Testing out the Drift HD 170

On Saturday I gathered the troops and decided to shuttle Santiago Oaks. Mind you anyone can easily pedal up the top of the ridge to enjoy the mild downhill sections, but we didn’t feel like climbing, so we loaded up the cars to start our adventure.

Oaks Fun

This ride gave me the opportunity to try out the Drift HD 170 helmet cam.

By the way, Art and I were riding our Airborne Takas. Love that bike!

As you can see the Drift does a pretty good job in capturing the action. I had it set to 780p and what you see is the final product of 1 file conversion and video editing. The first thing I had to do was convert the MOV file to AVI to make it work with my editing software. After it was all said and done, I uploaded it to Youtube.

This shot was taken before our second run. Dan decided to take us on a different route that lead to our Goonies adventure! You can’t tell, but I’m actually smiling!

Oaks Fun

MtnBikeRiders.com “Rider Down” pre BBQ ride.

It was about three months ago when teammate Wes Castro shattered his hip during a practice DH run on one of the segments of the 2010 Winter Series. Since then our Team has been planning a fund raiser/raffle to assist with Wes’ medical bills. In conjunction with The Path bike shop (located in Tustin, CA) a BBQ & raffle was held at their retail store today at 1:00 pm.

Earlier in the morning we had a big group ride…and I mean BIG. Meeting at the Albertsons’ parking lot in the City of Orange were 40+ riders. This was a combination of members and friends of MtnBikeRiders.com, The Path and STR (SocalTrailRiders.org) – one BIG family within the mountain biking community. Through our ride, we made many stops to regroup. We had riders from of all skill levels but no one was left behind. We did a couple of loops within Santiago Oaks Park and Irvine Regional Park. The ride was a total blast!!! 🙂

Below are pictures from today’s ride.

Onto the first climb:

Making our way up on another climb:

Doc Thunda and I:

Top of the 2nd B:

Ridin’ with style:

Top of 3rd B before our descent:

With teammates – Animal, Kim & Tony Finch:

Santiago Oaks with El Guapo

Last weekend some of my teammates (David, Kim and Tony) and I headed to the Santiago Oaks for some fun. We were joined by our friends Dan, Albert and Joshua. Following the heavy rains earlier in the week, we waited until the weekend to give the trails a chance to dry. Unfortunately some areas at the lower part were still pretty muddy.


Oaks is always fun. This time we stopped at the play area to watch David “el Guapo” Sanderson put on a clinic and show us his jumping skills. Below is a short video our ride. Enjoy!

Ride: The Path Sunday Ride 01-17-2010

This past Sunday, Tony and I decided to take advantage of The Path Bike shop’s Sunday ride.  The ride location changes week to week so be sure to check The Path Blog for the current week.  It’s a no-drop ride and has riders from every skill level but typically takes on at least intermediate terrain to keep the more advanced riders satisfied. This week’s ride was through Santiago Oaks and was a great way to spend the last day before the rains came in. Here’s some video from that ride, the wide-screen scenes were shot with the Vholdr Contour HD 1080P camera, set to 720p and 60 frames per second. The other footage was shot with my point-and-shoot digital camera. I apologize for the lack of audio, so throw on some tunes when you watch this.

Also The Path happened to be hosting a Pivot/BH bikes demo that several riders got to take advantage of.  It was a well-stocked demo with the whole Pivot line in several sizes. I’ve taken advantage of a Pivot Demo before and they are awesome bikes!

Ride: 12-28-2009 Santiago Oaks Solo Ride

I’m one of those fortunate souls with the week off from Christmas to New Year’s and decided to take advantage by getting in a ride today.  I hate riding alone, but I couldn’t conjure anyone up for a ride this afternoon and I’ve also been meaning to go to The Path bike shop in Tustin for a few weeks to exchange some parts.  So I decided to knock a few couple things off the to do list, loaded up the truck, ran a couple errands, headed over to the shop, and finally to play at Santiago Oaks.  I was hoping to capture some more video on the Vholdr ContourHD 1080p.  I took some video with the point-and-shoot and hoped to edit it with the helmet camera video to make a sick video.  Unfortunately, in a bone-headed move, I didn’t charge the ContourHD.  Since I had some time to kill, whilst doing laundry, I decided to throw together a little video of the point and shoot footage.  Santiago Oaks was in pretty good shape today, a few new ruts have formed from the rain, but for the most part, traction was excellent.  The sun was shining and a slight breeze kept the sweat at bay.

I know this is just footage of an average joe, riding a typical trail, but take it for what it is, and ENJOY!

Weekend Ride Report: Santiago Oaks, Sette Venom, walking up the 3Bs and a newbie crash

This past Sunday I headed back to Santiago Oaks, one of my favorite trails in So Cal.  Meeting me were RL, Val and our friend Khoa (this would be his first time at S. Oaks).   RL was riding his recently built Sette Venom, a 7” travel bike.  The night before RL had some reservations about riding the Venom.  Built for FR/DH, he didn’t have the right gearing for the 3Bs.   At some point I was able to convince him to bring it and I’ll walk up with him, if I had to…


Onto the trail – Most of the time, the ride into the park and the climb up the 3Bs is uneventful.  Just as we reach the base of the 1st B, I started shifting to a higher cog to be ready for the climb and SNAP! The right thumb shifter was super loose with no tension what so ever.  Looking at my chain, it was positioned at the middle of my cassette, unable to go any higher.  We stopped and tried to fix it but no luck.  The cable was not loose and it appears there was something broken internally within the right shifter pod.  So what happens next?  I did end up walking with RL. 


No biggie as the 1st B, is really the tougher of the three.  Reaching the top of the 1st B, we rested for a bit and tried to tinker with my rear derailleur.  Still no luck! The good thing is I can still drop down to my granny.  Val and Khoa went ahead on the climb while RL and I stopped at the top of the 2nd B.  Here were some boulders that look like a fun spot to for the Venom to jump over .  RL took a few runs which you will see in the video below.


Dropping down into Chutes is always a blast.  RL and I went down the first section fairly fast.  However, since there were other bikers on the trail we slowed down a few times just so we can stay together as a group.  Khoa was riding fairly well for a newbie.  As we reached the bottom of Chutes, RL was behind Khoa.  Not exactly sure what happened next but as we continued to descend, the trail narrowed and all of a sudden Khoa crashes.  RL stops to his left and I continue to go forward towards Khoa.  Not wanting to run him over or go OTB I veered to the right into the shrubs.  We got up, gathered ourselves and finished the ride.  Scratches were the worst of it… a good breakfast after and we were all good.  Below is a video of our ride.

Shuttlin’ Santiago Oaks

On Saturday Joe Sizzzle and I decided to shuttle Santiago Oaks. If you’ve ever been to Oaks, you know that there’s some sweet single track on top of the mountain. But in order to get there, you’ll need to climb some steep hills. Since climbing is my least favorite part of mountain biking, Joe and I parked my car at the end of the trail then drove his car to the beginning of the trail. After a good 15 minute hike to the top of the mountain, Joe and I zoomed down the single track.

Joe was riding the Intense Socom and I was on the KHS XCT 555 ( the do it all bike). Here’s our video coverage. I didn’t have an extra mount for the Vholdr Cam, so I ended up zip tying and taping the camera between the seat tube and top tube. While Joe was using the Epic Stealth Cam on his helmet. We combined our footage to come up with the video below…enjoy!

Santiago Oaks with The Moe

While RL and Priscilla were enjoying their weekend getaway and Jeremy and Khoa were reminiscing about their Big Bear trip, I had the pleasure of riding with “The Moe“. Saturday we met at the Albertson’s parking lot on the corner of Jamboree and Chapman. Moe has never ridden Santiago Oaks therefore I was looking forward to giving him a tour.

Knowing what I knew about The Moe, I had no doubt in my mind that he’ll be able to handle what S. Oaks has to offer. His weapon of choice for this ride was the new KHS Flagstaff 29er.

IMG_1635 by you.

After passing through the park, we approached the dreadful 3 “Bs” (B = female K9). On the 1st B, which is the steeper of the three, we both climbed until about mid-point. I was the first to lose traction, then Moe. We dismounted off our bikes and hiked to the top. We then immediately got on our bikes and started on the 2nd B. A quarter way up, there is a cut-off on the right hand side. This is a singletrack that runs parallel to the 2nd B. Moe and I took this route which is slightly easier than the fireroad. The 3rd B was uneventful as well with the exception of my chain dropping. It was a long grind up but well worth with what the descent has to offer.

IMG_1637 by you.

Reaching the top, Moe strapped on his armor and we were off. You can see from the video that the descent was pretty fun. It was long and flowing until we got closer to the bottom. The Moe did have a mishap towards the end. Not quite sure what happened as it appeared he was on the right line. He took a tumble but fortunately it was a minor one. He got back on his 29er and rode on.

Overall it was a blast. Always a good ride when you make it back to the car in one piece. I did notice that The Moe maybe directionally challenged 😉 Several times during the ride, as we approached a turn or a split, I would yell out either “left, left” or “right, right”…yet The Moe would go the opposite way 🙂 … hmmm, we’ll have to keep an eye on that one…

Below is a video of our ride. I had system issues saving the file so I had to slice n dice some of the clips to shorten it.

Memorial Day Weekend Ride Report

This Memorial Day Weekend Joe, Priscilla, our friend Christine and I did some riding at a couple places. Our first destination was Fontucky to ride the world famous Southridge XC course. What’s great about Fontucky is that this place has a XC course, DH course and a 4X section. Nationals are held here every year and some of the biggest names in the business show up.

Anyhow, Priscilla has been itching to do some races and the last time we were at Fontucky she didn’t like the trail. But since then they’ve carved out some new sections that eliminated the parts that she didn’t like. This trail is pretty fun, but can be brutal…especially if you’re on a single speed. Joe and I macho’d up and both rode our SS rigs.

I’m not going to lie, Joe and I walked up some of the toughest parts of the trails…no shame in that. At the end of the 7 mile course, we played on the 4x track. It’s pretty similar to a BMX track and you have to do allot of pumping much like a pump track…and it comes with some sweet berms!

I love stuff like this so I made a few passes on the track. I’m sure I was going way slower than what some 4x racers ride this thing through, but it was really fun!


I made a little video of our adventures at Fontucky…enjoy!

Then on Monday, the three of us decided to meet up at El Moro, its basically the Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach. But as we drove down there, dark clouds were hovering the area. As soon as we got there Joe, who had arrived earlier and was waiting for us, said that the trail was closed due to some rain that occurred last night and early this morning.

It sucked to see this sign…

We were all pretty bummed out, so Joe led our caravan down to Santiago Oaks in Orange/Anaheim Hills.

Once we got there, we geared up and about a mile into the ride, we saw a rider who stopped and was obviously staring at something…a big rattler! From what I’m hearing from other riders, these suckers are coming out all over SoCal to get some warm spring sun…

Pretty eh…this is the view we were treated with.

Here’s a shot of the girls right before we got into some single track.

and Joe doing his “queso” pose.

Today I was riding the new test bike that we have at HQ, the KHS XCT 535. The bike is set up as a mix of XC and trail bike, and so that meant climbing was doable and bombing down trails was a must. Santiago Oaks has some really nice, groomed single track with plenty of technical sections that can and will beat you up if you’re not paying attention. The trail varied in terrain, from hard pack, clay, baby heads 1-2 footer drops and chutes. What’s cool was the XCT 535 was able to handle everything that Santiago Oaks had to dish out.

Priscilla got a new haircut, its cute huh?

Joe and I broke off from the girls just so we can have some extra fun. It felt like we were flying down some of the trails and it was really cool to ride with Joe because I feel like he and I have the same riding style. So that means we were both speeding through some of the hardest parts of the trail. In the shot below, it was pretty gnarly.

Right before it is some single track that has some exposure on the left side. I came around the corner way too fast and looking at where I had to go, I felt like I ran out of options. I braced myself to go over the bars and luckily I sat way back on the XCT 535, so far that it felt like the rear tire was buzzing my butt! I tried to slow down as I entered this section but any time I tried to, my rear wheels would skid and I’d lose control momentarily. I figured, I’ll feather the brakes, but I was still going too fast for comfort. As I pointed the bike exactly where I needed to go, the bike responded, and the suspension was very forgiving…I made it without eating it! Phew! I was so relieved.

When I finally got down, Joe joined me at the bottom and we waited for the girls to show up. But these two riders appeared and Joe and I were doing some trail side commentary. The first guy started loosing control right at the beginning and slid down sideways with one and sometimes both feet on the ground. But the fella made a great recovery and rode through. The second guy came along and he freaked out and held onto his bars while both legs where on the ground trying to slow himself down. Luckily he was able to make it down without getting hurt. So now it was the girls’ turn. They were smart and walked that portion of the trail. I don’t blame them, that section is pretty scary.

So today this bike was pretty much my guardian angel. The KHS XCT 535 is still being reviewed but after today, I have come to realize that this bike is the shiznitz! In other words, it’s wickedly awesome!
khs xct 535

RL Vs. Sette DH Strike Saddle

When you take a husky rider like me and do something like this…

With a seat like this…the Sette Strike DH Saddle…

Then I don’t quite land the right way…

You’ll end up with a seat like this…

When I landed, I went one way, the bike went the other. Luckily, I hit my thigh…not my nuts. But the Sette seat acted like a crumple zone and absorbed my weight…Poor saddle, that was my first and last ride with it.