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Thread: Backbone Ride

  1. #1
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    Backbone Ride

    I've just moved here, and I have heard about this trail called 'Backbone'. From what people have said it is a fun ride that is not a boring fire road. It seems like a good place to start for me, and I'd be stoked to ride it soon (preferably during the week). Anyone want to get some good samaritan points and show someone who is new to the area a ride? I don't suck either. I'm not in the best shape, but I think I'm decent. I think I'm pretty good technically. I don't want to go fast/slow/win or lose compared to anyone, I just want to be challenged a bit and have fun.

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    The Backbone is a trail that crosses the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from Will Rodgers State Park to Point Mugu State Park, crossing various other agency lands and private property in between. Not all is open to bikes, and the whole "Backbone" isn't really one "ride."

    Pick a section and out-and-back it. Different sections have been built at different times and are in different conditions, so there's no one-size-fits-all rating for the whole length of trail.

    Without knowing your location it is more difficult to suggest a section of trail to try. Parking off Encinal north of Probationary Camp 13 and heading north for the trail will put you on to one of my favorite sections (tandem friendly), but each will have his own fav.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I like the three sections of the Backbone starting at Kana-Dune Rd., heading East up and over the tunnel.

    The first section is the smoothest. Up and down, roller coaster ride type trail with some twisty turns and minimal technical features. It ends at Latigo Cyn Rd.

    From there, you catch section 2 which is more technical with longer climbs and decends.

    That one ends on a fireroad saddle where you drop down onto the final piece that I like. It's like a mixture of the first two sections and ends on Corral Cyn Rd.

    From there, turn around and head back the way you came.

    I'm a little hesitant to ride it this week because of the wet weather we'll be having through Thursday. Don't like to ride in mud and slop. Perhaps another time...
    Last edited by Hawg; 10-25-2010 at 06:35 PM.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

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    Thanks for the replies, and the insight is good, but all those options I heard lead me back to what I asked originally. Anyone want to go do a ride? Tell me when, where and I'll be there, I'd be stoked for some local knowlege.

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    Tour de Backbone

    I'm unable to ride this week and headed out of town for the weekend, but if you can hold off until next weekend, and are up for a 30 miler with about 4.5k climbing, I could take you on a loop that strings together most of my favorite local trails. This would be a pretty thorough brain dump on the Southern portion of the Santa Monicas (including a section of the backbone trail). I'd be happy to do a shorter ride as well if that sounds more appealing. Just hit me up next week via pm.

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    How long are these two sections combined (out and back)?

    The first section is the smoothest. Up and down, roller coaster ride type trail with some twisty turns and minimal technical features. It ends at Latigo Cyn Rd.

    From there, you catch section 2 which is more technical with longer climbs and decends.

    That one ends on a fireroad saddle where you drop down onto the final piece that I like. It's like a mixture of the first two sections and ends on Corral Cyn Rd.


    Thanks!

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    do you night ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisar
    How long are these two sections combined (out and back)?

    The first section is the smoothest. Up and down, roller coaster ride type trail with some twisty turns and minimal technical features. It ends at Latigo Cyn Rd.

    From there, you catch section 2 which is more technical with longer climbs and decends.

    That one ends on a fireroad saddle where you drop down onto the final piece that I like. It's like a mixture of the first two sections and ends on Corral Cyn Rd.


    Thanks!
    I think the whole 3 sections are a combined 6.5 or 7 miles, 13-14 miles (roughly) round trip. The sections seem fairly equal in size between the 3 of them, so around 2+ miles or so each section...
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

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    No night riding for me, I've tried it, but I've got to say it is not my thing.

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    I've done the whole thing in a day, from Pt Mugu to Sunset Blvd. 60 something miles, 13 something thousand feet of climbing. Best done on summer solstice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    I've done the whole thing in a day, from Pt Mugu to Sunset Blvd. 60 something miles, 13 something thousand feet of climbing. Best done on summer solstice.
    What route did you used considering some sections of the Backbone are closed to MTB?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    I've done the whole thing in a day, from Pt Mugu to Sunset Blvd. 60 something miles, 13 something thousand feet of climbing. Best done on summer solstice.
    Next time you do this ride, count me in. Sounds like fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg
    Personally, Ilike the three sections of the Backbone starting at Kana-Dune Rd., heading East up and over the tunnel.

    The first section is the smoothest. Up and down, roller coaster ride type trail with some twisty turns and minimal technical features. It ends at Latigo Cyn Rd.

    From there, you catch section 2 which is more technical with longer climbs and decends.

    That one ends on a fireroad saddle where you drop down onto the final piece that I like. It's like a mixture of the first two sections and ends on Corral Cyn Rd.

    From there, turn around and head back the way you came.

    I'm a little hesitant to ride it this week because of the wet weather we'll be having through Thursday. Don't like to ride in mud and slop. Perhaps another time...
    this ride is very messy if it is at all wet

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhrace507
    I've just moved here, and I have heard about this trail called 'Backbone'. From what people have said it is a fun ride that is not a boring fire road. It seems like a good place to start for me, and I'd be stoked to ride it soon (preferably during the week). Anyone want to get some good samaritan points and show someone who is new to the area a ride? I don't suck either. I'm not in the best shape, but I think I'm decent. I think I'm pretty good technically. I don't want to go fast/slow/win or lose compared to anyone, I just want to be challenged a bit and have fun.
    I'll ride with you. I'm a slow and steady climber. I've been injured for a few weeks, but ready to get back on the bike.

    The loop I do starts at Capri and Amalfi (park there, or ride there). From there I climb Sullivan Fire Road to Mullholand. Then cruise over to Temescal Fire Road to the Hub and then get on the Backbone to get back to Sunset. The loop is about 22-23 miles (haven't done it in a while). It usually takes me 3+ hours. I take breaks at the top of Sullivan and at the Hub. It was getting pretty overgrown the last time I rode, but still plenty fun. There's a shortcut somewhere off the "old car" trail over to Bent Arrow, but I don't know it yet. Don't really feel like exploring.

    Send me a pm and we can try and set something up.

  15. #15
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    Count me in also!

    Keep me in the loop when these rides go down. Need more motivation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    I've done the whole thing in a day, from Pt Mugu to Sunset Blvd. 60 something miles, 13 something thousand feet of climbing. Best done on summer solstice.
    How did you connect Piuma Rd to Topanga? Bikes a re not aloud there. I've been thinking about hitting this but haven'y done it.

    For the Original Poster
    I won't be around this weekend. Next week starting tuesday I can show you around. We can do from T1 at Kanan to Mishe Mokua parking lot. About 32 miles round trip.

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    For a moderately long out-and-back excursion on the Backbone, I like Corral Canyon to Yerba Buena and back. It's 42 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing total. To connect Zuma Ridge to the Encinal Canyon trailhead, you have to bail out to Encinal Canyon Road if you want to keep it completely legal. Stats don't sound all that impressive, but it's still a butt-kicker due to the way the climbing is doled out. Best done on a cooler day, as those canyons can get really hot and stagnant.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandegrande
    I'll ride with you. I'm a slow and steady climber. I've been injured for a few weeks, but ready to get back on the bike.

    The loop I do starts at Capri and Amalfi (park there, or ride there). From there I climb Sullivan Fire Road to Mullholand. Then cruise over to Temescal Fire Road to the Hub and then get on the Backbone to get back to Sunset. The loop is about 22-23 miles (haven't done it in a while). It usually takes me 3+ hours. I take breaks at the top of Sullivan and at the Hub. It was getting pretty overgrown the last time I rode, but still plenty fun. There's a shortcut somewhere off the "old car" trail over to Bent Arrow, but I don't know it yet. Don't really feel like exploring.

    Send me a pm and we can try and set something up.
    If the shortcut you're referring to is the section of bent arrow that goes from dirt mulholland to temescal fire road, it's illegal and one of the only trails actually enforced by the rangers since they can drive their truck to it. They're lazy like that. They also drive to the bottom of Los Liones and enforce there.

    If the shortcut you're referring is the spur trail that drops off the west side of the fire break that separates the 2 pieces of bent arrow...it dumps you into the east lobe of upper Rustic canyon, you then have to head south and find the west lobe, and then eventually somehow find the bottom of the Bay Tree trail which will take you up to the Backbone. This route is EXTREMELY hard to navigate, and not realy worth it unless "they" mark and clear the route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    If the shortcut you're referring to is the section of bent arrow that goes from dirt mulholland to temescal fire road, it's illegal and one of the only trails actually enforced by the rangers since they can drive their truck to it. They're lazy like that. They also drive to the bottom of Los Liones and enforce there.

    If the shortcut you're referring is the spur trail that drops off the west side of the fire break that separates the 2 pieces of bent arrow...it dumps you into the east lobe of upper Rustic canyon, you then have to head south and find the west lobe, and then eventually somehow find the bottom of the Bay Tree trail which will take you up to the Backbone. This route is EXTREMELY hard to navigate, and not realy worth it unless "they" mark and clear the route.
    I'm referring to the second one you mention. I've been given directions before, but like you say it's hard to navigate. I'd rather not go exploring when introducing someone to a new trail.
    I've tried the first one (I know, I know...) and it sucked. No way to really ride the end of it. You end up having to hike a bike anyway.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandegrande
    I've tried the first one (I know, I know...) and it sucked. No way to really ride the end of it. You end up having to hike a bike anyway.
    Not that I'm advocating it, but the end of it is totally rideable.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    I've done the whole thing in a day, from Pt Mugu to Sunset Blvd. 60 something miles, 13 something thousand feet of climbing. Best done on summer solstice.

    how do you stop for beer....20 is enough then beer break

  22. #22
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    This thread inspired me to ride a large portion of Backbone Friday from the Kanan tunnel east, to finish at Will Rogers Park. I didn't quite make it due to a late start, but it was an epic ride/walk anyway. Parts were super sick, others made me sick wishing I was in better shape. Being on a SS I walked a fair amount, especially the hike up Saddle Peak Trail.

    Before anyone flames me for riding illegally, I happened to talk to a park ranger at the start of the ride. I informed him of my plan to ride BB all the way in, and he seemed genuinely stoked for me. His advice was to "walk" the illegal parts, especially if I saw anyone on the trail. He wished me luck and drove off. Coolio.

    Not sure of the distance and feet ascended as my shitty iphone app stopped mid-way, but I'm guessing around 35 miles and 5-6k of climbing. If anyone has done this before and knows the specs, please post it here.

    Had to bail in Topanga as the sun was dropping fast. Managed to see the sunset riding the PCH home. One of my favorite days on a bike.

    Route:
    Kanan tunnel >> Latigo >> Corral >> Mesa Peak Motorway >> Tapia Motorway >> Saddle Peak Trail >> Old Topanga Road.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Backbone Ride-bb-castro.jpg  

    Backbone Ride-bb-corral.jpg  

    Backbone Ride-meditation-circle-saddle-peak.jpg  


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    I'll be riding the BBT tomorrow. T1 to Mishe Mokaw and back, refill at the car and then ride to top of Corral and back. It's Jim's route just a different start point. Moderate to fast pace, try to get it done in 5 hours. Start rolling at 8:00

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigringrider101
    I'll be riding the BBT tomorrow. T1 to Mishe Mokaw and back, refill at the car and then ride to top of Corral and back. It's Jim's route just a different start point. Moderate to fast pace, try to get it done in 5 hours. Start rolling at 8:00
    Should be primo conditions out there tomorrow. Wish I had the day off so I could join you. Good option to start at T1 and do two out-and-back rides, particularly so that you can refill half-way. If you don't already know, there's a water spigot across the road from the Encinal trailhead. It's next to a trailer on the driveway that leads to the detention camp. You will have to really keep moving at a decent pace to knock out the entire 42 miles in five hours. Last time out I'm pretty sure my moving time was around 5:20. It was one of those 98 degrees in the shade days, though.

    Have fun out there!

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    bigring, trying to shift some work around to make this ride. i'll keep you posted.

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