Ride Report: Chino Hills State Park

This weekend we rode Chino Hills State Park (CHSP) from both ends – west & east side.  On Saturday – The Moe, Val, Ner and I met by the Carbon Canyon entrance off Lambert in the City of Brea.  We met at 7am, then headed into the park towards the Northridge trail.  From trailhead to our first stop was a long 3 mile grind.  We then continued up Northridge for another 4 miles to McDermont Trail.  McDermont is a fast fireroad that leads into a singletrack which ends close to Four Corners.

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Reaching this point, we decided not to continue to Four Corners as The Moe had to be back by a certain time.  We headed towards the car via Telegraph Rd.  Big ringing down the slight grade of Telegraph was a blast… watching oncoming traffic off course.  We had so much fun that we decided to do it again the next day.

On Sunday, Val, Ner and I met at 7am at the Jack-in-the-Box off Green River in the City of Corona.  From here we headed towards Lower Aliso Canyon which is the south-east side of CHSP.   The first several miles of Lower Aliso is a nice warm-up; relatively flat we continued on this road until it ended at the Water Canyon Natural Preserve.  From here we turned left onto Skully Ridge Trail to start our ascent.  This was another long grind traversing through a series of climbs.  The fireroad was mainly hard pack but sometimes we hit patches of loose dirt.  After the long climbs, we were rewarded as the trail ended on a fast descent to the backside of the Green River Golf Course.  Below is a video capturing our ride at CHSP.  Sorry for the low quality/resolution.
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Riding Solo

My kids are on spring break and they have an amazing auntie and uncle that wanted to keep them for the week, so who am I to get in the way of some family bonding? Love my kids but it sure has been nice to have so much freedom and quiet!!! =D So today instead of getting in some extra hours at work I thought I would treat myself to a little training ride out at Chino Hills.

I caught a glimpse of my froggy on my drive down to the trail and it put the biggest smile on my face! I had to share what I saw in my mirror!

This was around 430p. I know you’re jealous!!! ;D

I don’t typically ride alone but it’s hard to find someone to ride with at 4 in the afternoon. I figured I’d be alright. Aside from the most recent mountain lion (baby) sighting a few weeks ago, what trouble could I really get into while doing mostly climbing?

You know I prepared to do a ride report, hence all the pictures. But I figured I was going to have a miserable time riding alone. And I thought my article was going to be about how lonely it felt out there. But I am surprised to say that I had such a good time out there all by my lonesome!!!

Only drawback with riding by yourself. No one to take pictures!

Man, did I have the BEST time. I felt like Cinderella out there! Butterfly’s, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and lizards! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen so many critters out there! I have to admit it was a little creepy out there when I would see the bushes rustle and hear something scampering off. I would just turn on my ipod whenever I got a little too freaked out.

It felt so amazing to be out there by myself. So much quiet! I only saw two other guys out there while I was climbing. So I was free to sing and talk out loud to myself. And I took full advantage. Ha! After finishing my climb I was supposed to head on back down the way I came up, but then I saw this singletrack. I could not resist!!!!!

I hooted and hollered all the way through!!

Look at this gem!

I had so much fun riding through the singletrack. I felt like a little kid today and it felt great.I took my time just to enjoy the scenery, the nice smells and my sweet bike. It was so much fun I almost wished I had someone there to enjoy it with me…almost. 🙂

And on my drive back home an unexpected critter was found making it’s way up my leg. I wasn’t kidding about the whole Cinderella experience out there. This bugger hitched a ride home with me. RL showed up right as I was about to relocate him. And I couldn’t resist. I chased RL around the alley with my caterpillar as he screamed and yelled. Aw, it was so funny! I wish I had a picture of the horrid look on his face and his arms wailing. In case you didn’t know RL has a terrible fear of any little bug that crawls on its belly! Hehehe. It was the best way to cap off a great afternoon. Good laughs.

Ride Report: My First Epic

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!!!

One 29er advantage

I’ve owned two 29er bikes and so far, I have not really bought the whole “29er inches is overall better” idea. However, I can say that there is one noticeable advantage on owning a hardtail 29er versus owning a hardtail 26er: comfort.

KHS Team Alite

I posted before that I’m pretty much new to riding a hardtail, I’ve ridden full suspension bikes most of the time.

Since my current Full Suspension bike weighs about 34lbs, I recently built a 23.5lb hardtail racing machine that would allow me to try to keep up with my friends. Riding this bike really made me miss my 6 inches of rear suspension.

KHS Solo One

I came across a deal that I couldn’t pass up on a KHS Solo One 29er, this bike is a singlespeed and it is fully rigid. I rode the bike 3 times with this setup, but my wrists and shoulders couldn’t take the pounding so I installed a modified (100mm instead of the 80mm) RockShox Reba Fork. After a couple of rides, I’ve noticed something… I didn’t miss my full suspension bike!!! Per the recommendation of Jeremy, I’ve been riding with the minimum tire pressure recommended. I can honestly say that the big wheels are super cushy and riding with this setup has been totally fun. I no longer worry about picking the ‘perfect’ line, and if there are ruts or bumps, the front suspension along with the 29er wheels really mute the shock to my body that I experience with my Alite. If you are a hardtail lover, I think that you will benefit from riding a 29er.

KHS Solo One First impression, CHSP Ride Report

The MtnBikeRiders.com Crew and friends taking in the vista.

Most of the MtnBikeRiders.com crew headed up to Chino Hills State Park for an early morning Saturday ride.

RL, Moe and Arnie (Officially being pimped)

We also had a few friends and Arnie, a loyal MtnBikeRiders.com reader ride along with us. CHSP is not my one of my favorite rides, the uphills are not really worth the downhills, but it is certainly nice to ride another trail other than the Loop.

Me, at Four Corners… Trying not to vomit.

RL was riding his singlespeed full suspension bike, so I had to take my newly acquired KHS Solo One to the ride. At the beginning, I wasn’t so sure if that was a wise choice, I’ve ridden that trail before and some of the uphills are ass kickers.

Jason and Melissa (Happy B-day!)

When RL mentioned that he felt he was faster riding a SS, I thought to myself, yeah right… Funny thing is, as we were riding up Telegraph, RL and I were at the front of the group.

The group resting up a bit.

Did I feel ‘faster’? Well, yeah, I did… Our thinking is that since we don’t have a granny gear to fall back, we have no choice but to grunt up some of the uphills.

At this point, I love riding singlespeed, it is the rigid part that I had a little issue with. The rigid fork does wonders for going uphill, it is going downhill that it really punishes your upper body, mainly your wrists and hands. I think RL and I did very well riding our Singlespeeds, we didn’t puke and we walked the bikes very few times. Heck, we dropped a couple of riders going uphill and they had 27 speeds!

The group riding uphill

Many thanks to all the riders: RL, Priscilla, Jeremy, Khoa, Melissa, Jason, Tim and Arnie. Mountain Biking is awesome, but riding with your buddies is the best!