Weekend Ride and “NO” Race Report (OTB in practice)

This past Saturday my ride was at Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, CA. Since southern California has been pounded with rain and storm for the past several weeks, this would be the first dry weekend for riding… In addition majority of Orange County’s trails are still closed due to the rains. Needless to say there were a lot of mountain bikers that flocked to Turnbull.

My group of friends consisted of about 15 guys. On the trail we met another group of friends which had 10 guys… so we had a big group ride!
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Heading to the trailhead

One highlight of the ride was my friend, Dexter, invested in the Shuttle Buddy. This is a motor assisted contraption that mounts on the rear wheel of your DH bike.
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Basically this is a self-shuttle for those who can’t pedal up the mountain. This would be his first trial with the Shuttle Buddy. From where we parked our cars, it’s about 1/8th of a mile to the trail head. The Shuttle Buddy motored him like a mo-ped. For awhile it sounded like a lawn mower was following me. Unfortunately his Buddy crapped out on him halfway up the first climb on dirt so I never got any details on how it was working for him.
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An Intense 951 faster than a 19lb carbon bike???

Onto the trail… conditions were excellent! There were a few wet spots but nothing that would cause trail damage. As always, Turnbull is a fun trail. If you’ve been there, we made our way down the switchbacks to 7th Street. This is a fast descent after the series of switchbacks. From here we climbed up a different set of switchbacks and headed to a singletrack called A-line. If you haven’t been there, below is a video of the downhill sections we rode on Saturday.

On the same day was the first race of the Southridge 2011 Winter Series. As you read SSuper Dan’s race report (the post prior to mine), while I was making my way to Fontana, he was tearing up the course on his singlespeed. Congrats Dan!!!

For 2011 I decided to move to the Sport Class. Registered and ready for practice RL, Wes and I headed up for a run. This would be the first run for RL and I. Prior to riding we walked about halfway down to check out the course. Not too bad, although there were some steep, roll-able sections.
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Sport number plate for 2011

Making our way down I was following RL. At some point I wobble at a section where I stopped and we were separated. Now I was making my way down without anyone to follow. I reached a steep section where I should have gone right, instead of left. On the right was much smoother transition; the left were rocks that gapped. Into the drop, I knew I was going over… I hit the ground – lights out! I’ve never felt pain like this before. Immediate pain on my right butt cheek radiating down to my leg. Fortunately there were people there that assisted me. Photographer Tibor Fazekas (www.tibiphoto.com) captured a sequence of my OTB. They stopped practice until I got my bearings. They eventually helped me off the course and EMTs came up to tend on me. Fortunately nothing was broken, just got my bell rang.
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Coming into the section. Photo by Tibor Fazekas, www.tibiphoto.com

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wadding up with my bike. Photo by Tibor Fazekas, www.tibiphoto.com

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Photo by Tibor Fazekas, www.tibiphoto.com

While the EMTs were working on me, they resumed practice and guys started coming down again. A series of guys come down, then one of my friends comes through and does the exact same thing I did but slams his head onto a rock! Result – broken helmet and a couple of gashes on his head. This was not good… The EMTs started working on him to stop the bleeding. We eventually made our way down the course where they loaded us on the shuttle vans and took us to the bottom. I ended up going home, bruised and very sore. Needless to say, no racing the following day. Come to find out that there were a lot of casualties from this race. It was tough all around… 🙁

Ride Report: 03-14-2010 Turnbull Canyon with The Path Bike Shop Group

As soon as it was announced that The Path Bike Shop group ride would be hitting Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, Tony and I were stoked. Located in Whittier, CA Turnbull Canyon is Tony and Kim’s home trail and serves as our Tuesday after-work ride. So to say we’re familiar with the trail would be an understatement.

The Path Crew Arrives

Kim, Tony and I were among the first to reach Turnbull Canyon and watched with anticipation as vehicle after vehicle arrived with bikes aboard and when all was said and done we had 18 riders for a Tour-de-Turnbull.

Beautiful weather and weeds as Kim leads Steve and Tony up a climb

It was an amazing day for a ride with the temperatures staying in the 70s and clear skies overhead. Maxwell and Brian W were representing The Path Bike shop and Maxwell’s friend Brian (didn’t catch his last name) served as ride lead and set up the ride plan. Up the fire road, 7th ave loop, down Rattlesnake, Cow Trail loop and finally descend A-side.

The Graffiti Tower

What a ride it turned out to be! With such a large group, usually there are several mechanicals and a diverse set of rider skills and abilities , leading to compromises on the route ridden. But today, everyone was of similar skill and ability and the only mechanicals were a derailleur adjustment and a broken chain. The chain even broke at a powerlink, meaning we didn’t have to pull out a chain breaker to fix it. All said and told, it was an amazing ride with grueling climbs for the XC crowd, jumps and tech lines for the all-mountain/free-riders and a great time for everyone.

Single-Track

Thanks goes out to Brian for setting up the ride, The Path Bike Shop in Tustin for hosting and sending Brian W and Maxwell. Oh, and watch out if you’re at The Path, for some reason I always end up buying a bike if Brian W is there, so be leery of him!

Check out the video I was able to capture with the Vholdr Contour HD 1080p camera and edit with Windows Movie Maker (because it’s free!). Please go to Youtube to view these videos larger and in higher quality (up to 720p). [Just click on the video a second time – 1st click begins playing, 2nd click takes you to the video on Youtube.]

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.

Turnbull Canyon: Lame Report!

Just Kidding!

We definitely didn’t have Moe and his moves, but we did have a local trail that demands to be explored. This place definitely has a few challenging & fun sections that we could spend a few hours riding over and over again. On top of this, after riding those challenging sections, we were consistently rewarded by grand vistas of either the cities of Whitter or Hacienda Heights and beyond.

There was one particular place that was definitely worthy of attention: a rather fun switchback area aptly named “rattlesnake”, shortly followed by a nice section of flowy singletrack that just begged to be ridden harder and faster. The nice thing about the flowy singletrack section was that even though there was some exposure, the exposure was tempered by a small embankment. That embankment meant that you had to REALLY screw up to go flying off the side of the hill.

This time around I brought just my point and shoot camera. After getting used to a dslr, it is hard to go back to a P & S. The main culprit for having so few pictures for this ride report? The delay between squeezing the button and the firing of the shutter, also known as shutter delay. I kept missing shots. Every picture would be of a bush after my riding buddy had passed by or of an empty trail prior to my friend riding through view of the camera. The other culprit for having so few pictures? Substandard models…umm… I mean we were having too much fun to stop. So, only a couple of staged shots for you all.


This shot was taken after I originally missed them coming around a corner on the flowy singletrack section


Our steeds were resting on the hitching post before the final descent back to the car

I hope everybody got in a good ride this weekend. It’s only going to get hotter here in So. Cal.

Turnbull Canyon: Fun Report!

This weekend two groups from MtnBikeRiders.com headed out to Turnbull Canyon for some trail riding. Moe and I conducted our own ride while Jeremy and his posse hit up the trail from the other end. Though we were all essentially on the same trail we never did see each other.

Both Moe and I rode KHS Bikes, he was on his Alite and I was riding the KHS XCT 535…sweet bike.

We made a little video showing how much fun we were having out there…check out Moe’s moves around 1:03.


We then finished it off with a great breakfast in Downtown Whittier.

Hopefully Jeremy’s group had a fun and safe ride.

First Impression – Zuma Rudy Project Helmet

This past week the post man delivered the Zuma Rudy Project Helmet to my front door. This is one SWEET helmet. Lucky for me, Moe’s noggin’ is a little large for this helmet, so I get to review this one. ;D This past Saturday I made my first run with this helmet out at Turnbull Canyon.

Here’s a short description from the website:

ZUMA
A compact, streamlined design enhanced by a
system of 26 vents: Zuma combines the characteristics
of a technically advanced helmet with a dynamic,
highly attractive look.

First Impressions
Now first of all I have to say I didn’t take the time to adjust the straps on the Zuma. I was in a hurry and I couldn’t wait to hit the trails. I know, shame on me. But I’ll make sure to adjust it before my next ride.

Rudy Project is known for applying technology and science to their designs. I need to know what all this hoopla is about. So with that said, immediately I was impressed with the style and detail on this helmet. This is a NICE helmet. It’s lightweight with lots of ventilation. And lots of cushion inside this helmet for a comfy fit. Stay tuned for my full review, but for now I like what I see! 🙂

Turnbull Canyon Ride Report…Going Green

RL, Priscilla, Moe and myself hooked up this Saturday to explore some new trails out at Turnbull Canyon. It’s started out pretty chilly but warmed up about 30 minutes into the ride. I was ridiculed for my excessive cold weather setup from the start. Hey, I’m a slim jim…scrawny + cold = misery.


Freezing

Spring is the one time of year when we get some decent rain here and it certainly makes for some beautiful rides. If I could look at this type of greenery all year long I think I’d be in heaven. Anyway, RL was out on his man-making-machine, the singlespeed Sette Reken and there was plenty of climbing throughout the day. I tell you this guy is a glutton for pain!


Mmmm…that’s nice

This ride really flowed along except for one particular climb. It was no more than a 2 foot wide singletrack that had a good sized rut running through the middle. So you had to stay on a 6 inch patch of ground, grind out a considerably steep climb, traverse the switchbacks and avoid a huge amount of loose, baseball-sized, rock all at the same time. We decided to hike-a-bike up this part. Even the hike was tough.


Moe happy cuz he doesn’t have ride uphill

After this section we ran into some exposed singletrack. This is the type of trail you dream about so I tried it and luckily didn’t fall off.


Priscilla ready to break out the crash kit

Below was another new part of the trail we went on. The downhills were steep and speedy with constant switchbacks to hold your attention. I felt like we were in a rain forest. Looking up, RL and Moe had this great view of Moe coming down.


Moe on the switchbacks

I guess the theme of the day was switchbacks, now that I think about it. They were everywhere! We did find a nice 6 foot drop but I wasn’t feelin’ it since this was my first ride back on the Heckler in over a couple weeks. I’m glad no one was taunting me on or I might have gotten myself into trouble. We had our hands full enough with the lengthy climbs.


Moe finishing off the hill

Priscilla was in her usual kick-ass form on all the uphills. I noticed her bunny hopping over ridges in the road on the way back to the trailhead and couldn’t help but think how encouraging it is to see a female have as much fun on the bike as the guys. Just shows that bikes aren’t sexist…anyone can have fun!

Havin’ a blast

The weather kicked up to the mid 70s by the end of the ride and it was absolutely beautiful out. Great people and a great ride. Always a good mix!


Priscilla…always smilin’ on the trail

LA Ride post #2

As Moe wrote earlier we headed out to Turnbull Canyon this weekend to get in some miles on our bikes. It was beautiful this weekend, it would have been a shame to waste it!


Here is a shot of the beautiful LA smog. Mmmhhhmm. Nothing like it!


One thing I appreciate about California is you can drive 45 minutes to the beach, 45 min to LA, or 2 hours to the Mountains. We were able to get a glimpse of a little snow still left on the mountain tops.

It was another good ride. RL kicked butt out there on his single speed. I don’t know how he does it. And we were worried about Moe’s Evomo jersey, but we were glad to see no damage after Moe’s fall. Whew! 😀 Actually, he came really close to hitting his head on a big rock in the ground. It was a good thing he had his melon protector on! He walked away with just a few scratches.


Moe started whining about his boo boo, so lucky for him we happened to have our handy dandy Road Rash Kit! But then we looked closer at his wounds and we told him NO, he cannot use the road rash kit for THAT LITTLE scratch!!! Aye, Moises!


He wanted to make sure you all saw his war wounds. So here’s a close up for y’all.

And of course there’s no better way to finish off a good ride then with some grub. We finished off the ride with a stop in Down Town Whittier for some goodies. Hope you all enjoyed your rides this weekend with good friends!