RR: Cannell Trail Round 2!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Mikie, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Oh MAN!
    Was this both fun and ripping! Despite the fire (and smoke) off to the west, we had a rocking fast paced time.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/683180125
    cannell.plunge.part.2.PNG

    The video:


    Apparently the GoPro software I use to edit the video became dysfunctional just as i was completing the video above. That would make sense if you take in to consideration the hooligans I was riding with at Cannell!

    This all came from a desire to do a 2nd run on the Cannell Trail just two weeks prior.
    So I posted a Trailheads and the crazies showed. Repeats were @Voodoo Tom , @Luis , @Jose m Zepeda and myself. New to today's adventure was @rossage and @MTBHotRod , and some boyz from the OC, @mtnbikej , @Faust29 , @DangerDirtyD , & @Cougar ! @burt was there and so was @Bluesrider. But Burt was riding Cedar Canton solo and Bluesrider was with us but came to the self realization that he was not fit enough for the pace we intended for the day. Huge kudos go to bluesrider for finally convincing us to hammer on without him stating he had maps and all he needed to cruise on down as sweep to the ride. :thumbsup:

    ...and ride we did.

    Meeting at MRA at 8:00am like two weeks ago, Voodoo, MTBHotRod and I pulled into the parking lot to the OC boyz pointing at their wrist like we were late or something...o_O
    An imtbtrails moderator is neither early or late, but arrives precisely on time...:rolleyes:

    Lots of bikes on the shuttle, in fact I think there was a couple of groups, requiring two vans. Well worth the money spent for an hour shuttle to Sherman pass and the Cannell Trailhead.

    I kinda panicked the day before as I heard there was a fire in the vicinity of our ride. I called MRA to check and they sid everything was fine. It made me think of the Aerosmith song F.I.N.E. cuz as we pulled up there was heavy smoke in the air. But not like it would be when we hit the Plunge!

    Yes... A bit smokey to the west of MRA. Only to encapsulate by the time we got back!
    DSCF0684.jpg
    Trouble! No doubt, just plain trouble...
    DSCF0685.jpg
    rossage loading his baby onto the shuttle.
    DSCF0688.jpg


    Needless to say, the smack talk was thick as you may well anticipate. The cycling was amazing, the company even more so. No FLATS, no mechanicals, a couple of minor bicycle ejections, one i got on vid for MTBHotRod in the video above.

    Cannell delivered again. We made short regroups and spent extra time at the cabin. This may sound corny but these are the best days of my life hanging out with some of the best guys on the planet.

    We chased each other on the trail, we chased some cows... o_Owell, I did anyways.:rolleyes:

    At the trailhead of 9200 feet. Who are those minions tagging with us on the right... AND where is Faust29!?!?!?
    DSCF0689.jpg

    When we got to the final big descent (The Plunge) Luis and I happen to be up front. We must have had that psychic network thingy going on, cuz he just bolted. I looked around and said, "Well, okay", and bolted after him. I had a sneaky suspicion he was thinking the same thing I was. prove that The Plunge is a full suspension trail. We were joking around with Berni here on imtbtrails and Berni through up a STRAVA leaders board showing him well in front of us time wise. I don't think I have ever taken the Full Plunge serious as a STRAVA segment... so Luis and I put in some effort having a blast!

    Ohhhhh MY! A real weapon of choice. Bike porn at it's best! Ha hah!
    DSCF0691.jpg

    The Cabin is the ultimate stop point. I only got these two pics...
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    Faust29 asking if we could switch bikes.... I said no. :rolleyes: (nah, just kidding...)
    DSCF0693.jpg


    At the bottom we regrouped, and cruised over to MRA and checked in. Cleaned up and headed over to the ONLY place in town Kern River Brewing Company for some cold ones and grub.

    Got done with that and headed back up to MRA to meet up with Bluesrider and Burt to make sure they got down off the mountain in the heavy smoke we were now in. Just minutes after our arrival, up rides Bluesrider... Awesome!

    Luis and Jose headed up the road to find Burt and found him riding down the road after just a couple of turns.... perfect.
    All safe and sound... and another EPIC for the books!

    The boys of summer! Less rossage, bluesrider, and burt.
    Tom, Dion, Steve, Craig, Luis, Jose (the blur), Jason, and Rodney! Thanks guys for the best!

    DSCF0705.jpg
     
  2. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    Long day, too tired, much awesome. This is a can't miss ride (although probably not an every month ride due to the distance).

    We missed @herzalot - he would have loved this ride.
     
  3. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9
    I ate a lot of dust today, and it was Sooo tasty!
     
  4. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9
    I'm surprised MRA dropped us off at the top of a mountain when the adjacent range is on fire. image.jpg We maintained a controlled burn at the Durrwood Meadows A-Frame and remained safe.
    image.jpg
    Cannell Meadow Cabin
    image.jpg

    image.jpgThe Sausage Hardtail is faster than you. Eat dust Beeeaahtches!
     
  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I will do this. Really, I will...

    Can't wait to read about all of the Tomfoolery and Shenanigans!
     
  6. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    I'm too tired to write an extensive report, so in the mean time enjoy some screen caps of @Mikie and I hitting the plunge. Turbo mode engaged

    Frame-20-08-2016-09-20-17.jpg Frame-20-08-2016-09-22-46.jpg Frame-20-08-2016-09-28-24.jpg
     
  7. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Chasing the Ghost of Berni


    Red sun rising,

    over the water

    smoke pouring in from the flames

    firefighters staged,

    sons and daughters

    here we go

    more of the same


    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    on the dusty trails of Cannell

    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    through the smoke and flames

    of Hell


    We hit the trail at Sherman Pass

    no warm up here

    just hauling ass

    chains, spokes

    and freewheels clicking

    Hoots, hollers

    and corners sticking


    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    on the trail to Big meadow

    no plus tires, no space truck forks

    we had suspension

    we're not dorks!


    The cabin is a welcome sight

    to trail riders

    day or night

    nice place to sit and contemplate

    gotta get safe before its too late


    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    where is our fat-tired friend?

    He may be out in Big Bear,

    Sidewalls on the mend


    the trail gets rougher from here on out

    looser than a two dollar whore

    down from the air, into the smoke

    one fire, two fires, maybe more....


    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    His PR times did fall

    the boys were hot

    the hole was shot

    and Strava made the call


    the ride would end in the smoke filled valley

    all safe, though blood was shed

    KRBC was there and waiting

    to make sure the boys were fed


    Chasing the ghost of Berni

    His PR times did fall

    the boys were hot

    the hole was shot

    and Strava made the call
     
  8. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Like button x 1000. F-ing brilliant!!!! :inlove: :thumbsup: :) :cool:

    Can someone please turn this into a song? We gotta have some talented musicians posting on here, right?
     
  9. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    0230. That's where this ride report begins. I had to wake up that early so that I could meet @Faust29 and @mtnbikej at 0330 at J's place to be at the shuttle place by 0730. Steve and I pulled into J's at the same exact time 15 min ahead of schedule and we loaded up and were on the road by 0330 (I <3 people who are timely).

    IMG_1773.JPG
    Bikes at Oh Dark Thirty, literally.

    When we were planning, Google had said the drive could take anywhere from 3hr 20min-4hr... but when we turned on Wayz that morning, it was calculating at 3hrs flat. Well, that will give us enough time for breakfast at least! The drive was uneventful... except for the part where I was driving the windy mountain roads slightly aggressively (cutting across the yellow line), when I decided to let the car behind pass me.... and that car turned out to be a CHP. Whoops. Thanks Mr./Ms. CHP for ignoring that.

    When we were approaching Kernville, we saw some heavy ... clouds? We weren't sure if that was smoke, fog, or clouds, but it turned out to be smoke from the Creek Fire. A few turns from Kernville proper, we looked to our left and saw a visible fire line burning high up in the hills. Unbeknownst to us, this would be the theme of the day.

    We get to town at 0630, and go find someplace to pee... as the local cafe didn't open until 0700. As we were waiting at the cafe for it to open, we saw this sleepy town come to life the closer it got to 7. From the old guys who park in the same spot every single day, and sit at the same table in the cafe every single day, to fire truck after fire truck pouring through the town on their way to the Creek Fire. I saw trucks from all over, with a truck from Chula Vista being on of the farthest away that I saw.

    We wrapped up our breakfast and headed to the shuttle location, we picked up @rossage on the way, and made it with time to spare. @Bluesrider was there before us, as was @DangerDirtyD.

    IMG_1774.JPG
    The 2nd shuttle... but this picture was to illustrate the amount of smoke in the air.

    @Mikie @Luis and the rest arrived pretty much at 0800, and we gave them a bit of Sh!t for being late (when you called to reserve the shuttle, they told you to be there at 0730 :p), but thankfully it didn't affect anything (spoiler: those 30 minutes it might have been catastrophic).

    IMG_1775.JPG
    That's a lot of bikes on the shuttle.

    19 bikes on the shuttle, 2 groups with I think 1 individual. Up we went. We pretty quickly got above the smoke and the temps started dropping as we climbed up to 9,000' of elevation. There were 12 of us at the top, and someone took a group picture of us up there (post it in this thread!), and we slowly started off.

    @burt (the man, the legend, the beast of an individual), quickly broke off from the group. He was talking about doing another trail from the same shuttle, and we couldn't convince him to do the Plunge with us again. So we went one way, and he went another. I hope he is okay, as we headed back down to Orange County before he made it back to base camp.

    We were down to 11.

    We turned onto the trail, and it is time to have some fun. The first 2 miles were undulating sections of trail with some flat parts and low grade climbs in places. It was a quick test of how your cardiovascular system held up to the 9k elevation.

    IMG_1776.JPG
    This was at our peak of 9,396 feet.

    Somewhere before the first proper downhill section, we had our first regroup. We ended up waiting for Ross, D, and Blue... Ross and D broke off somewhere to Cheech and Chong, but caught up after a bit. Bluesrider came rolling in after about 5 minutes. Mad respect for him though, as he knew he was in over his head as far as the pace of the group and told us to drop him. We all felt sort of bad, as none of us like dropping people, but he was insistent that he thought he might have signed up for a ride over his ability and that he was fully prepared to do this ride solo (and had proper maps/supplies).

    Now there were 10.

    IMG_1777.JPG
    I think this is where we first did our regroup, but it might have just been a random sign I snapped a pic of. Who knows! Lots of pictures!

    IMG_1778.JPG
    I'm not sure if I took a picture of J taking a picture of Mikie... or if I'm taking a picture of J taking a selfie with me photo bombing his selfie.

    Then we got our first taste of some pure downhill bliss. There are three distinct sections of the Plunge; DH 1, DH 2 (to the Meadow), and the Plunge. I found DH 1 to be the best, closely followed by DH 2. Okay, so DH 1 is a flowy (but sandy), bomb through the trees, with a significant amount of rocks and technical sections. Riding in a conga line of 10 meant that you were eating dust unless you could stick RIGHT to the person in front of you, but you were still likely to eat the dust of the guys 2-3 in front of him. It was very dry and dusty. A few guys jumped out in front, and I was sort of in the middle of the pack with Rod in front of me when he did a very slow controlled stumble of a crash in one of the tech sections. It looked like his wheel got caught and didn't roll and the only way he could recover was gently dismounting. After a few chuckles, I set off and we had fallen behind so I had the only dust free section of the day ... but it was bliss. I bombed the ever loving Sh!t out this section and was having a blast. Turn, straight, turn, tech, pick line, bomb rocks, straight, turn, rocks, turn, rocks, turn, rocks. All while you are in the Sequoia National Forest with massive trees around you (although not the largest Sequoias you can find elsewhere more north).

    Then it was over, and there was much stoke to be had at the regroup.

    IMG_1781.JPG
    @Jose m Zepeda was always at the head of the pack all day, pushing us ever forward.

    IMG_1783.JPG
    Big trees, not the biggest there are, but still significantly bigger than in South OC.

    IMG_1784.JPG
    One of our few regroups.

    From here, there was a big fire road climb, and @Luis was a kind soul and hung back with me pulling up the rear. I am constantly getting better at climbing, and looking at Strava I did the climb in the top 23% which is pretty good (usually I'm in the bottom half). So we didn't make the guys wait too long at the top. Then it was time for DH 2 down into Big Meadow.

    DH 2 was less memorable for me compared to DH 1 for some reason, but it was still fun. I think there was a bit more chunk on DH 2 that caused you to pick your lines a bit more, or quickly hop off the bike rarely to navigate 3 foot rocks standing on their edge with nothing but a pointy ridge as their top. Although as soon as I type this out, I remember that Rod had the best crash of the day here. Rod forgot his gloves at the truck, which was the precursor to this exact crash. Mikie was behind me, and I was behind Rod, and we come up to an extremely soft left hand turn when I suddenly see an explosion of black-brown dirt. Rod washed out and took a dirt bath. He stands up, completely covered in black baby talcum powder, head to toe, laughing. We hope that Mikie got that on his GoPro :)

    Mikie chased me down the remainder, but I pulled off at one section as I felt my chain had come off and I didn't want to pedal it back on for fear of snapping another spoke - but as soon as I looked down it was back on. (It was really hard to take your eyes off the trail).

    Then we got to the big meadow, there are going to be a bunch of pictures here, but the main gist of it was this is the main regroup and refuel place for the ride. We hit the Big Meadow just a bit after 2hr of elapsed time.

    IMG_1785.JPG
    Almost to Big Meadow.

    IMG_1787.JPG
    Trying to get big tree shots.. hard to show how big they are in some of the picture.

    IMG_1788.JPG
    A Hike A Bike section before Big Meadow.

    IMG_1790.JPG
    I snapped this without really caring about pesky things called composition..

    IMG_1791.JPG
    Best picture of @Mikie - ever. (Sorry bud :p)

    IMG_1792.JPG
    MTB porn right here.

    IMG_1793.JPG
    Pano.

    IMG_1795.JPG
    This is my artsy shot.

    IMG_1796.JPG
    Life behind bars.

    Mikie was teasing me me a bit as I was acting like I was chomping at the bit to get back on the bike. I guess I sort of was. I'm not the biggest extrovert in the bunch by any stretch. But we ended up rolling shortly thereafter (except for Ross and D hanging back briefly for some extra curricular activities).

    The funniest part of the ride was as we were traversing the Meadow. Jose, J, and I were out front and we are on this single track when we come across a herd of cattle milling about on the trail in front of us (we had been starting to dodge serious/fresh cowpies for the last quarter mile). We were all surprised to see one another, and the cows quickly got up and started hauling ass in the direction we wanted to go. So we chase the cattle for a bit, but they don't stick to things like trails. Jose was a little enamoured by them as he led J and I down a 'trail' through some bushes towards the cows that wasn't the right trail. So we back tracked briefly and let some others take point... and then this crazy individual goes off the path and starts riding his bike towards the cows. I'm not sure what he was doing, playing Mountain Bike Cowboy or something? Everyone stops and gets a good laugh, and when the roundup was complete, we head back on.

    Unbeknownst to me, the plunge was going to be a Stravafest of bombing epic proportions. The guys that went here 2 weeks ago were determined to GO FAST. So I'm just riding along and notice that my elevation profile on my Garmin looks like I'm probably starting the plunge (the mileage was right), but there wasn't anyone around to tell me :p The lead pack were getting their race on :)

    So here's where the narrative turns a bit. When I came to the start of the plunge, the environment changed. You can see in the pictures above that everything was as you'd expect in the clear mountain air of 7k-9k elevation. When I started the plunge, I was greeted with an oppressive cloud of wildfire smoke, with the distinct smell of wildfire burning. The clouds were so thick, that it was starting to turn the sunlight orange (you know the orange I'm talking about.. the one where you KNOW the sunlight is passing through some nasty fire particulate in the air). What this meant is that I missed out on the amazing vista that everyone says is the start of the plunge... because all I could see and smell was the affects of the fire.

    As I'm hurtling down the plunge, I'm thinking to myself that we really shouldn't be under this much smoke from the Creek fire... else that fire got REALLY out of hand and jumped some roads (and oh Sh!t, are our cars on fire? ugh). Unfortunately, through a combination of mental distraction, fatigue, and being silly, I ended up crashing three times on the plunge. None were serious, just small mishaps here and there that hurt my pride more than anything. The 2nd one ended up skinning my knee as my pads took the initial damage and then as I slid I got a bit of road rash. NBD, but it did provide J with no amount of amusement as I was one of the few guys in full arm/knee pads and I was the only one that had any damage :p

    Near the bottom, there were a few forks in the road that I wasn't sure which was the right to take or not, so I took some time looking at my Garmin and trying to make up my mind and this allowed Steve to catch up to me (we were the last two down the plunge). But we made it out without further issue, and rejoined the crew who looked totally stoked with their ride down.

    Back to the cars we went:
    IMG_1797.JPG
    I was attempting to get a hastily shot group picture, but what this really does is illustrate how much smoke was in the air. You can see that orange I was talking about. This was actually a little clearer than it was higher up.

    IMG_1798.JPG
    The OC bikes loaded back up, dirty as all get out - again, you can see the orange.

    Come to find out, as we were talking with the nice shuttle lady at the end of the ride, that there was another fire that started during the day while we were out there on the Cannell side of the mountain range. Not only that, but sometime after our shuttle left to take us up to the drop off point, the USFS closed the road we took up due to the fires. So it was almost a really bad day for us had we driven all that way and then if road for the was closed on us.

    Ross took off, and the remaining 9 of us went to grab a bite to eat before heading back to OC. Hopefully @Bluesrider and @burt made it back okay. I know that Jose and Luis were going to go back to the shuttle area to wait for Burt and/or suit up and go looking for him (as they carpooled). I suspect everything turned out okay there, as he's a bad ass rider.

    It took us just under 4 hours to drive back to J's house, and then I had another 30min to get to my place. I walked in the door at 1930, for a total round trip time of 17 hours. Worth every minute.

    I had a really good time (except for the 5 minutes of coughing up a lung before lunch from the smoke inhalation), and am really glad I went. Thanks to Steve and Jason for the company on the long drive. It was great to ride with some of LA crew that I haven't ridden with much, and to meet some new faces.

    I will likely do this again, but due to the drive alone it won't be a frequent thing at all. Once a year? Maybe twice if stars align? Not sure. But thanks again for setting this up, it was a great day.
     
    BIKEMONSTER, konakc, scan and 22 others like this.
  10. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Great report. Cool pics showing exactly what it was like out there. No matter how you slice it, Cannell is always epic.
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Fantastic RR @Cougar and the pictures do tell the story. It appears to be a tale of two rides - the ride in the beautiful giant trees, and the "Oh Sh!t" ride being chased by fire. Nice job telling the story, and including some foreshadowing!

    I would be more than happy to do this one in late September or October.

    And - I do hope Burt got out of there OK.
     
  12. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 Times SC, Oh My.
    A first timer's take... :thumbsup:

    Seeing as how Mountain and River Adventure is exactly 220 miles from home in the OC bubble, I was up at 2:00 on the nose. I normally have no issues waking up early, but I'm a little OCD and set two alarms for this one. They both went off flawlessly, and my wife said, "What the hell...?" Sorry, Honey... :whistling:

    I had everything packed the night before, so the only thing left to do was down as much espresso as possible. I think 4 straight shots is a respectable start to the day... :thumbsup: Throw the bike on the rack, and head out. The only forgotten item? The GoPro which spent the day safely on my desk at home... That's too bad, because I would have liked some footage of the varied terrain of the trail. As it was, I really didn't make any extra stops while we were riding to take pictures. This wasn't a "stop and browse" ride. :thumbsup: This was more of a "get your ass out of the portapotty or miss the group photo" kind of ride. :whistling:

    I rolled into Jason's at 3:15, and Cougar's Shuttle Truck was right behind me entering the neighborhood. We loaded up pretty quickly and headed out... SoCal traffic is awesome at this time of day, and we made it to Kernville long before the diner opened at 7:00. The twisty road in was also a great place to race a CHP Crown Vic. We held our own, but he eventually pulled ahead... :whistling: After our CHP sponsored drag race, we noticed that it was really foggy on the mountains. We were really hopefully that it was fog, until Cougar spotted the line of flames on the ridge. Ruh Roh, Shaggy...

    Kernville is a pretty exciting place at 6:30 in the morning. We took in as many of the local sites as we could until the diner opened at 7:00... at which point Cougar promptly chose the wrong parking spot, and was summarily corrected by a local. Apparently, he has occupied that spot every day since Nixon was in office. After some tense negotiations, the local opted for the spot adjacent to ours, and waited somewhat impatiently, for Jason to close the truck door, so he could back in. All of this took place in an almost empty parking lot... o_O

    After breakfast, we pulled out and spotted a large van with a "Free Candy" sign. No introductions necessary on this one... We finally met the one and only Rossage. Of course, we were in the wrong meeting spot, and headed back out to find the campground, which was a few miles north of town. :thumbsup:

    Um... That's not fog
    IMG_1441.jpg


    Short bus helmet rider...
    IMG_1443.jpg

    The ride to the top was really comfortable, and we even had AC. We just had to keep moving with the windows down, and it worked perfectly...

    Lousy views from up top...
    IMG_1446.jpg

    Now, I knew that today was a fast paced, keep up or get dropped kind of ride. But, I really expected to hang long enough to make it into the group photo. I got dropped in the parking lot! :p

    Looking back at my photos of the day, there is a large gap. I took a couple pictures at the drop-off site, and then not again until the end of the fireroad climb at mile 11ish. Why? Because there was too much chunky stuff to stop and smell the roses. :thumbsup: Descriptions really don't do it justice, because there really is every kind of terrain on this one. We had smooth and flowy, loose and chunky, water crossings with actual water, and it changed with little notice. A few miles in, I was chased down by another black Highball, whose owner gave me the best advice of the day. "Never give 100% on the climbs, and bomb the descents." This trail, probably more than anything I've ridden, required concentration from the first mile to the last. I think @Mikie has my confession on camera, so I'll admit it here... This ride would have been much easier on the full suspension. Maybe not any faster, but certainly a lot more comfortable through the chunky stuff. I heard a little voice in the back of my head a few times going, "Tsk, tsk, tsk...". It sounded a lot like @herzalot, but I can't be sure. :whistling:

    A little emergency repair on Mikie's glasses at the top of the fireroad climb...
    IMG_1450.jpg

    Ready to roll to the meadow cabin...
    IMG_1451.jpg

    We had a couple regroups throughout the day, but our only real break was at the cabin.

    IMG_1453.jpg


    IMG_1454.jpg

    They'll let anyone up here...
    IMG_1478.jpg

    This may have been the keeper, except there's always that one guy...
    IMG_1476.jpg

    A little jaunt across the meadow, a stampede, some cow chasing, a little more chunk, and we're at the plunge... I have zero pictures of the plunge. It was too smoky to see much of anything, so I just focused on the trail. Mile after mile of twisty downhill... Reminiscent of San Juan in parts. I stopped a couple of times on the way down to cough up some lung parts, and I walked the approach to 1 switchback, but otherwise, it was just an awesome flowy downhill with some exposure, and one short climbing section. I will not be riding the Highball again until I change the brake pads. :whistling: I really need to do this ride a second time to check out the scenery without the smoke... And I will bring the full suspension bike. :whistling:

    The highlight of my tenure at IMTB is, however briefly, being ahead of Mikie on a downhill. I knew it wouldn't last, so I took a screenshot for posterity. Thankfully, he couldn't upload his Strava until he got home! I can only assume that Mikie was dogging it on his previous attempts... His new time is in the neighborhood of a 1/4 hour faster... He and Luis absolutely killed it. :thumbsup:

    IMG_1489.jpg

    When we got back to Mountain and River Adventure, the lady informed us that we were lucky to make it up in the morning, because they closed the road just after we were dropped off, due to a second fire in the more immediate vicinity. Hence all the smoke on the actual plunge portion of the ride... :thumbsdown:



    The Brewery...
    IMG_1488.jpg

    Three well ridden steeds... Ready for more.
    IMG_1487.jpg


    We saw a lot of this on the way out... :thumbsdown:
    IMG_1490.jpg


    Amazing ride... I've ridden with a few of these guys several times now, and met some new ones today. Always a pleasure... Thanks, @Mikie !
     
  13. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 Times SC, Oh My.
    Of all you've shared, my new favorite...
     
  14. Makoto

    Makoto Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Mike
    Nicely done boys! Sorry to have missed round 2.

    Not to hijack this thread, but I'd be down for a September/October trip too.
     
    Tom the Bomb, PATKOUG, Mikie and 2 others like this.
  15. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Burt & Blue's R ? Don't make us wait?
     
  16. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    Quick update:
    Todd and Burt made it back with no issues.

    After saying our goodbyes to the OC crew, Tom, Mikie and Rodney gave Jose and I a ride back to where my truck was waiting for Burt.
    Back at the shuttle meet up area we noticed @Bluesrider (Todd) truck was still there. As we were siting in Tom's truck, Todd rolled in. He looked like a ninja from the black mask he was wearing to protect himself from the smoke.
    So then it was just Burt still out there. Mikie quickly explained to me where the trail would let out and Jose and I decided to drive up the road to wait for Burt.
    About two or three miles up the road, we spotted Burt coming down the road. He had enough of riding on the road and breathing in all the smoke, so he was happy to jump in the truck and grab a nice cold water and some gatorade from my cooler.
    We made a quick stop at the park so that Burt could freshen up, and a quick phone call to Mikie to make sure Burt was accounted for and was OK.
     
  17. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Good news. Thanks for the update.
     
  18. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Cannell Plunge from my perspective......

    Saw this ride post up the week before last.....you know the one....the last minute call for Cannell Plunge. Well, I didn't make that one...why??? Because it is 200 miles from my house...each way. So I was not going to make that drive on spur of the moment.

    So our gracious host decided he didn't have enough and wanted to go again. This time he gave a week's notice. Found a couple of other OC locals to carpool with so why not. As said above, with a 7:30 shuttle meet time and a 3.5-4:00 drive meant an early start to the day. @Cougar and @Faust29 showed up a few minutes before 3:30, got the gear loaded up and we rolled out at 3:29....thanks for being on early/on time. Craig was shuttle bitch.....er, our chauffeur for the day. No traffic that early and the drive actually went by really quick....why can't it always be like that.

    We rolled into Kernville just at sunrise, to a very smokey hillside. For those familiar with the area, we are talking the hills near Just Oustanding. We drove by the diner and it was still dark inside. WTF??? While we waited, the only activity was the morning fishermen and the firemen. Yes, Craig was arguing with "Billy Ray" about his parking spot(yes, that was his name. At least that is what Bob, the other old guy called him). Quick breakfast, and as we were heading out the waitress mentioned that the road was closed. Huh?? Fortunately the Forest Ranger sitting there at the counter let us know that it was all open. On a side note....we don't have cute blond rangers like that around here :sneaky:......sorry, got sidetracked.

    As Steve said, out front of MRA in town we saw the Shaggin' Waggin' with bike on the back....Black Highball....yup @rossage. It was 7:30 and there was no activity at MRA so we headed up the road to the campground and found where we needed to be. Checked in and started to get our gear together. @Bluesrider was there already. Where are the others??? Yeah, they rolled in at 8:00 for the 7:30 shuttle. o_O

    With the 19 riders for the shuttle we had 2 vans. Van 1 had us crammed in like sardines. Van 2 was towing up the bikes, and the 5 others who all had their own benches to spread out on. o_O After an hour up the road, we finally reached the top of shuttle. Last chance Outhouse, gear up and group photo before we headed off.

    What we are all here for.....
    IMG_1852.JPG


    Our esteemed leader for the day....
    IMG_1853.JPG

    Yeah @Cougar photobombed my selfie.....
    IMG_1855.JPG



    Now I had done this trail about 3 or 4 years ago. Some things I would remember really well....somethings I completely forgot about. I remembered that there were some sections of chunky goodness, but I also remembered quite a bit of smooth flowy trails. So I brought the usual weapon of choice for a ride like this....the SS.

    We dropped in off the road right into some easy chunk....one of those sections that I forgot about. No problem, little bit of chunk, lots of flow and a pretty quick pace. Eventually the chunk disappeared and the trails were pretty flowy. Hit the first climb of the day, the HR was spiked, the air was thin.....9000' and the trail was pretty soft and loose. Yup, I did some walking.

    Regroup Before the Chunk....
    IMG_1860.JPG
    IMG_1861.JPG
    IMG_1862.JPG


    After a quick regroup where we tied @Bluesrider rider to a tree and left him(apprently he wiggled himself loose and finished his ride a while later) we dropped into the first chunky section that I did remember. @Luis and @Mikie on my tail. Hmmm....the trail was way worse and torn up than last time. Felt like I did a good job keeping the pace up. Only had one quick instance where I though I was taste the dirt, however recovered and it was all good.

    We then rolled out on the the fireroad climb....again, I remembered the climb....just not how long it was. We got a bit spread out, but waited at the top where the ST started again. @Mikie rolled up like a kid who just broke his favorite toy......"did these fall apart or did I break them?" was the question when he handed me his sunglasses. Quick fix with some tape and he was good to go.

    We then rolled into the second Chunky section of the ride....a forgotten chunky section. This one was bit harder on the SS, but still a lot of fun....and no issues for me. Aparently @MTBHotRod had some issues in there. :whistling: Finally at the cabin in the meadow we took a longer break....we were making pretty good time to this point. Back on the trail through the meadow of cow pies we @Jose m Zepeda was out front of me and a deer bolted across the trail a few feet in front of us....I'm glad there were not others or they would have started picking us off down the line. A few minutes later we came around a corner to find a herd of cattle chillin' under the trees....yup, they stampeded when they saw us.

    Some fun techy little sections along the river and a techy climb that most of us walked, we reached the last regroup before heading into the Plunge. I think @Mikie and @Luis forgot to hit the "send" button on the memo that we were hitting the drop full stampede style. We came around the turn out of the trees where you normally would get to see how far down it was to the Lake Isabella, and what is the start of the Plunge. Wow....the clouds must have rolled in at some point. Nope......smoke, and lots of it. "hack, hack, hack". Oh, well...what are ya gonna do. Head down of course. I was able to keep @Jose m Zepeda in sight for the upper section until we reached the HAB with @rossage behind me. After the HAB, Jose was gone, and I think Ross stopped to check on @DangerDirtyD who was stopped. I'd spend the next 20 mins or so pretty much solo.....in no man's land between the front group and the group out back. Fast flowy singletrack up high with a couple of techy little sections turned into chunky rock sections and tricky switchbacks. Hmmmm.....once again, I didn't remember all this chunk on the Plunge. Going into one really tricky, rocky, loose switchback, my semi worn out Ikon lost it's grip and went into a little too hot. A bit of bucking bronco, but stopped before I hit the boulder and put a foot down. The only issue I had the whole way down. From time to time I would hear Ross and DDD above me, but didn't see them til we reached a gate towards the bottom. By now the temps had started to go up...the smoke was heavy and the landscape had that eerie orange tint. Just like that we reached the gate at the bottom....it was over. Waited there for the others to arrive. We all made it down....a short spin down the road back to the cars.

    A couple of small crashes, no mechanicals, NO FLATs :whistling: . Mikie promised a fast paced ride....we did a fast paced ride. Lunch at the Brewery....in the air conditioning. Then the drive home. Our 3 hr. drive in the morning, would be longer on the way home as we criss/crossed our So. Cal. Freeways.

    Nice to finally meet Rossage....good to ride with the rest of you again. Thanks to Craig for driving.

    Great ride today riding with the homies:
    IMG_1859.JPG
     
  19. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    And yes....as Luis pointed out a short ways into the ride....get a pic, J is wearing a pack...this is me wearing a hydration pack:img_1778-jpg.19891.jpg

    And I hated every minute of it. :gag:
     
  20. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    That is a classic.....Hall of Shame....er Fame pic:

    img_1791-jpg.19900.jpg
     
  21. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thanks everyone for the detailed RRs... reading them is great!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Cougar and 2 others like this.
  22. burt

    burt Member

    Name:
    burt
    Of course I made it out ok! Sorry for leaving you guys in the dark. Dirt was fantastic, steep, and loose. Saw some guys rappelling down the tea cups. The river trail is still has some HABs, but the views are good. I hit the road and the smoke just as you guys came out of the plunge. Could only see about a quarter mile in the smoke, it was pretty bad. Was so relieved to see @Luis coming to pick me up, Thanks!

    IMG_20160820_113904.jpg

    IMG_20160820_124911.jpg

    IMG_20160820_132530.jpg
     
  23. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 Times SC, Oh My.
    20% off from Mountain and River Adventures! When can we go again?
     
  24. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Acton
    Name:
    Doug Lake
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB-66
    Damn Burt, where the hell is that!?? How much more does that put on the ride?
     
    Tom the Bomb, pperrelle and Mikie like this.
  25. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    If you read the asterisk at the bottom; that 20% discount excludes Mountain Bike shuttles. :(
     
  26. burt

    burt Member

    Name:
    burt
    It's a completely different ride that goes north west from Sherman Pass. If anything, without the road segment, it's shorter than Cannel. GPX attached.

     

    Attached Files:

  27. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 Times SC, Oh My.
    I still want to go again... :thumbsup:
     
  28. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    I want to go period.
     
  29. SoCal_Rider

    SoCal_Rider Member

    Location:
    Temecula/Murrieta
    Name:
    Ryan
    Great ride reports all. You definitely captured the essence of that ride. One big adventure on all fronts.

    I can't imagine getting up that early, driving there, shuttling, pedaling, and driving home in one day. That's one long day.
     
  30. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2013 Trek Slash 9
    It beats working the same hours.
     
    Cougar, Mikie, mtnbikej and 1 other person like this.
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