I already wrote this once and then promptly deleted it accidentally... This time I will hit save along the way... Rossage threw it out there that there was a ride on Saturday out at Chilao. I have never been there (I sadly say that a LOT!). I was glad for the 8:45 meet time cuz this was a 2 hour travel time to get there. Unlike last time, I decided to come in from the Angeles Forest Highway side. It was cool that I got there early . . . it was a bummer that I sat at the wrong location for 20 minutes when I discovered it. I happen to go over to a map on a billboard and see that everything in Chilao is named, well . . . Chilao! So I sat here thinking it was the right Chilao . . . but it twernt. But don't worry . . . I was in good hands, with Allstate. But the views were nice despite the ocean of poodle dog... Chilao, Chilao Picnic Area, Chilao School, Chilao Campground, and last but not least . . . Chilao Visitor Center (which is where I was suppose to be.) So about 5 more minutes up the road I came to the Chilao Visitor Center. Pulling into the parking lot I'm looking for rossage's silver truck and it's no where to be found. But I did recognize Mikie McGuire! I call him Mikie McGuire cuz everyone calls me Mikie. His better half, Robin was there as well. This was a real treat, I had never met Robin and she is awesome! She called me Watson (I liked it!) Cathy calls me Watson, so this works... We talked for a few minutes mostly about where the heck was Ross. He's never late, always early so this was out of character. He did finally pull in threatening to rip my driver side door off my Mini. Like there is not 2 dozen open parking spaces!!! :shock: He jumped out drinking a cup of coffee and not feeling that well. So as Mikie McGuire tuned up their bikes, Ross drank his coffee babbling something about Death Valley and Nuclear Physics or maybe it was geophysical forces created by venturi shaped land masses causing huracanous velocity air-streams 6 inches off the ground producing a phenomena of moving huge boulders across a moist dry lake bed leaving mysterious tracks at a place called Race Track. What's REALLY weird is I actually remembered most of what he said . Robin was fascinated and he probably had her at the 6 inches comment. The things guys will say . . . I'm not sure Robin was interested in what Rossage was sharing or she was just glazed over from his non-stop talking. Meanwhile, Mikie McG slaves away getting the bikes perfect for the ride. http://app.strava.com/activities/153607138 ANYWAY! We finally get rolling heading North West on a paved access road, that turned into a broken up paved road, which then turned into a dirt road with a little bit of pavement particles, and finally into a Fire Access Road with no crumbled Asphalt which we climbed, and climbed, and climbed up. It was mostly an easy climb but had some steeper grades from time to time. It was a long climb and we were riding from Chilao to the Pacifico Campground turnoff. We talked about Fire Roads as we rode on a Fire Road. Seems a lot of guys get all worked up about riding Fire Roads, not me, I used to. I have got to the point where I like Mountain Biking, period. So riding on a Fire Road is like our version of being a dirt roadie <--Lower case "R" ( :lol: ha hah!). It's more social, we can ride side by side, talk some smack, it's all good! So we climbed nearly 10 miles of Fire Road. Just a couple of miles into the climb, we ran into a guy named Chris who joined us. He caught wind of the ride from a post made over on the OTB site. Awesome! Approximately 8 1/2 miles out we came to the Pacifico Campground turn off. From here it gets steep for about 2 miles. I paced it, with barely a breeze the deer flies were thick, and hovering close to my face! I was afraid I was going to inhale a bunch of them (but didn't). Coming around a corner the trees fell away and a breeze picked up and the flies went away. Yay... I followed rossage and Mikie McGuire up to the top and we kicked it at a picnic bench while we waited for Robin and Chris to roll up. Man! In a blink of an eye, there they were. Nice! Mrs. McG cruisin in to Pacifico as we just settle down from the climb to Pacifico! So rossage points out this coyote present laying in the camp ground... Then rossage to my dismay he picks it up and holds it in his hands! Then he dares Robin McG to take a bite of it with him.... What the hale?!?!?!? Nahhhh, It was a Cliff Bar! rossage?!?!?! Naturally... Bike Porn... Kicking it in the sun drenched day amongst tall trees and huge boulders. Mrs. McG taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. Yes, it's true love, When we decided to roll out of there, we dropped almost back down to the Pacifico turn off. Here Chris was going to head back the way he came which was from the Acton side. Robin was going to backtrack down the Fire Road to a Saddle where we were going to meet her. Mikie McGuire, rossage, and I were going to hit SOT! It started out sweet for the first mile or two, then we had to hop over a huge down tree, then we ran into some Poodle Dog Bush (PDB), then some more, then some more, then a whole bunch more. It actually got a little ridiculous! There was so much PDB! Between that and some sections of trail we could not ride, we were off the bikes hiking for a good 1 to 2 miles of what could be perfectly awesome singletrack! rossage was way up ahead, I was following Mikie McGuire. Stopping to clamber over a huge tree fallen across the trail. Rossage bolting ahead, McG and I surounded with the scourge Poodle Dog. Hiking down the trail between rocks and tons of Poodle Dawg. When we finally caught up to rossage, he was sitting on the side of the trail and he looked grumpy! Never seen rossage grumpy before :shock: . His gloves were smeared with green plant guts. He just plowed through the PDB. I had forgotten he was not feeling so hot. rossage was hoping to just hit whatever would get him back to the fire road to the trailhead which turned out to be the way we were going. So we continued down the SOT singletrack which at this point was in good shape! So I led with rossage putting behind me, and Mikie McGuire sweeping behind. This dropped us onto a single lane paved Fire Road that we climbed up to where Robin was waiting. This took WAAYYY longer than we planned. When we reached Robin, rossage bailed and headed back down the Fire Road to the parking lot. He was not doing well. Robin, Mikie McGuire, and I kicked it where we were at for a few and then Robin followed the way rossage went back to the parking lot. Mikie McGuire and I had other plans. We were climbing "The Wall" to crest Mt. Hillyer and then on to some very sweet technical singletrack to drop down into Horse Flats Campground, then take the Silver Moccasin over to the switchbacks. "The Wall" . . . aghhh! I calc'ed it out at approximately 32% grade. Thank gawd it was short. I didn't clean it, it was soft and powdery. After "The Wall" it got easier and it lofted up to the top where it rolled over Mt. Hillyer and then dropped into some sweet boulders of twisty turning switchback fun. I dabbed 3 times but think I can clean it now that I have done it once. When we hit Horse Flats Campground at the bottom, everything all of a sudden looked very familiar. I realized that I had been here before! It was back a while with Pat Merek back in 1996, I was on my 856 Proflex back then and I was just about to do a section of switchbacks 18 years later on my 2012 Yeti. Uh, the Yeti was easier to get through this on... . Somewhat knowing this section I blasted it with a little more confidence, what a time machine trip to do this section almost 20 years later! Nice! At the bottom we hit the paved section we headed out on that morning, and there was Robin with some friends that were just getting ready to go out on their ride. We said hello's and goodbyes and cruised back to the parking lot. rossage had taken off, I don't blame him, who would wanna sit in a hot truck not feeling well. When we got to the vehicles, Robin gave me some more of her awesome Cranberry Cookies which were more like mini cakes. They were amazing! They loaded up, I changed clothes, we took a couple of pics and said our goodbye's. Another day of great riding. I was happy to say I felt good and strong the whole day. I ate every hour on the hour and felt as strong as what little training I have been getting in. But not at all bonky or drained like the last couple of rides... It was a great day... Showing my "Here's Johnny!" smile I get to say goodbye to Robin and Mikie McG... Hope you feel better rossage! Mikie Bike On!