Weekend “Wet” Ride Report – Whiting Ranch to the STT/Luge

This is a little bit late but why not… this past Saturday a group of my friends and I met at Whiting Ranch at 7:00am to go on our weekly Saturday ride. The weather in So Cal for the past few days has been fairly wet in the mornings with lingering low clouds until the afternoon. Well Saturday was a little bit more than just lingering clouds – we actually had light rain/drizzle. Needless to say arriving at the parking lot, it was WET.

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Some of the guys contemplating whether they should ride or not.

There were a total of us twelve of us who met at the parking lot. We stood around for about half an hour chatting, hoping that the light rain would pass. No such luck while we were at the parking lot, but we knew it would eventually taper off.

By the time we decided to roll, half of the guys backed out because they thought it would be too muddy (dubbed as Team NO Go) . The other half mounted our bikes and headed into the park. Whiting Ranch is covered with a lot of trees therefore the ground wasn’t muddy at all. As a matter of fact, it was perfect! All of the sandy sections were nice and tacky.

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Bottom of Mustard before our climb.

Reaching the bottom of Mustard Rd, the trail was dry. This was the first segment of our long ascent. At the top of Mustard was Four Corners where we took our first break. This is where we will break off from Whiting Ranch and make our way to Santiago Truck Trail (STT) for more climbing.
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Resting at Four Corners

There was a moment there where a few of us contemplated on continuing to STT. Luckily the rest of the guys convinced us to keep on going. From here we crossed the road and towards another trail. We had steep climbed on the road known as Modjeska Rd, it literally was a grind to the STT trailhead. From here we took a short break and then continued our ascent to the flag.
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At the start of Santiago Truck Trail.

Several miles later we were at the peak of our ride… we made it to the flag where we would start our fun descent down the Luge – what a blast!!! This ride down never fails to disappoint.

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Team GO! … six that braved the little rain we had.

Reaching the bottom we had to make our way back to Whiting. From here it was an easier grind up the road. We hooked back up into Whiting and finished off our ride by hitting the single track out till we exited the park. What a ride! A total of 15 miles of on and off drizzle as we climbed and descended. This turned out to be an epic ride!

Below is a video of our run down the Luge. I have video from Whiting however the video will be too long. Enjoy!

I love long weekends

Most of you may have had a day off in observance of Memorial Day. First and foremost, I’d like to thank our brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving for our country. I personally appreciate all the sacrifice and hard work you all have put in.

Usually when we have a long weekend, we try to pack in some good riding. So on Saturday a group of 6 of us headed out to Aliso Woods in Socal. I love Aliso Woods because this place has some great trails that meets anyone’s needs.

After climbing a trail called Cholla, our little group split up. Priscilla, Dan and Khoa hit up Top of the World and down Meadows. While Doc, Val and I hit up Rockit.
Saturday was really nice. Blue skies and a cool breeze.


Cell phone pic of the view from Meadows. That’s the Pacific! If you look closely, right above the saddle, there’s a guy naked on the top of his roof….psych! Made you look! You’re dirty!

While Priscilla and her group were having fun in Meadows. The boy’s and I were ripping it up on Rockit. We were doing back flips, jumping gaps and riding without our hands on the bars…Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera…bummer, I wanted to really show you all the pics of me doing some gnarly stuff.

On Monday I assembled a group of guys to ride Whiting Ranch to the Luge. Funny thing is, I’ve ridden both trails before, but never connecting them. Everyone kept telling me that the would be much climbing. Oh boy…they weren’t kidding! Our climbs were long and hard (get your mind out of the gutter). We started up Mustard and I have to tell you. This alone is one tough climb. But the Animal kept doing some extra credit portions of the trail just so he could get a good work out in.
Then we headed out to the Luge for some major climbing. I made sure I kept my own pace so I wouldn’t burn my self out too soon and the guys were nice enough to wait for me since I was usually the last person.

I think they call this place Modjeska Grade. It’s a super steep road that we needed to ride on to get to the Luge.

From left to right: Dan, Chuck, Animal, Mark and Khoa. This was also snack time for us. My legs are already toast by this time. But we weren’t even half way done.

There was miles and miles of this.

Pretty view.

Animal was our leader for the day. For a guy who was hung over, he kept a pretty good pace.

Mark West

Chuck

Khoa and yours truly(by the way ladies, Khoa is single and he has his own house! Call him for a date)

Dan

We finally got to the flag pole to rest and load up on snacks. This spot is right before some really nice single track called the Luge.

By the time our ride ended, we logged in about 16 long miles. My legs are gone and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it the next couple of days. But it was a great weekend overall.

Photo credits belong to Dan Burdett, Khoa Nguyen and Boss.

Weekend Ride Report – Southridge and The Luge

We recently received the Epic Stealth Camera from GSM.  We met the folks of GSM at Interbike in September and they had agreed to send us a unit for testing.  Since RL and I had planned on doing some practice downhill runs, I decided to put it to use.

IMG_2069 by you.        EPIC measuring approximately 3″ and weighs less than 3 oz. 

THE CAMERA:  

Basic features:

  • 30 frames per second digital video
  • Built-in microphone for continuous audio sound
  • Easy-to-use 2 button operational design
  • Capable of taking still pictures (Hi-Res 5mp / Low-res 3mp)
  • Uses AAA batteries (lithium recommended)
  • Uses SD card

Technical Specs:

  • Camera Lens:          5P Glass IR Coating, 47 degree view
  • Camera Aperature:   2.8 mm
  • Focus:                   Fixed or 1 Meter to Infinity
  • AVI Resolution:        30 Frames Per Second, VGA 640×480, QVGA 320×240
  • Still Image Res:        5 Mega Pixel (Hi), 3 Mega pixel (Lo), VGA (Base)
  • Supported Formats:  Video: AVI Photos: JPG

I’ll be riding with the EPIC Stealth Cam in the next few months and will be posting follow-up reviews.  For more information visit their site at www.epicstealthcam.com .

 

THE RIDE:

On Saturday we headed to the famous Southridge in Fontana, CA.  RL and I were geared to ride the downhill course while Priscilla, Jeremy, Ner and Steve headed to the XC course.  (XC Ride Report to follow from one of the guys).  In the video I was able to capture good footage for my first use.  There’s room for adjustment with the camera placement but footage seems to be ok.

 

RL and I did two runs.  On the first run we lucked out as Lala from Incycles gave us a lift to the top. This saved us time and energy.  We rode the same course from the last race in November. I was still having issues navigating through the rocks however overall I felt much more confident than last month.  RL on the other hand seems to fly through the course. I’m confident he will do well in the 09 Winter Series.

 

Second run – we went down behind the water tower down to the singletrack that parallels the paved rode.  On the 2nd run you’ll see two diggers.  First one RL slipping into a rut and the other is me going over the bars (OTB).  You can’t really tell from the video but basically my front wheel hit a rock and I didn’t have enough momentum.  I got bucked and I bailed out while trying to get my footing running down the hillside.  Fortunately RL’s fall was minor and mine resulted in a tweaked back.  Nothing that IcyHot cant fix. 

 

We had a good time despite having only two runs. We plan to come back in about a week.  We definitely learned a lot from this day… learned that the people in Fontana practices safe sex however litters… 🙂  

On Sunday – Val, Ner and I headed to Whiting Ranch in Lake Forest, CA.  Both Val and Ner have never ridden this trail before so they were looking forward to it.  While we were getting our gear together, a gentleman drove by and asked if he can tag along since he hasn’t ridden Whiting either; off course we said yes (I believe his name was Mark). After getting ready we all rode to the entrance of Whiting.   There to greet us was a CLOSED sign due to the recent rain.  This was a surprise as it had been four days since the last rain. Whiting Ranch must have received significant amount that many portions of the trail were still wet.

 

What to do…We were all geared up and no where to ride.  I then suggested that we head to Santiago Truck Trail (STT) / Luge, which was located behind Whiting Ranch.  Reaching our destination, we parked along the Modjeska Rd.  In the video below, our new friend Mark, got stuck on the side of the road while trying to park.  We tried to help him out but to no avail.  He ended up passing on the ride.

 

Off the three of us we went… up Modjeska Rd to the trailhead.  From here it would be a long 3 mile grind to the Flag.  There were many mountain bikers on the trail that day.  The ride up was refreshing however uneventful.  Reaching the Flag we stopped and rested for a few minutes. 

IMG_2067 by you.       Val touching the flag in honor of his recent US Citizenship.

 

 

At this point is a split – you can either continue climbing up to Old Camp or descend down the Luge.  We chose to go down the Luge.  Overall the trail was fun. It’s been quite some time since I have ridden here. Val and Ner had a great time as well. Below is a video documenting our ride.