San Juan continued…

29er Main Mountain Biking Ride Reports

As RL mentioned in a previous post, 7 of us made it out to San Juan to ride the bottom half of San Juan Trail. This trail is my cup of tea. The climbing was not fun but it paid off with a nice singletrack descent that had some technical elements in it including lots of exposure, switchbacks and baby-head sized rocks. As RL mentioned he, Priscilla and Joe decided to turn back because of knee issues, too much exposure and being a great guy, respectively.

Wayland, the 2 Davids and I continued up to Cocktail Rock and after a short respite that included meeting a pair of Sam’s and another dude named Weyland (really small world), the four of us headed back down. 3 of us were on fully rigids while one of the David’s was on a gorgeous deep blue Titus Riddler hardtail.

The foggy weather kept things cool for the 4 of us

Very interestingly enough going down was just as difficult as going up but for different reasons. Climbing was difficult (for me) because of my lack of endurance. I love my local loop, but what it misses is one significantly long/leggy climb, a gasser as I like to think of them. San Juan is an out and back 6 mile up/6 mile down trail.

Elevation map via

Thankfully the first 1.5 – 2 miles were the steepest with more than 10+ switchbacks. After that the switchbacks become sparser and the trail mellows out to a more conquerable 4-6% grade. But, what this 2nd part of climbing lacks in steepness and switchbacks, it more than makes up for it with rocks, ruts and exposure… lots of exposure. Get off your bike and walk across life threatening exposure.

Playing around at Cocktail Rock

Interestingly enough the switchbacks that I had a tough time with ascending were equally if not even more difficult descending. I did discover that I am much better at left turn switchbacks as compared to right turn switchbacks. What surprised me was that for parts of the trail that had “walk across life threatening exposure? on the way up, I mostly just rode through on the way down.

Navigating the singletrack

All of us made it down in one piece (with a few stretch/pee breaks) and of course I had a ticket to greet me. 🙁 Bummer as I did not see the Adventure Pass signs.

Donning the armor for the ride back down

12 thoughts on “San Juan continued…

  1. Jeremy – sweet ride report. Glad you guys made it to the top. I like the pics, looks like it would have been well worth the climb.

    I know Weyland, that you guys ran into 🙂 Small world indeed… We ran into him right before the three of us headed back down.

  2. cwc: don’t encourage him. his blue shirt is much preferred over his other selection of upper body riding wear… shirtless.

    Joe: Weyland mentioned he knew you. Nice guys, him and John.

  3. Oh man…Wayland is the shirtless rider? Remind me to get him a jersey for his birthday! And some duct tape to hold down that shirt so we can make sure he doesn’t take it off!


  4. Oh, Calvin (cwc), Jer & RL.
    You mock, but you know not the ecstasy of mountain breeze bristling over your chest follicles. 😉

  5. I think you just like your nipples to be hard when you’re riding your bike…you’re soooo dirty Wayland!

    What are you going to do if you eat it? Oh man!

  6. Jer is wearing a shirt with the logo of a certain rider that caused an accident at a recent race. Doesn’t Jer ride a Redline and drive a Honda? I think there’s a subliminal message there…

  7. Yeah, it is definitely in the works. It’s just gonna be a pain in the butt to haul our bike along. We are trying to figure it out though. You guys will be the first to know when we have everything planned out. : )

    BTW…We may be stopping in Colorado before we go to Cali.

  8. Don’t even worry about bringing your bikes. We have more than enough to lend you and your wife some.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *