We Took The Super Scenic Route to San Juan

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by mtnbikej, Nov 11, 2017.



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  1. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Good Ride Today.
     
    Tom the Bomb, HBkites, Grego and 9 others like this.
  2. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    That's it??? LOL!!!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Faust29 and mtnbikej like this.
  3. kioti

    kioti iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    Current Bike:
    ibis ripley
  4. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Yup
     
  5. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Do you at least have a strava stats page to share here?
     
    Tom the Bomb and Cyclotourist like this.
  6. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Big
     
  7. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Really really big.
     
  8. Dirtrider....

    Dirtrider.... Member

    Location:
    RSM
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripmo
    :cool:im already winded just reading the first post...
     
  9. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Tallboy Upgrade
    Best RR of the year!
     
  10. BonsaiNut

    BonsaiNut iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Laguna Hills
    Name:
    Greg P
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower CC XX1
    So I was watching Project Runway with my wife tonight because I'm a 21st Century man and one of the contestants happens to be from Puerto Rico. San Juan, to be exact.

    If you don't write a ride report soon, I'm gonna write one for you! :)
     
  11. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Now we are getting somewhere? @Faust29's input is 3X that of J's. o_O

    :laugh:
     
  12. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It was bigger than my ride.
     
  13. singlespeedrider

    singlespeedrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine
    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    On One Lurcher Single
    It was also bigger than mine.
     
  14. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Ya’ll have to be there or you don’t get nathing!
     
    Faust29, Tom the Bomb, mike and 2 others like this.
  15. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Two years ago I attempted this same route... It really didn't go so well.
    http://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/threads/the-bailout-of-shame-ride.3530/#post-35420

    So I was a little nervous when it came up on the Trailhead. The amount of personal suffering at the Wrightwood 50 a few weeks ago had me looking at strategy for this ride. The climbing is similar, but the route is 15 miles longer... Sadly, Camille sat this one out. The weapon of choice was the lighter Highball. And it still has the geared drive train on it... Yeah, I had a bailout gear today. :oops: But I was more interested in the 5 pound difference between bikes. I used the gears, but I tried to minimize shifting, and tackle a lot of the climbs in "single speed mode". Pick a similar gear to my combo and stand and mash.

    Oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, with a bottle of Tailwind as a chaser before I even left the house... I wanted one in the bank before I started pedaling.

    I rolled from the house at 5:45 and met the gang at taco plaza. Most everyone was there and ready, but there were a couple stragglers and we rolled at 6:15. The original group was @mtnbikej, @HBkites, @singlespeedrider, @Faust29, Calvin, Amy, and Hugh. The bikes ranged from a roadie with 37mm tires on its maiden voyage all the way to a full suspension Ibis with kids' wheels! Single speeds, rigid forks, gears, oh my! We rolled down Plano Trabuco and into O'Neill, where the temperature was 41. Chilly, but I knew it wouldn't last.

    Through O'Neill and down Live Oak all the way to the end at the Aliso Creek bike path. After a short roadie spin, we were at Modjeska Grade. The road bike did really well through the pavement sections. :p

    We hit the Harding Trailhead with our 10 miles and 1000 feet of warmup... Harding is Harding. It's a grind. Always. The first mile gains 525 feet, and then you promptly lose some of that, only to regain it immediately. 3200 feet in 9 miles, with a couple downhills along the way... :gag: Shortly before Four Corners we ran into @Old&InTheWay. We also ran into some hunters before the 7 mile point of no return... I'll be glad when season is over. @Runs with Scissors was waiting at the gate when we rolled up and he joined in for the climb to the peak. :thumbsup:

    The section of Main Divide under Modjeska Peak is rough... Lots of rock slides, and you never know what it's going to be like from ride to ride. It was chunky today, but I made use of the larger cogs and spun up it. :whistling:

    The Gang at Modjeska Peak
    IMG_1487.jpg

    A quick break and off into the saddle... I didn't realize it, but Hugh turned around just as the climbing started again under Santiago Peak. He ended up with 6700 feet for the day. Not bad for a road bike! :p The saddle seemed really chunky today... Not sure if that was the case, or I was feeling it more with the XC tires on the Highball.

    At Santiago Peak, Mr. Scissors turned around and headed back down Maple Springs, sans rear brake. :eek: I'm glad he made it up there with us. :thumbsup: 24 miles in and a little over 6000 feet.

    Dropping down from the peak is always interesting... Bomb craters, scree fields, hikers headed up, Jeeps, hunters, and kitchen sinks... It's a really interesting 3 mile stretch to Holy Jim.

    At Holy Jim @HBkites and @singlespeedrider took the downhill and headed back to Taco Plaza. Always a pleasure to ride with them. I wasn't tempted at this point... :whistling:

    Main Divide was pretty uneventful, except for my psychic abilities. I had literally just said to J, "These blind turns scare me during hunting season with all the Jeeps." 30 seconds later I almost became intimate with a Jeep. Thankfully they were driving slowly... :thumbsup:

    I'll admit it. I was briefly tempted to bail at Trabuco. Briefly. :oops: Once you pass Trabuco, there are no more bailout points and there is a downhill "Wall" most of the way to Bluejay Campground and the start of the San Juan Trail. I believe we were 31 miles in at this point, and probably 7500 feet.

    The water at Bluejay was awesome... Fresh and cold!

    For you Tailwind converts, I was two heavily mixed bottles down at this point and I mixed up my 3rd here at mile 37. We were close to 8000 feet when we dropped onto San Juan. I had plain water in the pack to go with the chunky Tailwind mixture in the bottle. No cramps, no hunger issues, and I didn't bring any "real" food...
    IMG_1481.jpg

    I thought the trail itself was in good shape- a little loose here and there, but nothing unexpected this time of year. The overgrowth, on the other hand, caused a few bar strikes and sore knuckles. There were signs that it had been recently brushed in spots.

    The Gang at Cocktail Rock... :thumbsup:
    IMG_1483.jpg

    I like the San Juan descent, but I really need to get out there and try it with less than 40 miles and 8000 feet. Maybe a shuttle ride? :p I have a feeling I'd gain a whole new appreciation for san Juan if I tried it on fresh legs. :p

    Out to the road, over the gate :whistling:, and back through the San Juan Creek Trail. A brief stop at the former Hot Springs, a lot of HAB above the 74, a minor unplanned dismount, and a lot of sweating on the ups and downs... Thankfully the trail was a lot less overgrown than the last time when we were surrounded by out of control weeds and mustard.

    After the descent back to the road level, the ride is pretty much an XC ride to the end...Along San Juan Creek, through Caspers, up Starr Rise, and along the Bell ridge back to Dove Canyon. The trail pops out at the Dove Canyon waterfall less than 1/2 mile from Taco Plaza. :thumbsup:

    We had tacos. We had burritos. A chile relleno. We recovered. We talked and laughed. Bikes are fun... And I may go back for another burrito. :whistling:

    Getting back on the bike to roll the 6 tenths of a mile to the house was pretty painful. Maybe I should have called the wife for a ride. :p

    The Relive Video: https://www.relive.cc/view/1271277391

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1271277391

    Big Boy and Girl Ride.jpg
     
    ricke24, Evoracer, konakc and 25 others like this.
  16. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Congratulations on a truly epic ride. :confused: :thumbsup:

    Did Amy kick your butts again? :whistling:
     
  17. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Nicely Done Team... And The Power Pose is awesome that late into the ride!
     
  18. Old&InTheWay

    Old&InTheWay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange, Ca.
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Primer Pro
    I had a little bit of convergence with the big boys and girls at 4 Corners. I did not go on the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Instead I chose to take the kinder and gentler Harding-Trabuco Trail- Live Oak Trail Loop. 44 miles 7,600 feet of elevation gain. When I got to the Trabuco Trailhead I went 1/2 mile more to where I had a bird's eye view of San Juan. It looked like it might be doable but it was outside of my zone of preparation so there was no way that I was going to attempt it. The Primer was eating all the rocks and craters in the war zone beyond Santiago Peak like candy and it was liking Trabuco Trail too. I was very happy with that. Ouch that hurt so good.
     
    UPSed, konakc, Tom the Bomb and 10 others like this.
  19. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

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

    Nope, she actually was pretty well behaved today. In fact she dropped back on Main Divide just after the Wall.
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, MrGreedom and 5 others like this.
  20. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Quote of the day... As everyone was loading their bikes up at the end, I asked Amy if she’d do it again. Her answer? “Next time you do this route, don’t invite me!”

    Calvin had enough left to do stretches and pushups in the parking lot before lunch.

    Jason was still cleaning most of the climbs at the end...

    I was the caboose for a lot of today’s adventure, but I still had gas in the tank at the end.

    I’m going to call it a draw. :p
     
    UPSed, Tom the Bomb, HBkites and 10 others like this.
  21. singlespeedrider

    singlespeedrider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Irvine
    Name:
    Mark
    Current Bike:
    On One Lurcher Single
    Today was my first longish ride on the giant and first long stretch of chunk. Yea the frame is stiff but the extra travel and slacker head angle from my last bike made it a blast. I felt so fast and comfortable coming down from the peak and it was not in good shape at all.
     
    UPSed, Tom the Bomb, HBkites and 10 others like this.
  22. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Yeah, I've done this route a few other times. For me personally, I really like this route.

    I put the invite out and had what I thought would be a couple takers. What I didn't expect was a group of 7 to start the ride. This was very abnormal.

    @Faust29 , @singlespeedrider , @HBkites , along with Amy, Hugh and surprise appearance by Calvin. Hugh showed up with a brand new CX bike that he hadn't even thrown a leg over until the ride started.

    We got a bit of a late start, but it was still manageable. The drop down Live Oak and through O'Neill was on the frigid side. The pace was on the quicker side, as was indicated by my PR to Monastary Rd.

    Through the trails and out on to Santiago Creek Rd. Legs were no happy going up Modjeska Grade. Quick break at the bottom of Harding, then we were off. Saw several hikers on the way up, along with a rider heading down. I don't wanna say the climb went by quickly....but our ride time of 1:35 and overall time of 1:42 was in the window that I originally figured. After the 7.5 mile Point of No Return DH, we caught up to @Old&InTheWay . The last part of Harding goes by pretty fast. @Runs with Scissors was at the top. This was only time Amy really got out in front of us.

    Up Main Divide to Modjeska Peak....the road is in better shape than it has been in the past...still beat up, but the sh*tty section seemed shorter. After the group photo, we continued on up. The fasle DH into the saddle was rough. Hugh was planning to turn around at this point. We continued on to the Peak. Tried to chase Calvin to the Peak...that was a futile attempt. Fortunately we got to the peak in short order. At this point we parted ways with Scissors. Hugh had already turned back. So our 7 was down to 6.

    Chased down a couple other riders down to Lower Holy Jim. The road was really beat, but we pushed on. At Lower Holy Jim, Mark and Sharone split off and went down LHJ. So now we were down to 4. At this point, Calvin indicated his CB pedal spring was broken....but he would continue on. The ride across Main Divide was mostly uneventful, but seemed a little longer. Yeah, the legs were feeling it. Walked most of the Wall. By the time we got to Trabuco Trail, we were already 7100' in. The ride down The Wall to Long Canyon Rd. has become really trashed....holes and bomb craters nearly as bad as up by Santiago Peak.

    The fresh pavement on Long Canyon Rd. was a nice reprieve for a little bit. Water refill at Blue Jay campground and onto Upper San Juan. Sections of Upper San Juan have been brushed, not very well...but at least it was better than it was. It was warming up by about this time....as it always seems to do. The upper section of San Juan again seemed much rockier than it did when we hit it up in May. The climb up to Cocktail Rock wasn't fast nor slow.....think we were all feeling the miles. Except for some hikers we hadn't seen any other riders to Cocktail Rock. There were 2 riders at CR that headed down in front of us, and a 3rd got out as well.

    The ride down San Juan is fun....fast....and I forget how much I enjoy it. The trail really needs some love. We had the trail to ourselves all the way down. At the bottom we hopped over into Caspers. The road has been graded and in great shape. Quick stop to show the hot springs and the sign. The traverse from Cold Springs to San Juan Creek Trail has been brushed....really well, wide open. The trail is on the rocky side, so there was a fair bit of HAB.

    The pace along San Juan Creek Trail was again on the faster side.....yup, PR'd that by a few minutes. Still a monotonous 4 miles, and mostly flat. All the RV campsites were full, so we used the water fountain at the base of East Ridge. The ride to Star Rise, was painful. Steve pulled out infront. At the base of Star Rise my legs said hell no, so I pedaled up a little bit, then walked a bit.

    Finally up on Bell View Trail, it was a series of ups and downs. Legs were barking pretty loud. Cleaned all the climbs, but it wasn't pretty. My Garmin died about 1 from the finish. I was good with the ride being over.

    Good company, great route, lots of laughs and a perfect weather day....what more could we ask for.

    Great ride.

    On a side note, Hugh ended up cutting the sidewall on his brand new CX bike going down from Modjeska Peak.
     
    UPSed, DBMX119, Evoracer and 21 others like this.
  23. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    Spectacular ride boys and girl! Taco's and burrito's well deserved.
     
  24. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Salute to a job well done by all you nutters. Badass!!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    UPSed, Tom the Bomb, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  25. Old&InTheWay

    Old&InTheWay Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange, Ca.
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Primer Pro
    I was surprised to see that you all went up to Modjeska Peak also. I guess it was to hit the 10,000 ft. mark. wow that was putting an exclamation point on the pain.
     
  26. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    Just passed by the faux peak... I’ve actually never made it out to the true peak. There are two single tracks there that I want to try. Someday...
     
  27. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Nice shoes.
     
    Tom the Bomb and Cyclotourist like this.
  28. HBkites

    HBkites Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Sharone
    Current Bike:
    Why Cycles S7
    I was late (6:04 am), sorry. I'm never early, but I should be late.
    The climb from Cook's to Santiago Peak is long and somewhat uneventful until 4 corners. From that point on you wonder if an FS bike might be the way to go next time.
    Peak to HJ requires strong forearms and focus (FS bike could be beneficial here).
    LHJ is a fan stretch unless you are super tired (good workout for your forearms).
    The wash was as bumpy as I ever seen it (small speed bumps).
    I planned to be back at the truck around 11. I ended up 34 minutes late. I missed the first 30 minutes of my son's game. Bummer!
    The 5+ hour ride was exactly what I needed to shake some off cobweb.

    Thanks J for organizing it.
     
  29. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Nice work!
     
  30. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    So when are we going man do this one again? Trip #1 and #2 were on back to back weekends. :whistling:
     
    UPSed and Faust29 like this.
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