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  1. #1
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    Smile Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?

    Hi all,

    I am a New Yorker that will be spending the Christmas holiday with relatives in Newport Coast. I plan to take my bike with me and ride a couple/few hours every morning from December 23rd to 31st.

    I'll be staying at the very "top" of Newport Coast, a little road names Coral Cay. From there it looks like I can ride right into the park close to the "Muddy Canyon Entrance" / "No Name Ridge".

    Any routes/tips for me? Any locals interested in guiding me?

    I am an intermediate rider, FS 29er.

    Thanks!

    Leo

  2. #2
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    That's me
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-image.jpg  


  3. #3
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    El Moro (CC) is my local spot. You will have plenty to ride right there where you will be staying. I enter up at the Ridge Park entrance, here is a screenshot of a ~6.5 mile route I do for a quick ride. The dark green line is the 6.5 mile run but you can see the light green lines from previous runs I have done that are longer. Print out a map online, not too tricky to find your way around. There are also maps on posts throughout the park with rivets stuck in for the "you are here" info. Plenty of other routes too, I just included one. If you want a decent technical run go down Rattlesnake. Will you have access to a car that can haul your bike? You can check out plenty of other spots in OC if so.


  4. #4
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    Most do not know about Muddy Ridge because it is behind locked gates in a community not open to the public. I come out that way sometimes just to see how the other 1%ers live. I would just ride from the house using muddy ridge and explore.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys; yes I'll be spending time with the 1%. It looks like there is a dirt road called Los Trancos Access Rd that I could ride straight East to find No Name Ridge. I was planning to use this map unless there is a better one out there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-image.jpg  


  6. #6
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    That map is all you need.. Laguna Canyon is just south from there too which you can ride. I can maybe ride that Saturday or Sunday you are in town. PM me if you are interested. I live close by.

  7. #7
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    There are lots of fun trails there--and in neighboring Laguna Coast Wilderness. Many of the best trails may be...difficult to find on your own, so a guide is key! I'm off that whole week and can help you out if you'd like. Just shoot me a PM next month.

    Doug
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  8. #8
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    Bring your climbing legs not much flat in that neck of the woods.

  9. #9
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    Dirtvert(Doug) knows the area really well. I'm usually out there a couple times a week with my kids, we can give you a tour also, we don't ride as fast as Doug, but were also not slow. The shop I work at also does a shop ride every Sunday at 7:30am in El Moro. PM me if you want to ride.

    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the tips and offers. I'll be getting in touch as the time gets closer. I guess these are the maps for Laguna Coast?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-image.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Map:
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  12. #12
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    Well I have never ridden in that area, but I have spent some time there
    And you coming from N.Y. you are going to be in sensory overload. The area is absolutely amazing with a different scenic sight around every corner. Be sure to head north up the coast highway 20 minutes and check out Laguna beach. There are some great places to eat and grab a brew. I have seen that Crank Brothers are in the Laguna Beach village which might be worth checking out.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 11-15-2012 at 12:02 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  13. #13
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    The time is getting close, we head out this weekend. Who's available for a Monday morning (Christmas Eve morning) ride? Doug, Jeff, any others?

    Leo

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    I might be able to ride on Monday, I'll let you know.

  15. #15
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    I'm in for Monday!

    Suggestion: We should meet in the parking lot by the bathroom/ballfields around the corner from the end of Ridge Park Rd. We'll just have to keep an eye on the rain. El Moro will close at a hint of precip, but Laguna Coast needs something significant to close.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-20-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Dang, I'm working that morning. I plan on bringing my bike to work (office is 5 mins away) and riding el Moro late morning/early afternoon since its early market close so maybe I'll see you guys on your way out.

  17. #17
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    What time?

  18. #18
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    I'll let Jeff and Doug pick the time, I'm flexible, I'll be the bearded gent on this East Coast rig.

    Is the parking lot the one about a half mile south of Newport Coast Drive, east side of the road, looks like it's surrounded by a golf course and the road sign is labelled "Los Trancos"? (I'm looking at Google Earth).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-copy-img_5552.jpg  


  19. #19
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    ^^ Sorry- I meant the south end of Ridge Park Rd, around the corner on E. Coastal Peak Rd. (Coastal Peak Park).

    I'm free all day, so anytime after 7:30 works!

    BTW- Just checked the weather and there's a 60% chance of rain on Monday. Let's keep an eye on it; if we can't beat the storm, we'll have to wait a couple days for things to dry out.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-20-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Got it, this must be the place. Shall we say 9am on Monday? I'll PM my cell# & email.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-untitled.jpg  

    Crystal Cove: Advice, tips, guiding?-untitled_2.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Make sure you get out to Aliso & Woods Canyon as well. It's a really good place to ride, and really close to where you are at.

    Orange County California - OC Parks

    Also, it looks like it's gonna be raining a bit. If you're looking for a place that's good to ride during or after a rain (and you have access to a car), take a look at Sycamore Canyon in Riverside. It's a bit far from you, but worth a drive if you want to get out. I'll likely be riding there on Christmas Eve morning based on the weather forecast. If you want to meet up for a ride, hit me up.

  22. #22
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    I'll be riding with the Two Wheels One Planet shop ride @ El Moro in the morning. We meet at ridge Park at 7:30am. I will be wearing a red Rad Racing long sleeve jersey and red shorts.

  23. #23
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    Jeff, I won't make it out today (Sunday), got to build the bike up and such. I'm still on for tomorrow morning (Monday).

    Garcia, looking at the maps, it seems like if I'm feeling ambitious one day this week, I could ride right through Crystal Cove and Laguna Coast and right into Alison & Wood?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by leopold View Post

    Garcia, looking at the maps, it seems like if I'm feeling ambitious one day this week, I could ride right through Crystal Cove and Laguna Coast and right into Alison & Wood?
    Yep, you certainly can! From Laguna Coast, you cross over Laguna Canyon Road, and you're there. There's a lot of really great trails at Aliso & Wood, a LOT more fun than Crystal Cove.

    Check it out: Geoladders -- aliso-laguna wilderness-crystal cove parks

    Oh yeah, nice rig! Mine is similar to yours They work equally well on the west coast

    Last edited by AGarcia; 12-23-2012 at 12:28 PM.

  25. #25
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    I can't make it tomorrow, some things have come up, but on Wednesday I am going to take the kids out to ride the Luge, your welcome to join us.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by longboarderj View Post
    I can't make it tomorrow, some things have come up, but on Wednesday I am going to take the kids out to ride the Luge, your welcome to join us.
    My last ride on the Luge left me with this.. haha, it's still one of my favorites in OC though!




  27. #27
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    I'm likely heading to the Luge as well if it doesn't rain tomorrow. I should be parking around Cooks Corner at about 7:45 am. I'm the fat guy in blue knickers and a blue long sleeve jersey riding a White/Black Trek Rumblefish.

  28. #28
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    I'll be there Wednesday

    @Leopold if you want to give the Luge a go I could give you a ride on Wednesday.

  29. #29
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    Absolutely Jeff. I sent my cell # to you via PM if you want to arrange the details via text.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by leopold View Post
    Absolutely Jeff. I sent my cell # to you via PM if you want to arrange the details via text.
    If you're gonna do the Luge, consider stretching out the ride to cover Whiting Ranch. It's not tough at all, and it's a fun trail.

    Bike Ride Profile | Whiting Ranch/Luge Loop with Peter, Steve DLM and Doug near Trabuco Canyon | Times and Records | Strava

  31. #31
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    ^^ Yep. Although Whiting could still be a bit sloppy (or closed) after the rain.

    What about the San Juan Trail? The guy's coming all the way from New York! Let's show him the goods! Plus, the trail (decomposed granite) will be perfect after the rain.

    As for the original plan: El Moro will probably still be closed on Wednesday (no big loss), but Laguna Coast and Aliso should both be open and in great shape. I'd probably pass on the Luge, but I'm down for Laguna Coast on Thursday or Friday.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-24-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    ^^ Yep. Although Whiting could still be a bit sloppy (or closed) after the rain.

    What about the San Juan Trail? The guy's coming all the way from New York! Let's show him the goods! Plus, the trail (decomposed granite) will be perfect after the rain.
    True!!!!

  33. #33
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    I would consider San Juan but, I'm taking the kids.

  34. #34
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    Wednesday is decided- Jeff is taking me to The Luge. I'm up for San Juan Thursday or Friday, but I suppose I'd need a ride. I can get to Crystal Cove, Laguna Coast and Aliso & Wood anytime by bike.

  35. #35
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    Did you guys hit the Luge? I finally got out today, drove to laguna cyn straight from work and rode up into CC then back down bommer/willow. Bringing my bike to work again tomorrow and plan on riding from the same spot unless CC is open. I don't know exactly what time which is why I can't plan to go further from work/home area but probably around 2pm.

  36. #36
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    Leo and I are riding Laguna Coast (and maybe Aliso?) from Ridge Park at 9. I'm thinking El Moro is still closed, right?
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

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  37. #37
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    It was closed all day today but might be open tomorrow. The website is updated regularly, I called them to make sure. The trails were fun today, sticky from being damp (TWSS, lol). I started in Laguna today because I just got over a cold and wanted to start off climbing in case I pooped out. I may be done working by noon but you guys will be long gone by then. If you are up for a double header let me know.

  38. #38
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    Yep, Jeff & Jake showed me The Luge yesterday, good times. Here's a little film clip:



    Tomorrow morning with Doug. Any plans for Saturday afternoon?

  39. #39
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    No plans for me.. Totally open Saturday.

  40. #40
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    I'll be free from 1pm on Saturday. Suggestions? I'd love to do San Juan but I'd need a ride.

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    I will be more than happy to give you a ride ... I'm right next to where you're staying.

  42. #42
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    It was a fun ride at the Luge. Here's Jake's Video

  43. #43
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    Looks like rain is coming tomorrow starting late morning/ early afternoon. We can play it by ear though. I've never ridden San Juan so if we end up with no rain hopefully someone will join to guide us.

  44. #44
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    There must be a place for a good Saturday rain ride, no?

  45. #45
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    Crystal Cove, Laguna Coast, Aliso Wood- all OPEN today according to the websites.

  46. #46
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    I think we'll be fine for San Juan tomorrow. But there is a 50% chance of rain (bring a decent jacket if you have one, and maybe knee warmers/pads for the descent). The trail handles rain very well if it does come in while we're there. And it's in great shape right now!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-28-2012 at 06:15 PM.
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  47. #47
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    Ho long is San Juan? Yesterday was my first ride after being sick so not sure if riding in the rain is good for me and not sure if I can handle too long of a ride. (sorry for being a wuss, I just wouldn't want to hold the group up)

  48. #48
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    Here's a good description: MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures

    We'll probably only have time to do the initial climb (6.7ish) to Cocktail Rock. But it's a mellow climb. Really!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-28-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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    Ok, I am in as long as we have you or someone else leading! I left work early to come home and rest.. even a 6 mile ride did me in yesterday but by tomorrow I should be better. BTW - I'm on a HT but I have never ridden FS so I should be fine. Just may be a little slower if you guys are on squishies.

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    I can sneak out of the family duties a little earlier than I thought, If Bryan picks me up at noon I guess we can be riding at 1. Is there an obvious meet-up spot at San Juan?

  51. #51
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    Cool, I can def pick you up at noon, PM/text/email me the place to be at.

    For the trailhead directions, I assume this is sufficient from MTB Bill's write up?

    "From the I-5 in San Juan Capistrano take Ortega HWY (74) East for about 12 miles. Turn left on Camp Road. There is a sign for the Lazy R Ranch as well as a CDF Fire Station on the corner. Go down the road for about 1/2 mile until you reach a large dirt parking lot in the trees on your left. The trail is right beside the road."

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCtrailMonkey View Post
    Cool, I can def pick you up at noon, PM/text/email me the place to be at.

    For the trailhead directions, I assume this is sufficient from MTB Bill's write up?

    "From the I-5 in San Juan Capistrano take Ortega HWY (74) East for about 12 miles. Turn left on Camp Road. There is a sign for the Lazy R Ranch as well as a CDF Fire Station on the corner. Go down the road for about 1/2 mile until you reach a large dirt parking lot in the trees on your left. The trail is right beside the road."

    On google maps the road that you turn left onto from the 74 east is called Hot Spring Canyon Road. Take that, a dirt road, that for about a half mile and you will see the parking lot, you will be parking under a canopy of trees. You will need a Forest Adventure Pass ($5) to park there. You can buy them at sport chalet ect.

    San Juan is excellent condition right now, it's great when it has rained or is raining.

    Here is the strava segment that has been mentioned in this thread. Strava Segment | SJT Trailhead to Cocktail Rock

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    Thanks, Stinky! I have an adventure pass plus an extra vehicle pass.

    So.. who is all in for tomorrow?

  54. #54
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    In!

    (as long as the rain stays away)


    Also: Leo doesn't climb like somebody from the flat Northeast! He took everything we could throw at him today in Laguna Coast.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 12-28-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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    Rain, sleet, slush, locusts, whatever, I'm in. Lets aim for 1pm start. I'll text Bryan the pickup details now. We can all be in touch via text tomorrow.

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    Google Maps is friggin awesome (as usual). Search for "bottom of San Juan trail" and you'll see the switchbacks.

  57. #57
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    I wish I didn't have to work!

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    San Juan was amazing yesterday, I've never ridden anything like it. Blasting down those curves in the rain is nothing I'll soon forget.

    Huge THANK YOU to Jeff, Doug and Bryan! You guys are quality peeps!

    Already looking forward to the next time. If any of you find yourselves in the Big Apple, just give a shout.

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    Any time Leo!

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    Thanks to you too, Leo. And thanks to Doug for showing us the trail. You guys climbed like mountain goats. Good times!

  61. #61
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    You're welcome, Leo, and thanks! It's always fun to show visitors the goods.

    Bryan- good job even attempting that yesterday with your cold!
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk (I'm looking at you, MidPen).

  62. #62
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    Video of my downhill sped up to fit in 4 mins. The raindrops on the lens are a bit annoying. Happy New Year! Time to go have a few last drinks for 2012.

    Lower San Juan Trail in the Rain - YouTube

  63. #63
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    Back in my home environment.
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  64. #64
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    ^^ Whoa! You weren't kidding about the studded tires.
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk (I'm looking at you, MidPen).

  65. #65
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    Looks cold!

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