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  1. #1
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    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)

    saturday, november 3, 2012

    my first time riding in the loon lake area.

    the loon lake trail was covered in snow. damn.

    so i did an out and back on the rubicon instead. i only rode in about five miles before i had to turn back due to fading daylight. what a workout, tho!

    got to see rockcrawlers up close and personal, sofa king cool!

    it was a super fun day.



    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/52854314?badge=0" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    loon lake



    the trail does not go...


    my heckler
    Last edited by parkmeister; 11-05-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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  2. #2
    tjp
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    That's a really fun ride! I've driven it several time, but rode in from the Tahoe side, down Cadillac to the camp and back last year. It was a blast. Surprising how little of it was unrideable.

  3. #3
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    Man your tires look skinny compared to the big fat mothers those machine are on!

  4. #4
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    Nice, I''ve wanting to try that with my bike . I want to make a rack for my bike on my rockcrawler to take it in with me, but I have a tendency to roll over a lot, so that would't be good for my bike.

  5. #5
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    Awesome pics. I just bought a hecker frame and revelation fork, your bike pic makes me want to get that thing built asap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent70 View Post
    Nice, I''ve wanting to try that with my bike . I want to make a rack for my bike on my rockcrawler to take it in with me, but I have a tendency to roll over a lot, so that would't be good for my bike.
    I've been dreaming up a way to put a rack on my CJ as well. It would be fun to camp in the springs and do a few rides to see what's out there with a little quicker than walking or wheeling.

  7. #7
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    Ha small world! That's my friends and I where you are riding the trail next to the rigs. The red buggy is mine. My son and I were enjoying watching you ride.

    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1352169546.048168.jpg

    Some of my wheelin buds ride too, we've been talking about riding/camping on the trail for awhile now... Just need to follow through. thought about throwing our gear on our rigs and letting the women drive while we ride. The con is badass for all things tired
    I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!

  8. #8
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    Is that soup bowl or ice cream bowl?

  9. #9
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    Great video, thanks!
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellowyellowCJ7 View Post
    Is that soup bowl or ice cream bowl?
    Rocky road! Lol
    I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, we can ride through lil sluice now.....almost. Runnig from spider to buck would be fun.
    I bet fordyce would be an adventure, preferably, from meadow lake to cisco.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent70 View Post
    I bet fordyce would be an adventure, preferably, from meadow lake to cisco.
    If not for the creek crossings, Fordyce would be a blast... probably really hard, but certainly fun.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by abeckstead View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When did that rock get moved down on Soup Bowl? The rock in the foreground of the picture above. It used to be in closer to the main ridgeline.

    I used to have a couple of crawlers and made monthly trips through the Rubicon.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  14. #14
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    Great video. That is definitely on my to do list for next year. That trail is insane. It would be a nice place to take a trials bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes road sheep View Post
    It would be a nice place to take a trials bike.
    I've seen a lot of trials moto bikes up there. The big granite bowl screams trials action.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  16. #16
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    That granite bowl screams speed!


  17. #17
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    "sofa king cool!"
    One of my favorite SNL skits

  18. #18
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    Anybody done the Rubicon from Tahoe all the way down to Loon Lake by bike? I'm researching doing this as part of a bikepacking trip from Tahoe to Folsom/Sacramento this summer. This first video made me think lots of walking, but maybe if you stay on the main trail when there is no snow?
    Rollin' rocks will never die...

  19. #19
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    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)

    It's doable. The first 14 miles from Tahoma to Cadilac Hill are pretty easy going fire road.
    Cadilac Hill will scare the sh!t out of you. Steep downhill.
    Easy cruise through Rubicon Springs until you get to Big Sluice. Big Sluice will be a HAB with a loaded bike.
    Pick your way to Little Sluice. Plenty of very rideable routes around Little Sluice.
    As I recall, things were more interesting between Little Sluice and Loon Lake. Walker Ridge is a fun downhill chute on a mtn bike. There will be a number of boulder fields that will be HAB along the way.
    You route will change things. If you stay on the trail to Wentworth Springs, it's going to be atleast one more day's worth of riding.
    If you roll out to Loon and take pavement from there it will be quicker, but a lot more boring.


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  20. #20
    Pirate!!!
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    You need a Fatbike for a trip like this.

  21. #21
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    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)

    Best video on Mtbr!

  22. #22
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cobb View Post
    You need a Fatbike for a trip like this.
    That's what I thought after the too much snow and sand comment.

    Need to borrow my friend's 26lb carbon fatbike.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the info, Brew! I figured by looking at the route that Cadillac Hill would be the steepest part, but we'd be going down it which might be doable. Then I didn't know if there would be a lot of HAB that involved scrambling up boulders and granite will carrying our bikes between there and Loon Lake. My plan right now is to use my full-squish 29er (Salsa Spearfish) with my B.O.B. Ibex (suspension) trailer. But if I will have to carry my bike over obstacles a lot then I'll invest in all the bikepacking bags.
    Rollin' rocks will never die...

  24. #24
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    I would strongly suggest against a trailer. That would be a pita. There are many points were you would have to separately drag your bike and then the trailer up. Actually, even bike packing bags is going to suck. If I was going to tackle a multi day excursion there, I would go fast and light.

    Every time I've ridden there, the rock crawlers are amazed and offer lots of beer. If you really want to go light, screw the provisions and live off of their beer offerings.

  25. #25
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    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)

    A trailer is not going to work over the Rubicon. You will be in for a lot of HAB.

    Even a heavy bike packing set up will be difficult, but easier than the trailer.

    I was thinking about your trip a little more. One other option would be to take the McKinstry Mtn Trail north from the Rubicon and head towards Hell Hole Reservoir. The McKinstry Mtn Trail intersects the Rubicon just a little east of Ellis Creek. From Hell Hole you have a lot of options. You can continue north to French Meadows Reservior, then pick up either roads or trails in to Foresthill.


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  26. #26
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    I love it when people who have never done what you want to do tell you it's going to suck.....Gotta love the internet....

    You can do it with a trailer, it won't be as fun as doing it with purpose built bikepacking bags, but as long as you are down with the experience then who cares.

    You have to go out to the road via either the Rubicon hiking trail or follow the Rubicon OHV all the way to the Staging area. McKinstry trail really for all intents and purposes does not exist anymore. The trail around Hell Hole from the boat in campground has 100's of trees down on it and that will indeed suck whichever way you set your bike up. There is trail that parallels Eleven Pines Rd and might be doable in your direction, you have to cross the Rubicon at about the mid point of the Hunter Trail, so water levels will be critical.

    Here's a couple of routes that are possible for you to follow, I always go towards the lake from Foresthill and have done it many times. These are both part of multi day loaded tours.

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/197098911'></iframe>

    <iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/116360524'></iframe>

  27. #27
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    LOONatic fringe (mtb rockcrawling on the rubicon)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Allan View Post
    I love it when people who have never done what you want to do tell you it's going to suck.....Gotta love the internet....

    You can do it with a trailer, it won't be as fun as doing it with purpose built bikepacking bags, but as long as you are down with the experience then who cares.
    Thanks for posting up and setting things straight here Sean. Nobody around here has as much experience as you do with bike packing through the high sierras.

    I could not see dragging a trailer set up through the rubicon. I won't say it's impossible, but I don't think it would be fun. Seems like a bag set up would be significantly less HAB.

    It's a damned shame about McKinstry. I used to run that trail a couple times a year with my 4x4. It was nice for escaping the crowds on the rubicon. But that was over ten years ago.


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  28. #28
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    [QUOTE=Sean Allan;10389598]I love it when people who have never done what you want to do tell you it's going to suck.....Gotta love the internet....

    You have your opinion and I have mine. I've done the route many times. I would bet that less than 1% of mountain bikers would like the route using a dream bike let alone a touring setup. It's a slow speed crawl with zero flow. It's the antithesis of what most people like to do. Just like you, I'm one of the few who have even done the route let alone go back and do it regularly. My opinion is no less relevant than yours and I stand by my statement that touring it would suck.

  29. #29
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    Hey Jadedbee - I agree that pulling a trailer on the Rubicon route would be pretty rough. Have you considered starting in South Lake Tahoe, going up Hawley Grade, then taking the Pony Express Trail to Silverfork, then working your way on dirt south of Hwy 50 before connecting into the El Dorado Trail in Camino (or Placerville)... then following the railroad trails all the way to Folsom? The Pony XP trail is actually really fun and you will do a lot more riding.

    I've been wondering who will be the first* mtbr person to ride from Echo to Folsom... or continue all the way to Old Sacramento.

    *for all I know, it's probably been done by someone, just not publicized.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I've been wondering who will be the first* mtbr person to ride from Echo to Folsom... or continue all the way to Old Sacramento.

    *for all I know, it's probably been done by someone, just not publicized.
    Sean Allen has probably done that, going uphill, with a fully loaded bike, in one trip (he's not really human, I think).
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  31. #31
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    Well, looks like the trailer option worked itself out anyway - I found a crack in the rear dropout of my Spearfish. I'm probably going to upgrade to the thru-axle version, which can't tow a BOB. So lightweight bags it will be (large seatbag, handlebar-roll, and maybe a frame bag).

    Did you mention the McKinstry Mtn Trail because it avoids pavement and/or HAB, or would you take that just to add trail? I think it's about 42 miles of pavement between the last campground on the original Rubicon Trail to Coloma (I figured we'd take the original Rubicon Trail along Wentworth Springs instead of cutting south along Loon Lake, unless we'd be skipping better trail for worse). That would be an easy day terrain wise where we could stop in towns for food. Then we could ride SFART & etc. almost all the way home to Fair Oaks or Roseville the last day.

    But I have seen Sean Allan's route that came from the TRT in South Lake over to the Western States back into Foresthill, which we could conceivably take down to Folsom. But I know that the WST also has a lot of HAB and that it there are a lot of intersections to get there.

    If you were "bikepacking" from South Lake Tahoe down to the Sacramento area, which way would you go? Not race-pace, just casual endurance pace on mostly dirt that can be ridden with light loads. Emphasis on being in the wilderness with your friends enjoying the trip. We just picked the Rubicon because it's all legal, it would be an easy route to follow and we'd end up in about the right place, plus it sounded like something not too many people have done before. But I know WST and possibly Pony Express would be other options.
    Rollin' rocks will never die...

  32. #32
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    Oops, posted a reply before I read the second page!

    Sean and Empty - thank you! That's exactly the kind of info I'm curious about. I'll look at both those routes. I'm actually really curious about the Pony Express option since I've ridden the portion at X-mas Tree Valley and have been hearing good things about the railroad grade El Dorado Trail, but I was under the impression that most of the Pony Express along Hwy 50 was not rideable because of disuse.
    Rollin' rocks will never die...

  33. #33
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    The Pony XP might have some blowdowns and debris on it from winter, but it's a great trail. The annual Pony Express re-enactment ride is coming up, so I think there would be a little trailwork done prior to it. If you go that way, just remember going over Lover's Leap is much better than going below LL. The big question mark for me is getting from Silverfork to Camino or Placerville on dirt. I've been wondering about the flumes south of Hwy 50...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    The big question mark for me is getting from Silverfork to Camino or Placerville on dirt. I've been wondering about the flumes south of Hwy 50...
    So this got me curious about different routes available along Hwy 50. After Pony Xps crosses 50 at Silverfork, Yahoo Maps shows it continuing onward, all the way past Ice House Rd. Is that rideable at all? I know you have explored the area some.
    Prior to reaching Ice House Rd, the trail appears to be a fire road on the north side of the canyon. I know that area does not have much tree cover after the Cleveland fire, so a summer trek would be a scorcher.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

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