RR - Archipelago Ride 2018

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by evdog, Mar 26, 2018.

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  1. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    For the last 10 years or so the San Diego Mtn Biking Association has put on the Archipelago ride. It started as an idea to connect together separate islands of singletrack in the city to help promote trails and connectivity, and eventually grew into a huge annual fundraising ride for the club with a couple hundred riders. A few volunteers set out to pre-ride the course on Saturday.

    Leaving San Elijo Hills in San Marcos

    The Arch ride has always started near La Costa and climbed up over Denk Mtn. This year would be no different. You can see Black Mtn in the distance just above and right of Tina's head.

    Had to stop pretty soon into the ride and insert some tire bacon into a puncture in Andys tire

    Rolling toward Elfin Forest, it was obvious that spring is here

    We did some extra credit around Equine Incline at Elfin

    Dropping down to Lake Hodges we came across this new-ish wood sculpture of Hodgee

    After a snack break at the highway stand in Del Dios Gorge, we carried on through San Deguito River Park. This is one of the coolest parts of the ride, cruising along buff singletrack into the middle of this boulder field.

    Crosby switchbacks are up next

    And then onto some new to me singletrack

    This took us around and into Lusardi Canyon where we spotted the first poppies of the season

    We stopped at Black Mountain for a break after a stout climb out of the canyon. Then it was on to Doug Hill and the traverse to McGonigle Canyon

    The Arch Ridge ends at Green Flash brewing, but we had to ride the Tunnels and Penasquitos Canyon to get there.

    I was feeling good and had lots of time left so I decided to split off from the group and add some extra credit of my own by riding home through Tri-Canyons rather than end at Green Flash.

    My route would take me up to UTC the back way rather than up to Mira Mesa.

    I dropped into Rose Canyon and followed the trail around into San Clemente Canyon. Things were nice and green there too

    Then it was up and over Clairemont Mesa and into Tecolote Canyon. We used to have to poach this crossing from the golf course but it is an official trail connection now.

    It was getting on to 6:30 as I exited Tecolote. I still had a few miles of bike path to go. It was a pretty awesome view crossing the bridge over to Ocean Beach

    I continued on the OB bike path to Dog beach and got there just as the sun was starting to go down

    I would usually take shoes off and step into the surf to finish the ride but the waves were a bit big for that

    Settled for watching the sun go down from the jetty instead. Pedalled home before dark.

    Great day out. Nothing better than hitting about 10 different trail systems in one ride!

    With extra credit it came out to 62mi and 6,800ft climbing. I've been wanting to do this extra credit version for a long time so I was stoked to be able to pull it off. It is pretty awesome being able to do a ride like this out your back door!
  2. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Crescenta Valley
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    PV3 & FEX
    "Hodgee"??? There's a Loc Ness type creature living in lake Hodges? :eek:

    Great RR! :thumbsup:
  3. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Moreno Valley
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    Spectacular report.
    evdog and mtnbikej like this.
  4. schillingsworth

    schillingsworth Member

    Queen Creek, AZ
    John Schilling
    Current Bike:
    Motobecane Ti 29er
    Overachiever. I'll have to do that ride with you sometime. It seems like a bunch of that is on the Stagecoach400 route that we did. Plenty of fun trails there.
    evdog and mtnbikej like this.
  5. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2020 Specialized Fuse 29
    Great report. That singletrack looks awesome.
    evdog and mtnbikej like this.
  6. 406

    406 Member

    San Diego
    Current Bike:
    Nice work. Signed up and excited for this years archipelago ride. No "way up trail", I'm told.
    evdog and mtnbikej like this.
  7. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    Don't expect me to out the route. You'll have to wait a couple weeks to see for yourself.

    You'd like the route. A lot of it is not destination riding but when you put it all together in one ride it is awesome.

    Only the part from Hodges to Crosby switchbacks is on the SC400 route - maybe 8 miles? The rest would all be new dirt.
  8. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Western US
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    TFPU, ev. :thumbsup: The photos are clogging my straw, but I'll see them eventually...
  9. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    I'm going to tag this onto last year's TR.

    A few of us pre-rode the 2019 Archipelago course a couple weeks ago. A few changes mostly back to routing used a few years ago which I like better. Was looking forward to this for all the greenery and blooms.

    At the top of La Costa looking south. The peak at center is where we'll be in a few hours time, which is at about mile 25 or so.


    And they're off


    Got into some nice flowers right away. Was told they were a lot better on the west facing slope


    First of a few water crossings


    No keeping your feet dry on this one


    A few bits of nice singletrack were added


    Rest stop


    Hitting Elfin forest and its steep techy climbing just as temps warmed up



    After a water fill it was down to Lake Hodges. So green down there....



    A few people bailed just beyond the Hodges dam. We stopped for snacks and drinks then continued on to the Crosby switchbacks


    No way this is drying up soon


    New detour around some private property


    Not many huge patches of poppies but there were a few nice ones


    Quick water break at Black Mountain and then we continued on. Saw this guy just above the Tunnels. A solid 4 footer. Was pretty chill, still waking up I guess


    climbing out of Tunnel 4


    Trying out some new bikepacking gear meant no pack was needed today.


    Heading down the Shits. Someone rebuilt these switchbacks recently. I give it about a month til people pull the debris off and start straight-lining them again. Strava!!!


    Not sure if it was damaged by storms but this suspension bridge was swaying a lot more than it used to


    The rest of the group climbed up to the ride's end at Green Flash brewing. I decided to ride home again, another 20mi


    Didn't quite make it to the beach for sunset, but I was close enough.


    Stats 62mi, +6,400/-7,000

    Great day on the bike!
  10. ricke24

    ricke24 Member

    La Habra
    Current Bike:
    2016 Santa Cruz 5010C
    Nice ride report and cool pics, I want to go check these trails out soon!
  11. 406

    406 Member

    San Diego
    Current Bike:
    Should be a fun one.
    Tom the Bomb likes this.
  12. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    Yesterday was the actual Archipelago ride event. Since I did the pre-ride a few weeks ago I had volunteered to sweep a section, and was assigned Black Mountain to Penasquitos Canyon. Most sweeps ride the full course and then sweep their section which can be painful as you either have to ride slow or end up waiting for quite a while at an aid station for the previous section sweeps to show up. Rather than do that I figured I'd do my own ride from home to meet my sweep team Black Mtn, pick up the course and sweep our section, and then ride home. I've done similar rides before and it comes out to 65-70 miles which is a really good day of riding. Set my alarm for 5am but the beers I had the night before said no way to that. I ended up rolling out at 7am which would be a bit tight getting to Black Mtn by our agreed time of 2:30. Figured see how it goes, I can always cut out some dirt and ride pavement to speed things up.

    I live in Ocean Beach so I take the OB bike path out to Mission Valley. Its an urban path roughly following the San Diego river, which is more of a slough along here


    Lots of flowers out still. Some of the urban ones are more interesting than the wild ones


    Heading up towards Mission Trails Park I do some early morning bushwacking through sweet head-high mustard. Soaked!


    Into Mission Trails proper and starting to dry out


    Couldn't bear to spoil this scene by putting a bike in it


    Flower close-up


    Next I headed into Fanita Ranch where I did the most sustained climbing I'd do all day


    Poppies are still out


    Taking Slaughterhouse ridgeline north. That is Iron Mountain and Mt Woodson in the distance


    I crossed into Sycamore Canyon preserve and then linked over to the Poway trails


    The upper part of Poway trails follows an old rutted dirt road for a couple miles, almost singletrack and with some bridges needed over larger ruts


    Looking west. Black Mountain is that distant hill on the right side. My route took me off a direct path from it so it hadn't gotten any closer in the last 15 miles of riding


    After dropping down into Poway I crossed over to Beeler Canyon and followed that out, before climbing up to Costco. Best flowers of the day lined the road next to Costco. I had planned to stop in there for a hotdog and drink but was running a bit behind. Then I got a call saying the sweep team I was with was ready to roll out in 5 minutes or so. This was at 1pm, 90min ahead of schedule. Apparently all the slow riders did the new half Arch version this year and everyone riding the full route was fast and/or had their Sh!t together. I was still about 90 mins away by bike. Oops. They'll manage without me. Would try to meet up with them at the next aid station.


    I rode some trails through Poway and hopped on the road for a while. I'd pick up the trail again where it crosses under I-15 and heads into Penasquitos Canyon. Bridge out and apparently people don't like the sign?


    The bridge had been here... Its a novelty having running streams here. For much of the year this one has minimal flow. There were fish in a pool just above. Not sure what kind, looked a bit like trout which would be interesting...


    The bridge that was wired in place was just slightly dislodged. The missing bridge is up on high ground in behind. Not sure how they're gonna get it back in place, its a wide heavy one. The floods through here get crazy after a big rain, water looked to be about 8ft high based on how high debris was lodged in trees.


    I pedaled my way through Penasquitos Canyon and climbed up the Powerline road after letting the sweep team know I was headed their way. They replied that all the riders were through, aid station was packing up, and they were rolling out. I picked up the pace to try and catch them, but everyone was gone when I got to the aid station location. So I blazed through to try and catch them.

    But never did. WTF? I know they're not that fast, and would have to follow behind any riders still on course. Unless they are taking no prisoners this year and shooting stragglers.

    Finally caught up to a few riders on the climb up Lopez Canyon to Green Flash. That final climb is not super long but is pretty steep and painful when you have a lot of miles on your legs. I was at mile 60 as I got to Green Flash. Turns out the sweepers and final riders were riding a short loop near the aid station when I rolled through, so I actually passed them as I skipped the loop. So I had been chasing people who were actually behind me.

    A few beers at Green Flash hit the spot, and my knee which had been throbbing on that final climb had stopped hurting. Visited with friends for a couple hours but still had to ride home so figured I should get going.

    Sunset from the trail, about to drop back down Lopez


    The rest of the route is one I often take when I ride home from work. Had a close run in with a coyote on this climb


    Did my best not to fall in here. Made it!


    Rode the circuit from Rose Canyon around to San Clemente Canyon, and then up and over the mesa and down into Tecolote Canyon. Its cool being able to ride so much dirt right in town.


    A few miles return on the OB bike path to the beach, and then a quick pedal back to my place put me at just over 85 miles on the day. Grabbed a beer and straight into the shower! Perfect day out on the bike.

    No alarm clock for me today.... Surprisingly feel pretty good though.

  13. 406

    406 Member

    San Diego
    Current Bike:
    Maybe people bailed early, but from watching strava didn't see many that did. I was one of the last few to start around 7:30 and got to green flash at 2. Didn't bs much at aid stations as most of the riders I know were ahead of me. Was happy that I didn't hike a bike anything and was able to ski the next day. My ride was 42 miles and 5500 ft of up. I didn't take as many photos as Evdog, but did have a shower beer that night.

    Looking at old emails, looks like my first Archipelago ride was in 2010 and have been involved for every year since. Hard to beat the early route and dirtbag vibe, but this year was a good one. La Casta trails are in the best shape I ever recall seeing and the views and flowers were epic Saturday morning.

    I think the first Archipelago, not announced to the public was 2009? So this was 10 years?
  14. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    San diego
    Evan S
    First Archipelago was 2008. Count on MTB Bill to have a writeup - http://www.mountainbikebill.com/blog/?p=54. 2009 it was sort of announced - http://www.mountainbikebill.com/blog/?p=376

    I think after that was when SDMBA got involved in helping organize and then a year or two later started charging to attend as a fundraiser.

    I think I missed the 3rd or 4th year, then missed 2 years ago when I did AZT. But I have ridden the route as part of the ride, as a pre-ride, or as a sweep, every year except one.
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  15. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Looks like such a good one!

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