 12/1100 for me... We're coming from opposite directions, so it was sort of a crapshoot that it would actually work out.

    I rolled at exactly 2:00 from the garage. It's downhill on the road for the first couple miles. The only thing I passed was a nasty single car accident with police on scene, and a busted sprinkler head that pushed me into the far left lane on Santa Margarita Parkway. Other than that, it was a smooth cruise. 35 minutes to Cooks Corner, 45 minutes to Modjeska Grade, and 1:05 to the Christmas Tree Farm. It was well lit through RSM, down Marguerite, and out El Toro Road. As I neared Cooks Corner, however, it was like someone turned out the lights. Pitch dark. It would be like that the rest of the way to the tree farm. :eek:



    @kioti mentioned these the other day...
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    I rolled into the tree farm at 3:05. The only sounds were the coyotes in the distance. Kinda spooky when it's pitch black. :cautious:

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    Jason rolled in a few minutes later and we set off up the dark canyon. Starting at the tree farm makes the grind to get to the dirt a haul. Starting from home makes it close to 20 miles and 2000+ feet... Not exactly the type of ride that most guys like. Climbing the pavement in the dark isn't so bad, and the canyon is always cool... We were even passed by a white van with "LB RADS" on the license plate. Wonder where they were headed.

    Once on the dirt, this guy kept playing leapfrog with us.
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    It started getting light at Four Corners, but the scene at Modjeska Peak was pretty cool... 27 miles in at this point.

    The rocky section under Modjeska is like I've never seen...
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    View from the saddle... Just below the hard left. My house and taco plaza are visible!
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    I had led most of the way up the canyon and out to Modjeska Peak. @mtnbikej wasn't looking 100%. If you ride with him long enough, though, you learn that he might push past not feeling well. After the saddle, we flip flopped. He took off stronger, and I fell off the back here and there on the last push to Santiago Peak. I didn't walk any... But it was close. :gag: We wondered how far the graders made it, and it was roughed up all the way to the peak.

    This is steep. I walked. Legs were toast at this point. He cleaned it.
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    For you VQ folks, this is the rocky section under the peak. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it's been scraped like I've never seen it. This section of fire road was chunkier than all of the chunky single tracks in the race. You can see some of the rocks off to the left. There are other spots where the workers pushed tons and tons over the side.
    Screen Shot 2018-08-05 at 11.27.30 AM.jpg

    Holy Jim is a riot... As always. Even though it was still early, we started running into hikers near the top. And a herd of e-bikes headed up. 5 miles of single track. :inlove:

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    Trabuco Creek - AKA The Wash- has seen some work lately. We joked that it was probably paved now. Sadly, that wasn't really a joke. Pavement is a bad idea out there with the BroDozer crowd. It's now a superhighway shared between Bros and bikes.

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    And the Cadillac situation might be addressed in the future... There's a new solar powered camera across from the entrance. I give it a month before a 4x4 driver cuts it down. At least they're thinking about it now, though...

    Screen Shot 2018-08-05 at 11.38.25 AM.jpg

    At the end of the wash, we parted ways. I was done. Big enough ride for me today... Especially for hardly riding in July. I tried to talk him into going for breakfast and letting me give him a ride home. Yeah, right... That might happen. Why bail when there's 30 more miles to ride!?! :p:D

    45 miles and 6000 feet.

    Jason's ride may be slightly larger. :D

    Fun morning on the bike... No heat involved.

    I was up there... :thumbsup:
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  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/MTB Addict

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Yeti ASR5c, SC Hightower
  3. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Hehe, nice going, guys. Grab the conditions where (read: when) ya find em.
     
  4. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I thought I was rolling early tomorrow... 6am. Sh!t! o_O
     
  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    You guys are nuts. But you know that. :confused: o_O
     
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    :inlove:
     
    Cyclotourist, Mikie, Danmtchl and 3 others like this.
  7. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    Someone earlier this week said something about doing a big ride on Saturday.....I think a Trailhead Invite was even posted. The ride was set, then someone had to go to work on Saturday. Well late Saturday it was decided that the ride would happen on Sunday instead. We did lose one of the threesome that had committed on Friday.

    @Faust29 figured it would take him 1.5 hours to get to the Tree Farm.....I know it takes me about 1:15 when I roll from home. After last weekends overly hot early morning start, I knew today I was gonna need more fluids....that meant wearing my pack. :gag: :poop: We planned on a 3:30 meet time. I left the house at 2:00. I did get a weird look from a couple of neighbors that were getting home just as I was leaving. :eek:

    The ride out into Santiago Canyon was much quieter on Saturday night that it was last week on Friday. With a small 1/4 moon or so it was pretty bright. Again, I cruised through the canyon in the silence and darkness without my light....only turning it on when the handful of vehicles passed. Rolled into the Tree Farm at 3:15 and Steve was already there....doing something on his phone. Sweet, we would be 15 mins. ahead of schedule already. :thumbsup: We started up Silverado Canyon. Again quiet and dark. 2 miles up Silverado or so Steve says "CRAP!!!" o_O He realized that he was only wearing one glove and the other was probably on the side of the road next to the Tree Farm..... :cry::laugh: About 1/2 way up Silverado i started to get a headache. :sick: Ehhhhh, it'll go away. Then up onto Maple Springs. For the next 3 miles I kept falling behind. Yeah, I felt like I was pounding nails with my forehead. :sick::oops::bang: As we climbed up it would come and go. We weren't quick going up Maple Springs, but this was the 3rd trip up in the last week, so it's beginning to go by quicker again.

    We reached 4 Corners and it was light, but the sun hadn't yet crested. The ride out to Modjeska Canyon was a little slower as we stopped an did a bit of sightseeing. When we turned the corner at Modjeska Peak, the sun was right in the saddle....it was about 6:15. We continued on. Into the saddle the bugs finally made their presence known. Good thing as we pushed on the breeze picked up....they really wouldn't be an issue. Temps were still pretty nice.

    The OC was socked in down by the coast.....

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    The climb up to the Peak was different. The rode has been bladed in a lot of places. Sections were smoother, some not so much. My headache had passed and I was starting to feel better. We got to the Peak before we knew it. Quick detour up to the towers.

    The sun hadn't been up that long.....
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    I was about 30 miles in at this point. We started down Main Divide towards Holy Jim. The road down was in better shape...mostly. It won't last....in short order it will get churned back up to the way it was. We made the call to skip UHJ as I wasn't even half way through my ride at that point.

    Down on LHJ I walked the only section I would all day. The little climb at the beginning of the trail. Right away we started hitting traffic. It was only about 7:15/7:30 and hikers and riders were already up near the top. However down below the falls.....empty.

    Yeah, Trabuco Creek Rd with it's new surface and sealer was smooth and fast. With a bit of a tailwind, there was very little pedaling required. :eek::) At the end of the wash, Steve tried to talk me into breakfast and a shuttle ride home since he had to go back out anyway. :whistling: I declined and we parted ways. I still had about 30 miles to go.

    I passed through O'Neil Park and made my way up Monastary Rd. Then down Live Oak. It was warming up at this point. Once out on Santiago Canyon it was pretty toasty. My original plan was to climb back up to Whiting at 4 Corners and do Mark's Bench, but then I remembered down torn up Cactus Trail was, and just pulled in at the stables. Lots of oblivious hikers/riders in Whiting today. Down through the backside of the park. Popped out on Portolla and made a quick stop at Circle K for water.

    From there is was a lot of road miles down Alton, Irvine Blvd and Portolla Pkwy. It was hot. Onto Hicks Canyon Trail....at least the trail was under the canopy so it was a little cooler. This lead me into Peters Canyon. First time here since the fire. It was hot, it was exposed and I was fading. There was no hiding from the sun. A little more cruising on the bridal trails, followed by a little more roadie miles. I was 2 miles from home and my back started to tighten up. Pulled into the garage at 11:30.

    Fun times out there today. Was good to get a long ride under my belt again......it's been a while.

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    herzalot, Bryon, littlewave and 16 others like this.
  8. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Geez... How did I forget the glove part? Yeah... I took my glove off to take the picture when I arrived at the tree farm, and forgot to put it back on. I didn't notice it until we were a good ways up the canyon.

    Fortunately, when I drove back at 9:30, it was still there. It was a little surreal retracing my route in the car after riding it at o'dark thirty, and seeing all the roadies out for their "early" ride.

    Although the convertible with the top down is also therapeutic. :inlove:
     
  9. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Y'all definitely have a distinct beat the heat technique, that's for sure!
     
    mtnbikej and Faust29 like this.