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  1. #1
    Where is my mind?
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    Coming out to San Diego 4/5-4/9

    I'm heading out to San Diego for a conference between April 5-9th and am planning on taking my bike out. Looking for suggestion for good trail(s). I'd like to look for challenging trails that are about an hour or less from the SD Convention center. I like technical, but I'm only good for small jumps. Since it will be my first time riding out there it would be great to have a guide (warning, I am a slow climber).
    Last edited by Cyclopod; 04-02-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    used to be uno-speedo....
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    Try Noble Canyon.

  3. #3
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  4. #4
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    Experimental Biology, huh?

    I second mtbbill's site, but look a little closer in than Noble unless you are planning to take most of a day from the conference.

  5. #5
    Where is my mind?
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    Nobel Canyon sounds like the ride to do. I quickly glanced at MTB Bill's page and will have to studying it further later. A couple of dumb questions:
    Is this trail safe if I had to ride it alone, from wild cats etc (have to ask, wife an all)?
    What is a reasonable amount of time to do the 7 up 7 down route (remember first time there)?
    Where can I look up info for the shuttle if I decide to go that route.

    Thanks for your help guys.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  6. #6
    Where is my mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy
    Experimental Biology, huh?

    I second mtbbill's site, but look a little closer in than Noble unless you are planning to take most of a day from the conference.
    Ummm.... Why do you say that?

    I haven't planned my itinerary, but I usually have at least one day (or at least a good half day) where I can play a little.

    I am open for other suggestions.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  7. #7
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    If you're going to haul your bike all the way out here from FL you might as well tackle Noble Cyn, about 45 minutes from downtown. If you get a very early start you can probably get back in time for an afternoon meeting downtown. I think the easiest way to do it is park off Pine Creek Rd and climb up the roads to Sunrise Hwy, make a right and go to the Noble Cyn trailhead about a mile down Sunrise. I have no idea what you mean by "slow climber" but there are some prolonged steep grades on the road as you head up and if you aren't in pretty good shape you'll be walking the bike up parts of that road.

    For something closer you can try Sycamore Cyn from the Mast Blvd entrance (20 minutes), tacking on the Martha's Grove loop - mostly flat/rolling, or you can ride out at Sweetwater from the East entrance off Hwy 94 (15 minutes from Downtown) and depending on the turns you make can keep it pretty flat or mix in some hills. These are all on MTB Bill's page as previously indicated.

  8. #8
    "Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclopod
    Is this trail safe if I had to ride it alone, from wild cats etc
    You have a greater chance of crashing in your car on the way to the airport or being in the airplane when it crashes, or crashing your car from the airport to the hotel or from your hotel to the ride, or even your bike while on the ride than of being attacked by a Mountain Lion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclopod
    What is a reasonable amount of time to do the 7 up 7 down route
    I haven't done that version of the ride in quite some time but I'd guess that it would take you 3 hours being that it's your first time. There are other variations as well so it would depend on which route you actually took. The trailhead is also about 45-ish minutes from downtown so Noble is a long day if you're got something to do in the afternoon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclopod
    Where can I look up info for the shuttle if I decide to go that route.
    There is no actual shuttle to take you to the top. When people shuttle the ride, they park one or more cars at the bottom and drive the rest to the top. after the ride, they have to drive back up to the top to retrieve the cars.

    YR

  9. #9
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    If you only have a couple of hours, check out La Costa (mtb bill). It's about 20 mins from downtown. It's extremely small but the fun factor is off the charts. You can do as many loops as you want/have time for/have legs for. There's tech sections, drops, flowy singletrack, switchbacks, and much much more.

    I recommend doing the switchback climb, descending the switchback, climbing the switchback again, then descending Nascar for a roughly 1.5 hr ride. Do the climb again and drop down the backside for more singletrack heaven.

    At the top of the switch back climb (there's a double black diamond sign posted there), Nascar will be to your right. It's a bit of a stretch to call it double black but it's still a blast.

  10. #10
    Where is my mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider
    You have a greater chance of crashing in your car on the way to the airport or being in the airplane when it crashes, or crashing your car from the airport to the hotel or from your hotel to the ride, or even your bike while on the ride than of being attacked by a Mountain Lion.
    YR
    So basically you're saying yes it's safe. Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Thanks for the feed back. If someone ask of Gators on the Florida trails I would laugh (although there is one trail). Didn't want to come off as ignorant, but the wife wanted to make sure I asked. As far as getting up early, the jet lag should make that easy. La Costa trail sounds promising and will be on my list, but unless my schedule gets impossible I'm seriously giving Nobel Canyon a try.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  11. #11
    Boyeeee
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty22s
    At the top of the switch back climb (there's a double black diamond sign posted there), Nascar will be to your right. It's a bit of a stretch to call it double black but it's still a blast.
    Just to clarify. If you're on the fireroad facing the sign, Nascar is on the left and Switchbacks is on the right.

    I agree with smitty, La Costa is great but if you have time, do Noble. If you have time the next day, do La Costa.

  12. #12
    Where is my mind?
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    Thanks a lot for the feedback. You guys have been truly helpful. I've got another question. A buddy was considering in joining me on the trail. Where is a good bike rental in the area (thinking 4-5" full suspension).
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  13. #13
    Goats Rule!
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    Don't know where to rent bikes, but some shops will let you demo them for $100 - $150 per day, which is then applied towards the purchase of a bike. I think Trek charges $100 and will credit the money towards merchandise if you don't buy a bike.

    Noble is THE ride around here, but if you're more limited on time or the shuttle logistics don't work out, there's always Hollenbeck Canyon or Sweetwater Summit to Rancho San Diego and back.

    There's a loop that's okay - not great by any means, but you can ride to it from the Convention Center. It's the canyons around Pershing St. and Balboa Park. Go to: http://sdmba.com/index.php?option=co...&id=7&Itemid=5 and check out Florida Canyon.

    Enjoy your stay!

  14. #14
    Where is my mind?
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I got my bike packed up and will plan a couple of days riding for that week. With all the pictures and the MTBBill video I'm really stoked.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  15. #15
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    From what I hear Noble is a serious all day ride -- you may need a guide for that one. Another places you may want to consider is Mission Trails, Los Penasquitos, Sycamore Canyon, and Tri-Canyons, which are relatively close to downtown. MountainBike Bill has a write up on each of those places and they are also reviewed on this site (click on "reviews" and "trails")

    Another online resource you may want to check out is www.socaltrailriders.org. On the "Trailhead" forum, you can post that you're interested in touring SD and someone may volunteer to show you around.

    Unfortunatly there is a rain in the forecast this weekend - hopefully, there wont be heavy storms.

  16. #16
    Goats Rule!
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    Rain is only in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow during the day. Supposed to be dry Thursday night through the remainder of the week and well into next week.

  17. #17
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    Hello - Note his dates are 5/5 - 5/9, not this weekend 4/5...regarding Noble, yes, it's THE classic, but it looks like you'll be doing it midweek and it might be lonely. The realistic hazard is not mtn lions but crashing (check out the videos and pix you can find here and on SoCalTrailRiders.org). I have ridden the loop by myself, am not in very good shape, but it was doable. Common sense prevailed and I walked a couple gnarly spots because I was acutely aware that I was all alone with no cell service. Yes, budget nearly a full day. But by posting on these sites, you are likely to find a riding partner / guide. Sorry I can't help with the rental aspect -- someone chime in --- I think Beyond Bikes demo's nice rigs?. The La Costa suggestion is excellent -- great trails, easy access, can't get lost, with or without a guide.

  18. #18
    Where is my mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldDogDan
    Hello - Note his dates are 5/5 - 5/9, not this weekend 4/5...regarding Noble, yes, it's THE classic, but it looks like you'll be doing it midweek and it might be lonely. The realistic hazard is not mtn lions but crashing (check out the videos and pix you can find here and on SoCalTrailRiders.org). I have ridden the loop by myself, am not in very good shape, but it was doable. Common sense prevailed and I walked a couple gnarly spots because I was acutely aware that I was all alone with no cell service. Yes, budget nearly a full day. But by posting on these sites, you are likely to find a riding partner / guide. Sorry I can't help with the rental aspect -- someone chime in --- I think Beyond Bikes demo's nice rigs?. The La Costa suggestion is excellent -- great trails, easy access, can't get lost, with or without a guide.
    Where's my head. I'm actually coming out in April. Somehow everyone else seemed to understand that (that's cool)! Regardless, I may be a slow climber, but I love riding technical trails (it's all we really have that's worth riding here in FL). Anyway, It may be a challenge, but I'm really looking forward to it. I will be taking a map, a GPS and about 3 L of water as well as a fistfull of hammer electrolyte capsules. Oh and the common sense thing too.

    According to MTB Bill, the route is about 19 miles. I'm not a newbie, but It'll be my first time on this route. Are three hours still a reasonable riding time at Nobel?

    I was going to ask this before, but you've anticipated my question regarding cell phone service.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  19. #19
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    Oh yeah...in the message you do say April 5-9..! This weekend! Check the weather report...I think it just changed to good this weekend. And you will have company on the trail on a spring weekend. That's good. Post on STR also for someone to ride with. Hard to say, but yes, three hours might be a good time for you. But adding in the drive, load/unload, lunch or snack break maybe, is why I say nearly all day...

    ...and I understand Florida trails are way fun, but pretty flat...don't underestimate the climb up and possible effect of altitude (affects some more than others).

    If it's this weekend you need to find a bike fast. Call these guys -- but, they are NOT on the way to Noble Canyon. http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/demo_center.asp

    And post your message over here too: http://www.socaltrailriders.org/forum/

    Good luck!
    Last edited by OldDogDan; 04-02-2008 at 07:17 PM.

  20. #20
    Where is my mind?
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    Last question for you guys. The forecast predicts rain this Tuesday in SD. It is only 30% chance at this point and I don't know if that covers the forecast for Nobel Canyon. If it were to rain, does this trail dry up quickly. If not how long can I wait to ride it?
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  21. #21
    Goats Rule!
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    The forecast usually covers the mountains as well. If you want a more specific weather forecast, check out the one for Pine Valley.

    I suppose you could ride Noble two days after a rain - it would be muddy in a few sections, but much of it drains well due to rocks and sandy soil. The beginning of the ride is what I would worry about having mud, especially if you start the ride on the south side of the meadow. Looking at the forecast this morning, it looks like you'll have nice weather throughout your stay with no rain. If it does rain, it will probably just be a drizzle.

    Noble is cool because you go through a few different types of terrain - you start up high in pine trees, etc, work your way down to trees, bushes, shrubs, then it's kind of desert like. I think it's called chaparral. Along with this comes rocks, ruts, smooth trails, and sandy soil near the end. You really just have to ride it.

    Hey, the Trek store here in San Diego is doing a demo day at Sweetwater Summit that starts at 9am this Sunday - this would be a good place for your buddy to get on a nice bike w/o having to rent one. You only get to ride it in the area, so he'll still have to find one for Noble, but Sweetwater is fun once you get past the first mile or two of the ride. Good singletrack, climbs, a couple of good twisty downhills, etc.

  22. #22
    Where is my mind?
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    Its been over a week since I rode Noble Canyon. The ride was awesome. I’m back home in Florida and I’m still reminiscing. While, there are better pictures on the forum, I thought I’d post a few that I took along the way.



    I had to hit the pavement to head up to the trail (wife wasn’t too comfortable in a bigger vehicle then the one we ride at home).



    I never made it to the trailhead at the top. It was pretty cold and in truth I was getting pretty bored of riding the pavement. The views were amazing, but I wanted to hit dirt. I decided to hit the trail where it intersected with the road (about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way).


    This trail put a big smile on my face very quickly and I was practically all smiles all the way down.












    At this point I stopped taking pictures (about 1.5 hrs in and halfway down the trail). It was just sapping my flow. Hope you enjoy the pictures. I certainly enjoyed the ride so much that I would put this at one of the best rides I've done to date. Thanks to everyone to their suggestions and tips.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  23. #23
    Goats Rule!
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    Sweet pics! I'm glad you had fun - we had a blast on our ride and wish it would have worked out to where you could have joined us. Guess it was hard with you being on a plane that day.

    If you're out in SD again, shoot me a PM and I'll try and take a day off work and shuttle us up to the top.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheHill
    Sweet pics! I'm glad you had fun - we had a blast on our ride and wish it would have worked out to where you could have joined us. Guess it was hard with you being on a plane that day.

    If you're out in SD again, shoot me a PM and I'll try and take a day off work and shuttle us up to the top.
    I'll take you up on that. I loved that trail so much, that I have to come back, someday.
    "'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says god, 'for proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing'"

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  25. #25
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclopod
    I'll take you up on that. I loved that trail so much, that I have to come back, someday.
    I can imagine that riding Noble was a slightly different experience than the trails you are used to riding in Florida. Do you have any trails in Florida that can compare?
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