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  1. #1
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    McGill/Mt Pinos on SS

    Well it was a grind, but a great time anyway! There were 7 of us: 4 full suspension bikes, 1 hardtail gearie, 1 rigid gearie and me on my rigid SS. Thank god we had a nice warmup to the trailhead from a guy's house about a 1/2 mile away from the McGill trailhead. Our local ride host said it would be about 18 miles round trip. All up, then all down. Whew...

    The first mile wasn't too bad. I deliberately sat on the rear wheel of the group leader for most of the ride to pace myself and to anticipate switchbacks and steep sections. We stopped a few times on the way up to regroup with some of the stragglers below. The first campground at mile 3 was a pleasant surprise. We rested a bit and took in some food, then pressed on.

    The stretch to the second campground was much easier. The grade wasn't as steep. In fact, there were even sections of flat trail! The last leg to get to the upper parking lot was grueling! There were some steep grinds that almost stopped my heart. I swear I left a lung out there on the trail. It's amazing what you learn about yourself when you are on a single geared bike and have no choice but to pedal on. I often wonder why I don't have this kind of strength and will power when I'm climbing on my gearie. I guess I wuss out when I know I can.

    We met up with some shuttlers at the top. No, not DH'ers. A bunch of 10-15 year old kids and parents from the same gathering were meeting us up at the top for the ride down. Six of us wanted to ride to the summit, so we split off from the main group and planned to catch up on the way down. The host rider lead the kids and parents down.

    One of our six members has ridden the trail a few times and said he knew the route...that would be our undoing. During the climb up the fireroad I met up with Painfreak. I'm surprised I recognized him as he zipped by on his Turner. We chatted a bit and marveled at the beautiful blue sky and sub 50 degree temps. He said DStepper was on his way down, but having never met him, I didn't get a chance to say hi.

    We made the last leg to the summit with little effort. At the top, our veteran rider who knew the route started to feel the ride. He said he'd be fine. We zipped down the fireroad to the gait that takes you to the parking lot. We turned left instead to enjoy some fantastic singletrack. The rigid bike was a little jarring at times, but she carved the trail like I was on a monorail. There were some really fun gully descents that made for some interesting moments. I really thought I was going to dismount in grand fashion, but managed to stay on the bike.

    Somewhere along the descent we missed our turnoff that would put us out on a paved road right across from our trail. We pedaled up and down the paved road for a while and couldn't find the trail. So we decided if you're going to make a wrong turn, it's always better to climb. If you are still wrong, all you have to do is descend. It's never good to descend for a while to find out later that you should have climbed.

    So we climbed. And climbed. And climbed! Over 2 1/2 miles later, we finally reached the upper parking lot. At one point we had come across a gait on the left side of the road. Silly me convinced the other riders that it wasn't a campground since there wasn't a sign. Had we pedaled down the road 50 feet we would have seen that it was Mt Pinos CG...whoops. Well they should have known better than to follow the advice of an oxygen depleted SS'er who's never been up there before. The funny thing is, the veteran rider wasn't too sure either.

    So we reached the top, one by one. It took about 15 minutes longer for the last rider to reach the lot. Yes, our veteran wasn't looking too good. He was cramping and was out of water. I still had 40 ounces from my 70 oz bladder, so I split it with him, threw him some electrolytes and gel. He asked if the electrolytes really help. I gave him the 30 second lecture and finished with "I NEVER cramp since I started taking them." That convinced him.

    We whooped and hollered our way down the trail. Everyone had a great time descending the same trail we had climbed earlier. Once in a while we'd regroup and make sure everyone was still ok. Veteran-rider was still a little crampy, but he was hanging on.

    At the bottom we had to do a road ride back to the host's house. That was the longest road ride I've ever done...or so it seemed. All of the gearies left me in their wake as I spun like a rabid hamster in a wheel. My words came back to haunt me. On the last climb to his house my legs suddenly decided they had enough. Yeeow! I barely held off the cramps. 25 miles under the belt and a 90 minute drive home. I was replaying the ride in my mind all the way home.
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
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  2. #2
    Just another Homer
    Reputation: Pain Freak's Avatar
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    It was great seeing you out there. I still can't get over what you rode up there. You are of the mutant class, my friend. Look, what Upchuck doesn't tell is the gear ratio he had on that 29er. He was running a 32:18!!! That's just pure mountain biking sickness. When I got back to the clearing where we were parked and told the guys, no one believed me and I know I heard you right. They're just a bunch of posers anyways, so what do I care . Yeah, we made it down in record time. No mechnicals or crashes although I was close 3 seperate times. The hairiest is the jump section where there is a series of jumps with a fairly good sized one in the middle somewhere. Well I hit it, but a little fast, and if you're going to roll this you don't want to go in with a bunch of speed. I didn't really think about it as I was just jumping them all till I hit the big one. I just was undecided if I wanted to go for it, or just roll it. I ended up coming down on the front tire with the back tire 3 feet off the ground for a good five feet or more. That was scary. Still we had one of those rides that remain with you for a long time. Conditions were near perfect. A little cool at the start, but nice throughout the ride.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
    Toby Keith

  3. #3
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Mike, thanks for the koodos. But I need to set the record straight. I was riding a 32/18 setup, but it was only a 26er. It only looked like a 29er because I run a 2.5" Nevegal on the front. But hey, it still hurt going up!

    I hear you on those jumps! I started out rolling them but got a little too bold once my speed picked up. I had a few hard landings that jarred some fillings loose. I finally reined in the speed and bumped off the front sides and landed down the backsides.

    Can't wait to head back up there. But first, we will do that organized SS Strawberry Peak ride!
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  4. #4
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    whoa!

    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Somewhere along the descent we missed our turnoff that would put us out on a paved road right across from our trail. We pedaled up and down the paved road for a while and couldn't find the trail. So we decided if you're going to make a wrong turn, it's always better to climb. If you are still wrong, all you have to do is descend. It's never good to descend for a while to find out later that you should have climbed.
    Your veteran rider should have known there is only one paved road, Mt. Pinos Road. Going downhill on it will always get you back to the start. At least you got a lot of exercise.

    Anyway, after the gully drops there is a singletrack that drops you back into McGill campground and I don't mean the singletrack you took on the way up. Unfortunately you miss the fast track over the humps.

  5. #5
    Over the Hill
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    Upchuck, I'm thinking we must have pass each other somewhere on the trail. But apparently PainFreak was to busy trying to launch himself off the trail to do introductions...I can't blame him for stopping and breaking up the flow of that trail.

    Although I brought my geared bike this time...what a great Single Speed trail...next time I am leaving the gears home.

    I wish I would have met you, it is always good put faces to the names online.

    Later Dean

  6. #6
    That's gonna leave a mark
    Reputation: Upchuck's Avatar
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    You passed by my group when you were on the way down from the summit. You were almost to the parking lot when you passed us on a left hand sweeper. We were on the outside of the curve.

    You in for the Strawberry SS ride?
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  7. #7
    Over the Hill
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    The last time I did Strawberry on a SS that climb to Josephine kicked my ass. The answer is yes. But this time I am running 32x22 on the Niner.

  8. #8
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    when is this strawberry ss ride?

  9. #9
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by burner
    when is this strawberry ss ride?
    Hey Mat. It's up in the Angeles Forest off Hwy 2. You would definitely enjoy the ride. I'll post an upcoming weekend and see if it works for everyone.
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  10. #10
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    Hello, my crew T.K. Riders were camping at Pinos Camp ground all weekend right next to the South Ridge Trail head,thats the trail with all the mini-booters/humps. Nice seeing other MTB enjoying this not to well known gem.

    Mike.
    If your gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  11. #11
    CAK
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    Was up there Saturday...

    Perfect weather, my brother and I ended up doing 21 miles of pure McGill candy

    You guys should recognize this shot:

    Me


    Bro
    I'd Kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  12. #12
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    Oh Hell Yeah! Too bad no one couldnt hit the booter being that the campers had their chairs in the way. Fun none the less. We built that mini rock drop at the top before the root drop years years ago.

    Mike.
    If your gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  13. #13
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    South Ridge early Saturday morning.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If your gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  14. #14
    Don't skid
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    I was up there last year. I can't wait to go back this year. It such a great trail. How cold were the temperatures at night?
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

  15. #15
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    Around 20 deg. at night 45-50 in the day. The fire burned all weekend.
    Friday night the Campground was full. Saturday morning over half the Campground packed up and left. We all had rated sleeping bags and slept as snug as a bug.
    If your gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  16. #16
    Just another Homer
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    Hey Dean,
    I waited for you for a while when I was talking to Upchuck, but after a few minutes I just got antsy and had to get back to business. Plus I thought you two knew each other.It's real hard to stop, once you're going. I do love that little drop with the root. Every year it gets more and more eroded and one of these days some of us aren't going to make it, but till then we will keep at it. Been reading your posts for a while there, T.K. Castle. I hope to meet you and your crew some day.
    Upchuck, I just barely got back to the ss riding, but I think I could handle the Strawberry ride, so I'm good to go except the Cannel weekend of the 24/25th of June. I'm running 32:20 on the Surly
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
    Toby Keith

  17. #17
    Glad to Be Alive
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    is all the snow pretty much gone now
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  18. #18
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    No Snow to be seen just a little water in the small creeks.
    If your gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  19. #19
    Glad to Be Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.K. Castle
    No Snow to be seen just a little water in the small creeks.
    and 50 degree weather = escape from the heat
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  20. #20
    Just another Homer
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    two very small patches of snow at the very top.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
    Toby Keith

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