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  1. #1
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    Goin' to California!

    After 49 years on earth I am finally going to California for the first time. . I'll be staying in Pasadena for a week and would like to do some riding. I need to know what trails would be good to ride at Mt Wilson. I'm kinda of out of shape coming from a long Michigan winter, but I don't mind long climbs just taking my time. I like fun downhills. I would really dig a shuttle. Any of that going on? I can have my wife drive me to the top if I know where to go. I'm also planning on a day trip to Santa Barbara, maybe the Tunnel trail? Any other sugestions would be welcome. OK, I'm sure this will get some laughs but what about wildlife? Pepper spray for cats or what? Finally, what bike to bike bring. I have a Stumpjumper FSR and an 08 Rockhopper Comp 29er. I haven't had that 29er on a trail yet, too much snow here. Thanks if anyone can help.

  2. #2
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    well, I can only speak for the Santa Barbara stuff, but a 29er is not the bike for Tunnel.

  3. #3
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    There are a variety of great trails in the Mt Wilson area. Buy a mountain biking map of the San Gabriel Mountains by Fine Edge Productions. It's a topo with the bike trails marked with difficulty levels and has a description of some of the trails on the backside. It's kind of dated, so the trail descriptions on the backside are for the tamer trails.

    The are trails not described, but marked on the topo are the best trails for riders who prefer the technical singletrack stuff. Some of these trails, like parts of the Sam Merrill, have exposed sections with some rocks for added fun and thorny bushes in parts where you're not exposed. Some have cool little rock and water bar drops with tight switchbacks.

    You're coming at a perfect time for riding the lower section. There's been lots of rain. The dirt is tacky and there are lots of waterfalls.

    I don't think the upper section is rideable. We were up there last week and the trails were iced over.

    I've seen deer up there and read about mountain lion sightings.

    Check the trail forums. You should be able to find some reviews, or ask give more specific info on what type of riding you have in mind. I would definitely bring a bike with 4-6" of travel depending on what you plan on riding.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    You've waited 49 years to come to Ca and you are going to Pasadena?

  5. #5
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    I'm going to Pasadena because my sister in law lives there. I just want to enjoy the weather and ride. This winter has been tough here. After some more research maybe Tunnel isn't the trail for me, but it does look fun. I've ridden some pretty technical downhills in Pisgah and I loved all of them. My S.I.L. said Brown Mt. would be good but I don't see it on trail guides. Do any group rides go off on weekdays? I have Monday through Friday to ride in the mornings. Thanks for the responses.

  6. #6
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Hi flash - when are you coming into town perhaps someone can ride with you
    Love, Impy

  7. #7
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    Hi, I will be arriving 3-1. I plan on riding a few days Monday-Friday, kind of open if something is going on. I'm also trying to decide if I want to find a rental bike or bring mine. any suggestions would be great. I would really rather rent and just bring my gear. I would love to ride with some locals. Thanks.

  8. #8
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsteve
    You've waited 49 years to come to Ca and you are going to Pasadena?
    What the heck is wrong with Pasadena?

    Flash,

    I think you have picked a great place to visit. There are trails within minutes of Pasadena. Check your PM.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  9. #9
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    I don't know about rentals, but if you wanna shuttle, give me a PM.
    "Well I don't drink as much as I ought to."

    ~Jerry Jeff Walker~

  10. #10
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    Check Incycle - Pasadena (626) 577-0440 if they have bike for rent. I know Incycle - San Dimas have a couple of bikes for rent like Specialized Enduro SL and Treks.

  11. #11
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    http://socalmtbiking.blogspot.com/20...erry-peak.html

    This is one of my favorite rides and it's only about 20 minutes from Pasadena.

  12. #12
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    Those Pasadena mountains are have some of the BEST riding in California! Anyone who says anything different has not ridden those trail much! In fact WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE KNOWING HOW AWESOME IT IS!
    Personally it is one of my favorite types of MTB'ng. All uphill on fire roads & all downhill on single track!

    Then follow this AWESOME RIDE (this is how to get to the start, it is not really a description of the whole ride just where you can start the climb.) http://www.mybikesite.com/socal/trai...m?list=details Starts on pavement, gets quite steep but take your time, hang in there because it then turns into dirt..it flattens out....you are now riding on an old trolley car bed from years ago..the "uphill gets a lot easier BECAUSE the trolley car could not go up steep inclines! .

    Stay on the dirt road and just enjoy the nostalgia of years gone by..not many people even know this exists! Lot's and lot's of history...do a search for Mt. Lowe, Inspiration point, you will climb and climb and come to a tunnel, which will dump you out on paved Mt Wilson road. You can turn RIGHT and climb the pavement to Mt Wilson. Hang there for a bit. Turn around head back the way you came, go thru the tunnel, look on your left once you get through the tunnel for single track! You can know take VERY TECHNICAL single track all the way back down. Bring a fs bike the whole ride is about 22 miles but you have just climbed and descended LA.'s premier mountain that many MTB'r just look at from the freeway their whole lives and would never dream of riding a bike to the top!
    Hey who know when you will ever come back GO FOR IT.

    Funny I have done this ride at least 4 times I do not know the names of the trails. It is very simple and I could write directions for you in greater detail if you want. Another otion for you would be to contact this board. http://www.otbmbc.com/ I have never ridden with any of these guys BUT they might be just the people to help you out!

    All I can say is the history from the Mt.Lowe, Inspiration Point & Trolley Car system is a pretty unique experience. (No there are no trolley cars or buildings but there is some huge gearing and foundations left from the era!)

    Just my .02 cents...there is so much riding but if you do this ride you will get great views of LA AND you just might see the ocean if it is a crisp, breezy day!

    Ride Dirt
    Matt W.
    Press On !
    Gal 5:6,b NIV
    Celebrating 20+ YEARS of strictly MTB riding!..I'm old

  13. #13
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    That looks like a good ride. Is that El Prieto? I'm hoping the local shops will have maps.

  14. #14
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    I used rode that Tram trail or whatever it is on Mt. Wilson in pasadena years ago and it was sick. It was a little above my head back then in 98 or 99 as I had just started riding. Mt. Wilson singletrack goes off!
    Sound of Tires on Dirt - Sole Music; shared with friends - Soul Music.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash
    That looks like a good ride. Is that El Prieto? I'm hoping the local shops will have maps.
    Technically it "can be" El Prieto" but I would not ride El Prieto that way. Beside El Prieto is not a very long ride if done from this starting point:http://www.mybikesite.com/socal/trails/elprieto.htm in fact I have done 2 loops of El Prieto utilizing the fire road uphill version!

    Actually Mt. Wilson is a ride few do & I would not recomend doing that ride alone if you want to ride single track. It for sure is not traveled during the week and has some exposure. You would be better doing El Prieto by yourself as that is traveled by more people esp. after work (in case you have a mech. !heh-heh) with vitually no exposure.

    Then if you do El Preito you virtually use the same fire road to get to the Ken Burton trail. I miss it all BIG TIME now that i live in S. Carolina I am actually jealous! heh-heh I actually wrote several "trail reviews" in the El Prieto updates under mwestlake. Actually I could not believe all the years I rode the Crest mountains and did not ride El Prieto till after 10 years of MTB riding...I always went to the top of Wilson or rode up to Switzers from the bottom....non-shuttle of course!

    ps This http://www.mybikesite.com/trails/tra...a_,socal,n,n,c, is a pretty reliable site. truly. "La Canada" "Altadena" is literally on the edge of pasadena so look at those rides and you are rocking. You will notice Mt. Lowe. Inspiration Point etc.

    .p.s. I am "older" also..these trails ara a BLAST!
    Ride Dirt
    Matt W.
    Press On !
    Gal 5:6,b NIV
    Celebrating 20+ YEARS of strictly MTB riding!..I'm old

  16. #16
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    You'll have plenty of options. The ride MGW is describing is Mt Lowe fireroad and the Merrills or Merrills/Sunset, depending on the route taken. Yesterday, I rode Mt. Lowe, Middle Merril, Sunset Ridge, then four laps of El Prieto (two climbing, two descending). They're some of the most fun trails you'll find anywhere...

    We (OTB Club) will be doing the Lower Merrill/Sunset Ridge loop on Tueday Mar 4 at 6:00 p.m. as a night ride, but I usually go and do an earlier lap before the group. If you want to join us you can PM me here, or sign up on the boards there. I might be up for a morning ride with you one day as well.

    Also, if you have GPS there are plenty of route files available on motionbased.
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
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  17. #17
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    bring the stuntjumper......but don;t ride tunnel....it is a beast
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    bring the stuntjumper......but don;t ride tunnel....it is a beast
    Agreed. The trails in MI comparo to Tunnel?....Phhhhttt...no comparo...unless you are experienced at jagged, sketch, steep, armored up, and beat down technical riding elsewhere. No loam or soft anything on Tunnel. Have you seen the cover of BIKE this month? That's SB local Duncan Riffle on Tunnel. Notice the pads.

    Instead, as a warm up, go up and back Jesusita in SB to Inspiration point and then head south on the 101 to Sheffield offramp and drive up to the Romero fireroad, park and pedal up (beautful views) to the East Camino Cielo, (6-7 miles) or if too long, head down the singletrack after 4 miles.

    Get a bell from VeloPro on lower State St. in SB. Not bring your own ring, ring wussy bell, but a real bike bell (kinda a small cow bell) found only in disputed climates.

    Ya gotta do Romero for SB views. Show off the pics to all your friends in MI when you get back and dream of living on the Pacific Riviera from then on.

  19. #19
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    I really wouldn't compare Mi trails to Ca trails even without seeing them! I have ridden Pisgah in North Carolina quite a bit. Some of those trails are no joke. Parts of Black Mountain are downright lethal. That said, I'm getting some good ideas here from you all. Jesusita and Inspiration point sound pretty good. Brown Mt also. Do the local shops near these trails have good maps? I can pick some up when I buy my bell Hearing about the bells makes me feel very fortunate. We have a lot of really good singletrack riding here in Michigan, just not elevation. Riding with a bell here is basically unheard of because there isn't much conflict with user groups, but I have no problem using one in Ca. I understand the issues and I feel for you guys. Last thing you need is "visitors" coming in and making matters worse then flying home.
    Last edited by Flash; 02-25-2008 at 03:46 PM.

  20. #20
    Old Enough to Know Better
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    Hey Flash!

    You'll have a blast riding out of Pasadena! It's nothing like MI!

    One word of caution: I've had friends from the MidWest get really freaked and in trouble because they didn't appreciate the reality of our local mountains. The mountains are big and really steep - and every year people fall off trails and it takes days to weeks to find them. You wouldn't think that you can have wilderness so close to a major city, but it's reality.

    Any time you can ride with a local, do it. Always let your wife or sister-in-law know exactly where you're going. And throw some extra PowerBars and a space blanket in your camelbak just in case. A cell phone may or may not work in some canyon areas.

    Have fun!

  21. #21
    Pixie Dust Addict
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    Mmmmmm..... Romero





    Also, the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers tries to keep a small mailbox stocked with bells at the trailhead. If you have any questions or want someone to ride with in Santa Barbara PM me.

  22. #22
    just along for the ride
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    Grampa has very good advice, always listen to elders

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampa
    Hey Flash!

    You'll have a blast riding out of Pasadena! It's nothing like MI!

    One word of caution: I've had friends from the MidWest get really freaked and in trouble because they didn't appreciate the reality of our local mountains. The mountains are big and really steep - and every year people fall off trails and it takes days to weeks to find them. You wouldn't think that you can have wilderness so close to a major city, but it's reality.

    Any time you can ride with a local, do it. Always let your wife or sister-in-law know exactly where you're going. And throw some extra PowerBars and a space blanket in your camelbak just in case. A cell phone may or may not work in some canyon areas.

    Have fun!
    Ya I took an incredible fall one time off one of those trails all due to e mechanical! My chain popped off & I fell like 90 feet down a washout..I thought I was a goner. Landed on my head & just kept tumbling, sliding -then the rocks started chasing me once I stoped falling! Ya know ya don't have time for you "Life to pass you buy"! You just wonder when you will quit falling!!

    My buddy was behind me just enough not see me go off ...he said one second I was there, in front of him & the next I was not! All he saw was the dust...it was crazy I thought for sure I broke something!..All I gat was a dislocated finger..NASTY bent strait to the right I for sure thought I snapped it heh-heh never had a dislocated anything!

    Anyhow the beauty DEMANDS respect!
    Ride Dirt
    Matt W.
    Press On !
    Gal 5:6,b NIV
    Celebrating 20+ YEARS of strictly MTB riding!..I'm old

  24. #24
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    What size bike?

  25. #25
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    Check out this ride report from last weekend. These were on the trails you'll be riding:

    http://otbmbc.com/epics/2008%2D02%2DBikepacking

    See ya out here!
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
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