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.

Marshall Canyon 2, Jer/Friends 0

JJ rocking the downhill doubletrack

I decided to get in a longer ride this weekend so a few of us went out to ride Marshall Canyon. Marshall Canyon is located in the foothills about 30 minutes north of where I live. It is a beautiful out and back that is basically a climb to the top, play on a loop or two then ride an exhilarating XC downhill. The recent rains left a ton of small little streams no more than 4 feet wide that we got to splash our bikes through. This water and dirt did wreak havoc on our drivetrains. By the end of the ride I was ghost shifting a lot while Tim snapped his derailleur hangar.

The Juicy 7’s did their job bringing me and the Redline to a stop on the downhills

One of the great things about the Marshall Canyon ride is that there are some great switchback ascents and descents. These switchbacks really challenge the rider as they are both steep, loose and (because of the rain) rutted. I was also pretty thankful that I had the Juicy 7’s on. There was one part when I didn’t think I’d braked early enough and a crash was imminent, but thankfully the brakes stopped me and I was able to maneuver around a size-able gap that I would have probably eaten it on.

Wayland climbed it all SS and Rigid… on a 29er, of course

So back to the snapped derailleur hangar: we were thankful it wasn’t anymore than that. The derailleur hangar snapped off sending the XTR cage into the rear wheel. Tim was able to stop immediately and no damage was done either to the XTR derailleur or the 29er wheel. After a minute of examination, it was determined that only the derailleur hangar broke and nothing expensive was damaged.

One thing I did learn from this ride is the importance of bringing along zip ties. Our friend JJ brought along a few zip ties and we were able to tie the rear derailleur to the rear triangle so that it’d be out of the way of the rear wheel. The rear brake caliper had squeezed together a little so the rear disc was not going to fit back in. With another zip tie we mounted the brake onto the bike and Tim rode the rest of the way without a rear brake and without a chain. But he did ride, rather than walk, his way out thanks to the zip ties.

Tim, before braking the derailleur hangar

Marshall Canyon rocked me the last time I was out there breaking my chainring. This time it got Tim and his derailleur hangar. One of these times we’re going to ride the canyon and get out without any mechanicals. Until then, Marshall Canyon 2, Jer & friends 0.