RR: Old Ridge Route

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Mikie, Feb 18, 2018.



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  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    So @voodoo has had this hair brain idea he wanted to ride the Old Ridge Route as an out and back. I had ridden it once from top to bottom decades ago on my aluminum framed GT road bike. All I remembered was the teeth jarring descent. He wanted to ride up from Castaic to Sandberg then turn around and ride back to Castaic. So he threw it out their with all kinds of bike options. Of them, I chose to swap out my wheel set with one of his composite 29'er wheels on my Hightower. Both Wheel sets were Sram Eagle and it took no time to swap rear 12 speed cogs and toss on the bike. One very minor adjust on rear brake caliper and we hit the road from his garage..
    old.ridge.route.w.voodootom.PNG
    So I would not call this a mountain bike ride at all. More like a road/dirt road/ really bad dirt road adventure. So actually the miles were really not bad. Because the elevation gain was stretched out over so many miles there was no real horrid climbs, it was more just hours in the saddle with some extended climb times.

    Leaving Tom's right around a 8:45, I quickly discovered I was going to have to utilize my best weight loss plan and hit up the McDonald's restroom. Seems like everything I eat turns to :poop::cautious:...

    Baby's got on a "different" pair of shoes...
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    So as you can see from the STRAVA profile you start off with a nice long climb and climb, and climb and climb and climb. We were in no hurry and we let all the roadies pass us as we chugged along. Surprisingly they were all very nice, asking how we were doing. o_O Not what I'm used to but it was great! One guy asked us as he passed where we were headed to. I responded, "We are going out to Quail lake and back." Pause.... (probably processing) he reply's, "Oh! Okay..." and then rolled on.

    Once past Templin highway all the road bikes ceased, all the cars probably going to paintball ceased and it got very quiet. The weather was to die for. No breeze, great climbing temperature especially for February! We stopped very little, usually just a moment to take in a sight. The views were vast.

    The back side of Castaic Lake.
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    The road condition was everything from pristine poured concrete with an outstanding broom finish to barely discernible dirt road rutted and covered in rubber matts (go figure). The climbs never too steep and there were plenty of level and drop elevations to break it up from constant climbing.

    Eroded Concrete Power line Tower caissons. Weather and erosion got the best of this one.
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    Voodoo Tom looking on. We are heading to the mountain in the background.
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    On the way out, we dropped down that. It was a climb for on the way back.
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    Along the way there are these monuments. They "used" to have these very cool huge bronze embossed placards. Jack-wads have stolen all of them. Someone replaced them with these cheesy screen-printed signs about 2/3's the original size which have completely faded already...
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    We found this big ole pipe sitting on top of this monument, so I decided to blaze some... but I didn't inhale... cough! cough!
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    What is left of a foundation for a old rest stop/hotel along the way.
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    Like I always say. Mountain Bikers take more pics of their bikes then they do their girlfriends and wives. We are no exception!
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    Our only technical for the entire day. This made us feel a little more like mountain biking!
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    The Voodoo...
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    So we continued on to familiar territory. When we hit up Golden Eagle for a ride any day, we will usually drop a couple of miles on Old Ridge Route Road to a fire road climb to get extra miles in. We passed that fire road as we climbed up to the place we typically park our cars at the trailhead.

    When we got to Sandberg (GE Trailhead) we saw two cars. One had a trunk mount bike rack the other had no bike rack. We looped through the parking lot and decide there was no reason to stop so we headed out as fast as we arrived. Unbeknownst to us... we were being observed by beer drinking spectators @JimN and company. had we known this, we were certainly stopped and drank their beer for them. But! We did not know.

    The return was obviously much faster than the ride out. Far more descent involved. We continued to cruise but gravity often took over. The wind was picking up just a little but it was all good. Passed some roadies have flat issues but after asking several times if they needed anything they said they were good.

    We bombed down the last long descent back to Tom's casa where we quickly swapped wheels and proceeded to our favorite Cantina for quesadillas and brew!

    As usual, great ride and brohama!
    The ride is much more doable then many may think and if you are looking for an adventure that is not quite road and not quite mountain bike, this is a good choice!
     
  2. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Awesome job. I did this a few years ago with Berni and Hans. I would actually like to attempt it again and add Golden Eagle but it might be this long week of riding talking.
     
  3. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Great report! This kind of ride interests me. I like to go adventuring!
     
  4. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Good job, peeps!
     
  5. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2018 Specialized Epic Carbon C
    I've read about that road and seen even a few TV shows (Huell Howser!)
    Is the road open to cars? I know it has storm and USFS issues.
     
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Awesome... As usual. :thumbsup:

    Every time this comes up on the forum, I read the history and add it to my list... :thumbsup: I just need to drive up and do it someday...
     
  7. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    ...and Golden Eagle, of course.... :whistling:
     
  8. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Sounds like too much. :whistling:
     
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Curiously, the gates were open. At least that day they were. They are almost always closed so there are no guarantees.
     
  10. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Let me apologize for not posting up an invite much earlier in the week as I know the are at least a few guys would've liked to do this ride. It was one of my typical last minute ideas because of how windy it had been late in the week. If fighting the wind or other elements this ride would suck but as it turned out the weather was awesome and so was the ride.

    So as usual about 7:00pm on Friday I had no idea where I was riding on Saturday. I threw out the idea as a long shot and quickly @Mikie was on board. This was great cause while I would have done it by myself it just wouldn't have been much fun. This isn't our normal smack talking MTB ride. This is a ride with your buddies chit chat type of ride. We seriously solved pretty much all the worlds problems on the ride between Castaic and Sandberg.

    Then I got to thinking about how this probably wasn't the best ride on a fluffy 27.5 plus tired Hightower so I threw more than a couple options at Mikie. First one was "you can ride my hardtail & I'll ride the Ripley" and the last one was "if you ride Hightower with the plus tires then so will I and we can suffer together." I think he wisely chose option B which was something like "wanna try the light 29" wheels off my hardtail and I'll ride the Ripley?" Yep this is one of those rides where there is no perfect bike

    I thought the ride was great. Starts off with an 8 or 9 mile blacktop climb from my place up to templin highway. I've done this part a small handfull of times but always hammered it cause I was by myself and thought I had something to prove. This ride was "LSD cruze mode" and it was an easy climb as were all of them really. Too many cars for my liking in the first few miles probably because of the paintball place part way up. The passing roadie guys were surprisingly friendly which is good cause deep down I wanted to drop the hammer and show em who's boss haha. Since I've never ridden a drop bar bike I kept asking Mikie " are those things really that much faster?" Once up on the old abandoned part of the ridge route where there's gates to keep the cars out (although they weren't closed) I was in my element. I love rides where there's no people other than the ones you're riding with. Several opportunities to stop and take in the sites but shamefully all the historical markers were faded and unreadable. Mostly climbing to the turn around point but nothing is too steep or lasts too long with several mile or so long coasting sections. Kept thinking to myself that this road is still driveable with the right vehicle but then realized it was probably pretty tough on the old model T. Hit the turn around and saw two cars and elected to just keep forging on. Had I have known a cool dude like @JimN was chilling in his car I gladly would've stopped and drank all his free beer.

    The return is way faster with a lot of tucked down flying and several mile or two long climbs that remind you your legs aren't warm. Stupid me I loaned Mikie the fast wheel & tire combo. He was pulling slowly away from me on the drops dammit:mad:. Have to admit the thought of road rash 20 miles from home didn't sound to good though. He probably forgot he was on skinny XC treads.

    Hard to go wrong with beer & grub from Casa Lupitas after a ride. Next time I'll give more notice.
     
  11. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    I know a guy dumb enough to try this with you.

    There's about 2 hours of pedaling on the way there that you just get to stare at Leibre Mtn and GE and all its beauty.

    OK now you guys are just stirring the pot so bring it.
     
  12. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    But....but...you didnt ride down to the junction with the 138. o_O Isnt that a requirement?

    I really have to do this ride. I think the Sutra would be the ultimate weapon.:thumbsup:
     
    Faust29, OTHRider, Voodoo Tom and 5 others like this.
  13. MTBHotRod

    MTBHotRod Member

    Location:
    Santa Clarita
    Name:
    Rodney Thompson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    Awesome ride. Going to have to do that one soon.
     
    Faust29, Mikie, Cyclotourist and 3 others like this.
  14. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    Any sign of the Wizard?
     
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Nope! And I was watching for him as well... :gag:
     
  16. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    LOL, he was quite the character, wasn't he?! The other day when we were up there, we jokingly wondered if we would encounter him. Because, you never know...
     
  17. Maddog

    Maddog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Lancaster
    Name:
    Greg Madison
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer 275
    Probably to cold for him up there now! Bet he's snowbirding in Mexico!
     
  18. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Maybe they repoed that fancy truck and trailer of his...o_O
     
    Faust29, Cyclotourist and Mikie like this.
  19. AKAlan

    AKAlan Member

    Location:
    Van Nuys
    Name:
    AKA:Alan
    I've been looking at doing this for while now, thanks for the report. It looks like there's a dirt road near the beginning that runs in between the two sides of the freeway, is that rideable? It seems like that would avoid the most heavily traveled part.
     
    Faust29 and Voodoo Tom like this.
  20. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Yes there is a dirt road that runs up between there. I've ridden it many times and it's mostly rideable but has some sandy spots and a few crazy steep sections that zap your energy. It has a tunnel that goes under the freeway and will let you out about 1/2 way up the climb to templin hwy or you can continue that dirt road up to the paintball field and get on the ridge route there. For a long day like this we opted to the more gradual ridge route road climb. I think we just caught it on a busy day cause I've done that a few times also and never seen it anywhere near that busy.
     
  21. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Okay, that does it. I'm gonna find a decent-weather weekend and put out an invite. Any who do not join and make me whimper for mercy are irrelevant. :rolleyes: I really want to do this...I saw the part next to I-5 as I was coming home from Sequoia NP and drooled.
     
    Andy, Mikie, Cyclotourist and 3 others like this.
  22. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Figure out what works for you & I'm in...it's a good ride.
     
    Mikie, Cyclotourist, UPSed and 2 others like this.
  23. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Mucho bueno/Tres bien/sehr gut - particularly because I have no idea where to start. o_O
     
  24. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Location:
    Castaic
    Name:
    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, black one, Ti one
    Oh that's easy we'll start from my driveway
     
    Mikie, Cyclotourist, UPSed and 3 others like this.
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