40 miles

With three children under 5 years old it has become exponentially more difficult to get out of the house for rides. Over the three day Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year’s three day weekend, I was able to get out for about 40 miles which is quite a bit for me.

The weekend started when my office closed up a little early in celebration of Chinese New Year… the year of the Tiger, by the way. I was able to get in a short 4 mile ride by running a couple of errands my wife asked me to take care of. That half hour of riding was a little blessing as it was totally unexpected.

On Saturday morning, Dan and I met at 7th Avenue in Hacienda Heights to ride 7th Ave and Turnbull. The route I chose was 15 miles long with 3k feet of climbing. I printed out extensive directions (3 pages) for our ride but 4 miles in, I made a wrong turn and couldn’t back to the correct trail (mental note: keep eyes out for a gps system on the used market). Boo. I promptly started guessing how to get to the next section of singletrack, but to no avail.

After a mile or two of that Dan and I rerouted. We climbed up the wide fireroad leading in from the Whittier side of the trail and hit A-line. We then climbed back up that same fireroad to the colorful water tower and then returned back to the car on my favorite trail of 7th/Turnbull. This section consists of a sweet set of switchbacks under a beautiful canopy of trees. Its fast, flowy and a hoot to ride on. It turned out to be Dan’s favorite section as well. 12.5 miles with well nearly 2500 feet of climbing. Not a bad substitute for the original route.

Me and Dan up at the colorful water tower. Niner AIR9 & Giant Trance.

Sunday was a day of rest.

Monday was a bigger mileage ride. 23 total miles leaving from Mr. Scissor’s house to the Mills Loop and Marshall Canyon for about 2200 feet of climbing. My body was killing me on Monday as it usually is the 2nd day after experiencing cramps on a ride. But since the wife had approved of the ride (on Valentine’s Day no less!) I was there.

Me and Tim. Beautiful day of late afternoon riding with the setting sun and snow capped mountains in the background. Tim is rolling on the Trek Fuel EX

This ride lasted about 3 hours with a few much needed stops in between. Dan and I were pretty gassed for much of the ride but it was still a blast to hit Mills and Marshall Canyon especially since we were able to get up to the mid-30’s mph when coming back down Mills. The ride back to the house was an exercise in warding off cramps as we were at the three hour mark.

You can’t see it in either of the pictures but I am riding the Prologo Vertigo Nack. I find the saddle to be pretty comfortable, similar to the Rocket V in padding, and durable. A few days after Monday’s ride I got a chance to clean the bike and the Nack was still in pristine condition after over 100 miles of riding. I will keep you posted.

All pictures from Dan the Man

Bit of a Sufferfest

Suffering on the 45 minute climb… I could see Dan enjoying taking this picture of me… watching me suffer

Went out with AV Dan on Saturday for a bit of a sufferfest at Chino Hills State Park. This one is a pretty common route I’ll ride if I’m short on time, but want to do more than the loop. I can normally get it done in under 2.5 hours which is about the amount of time it took for Dan & me that day.

It starts off with a long-ish 45 minute climb. The climb has very few breaks and is typical of Southern California, all fireroad. The kicker on the climb was that the last section from Sycamore to McDermott was not only steep, as usual, but also extremely sandy. If I had known it was that bad, I would have definitely opted out at Sycamore and rode directly to Four Corners from there.

Giant Trance & Niner Jet 9 at Four Corners

Ah, but ignorance is bliss, at least for a while. Then the sand hit and although I didn’t get off the bike, I was definitely in granny just keeping up a high cadence to climb through the sand pits. The sand looked to be the remnants from last fall’s fire that really did a number on Chino Hills.

Bovinian Delight’s singletrack is a a welcome change to the miles of fireroad we just finished

After our break at Four Corners we hit Bovinian Delight which is a singletrack treat after so much fireroad. The singletrack track was relatively clear and we stopped off to take a quick photo of Dan looking menacing on the trail.

Dan enjoying the cleared out singletrack

The return ride back to the car of about 7 miles is always fun. It’s rolling hills that can go pretty fast. Dan & I ended up trading bikes for a few minutes to discuss the merits of each other’s bikes. Dan rides a Giant Trance & I was on my Niner Jet 9. The Trance is 5” travel AM bike and my Niner is a 3” travel XC bike.

After trading rides and doing that for a very short stretch of trail, we were both certain that our own bike was the bike we preferred to be on.