Palm Canyon Perfection

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by mtnbikej, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    So all this talk of Palm Canyon lately finally led to a ride out there for me.

    A small group was assembled, and today was the day.

    I will admit, that earlier in the week, the weather had me a bit concerned. I have ridden out here in all the other weather except for rain. With the "Storm of the Century" bearing down, the thought of the trail being flooded went through my mind.

    Met up @Cougar and @herzalot in Orange at 6:30 for the carpool out. @Faust29 was already out there with the family. Driving out, we went through some dark clouds and wet weather. As we exited the fwy in Palm Springs the clouds were down on the road.

    We met up with Steve about 8:00 and organized our shuttle. Most of the way up the 74 we were in the dark clouds and saw the wind was blowing....not looking too promising. However just before we turned off of Pinyon Rd at the Campground, the skies cleared above us. It was chilly with temps in the low 40's and the wind. Geared up and we were off.

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    The dirt was soft and tacky...and we were rolling into a bit of a headwind. As always happens the adrenaline kinda kicks in and the pace starts off faster than planned. We would settle down. I was very happy with the condition of the trail. As we worked our way down into the canyon the wind settled down. The temps also began to warm up a bit.

    We could hear water running in the canyon. Again I was happy to see that it wasn't deep. Who says there is no water in the desert.
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    As we pedaled along the creek...crossing several times, yes...at one point we were riding down the creek in the water. We eventually rolled through the willows, before starting the multiple series of short punchy ups.

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    The trail seemed pretty fast today. Perhaps it was all the loose rocks had been cleared from the trail. The brush and cactus were still well represented. As we hit the Indian Portrero bypass, Herz took the lead down to the Sand Wash. He was pedaling, yet I was coasting and still closing the gap...at least until we hit some chunky spots.

    At the Sand Wash of Death...we took a quick break. Still surrounded by clouds, we were enjoying the sunshine.

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    The Sand Wash of Death is losing it's reputation. The last several time up it, it has been getting better. Today was no different. It was damn near paved....smooth as a sidewalk. We made good time. Temps were still cool and comfortable....with an occasional breeze.

    At Mike's Oasis, we saw the first people of the day. 2 other small groups of riders. A short break and we started up Hahn Trail. This climb always looks worse than it is. We got a little spread out. Then it was 15 mins of DH bliss....I think everyone enjoyed dropping down the backside of Hahn Trail.

    Things began to slow down a bit when we hit the bottom. The connector trail back up Dunn Rd was again in great shape. It was nice to be rolling the punchy climbs in the cooler temps without being cooked.

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    After hitting Dunn Rd then detouring off on the way towards Clara Bourgess Trail. Today the climbs felt more tolerable.
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    A few more climbs along the ridgeline on the way towards Garstin Trail. Cleaned the steep and steppy climb to the peak....helped there was a group of hikers there watching. Someone worked on the steep switchbacks after the peak, they were much easier today. It was about this time that I realized that my Garmin Route was corrupted. We ended up taking the wrong fork, and ended up doing a couple of extra credit climbs up Berns Trail. Eventually we got back on track.

    We dropped into our final descent for the day...Araby Trail. Fun techy trail. Lots of hikers out today. This was the place were we had our only snafu....Steve took a wrong turn at the bottom and went the wrong way through the trailer park.

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    All in all a great day out in the desert. Everything was soooooooo green out there. We could not have asked for a better day out there.

    Driving home after lunch at Paradise Inn on the 74....thanks Herz, visibility was down to about 50'. What should have been a 50 mph drive down from Idyllwild was a 30 mph crawl.

    Awsome day for sure.

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  2. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    As I mentioned elsewhere, I struggled a bit at the end. I cramped about mile 20, during the Hahn descent, and put the nail in the coffin on the first punchy climb after Hahn. From there it was walk, sit, ride, Tailwind, ride, walk, sit - for the next hour. Still a ton of fun on the descents (and yes, I was cramping downhill too). I used to cramp frequently, but I started downing a bottle of Skratch before each ride last February and have not cramped since then - until today. Maybe I need to join the crowd and switch to Tailwind. Or ride more. I haven't ridden in three weeks, In fact, I've not done any cardio or leg exercise at all.

    Such a fun collection of trails in truly one-of-a-kind conditions. Craig was quite frisky on the downs today, making a good portion of the switchbacks - certainly more than I made. Jason made them all - which probably totaled about 20 or more, many with serious exposure to the sides and chunk in the turns. The man can ride a bike.

    Steve was awesome baby-sitting me and nursing me along at the end. Thanks dude! :thumbsup:

    Some pics and more info here.
     
  3. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I had planned to ride Palm springs today, though not PCE... I ended up camping at Pinyon last night as every campsite low down on the way back from AZ was a mudfest. What that your silver dodge w/4 bike thule parked outside the CG?

    The campground was a mud bog too. Not sure how some of the vehicles at the back end will get out... my truck barely made it around. Slippery!

    24B031BA-E032-4938-8930-99B77844D974_zpse2l83uwe.jpg
     
  4. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    Guess I missed the invite... Whatever you guys, WHATEVER :rolleyes:

    Glad you guys had a great ride. See what I mean about the sandwash-o-bore? It's like climbing up a three mile long boring fire road.
     
  5. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Waaay liked! :thumbsup:
     
  6. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    Yup, that was mine. We had zero mud the whole day.
     
  7. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    We had the keep it small. Only had room for 4 bikes....since I refuse to pay for a shuttle. :thumbsup:
     
  8. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Our shuttle is free. As @Mikie Robin Mcguire would say "just bring your smiles".

    Glad you guys had a great ride. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    @mtnbikej ... Hmmmmmmm...
    Clear that the mighty @Cougar was on the prowl with you!
    You "say" that @herzalot and @Faust29 were there... and there is "some" indications by way of pic that "could" be Chris. A pic of some guy dragging his head, face down riding an Intense.
    But there is no concrete evidence that either were really there. No group shot, no idle poses.
    Hmmm. What's going on here ... really?:sneaky:
     
  10. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    We were gonna take a group shot, but the jackrabbit I handed my camera to didn't have opposable thumbs....thus unable to get the camera to work. :whistling:
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    1/2 the evidence you seek:
    Hahn.JPG
     
  12. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    @evdog - That was our group!

    I'm typing on the phone and haven't had any coffee yet... That makes it a Defcon 4 situation. Excuse any typos or accidental nuclear launches. Things are really blurry.

    As the guys have said, this was one for the ages. My first time in Palm Canyon last year, it was amazing, but largely what I expected. The views were otherworldly, and we baked under the desert sun, consuming over 100 ounces of fluids. This ride showed another face of the desert- wet, tacky, cool, and green as far as the eye could see. And crossable on two stout (3 scoops) bottles of Tailwind.

    My only issue with this ride is that parts go by too fast. Blink and you're at the sand wash trying to process all the cool stuff that just went by. I just rode a section of trail with flowing water... too soupy to get my phone out and maintain momentum, laughing the whole way. I just landed a drop on the hardtail that was the domain of the bigger bikes, also laughing the whole time. :D Blink again and you've climbed the sand wash, and you're bombing down Hahn, which is now one of my new favorites... Reminding me of Trabuco in spots, and Manzanita Trail in more than a few others. Blink a third time, and you've just done some of the best ridge riding there is... hooting and hollering the whole way. Blink again, and you realize that the desert floor is getting too close, and the miles are running out quickly. :thumbsdown:

    The final blink and I'm having dinner with the wife, trying to describe what I just saw, and not doing a very good job. Thankfully, we're both more interested in the Kartoffel Salat with Speck, and the perfectly prepared Sauerbraten and Geschnetzeltes- and the Bier. Followed by a small Apfelstrudel. :thumbsup:

    This was a great group- no mechanicals, no drama, no "I'm done" moments. There was the occasional pedal to the shins, the slip in the mud, a cramp or two, maybe a fall in front of a couple hikers. I'm not sure about the fall, though... we left quickly before the hikers could verify that one. :whistling: All handled with smiles, laughs, and conversation. I'm ready to go again...

    I usually embed the pictures, but the upload seems really slow... link to iCloud album:

    https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0OGZYbYHGwH993
     
    Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG, Grego and 17 others like this.
  13. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    Whoa.....Not sure that Chinese food sounds all that good. :cautious:
     
  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    I wasn't gonna bring up the unplanned dismount...as none of us were there to witness it....and said jackrabbit from above wasn't talking.
     
  15. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    You should have given it your smartphone. It would have been able to use the heat from its paws to operate the picture function.
     
  16. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    My German is getting so bad it probably sounded like Chinese to our Bavarian waitress.
     
    UPSed, Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG and 7 others like this.
  17. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
    Do I detect a smile on an out-of-OC, generally non-desert rider? And maybe more than a splash of green brought back from Ireland, courtesy of @Cougar?

    The ride and conditions sound phenomenal! Well done gentlemen!

    Photo courtesy of @Faust29's album.
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  18. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Okay... I'm feeling better.
    Just wanted to make sure we were not throwing out there some fake news! :whistling::thumbsup:
     
    UPSed, Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG and 10 others like this.
  19. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Nice mission, guys! Bravo to the deflowerings!

    Massive props to @herzalot for for delving into the savory spice that suffering is. Way to forge, brother!!!!!!!!!!!!! And get up early! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  20. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    I haven't done PCE before, and I was super excited to head out. When I landed from Ireland, I instantly picked up a chest cold that had been going around at my house, so I was kind of worried how I'd be doing on the trails, but I really didn't want to miss it. Especially seeing as who was going. For me this group was dreamy - of all the groups of guys/gals I ride with from here over the years, these three guys are the ones I ride with the most. Yet, never have I ridden with them together. (We came close earlier in the year when we did Joplin, but Steve had to bail before Chris and I met up with the group).

    It was an awesome day, and lived up to pretty much everything I was expecting. It was such a different form of riding from what we typically do in OC. Tight bobbing and weaving through cacti, short punchy ups, the sandwash of doom (which wasn't very doomy this time which I'm glad for), switchbacks, long dh runs, great vistas, etc. etc.

    I did peter out about when Herz cramped up, so it was good timing. We were able to be pain brothers together in the back. Three weeks off the bike (thanks Ireland!), and a chest cold certainly made those last few climbs a walk fest, heh. I did leave enough in the tank to really enjoy the downs. That type of riding is really fun for me. I really like riding trails blind, and I like rocky trails (Especially when there aren't a ton of step ups). So I was having a great time on the Hahn DH and Araby descents.

    All in all, it was an awesome day with some of my closest riding comrades. Great weather, great companions, great terrain. Thanks a bunch guys.

    Also, I slept from 9pm to 7am last night, I was exhausted in a very good way, heh.
     
  21. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Good job! I've been staring at the hills for the last few days. Loading up the bike as we speak. Tomorrow, Berdoo Cyn. Get me some of that desert action!
     
  22. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Nice, man!!!! I swear when I heard you were in Indio I was about suggest BC. But I heard you replying Not slogging up that sand road, pal!!!! Way to prove me wrong! :thumbsup:
     
  23. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Looking forward to your report on this. I like the "out in the middle of f___ing nowhere" wilderness ride reports. Please stop to smell the roses, we need lots of pics!

    Are you planning to take it all the way to Park Blvd (pavement) and back?
     
  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Thank you! ...Unfortunately, I suffer every time I ride... :confused: (But not like this) And I get up at 5:00 am every day (but not to ride).

    I did step out of the familiar, and did push myself beyond my apparent limits (though I thought I had the legs for it, as I have been surpassing 3000' with regularity). And true, I rarely meet up with anyone before 7am on a weekend. This is a ride I would like to do again before it gets too hot to do so. Sooooo much good singletrack of such a wide variety. :thumbsup:
     
  25. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    You were a bad ass out there. Don't sell yourself short.
     
  26. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I never say never!

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programmed feature of "Three men and a baby: Desert Epik!
     
  27. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Stephen
    I'm a bad ass as well as I spent the weekend dodging rain, mud and moving furniture BUT I would have much preferred to be a bad ass out in PCE.

    Great ride gents and nice pics! Way to be symbiotic with the weather gods.

    Known plenty of folks to do a little PCE suffering thats I why I always bring extra variety of stomach, cramp and pain soothers.

    Hey and you guys actually looked like you are ON TOP of that sand... instead of deep into it :)
     
  28. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    It was nearly as firm as concrete.
     
  29. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Dude what is Berdoo Cyn. Never heard of it.
     
    DangerDirtyD and PATKOUG like this.
  30. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    4wd route into/out of Joshua tree NP.

    Try Googling it. All the cool kids are doing it.
     
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