30 miles qualifies as an Epic, doesn’t it? Well, this past Saturday I was invited on my first epic mountain bike ride! We hit Chino Hills for a nice loonngg ride. 🙂 It turned out to be a good size group of people, about 14 of us started out together. Our ride started out at 8:30am. And I sure was nervous because I have never ridden more than 14 miles at a time! I was afraid this ride was going to be a little too much for me but my friend Christine assured me that I was going to do fine.
Everyone getting prepped and acquainted.
If you are not familiar with Chino Hills, let me just say that if you don’t like to climb then you will hate it! After about 2 miles into the park you are greeted with a no mercy 1750ft climb that feels never ending! It took us about 45min to make it up this 4.5 mile climb. This is no way to start an Epic!!! Ah well. The sweet payoff though was the downhill singletrack! All you could hear was everyone hooting and hollering with glee as we made it down this hillside. So much fun!!
Another 4 miles and we made a rest stop at Four Corners. Time for snack bars. I made sure to pack lots of treats and some Powerade for an extra boost.
Every ride is filled with adventures. And this ride did not disappoint. I have to say of everything I most enjoyed the singletrack. Chino Hills was incredibly overgrown. Wild flowers galore! They reached way above my head. And I have no idea how our tour guide was able to even find the single track! The space available to ride through was sometimes smaller then the width of my handlebars. Every corner was a new surprise because you just couldn’t see anything around the tall flowers! I really wish I could have gotten some pictures of this but that’s the thing with singletrack. You can’t stop or you hold up everyone behind you! lol.
Here’s one of the guys entering the singletrack.
There were a few casualties too. A busted chain and one of the guys was left on the side of the road with his derailleur in pieces. Ah man, it hurt to see that one. 🙁
The views were really breath taking.
The other issue with these overgrown wild flowers? Well I quickly found out when I was speeding down the single track with very little clearance for my handlebars, and a short sleeve jersey. Let me just say “OUCH!!!!”. It felt like my arms were being whipped!!! And these weren’t even the worst of it. There were these short, overgrown plants that had bulbs on the end of them. You could hear me screaming, “OW! OW! OW!” all down the hill, as 100’s of these little buggers whipped my legs. One right after the other. 🙁 Luckily one of the gals had some numbing wipes that helped ease the sting a lot. Who would have thought?!?! But the views sure did make it all worth it!
The girls pointed out that the tall wild flowers left souvenirs in my helmet. Hahaha.
We did make a lot of stops for rest, snacks and regrouping too which helped make the ride more doable. I was feeling pretty good until mile 17. We had another 2 mile climb and it was at this point I wanted to throw in the towel. I was TIRED!!! And my legs were burning! But there was no turning back at that point. There was no way I could find my way out of there anyway. 🙁
We had a nice rest at mile 19 though. And the last 10 miles turned out to be a breeze with just some downhill fireroads. A nice pay off for the long day. But the ride went a little longer than I expected. We didn’t finish until about 2:30 in the afternoon. Well, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day though! Absolutely beautiful!
Christine and I after the ride. We finished!!!