Ride Report: San Juan

AV Dan hitting the turn at San Juan

Got out for a lollipop ride this weekend at San Juan. It’s a lollipop because that’s what the trail map would look like: 6 mile climb, loop at the top, back down the same way you came up. –O.

San Juan is definitely becoming one of my favorite trails. This past Saturday’s weather was excellent. Little cool to start which worked well with those infamous switchbacks, then warmed up just a tad, but never got hot. In fact the sun was blocked off by the clouds for the most part which made for a great, comfortable ride. On the way down, there was some slight drizzle which cooled us off even more but didn’t even last long enough to warrant wiping the sunglasses.

A brief respite before heading down some more singletrack

This marked a couple of firsts for me on the San Juan trail. The first time I did the loop after Cocktail rock, the first time I rode SJ while not sick and the first time I rode SJ without eating it. San Juan is really not an extremely techy trail. It’s just that after riding for a few hours, I usually get extremely tired and lose focus/concentration on the 40+ minute downhill ride back to the car. When I lose my focus is usually when body meets dirt.

Me on the Jet9. I’ve got to learn to stop staring at my front tire!

The riding group consisted of me, Tim Scissors, Marky Mark and AV Dan. We all brought our full suspension bikes to the party including my Niner Jet9 which did not disappoint. It definitely contributed to not eating it on this ride. San Juan was a blast and that back loop section had some great short techy climbs and rutted descents that are definitely calling us to come back and do it again.

Dan’s one-finger braking always cracks me up

Ride Report: Turnbull Canyon – Guest Appearance

All of us lucky enough to go out and ride Turnbull Canyon on Saturday got to see one of the most elusive, stealthy animals on the planet… The Moe. The Moe is very similar to the mysterious cougar who prowls the bars of Orange County searching for the unsuspecting young buck. Wait, wait, wait… I’m thinking of the wrong cougar.

No, the mysterious cougar that The Moe resembles is the feline that is seldom viewed by the public. More often the mysterious cougar has probably seen a mountain biker 10 times before the mountain biker has seen the cougar once. The Moe, via the power of the internet probably has the same 10:1 ratio or seeing mountain bikers to being seen by mountain bikers.

Anyway, enough about The Moe and onto the Turnbull Canyon ride report! Turnbull Canyon claimed its first victim when, not even half-a-mile onto the trail, our friend Ryan got his chain stuck between the bottom bracket and the crankset. A twisted chain link later and Ryan was cruising back to his car. This was a great downer for all of us and the depressed mood pervaded the band of bikers for the next few miles or was that depressed mood more a result of the nasty climb? Either way, we were all bummed for Ryan.

Turnbull Canyon has lots of fun parts to it. We decided to take the 2 mile fireroad climb in. Yes, it is actually fun. We followed this by switchbacks going down and then switchbacks coming up. We capped off the great ride with a sweet singletrack descent that dropped us off on the streets below our car. I’m not much of a roadie but the last singeltrack, with its exposure, is worth having to grind out a half-mile road climb back to the car.

All in all, about 1500 feet of climbing in an 8 mile double loop. Lots of fun. Hopefully, we’ll have Ryan riding with us again soon. And for your viewing pleasure, never before published video of The Moe. The Moe is the biker wearing blue riding the silver bike. He sometimes looks like he is struggling on the trail… that’s because he is.

Towing the Kids

This past weekend’s ride found a small group of us, Ryan, Khoa, Ivan, me and my boys, at Chino Hills State Park for a slow & easy ride. Slow and easy because I was bringing my boys along in a trailer.

Ryan & I cruising on the slow/easy ride

This was the first time I’ve taken my boys on the trail via trailer. Actually its the first time they’ve ever been “mountain” biking with me. During the breaks, the older one especially liked getting out and looking at the mountains (more like hills). He also enjoyed finding sticks and shoving them down animal holes. This was carefully supervised by Ivan lest a pissed off snake emerged ready to strike. My younger son was interested in shoving stuff in his mouth and copying his older brother. Yeah, he’s still at that stage.

Ivan teaching the kids about teamwork

The boys half liked and half didn’t like riding in the trailer. It didn’t help that the trail was a bit sandy and dusty. Also, the return part of the out-and-back trail can get rather fast. And the faster we went, the more bumpy it got. After a few protests, I learned that I wouldn’t be able to rail the trail back. For their sake, I’d have to slow things down and take everything at a more moderate pace. Thankfully the boys made it out in one piece or the wifey would not have liked it one bit.

Did I mention I rode to the trailhead? 4 miles each way… some climbing both ways. Khoa, being lazy, drove his truck.

Ride Report: El Moro

Taking a quick break to scope out the smooth rock descent

Khoa, Steve, Tim & I got out to El Moro near Newport Coast for a loop. The beauty of El Moro is that it is right next to the beach which makes El Moro a great place to ride when it is hot out. Although there is not much tree coverage, being closer to the ocean reduces the temperature and boy was it hot in Southern California with temperatures reaching triple digits farther inland where I live.

Tim taking it with ease

El Moro started with some fun singletrack which led to a short fireroad descent that led to the most overgrown singletrack I’ve ridden through to date. The weeds were taller than me and the other plants we rode through left scratches on my arm including one that was deep enough to bleed. One section required a continual “ducking? while pedaling manuever to avoid getting my faced whipped by the weeds. Khoa made the comment that sometimes being short has its advantages. At that moment, I couldn’t agree more. By the way I performed a quick tick check afterwards. Highly recommended when riding through areas with bushes and other vegetation inundating the trail.

Some of the best parts of this ride didn’t even involve riding. It involved being at the top of a climb and looking back on the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Khoa’s camera phone pictures, thanks Khoa, do not do justice to the magnificent ocean. Yes, that’s the Pacific behind us and no, it did not just turn turquoise. haha. We took a detour just to get a better look at it (well worth the detour, I might add).

Turquoise Pacific Ocean

The ride ended on a slightly sour note as I grazed a cactus leaf on the way back to the car. It left a few thorns in my shin and flatted my rear tire out about 200 yards from the car. I was too lazy to change it so I just hoofed it out. No worries though the bike is ok. 😉

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.