Pioneertown 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Apr 16, 2017.



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  1. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Oh, Pioneertown 50... How you've grown.

    On our Black Star social the other night, Jeremy told us the story of a guy who went down in the first mile of Vision Quest. According to Jeremy, he had passed out, and his wife was left unaware for some time, as she was out front. Fast forward to Saturday, and I'm chit-chatting with the group parked next to me, and we're talking about recent events and rides. Long story short... Steve from Oceanside, who went down in the very beginning of VQ, was coincidentally parked next to me at Pioneertown. What a small world! In a couple weeks, I'll see him out at the Rwanda ride. :thumbsup:

    Sharone asked on the forum the other day about the event being sold out. I thought that was a little strange, as there was always on-site registration at the event. This year was different. Very different. The permit was contingent on good behavior and a hard rider limit of 150! The good behavior translated to riding single file on the pavement through town. No biggie... The organizers let Tinker line up first, and anyone who wanted to challenge him. There were a few takers on the offer, but they all fell off the wagon train at some point, as I witnessed later in the day. :thumbsup:

    The first two rides started and ended at Pappy and Harriet's, but this year we were in the barn. Very nice, and by the end of the day, the barn had been converted into the mess hall. No more standing around in a circle under the sun for the food and raffle. :thumbsup:
    IMG_2968.jpg


    Somewhere in this crowd is Greg from the Path on his titanium 29+ single speed. I saw him at the start of VQ last week, and again today. I had him in sight for most of the way to the turnaround, but never saw him on the way back.
    IMG_2970.jpg

    IMG_2972.jpg

    The crowd has grown! :thumbsup:
    IMG_2975.jpg

    The ride out on the pavement was a little more controlled than in years past, but that's not a bad thing. If it helps to keep the locals happy, and lets the event continue, I'm all for it. We were single file for the first couple miles, and then it opened up a little. The pavement goes by quickly, even on the single speed.

    After the pavement comes the "worst" part of the course. A couple miles of climbing in deep soft sand. Of the three years, this was the worst for the sand... I made it through, but at least half of the pack was walking. And I heard a lot of unprintable words... :D Greg and his 29+ wheels, however, went by me like I was standing still. This is also about the time that I noticed there were a lot more kids out there this time around. The local high schools were nicely represented with riders of all strengths and abilities! From guys who were running 10 minutes behind Tinker to a couple of young ladies who were on mile 18 of 50 when I passed them at mile 29. They were plugging happily along, and I hope they made the whole route... :thumbsup:

    After a couple miles of the Sarlacc Pit, we hit the chunky fire road, and the ball buster climb at mile 8. I cleared it, even with my newly swapped stouter gearing. :sick: The entire road is open to Jeeps, so it's torn up in parts, and it reminds me of the chunkier sections of Main Divide. This year, it was also sandy in spots. :confused: As far as fire roads go, this one has quite a bit of chunk here and there, and views the entire way... I like it. It's also a ball buster of a climb all the way to the aid stations at mile 13 and 17.

    Um. What class is he riding in? :eek: (Organizer. Put away the pitchforks.)
    IMG_2976.jpg

    At mile 17, the 35 milers turn around and head back to town. They quickly come upon the intersection of the "easy way versus the hard way". I won't know how many made the right choice until the results are posted. I have a feeling that the Jeep Trail was less popular than last year.

    After mile 17, we pretty much stay at altitude, with a lot of up and down... At mile 18, I was passed by a flying Tinker who thanked me for moving to the side. I'll let you do the math as to how far ahead he was. :whistling: I didn't see the 2nd place rider for another 11 minutes, and I'd bet that Tinker expanded the gap on the downhill. As much as we talk about his uphill speed, Tinker is amazingly fast going downhill. At his speed, rocks aren't as much of an obstacle. He flies over most of them. :eek:

    The turnaround was moved back to its year 1 location, which adds another 1.5 miles, bringing it much closer to an actual 50 this year. :thumbsup: When I rolled into the aid station, I was greeted by one of our IMTB lurkers and Warrior Society member, who promptly took my bottle and filled it for me. Thanks, Calvin! :thumbsup: We chatted for a few minutes before I headed back...

    The 1/2 way point.
    IMG_2977.jpg

    IMG_2978.jpg

    The ride back to the aid station (mile 17 and 30) has a lot of long downhill sections, but there are still a few steep uphills... I did a little walking, but a lot less than last year. :whistling: :thumbsup: And at mile 31 comes the choice between the easy way and the hard way. I took the hard way, and was alone the entire time.

    @Mikie - Do you know anyone who could help us out with these rocks? They go on forever! :p
    IMG_2980.jpg

    Last year I followed @mtnbikej's line through this and made it unscathed. This year I left a little blood from my left knee and right elbow. A couple ribs are a little sore this morning, also... And I'm going to need some new arm warmers. :whistling:
    IMG_2981.jpg

    After the Jeep Trail, it's mostly the semi-chunky fire road and the Sarlacc Pit to get back to town... I crossed the finish line at 49.1 miles, so I went back to the road and did a little extra credit to get it to 50.

    Great ride, and nice to see that it's growing up into a well-organized event!

    Edit: And it was a 100% Tailwind fueled ride. No food at any of the aid stations... just a steady intake from the 3 scoop bottles and the occasional sip of plain water.
     
    al minkman, RS VR6, ~JB~ and 32 others like this.
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Cruelty I say, just plain cruelty................:cautious:
     
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Great write-up @Faust29 ! Nice work out there. :thumbsup: :cool:

    Hope you are not too sore from your off...
     
  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Sounds like B4B has moved up in the world and has to follow rules now. :p

    The horrible sand wash....sounds like penance for not having to deal with the real sand wash at Palm Canyon. :whistling:

    Good to hear they moved the turn around point back out towards where it used to be.

    Sorry I wasn't out there to show you line through the Jeep Trail.

    Looks like you are adjusting just fine to the new gearing.

    Nice job out there.
     
  5. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    @Faust29, outstanding effort! I bow down to thee. :cool:

    Oh, and there's my beloved Joshua trees in the first few pics! :thumbsup:
     
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    The new gearing wasn't really an issue all day... I actually cleaned more of the climbs than last year, including the ball buster at mile 8, right after the sand wash of doom. A lot of the kids were walking that one this time. I did walk a few short sections on the way back. They were in rough shape and reminded me of climbing Cadillac.

    The real story was the Mountain King. I remembered why I like this tire so much... The stiff sidewalls are perfect for me, and even at 24.5 pounds, there was almost no squirm and it never slipped on the loose stuff. Worth the 740 grams yesterday. I think the fat Ralph is going back on the front for now, but I may end up with another Mountain King up there.
     
  7. singlespeedrider

    singlespeedrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine
    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    On One Lurcher Single
    I was pretty bummed to miss this one. Lucky me got to go to brunch for my mother in laws birthday so that more than made up missing one of my favorite rides of the year.:bang:
     
  8. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    HAHA.....tell us how you really feel. :eek::laugh:
     
  9. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    This was the best year ever out there! :whistling:
     
  10. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo, Ripley V4 & Timberjack
    Nice work @Faust29 I need to add this ride to the local bucket list.
     
  11. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    @TomF - Tom was out there yesterday. I'm curious to hear what a first timer thought of the event and ride. :thumbsup:
     
  12. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Smells like sarcasm... o_O
     
  13. TomF

    TomF Member

    Location:
    Venice
    Name:
    Tom
    Great write up @Faust29. Sorry we missed each other, but sounds like you had a good one (despite the fall).

    It was my first Pioneertown ride, my first MTB endurance event and in fact the biggest MTB ride I've ever done, so I went into it just aiming to make it to the finish in a respectable time. I've done a lot of road endurance events but nothing off road, and I was treating it as a training ride for the big one in 2 weeks - the Whiskey 50 in Prescott AZ, and it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

    You could tell as soon as you arrived that this was a well attended and professionally run event, with all kinds of riders from hardcore lycra-clad XC whippets to more casual riders, but there was a great atmosphere and camaraderie throughout the field. We set off on the dot of 9am and I positioned myself right in the middle of the pack as figured I would be about mid level pace across the board. The initial road section served as a good warm up and enabled everyone to find their true place in the field (I seemed to stay exactly where I was give or take a few places) and very quickly we hit the dirt. I knew there were going to be 'some sandy actions' but nothing could have prepared me for the sand wash at the start which was thick, deep, relentless, uphill and extremely tough - it was all about picking your line and keeping momentum, and with the help of my 29er wheels I managed to get through it without stopping, passing a number of folks who had given up and started walking. I did 'The Wash' in Palm Canyon a few months ago and this was much deeper sand than that. After two miles of hell and only 6 miles into the ride I was beginning to think the 50 miler might be out of the question if it was all going to be like that, but suddenly the sand reduced and we were onto some chunky and often steep fireroad which would set the tone for the rest of the ride.

    A few tough climbs but I got into a nice rhythm and just started to enjoy the ride, taking in the spectacular views and desert landscapes all around, and just when I was thinking I needed a quick break to refuel, the first aid stop was upon us and a welcome - albeit brief - break from the relentless climbing. The next station was only about 5 miles up the road from that so only made a very brief visit there, and then it was up to the turnaround point, by which point the ride evened out a bit.

    After a quick break at the turnaround station and a couple of minutes to take in the views of Big Bear Lake, it was back the way we'd come, and contrary to what the event website would have you believe it was NOT downhill all the way back! I was looking forward to 25 miles of freewheeling down some chunk, but it turns out there were some very punchy climbs on the way back. I was determined not to walk any of the route and managed to climb all of them without dismounting which I was pleased with with. Then I got to the junction to either take the Jeep Trail (fun technical trail) or carry on along the fireroad. Given there were another 15 or so miles to go and I figured there would likely be more climbing and still the sand wash to go, I played safe. Next time I will definitely do the jeep trail.

    From there it was fun downhill all the way, technical in places and certainly fast and unforgiving enough to keep you focused, before hitting the road and cruising back. No idea how my time compared with everyone else (it seemed like the majority or riders did the 35 not the 50, though I may be wrong), but my Strava said I did it in just over 5 hours which I was happy with.

    Overall a great, well organised event and I'd definitely do it again. Highly recommended to anyone to wants to challenge themselves on a butt kicking course with some friendly competition / camaraderie thrown in!
     
  14. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower; Revel Rail
    Nice job @TomF , and cool write up. :thumbsup:
     
    SnakeCharmer, kioti, Faust29 and 2 others like this.
  15. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Boy that chunk looks pretty substantial. How long is that section??
     
    SnakeCharmer and Faust29 like this.
  16. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    I've done this the previous two years, but this year it was never even on my calendar. With the hard 150 limit, I'm kind of happy I gave up my (potential) spot to someone else. I did enjoy doing the ride, but man that sand wash is soul sucking, especially for someone who isn't an XC Endurance rider by trade like me.

    Happy to see that event is growing! Nice reports from y'all that went, thanks for sharing. Great work!
     
  17. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    The optional Jeep Trail is about 3 miles long, with a couple short climbs. There are actually several different sections, but they are all chunky. One downhill section is completely covered with rocks that are roughly double baby head size, and you just surf the top layer. It's nuts, and I didn't see another soul on it this time...

    As these are all forest roads, you could actually drive to this area and just play on the Jeep Trail...
     
  18. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    @TomF - Nice job! Looking at the Strava FlyBy, we were pretty close for a lot of the ride!
     
    SnakeCharmer, mtnbikej, Luis and 2 others like this.
  19. TomF

    TomF Member

    Location:
    Venice
    Name:
    Tom
    Indeed we were @Faust29 . Just checked the results and we were only 6 minutes apart at the end!
     
    SnakeCharmer, mtnbikej and Faust29 like this.
  20. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Woo-Hoo! I wasn't the last single speeder to come across the line!
     
  21. pinnacle10

    pinnacle10 Member

    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    Name:
    Jeff
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Highball
    Thanks everyone for coming out. If there's anything that could be improved you can message me here. We're hoping we can increase our capacity for next year. It seems as if everything went well with the locals.

    Jeff
     
    SnakeCharmer, Faust29 and mtnbikej like this.
  22. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    I have to say that this was the best of the three. It had more of a grown-up and organized feel. :thumbsup:

    I have a couple thoughts and will send a PM later when I'm at the computer.
     
    pinnacle10 and SnakeCharmer like this.
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