Two Classic Santa Ana Loops in One...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Faust29, Nov 3, 2019.



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  1. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I would have just posted this in the main "I Rode my Bike" thread, but I'm going over Herzy's 3 pic limit... :thumbsup:

    I posted the Black Star to Motorway loop in the Trailhead forum, but that was only part of the ride I had planned. I left the house before sunrise, and played roadie most of the way to Black Star. I would have cut through O'Neill, but all of the gates are locked at that hour. :thumbsdown:

    12 miles and 1000 feet later, I arrived at Black Star with cold toes and fingers. It was low 40s and upper 30s the whole way, but it was a nice ride with little traffic.

    @BonsaiNut was pretty much ready to roll when I showed up, so we headed out. I did check the forum to see if @Runs with Scissors was going to join. No such luck... :thumbsdown:

    It was not a breakneck pace, but it seemed quick at times and Greg is not someone who needs to stop frequently. :thumbsup: That would have been a really boring loop by myself... I'm glad he joined in. :thumbsup: And we cleaned all of the climbs on Main Divide... :geek: And had a riot on the dusty blown out downs.

    The shedding of the layers at the lower switchbacks...
    IMG_0191.jpeg


    We made pretty good time to Beeks, and across Main Divide. There were quite a few other riders out today with whom we played leap frog a few times. The temps were awesome all the way across Main Divide- holding steady at 77 on the Wahoo.

    Checking out the truck...
    IMG_0197.jpeg

    IMG_0199.jpeg

    Motorway is always fun...
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    A quick stop at the Silverado Market for water and soda...
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    We parted ways at the tree farm, and I headed up Santiago Canyon towards Modjeska Grade. I used the granny gear on the way up... I even got smoked out by some jackass in an ancient Dodge who was rolling coal. :sick:

    I rolled onto STT with around 44 miles and 6000 feet... The climbing wasn't fast, but it was pretty steady. And I wasn't afraid to use the 50. I really needed it on F-U Hill when the GPS hit 92. :gag: :oops:

    Just before the end of the climbing before the downhill to the luge flag. The helicopters were circling pretty quickly.
    IMG_0210.jpeg

    I ran into an older couple at the flag and chatted for a bit... :thumbsup: Fun run down...
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    I did a little extra credit on the recently sanitized Live Oak just to make sure I hit 7000... This used to be 18 inches wide and full of rocks with some mini drops at the end.
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    Flags all the way up Twisted Tire...

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    Quick Stop to see the turtles...
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    Fun day on the bike... Glad @BonsaiNut made it out for the big loop. :thumbsup:
    Screen Shot 2019-11-03 at 3.12.18 PM.jpg
     
    bvader, Old&InTheWay, scan and 23 others like this.
  2. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Tallboy Upgrade
    Good times X2!!!
     
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Tracer and/or Who Knows?
    Great job and DEFINITELY worth its own ride report! :thumbsup: :cool:

    PS: Looks like we need to replace the Luge Flag. If only there were an appropriate day coming up to do so!
     
  4. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Looks like a great ride! I just didn't have time to get out today. Other priorities took....priority. :whistling:
     
  5. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    The only thing better than a Blackstar ride... is TWO Blackstar rides :) I was just up Blackstar to Sierra Peak on Thursday, so when @Faust29 had his weekend ride booted to Sunday morning (my normal ride day) I couldn't say no. Plus the end of Daylight Savings gave us an extra hour of sleep, so a 7AM start would feel even later than I am used to.

    Passed @Faust29 in my car on the way to the Tree Farm, but he rolled up shortly after I arrived. We checked to see if Mark would be joining us, and since he had other plans we took off for a nice warmup (for me) climb up Blackstar. I am always surprised to see the traffic on Blackstar on weekends, and this morning was no exception. Chatted most of the way up to Beek's, and decided to push through to the Doppler Ball before we took our first break. Air was mostly clear, with great views north (towards Sierra Peak) and west. You could see a little smoke from some of the fires, but it wasn't too heavy.

    motor1.jpg

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    We cleaned the climb up to Pleasant's Peak, and then continued across the ridge with Steve serving as tour guide for some of the interesting sites, secret trails, and car wrecks :) Main Divide was dusty and moderately loose, but in otherwise great condition. Passed one group of three trucks enjoying a BBQ with stunning views of the valleys to the east, and then three other trucks closer to the Motorway... but truck and moto traffic was actually lighter than I expected.

    motor3.jpg

    Steve showed me a cool section of the mountains off Main Divide with a stand of large coulter pines. No fires in this part of the mountains for 50+ years!

    motor4.jpg

    The steep downs and short punchy climbs gave me a good strength workout that I'm not used to. Before long we were at the top of the Motorway, and though the ride wasn't "easy", both Steve and I agreed that it was "easier" than we expected. We cleaned all the climbs and rolled along at a good clip, but it never felt like a death march.

    motor5.jpg

    Motorway could use some work. I'm not sure any work has been done on it (with the exception of shoring up the damage from three spring rock slides) in three years. Working a trail doesn't have to mean "sanitizing" it. Personal opinion :)

    We stopped at the store on the way out, and Steve bought me a soda while we kicked back and chatted with the locals. All in all a great, relaxing ride and the weather couldn't have been better!

    Now I just need to convince Steve to ride more Sundays :) My loop of Steve's double loop amounted to 26.1 miles and 4530 feet.
     
  6. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    The Black Star to Motorway loop is much better with company. Thanks for coming out... :thumbsup:

    Next on the list is Bell to Caspers. :thumbsup:
     
  7. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    I'm game. Let me know!
     
  8. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Solid ride boys.....based on my 8 mile ride around Whiting yesterday afternoon, I was in no shape for the short version of this ride.

    Next time.
     
  9. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    If it’s any consolation, I sounded like Kermit again halfway across Main Divide. :thumbsdown:
     
  10. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    :sick:
     
  11. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Fabulous effort and tour de montanas, guys. Nothing like a good day out; glad to read you guys are killing more dirt.

    Those pix are stoking me for when the mountain opens up with the full menu.
     
  12. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I’d be happy if they just opened Main Divide, so San Juan could come back into the rotation.

    But... With the destruction everywhere else, I can see why they don’t. I should have snapped some pictures. One of the meadows on the way to Motorway yesterday, literally, has hundreds of worn in 4x4 tracks. Some of the minor off menu trails are now fire road width.
     
  13. Stkx66

    Stkx66 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Southern California
    Name:
    Steve Boudreaux
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower 27+/ 29r
    @Faust29. I know what meadow you are talking about. I remember early this year and last how pretty that area was. Soon a single track pops up. Then the Maple Springs gate opens up. One dual sport track then another across the grass... It's disappointing to see dual sport riders tear up our backyard. ( and trucks too ) I see on FB a dual sport page how they talk about going down Motorway before realizing that they're not supposed to be on that trail. I look forward to the Maple Springs gate being closed ASAP. I will not miss the rolling coal 4 x's, jeepers and lowered Honda cars that frequent the area. That Maple Springs open gate is one of the reasons I skip it and go to Blackstar so often.
     
  14. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    You are absolutely correct... And I should have mentioned the motos in my comment. There are just as many Moto tracks there as 4x4s. For those unfamiliar with the area, the meadow is bowl shaped, which provides endless "fun" for the off road crowd.

    Another alternative to get to elevation if you haven't tried it is Harding. Of the three area climbs to get up to Main Divide, it's the hardest... 9 miles and 3000 feet. 18/3300 if you do it as an out and back. But it is closed to vehicle traffic... Rockier than the other two, and it usually grows over into a faux single track in spots. Water falls in the winter. There is a nature center at the bottom which usually has plenty of parking off of peak hours. The first mile is the most difficult and gains 525 feet. After that it gets slightly easier...
     
  15. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    We were talking about this on another thread, but I just checked - and Wildemar OHV (the off-roading area on Main Divide south of Ortega Hwy) is still closed. I would assume this puts more pressure on the meadows and open spaces north of Santiago Peak.

    People know about my love affair with Harding Truck Trail :) Can't get enough of it :) As @mike knows only too well, the effort threshold keeps the crowds away. If you are willing to hit the trailhead at dawn, you will often be the only car in the parking area, while the Blackstar trailhead parking lot might have a dozen cars. I've seen more wildlife on Harding Truck Trail than all other trails in CNF combined. It really isn't as hard as people say... just a nice continuous climb up to Four Corners with spectacular views most of the way. Once you get to mile 5, it's much easier (out of the 9 mile climb). It certainly isn't as hard as the traverse on Main Divide between Beek's and the Motorway! :eek:

    FWIW... here's my elevation profile for this ride (Tree Farm / Blackstar / Motorway). It gives you a better appreciation for the craziness that happens above Beek's (where most people who climb Blackstar turn around).

    beeks.jpg
     
  16. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I don't use this feature as often as I should, but the 3D elevation profile is helpful.

    Unknown.jpg
     
    herzalot, UPSed, mike and 4 others like this.
  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Tracer and/or Who Knows?
    This graphic show which loop is the daddy and which is just the little bitch!




    (Wow, with today's sensitivities, I feel I need to turn myself in for microaggression.)
     
    Faust29 and mtnbikej like this.
  18. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    IKR? Had I seen this ahead of time, I might have gone with the little one :)
     
    mtnbikej likes this.
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