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  1. #1
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    Santa Clarita Riders

    I'm a fairly recent transplant to Santa Clarita, down from 20 years in the SF Bay Area, although I actually grew up in the west San Fernando Valley. Anyway, I was looking for good rides in the SCV, and people to ride with. I used to be a pretty hard core climber and XC rider, but then I had a kid with some issues, so here I am 25 pounds heavier and looking to get back in shape.

    Mostly I've been riding a trail behind my house that has no name, as far as I know. I live in Fair Oaks Ranch, off the 14. The trail starts roughly where Lost Canyon Road crosses the railroad tracks. This goes up behind my house, and eventually tops out at a fence line. It's maybe a 5 mile ride, but it's perfect for a quick daily ride. It's pseudo-singletrack.

    I've ridden all the variations of the Nadeau trail, which starts where Golden Valley Rd meets Via Princessa. Fairly boring fire road stuff.

    Finally, I've been down to the parking lot at Newhall Ave and 14, and ridden up the truck trail a few times. That's a nice ride. I've been in search of the Viper trail, but I haven't made it that far yet. One time I tried something different and decided to do Elsmere Canyon, but I jumped on to some steep singletrack and realized it was too steep and torn up to be ridable. Back in the day I probably could have cleaned a lot of it, but not now.

    Anyway, that's what I've done. I'm looking for more interesting trails. Anyone know of anything? If anyone is willing to show me some places, I'd love to hook up some time.

  2. #2
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    I am also relatively new to the area and would be keen to meet new riders. The best riding I've had around SCV is probably at Tapia Canyon. Most people park at Castaic sports center and ride up from there, it is a fire road climb and multiple single track descent options. My favorites are Kona and Dog Tag, G out is pretty loose and sandy at the moment.

    Other nearby options are East Canyon and Pico canyon, both more fire road out and backs. Towsley is ok but there are a lot of hikers.

    If you ride up the beast towards Viper, I'd recommend taking Los Pinetos down, it is a much nicer trail IMO. You head past the entrance to viper and take the single track off to left near the toilets at the top.

    A good half day trip is Mt Pinos too, probably the best single track DH close by before it gets snow.

    I am sure there are others in the area who know more places than me, like I said I haven't been here that long (originally from Australia and was in North Carolina before moving to the SCV).

  3. #3
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    You're in the land of the fire road, which is okay for getting back into shape. Get a map of Angeles National Forest, and between that and Google Earth you can find most of the fire roads and some of the trails. Cruise up Placerita Canyon State Park and look for Los Pinetos Trail near the east end of Canyon Trail (actually a dirt road), this is supposedly open to bikes and gets you to the ridge traversed by Santa Clarita Truck Trail. Whitney Canyon Park, at the Park and Ride, is the bottom of Viper, you can hike up (or ride if you're masochistic) to preview it as a ride. SCTT goes from the Park and Ride lot all the way east to Mill Creek Summit (top of Angeles Forest Highway), and has great views north and south. Wilson Canyon Road descends from SCTT (at Los Pinetos Trail's top end) southward to Olive View Hospital, and May Canyon Road travels between Veterans Memorial Park and SCTT a couple (maybe three) miles east of Wilson Canyon. Towsley Canyon is a good lung workout, as are East and Rice Canyons, but kinda short. Lots of options for weekend rides - check this website's trail reviews, as well as the ego-on-line sites (Strava, etc.) for more possiblities.

  4. #4
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    I live fairly close to you guys...I live in Palmdale but I always pass by SCV since I commute to work. I too have been wanting to find some good trails to ride as well as to meet fellow bikers
    if you guys ever want to meet up let me know!

  5. #5
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    I've seen lots of bikes heading west on Lyons Blvd going back to Mentryville (I think that's how you spell it) and also I think lots of people ride at Calgrove. I've been here a few years but three kids under nine kind of put a damper on personal time. Like to get back into it but realistically most of my riding would be with kids.

    Anybody know of some good trails you drive your car up to and drop everyone off and then leave a ride at the bottom of the trail. Kids loved going to Mammoth and doing the Gondola. Love to figure this one out.

    Thanks,

    Smkntrls

  6. #6
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    Smkntrls,

    The ride heading west on Lyons Ave is Pico Canyon. You ride the paved road up through the gate until it turns into a fire road sharply on the left. This ride is an out and back on fireroad, it is relatively steep at the start but flattens out a little towards the top with a few up and downs along the ridgeline with some OK views of SCV.

    Not sure on any good shuttle rides in SCV. A lot of people shuttle Mt Pinos, though I am not sure how kid friendly that ride is. I have heard you can shuttle Los Pinetos as well, though I am not sure how and again I don't think that is a very kid friendly trail.

    I would be keen for a MTBR SCV meet up if anyone wants to suggest a time and date?

  7. #7
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    Hi Al G, Are you saying that off of Pico you take a right at the fork instead of heading to Mentryville. There's a little obstacle in the way but obviously easily bypassed. I've driven back to Mentryville to see if I could spot where people are going but only saw a single lightly traveled trail heading up a steep hill and thought well no way are the kids going to do that:-)

    Thanks for the feedback on the Mt. Pinos. Enjoyed cold weather camping up there. Kids did Off the Top in Mammoth. I'm wondering how much more difficult the trails are your talking about here in comparison. Are they really rocky all the time or is it just spots of rock. We're good with walking past that stuff. Kids loved it.

    I'm certainly up for getting out and meeting new friends. Not sure my '01 Sugar 3 is as the right derailer is frozen (I'm sure easily replaced but thought I'd sell it with all original components) and I thought I'd sell it and buy new bike with more travel. Anybody got a Sultan or Rip 9 or Jet 9 in their quiver. Love to try these and did create a post about it.

    My weekends are driven by kids soccer/sports schedules but the beach is a little cold now so trying to get neighbors to get into MTBing. Monday nights are also the best eve for me. Probably need to buy some lights. Maybe I'm not the best one to schedule something around. But again I'd be up for trying. So let me know.

    Trying out the trails by Castaic sounds fun.

    Mr. Spin graduated from El Camino in '88. How about you? Yep I'm old but still havin fun and in good shape.

    Smkntrls

  8. #8
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    Hi Smkntrls, I think that lightly traveled trail heading up the steep hill you saw is indeed Pico Canyon (on google maps it is Pico Canyon Service Rd). It is a fairly steep climb, so probably not great for kids. It really isn't that great other than for a good cardio workout.

    Mt Pinos is not too rocky but is technical in places. It is split into three parts as the trail crosses the paved road twice. The first part starting out at the top (Nordic area) is fairly loose and technical, but not overly steep. I think you could walk parts and be fine, just go slow as it can get rutted. The second part once you go through the campgrounds would be great for kids, it is pretty smooth and lots of berms. It is narrow in parts but overall it is a lot of fun. The third part gets a little chunky and rutted but also has a bit of exposure in places, not sure if this part would be super kid friendly.

    Most of my local riding is at Castaic (Tapia) as there are a few options so depending on how many trails you go down you can make it a short or longer ride. There are also trails at Castaic lake, mostly fireroads with a few singletrack options. It also gets pretty dry and sandy.

    I am sure there are a bunch of trails out there. It would be great to ride with people who know the area better than I do, I have only been in the area since the beginning of this year. I usually ride two or three times a week, usually Saturday morning and mornings/evenings during the week.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_spin View Post
    I'm a fairly recent transplant to Santa Clarita, down from 20 years in the SF Bay Area, although I actually grew up in the west San Fernando Valley. Anyway, I was looking for good rides in the SCV, and people to ride with. I used to be a pretty hard core climber and XC rider, but then I had a kid with some issues, so here I am 25 pounds heavier and looking to get back in shape.

    Mostly I've been riding a trail behind my house that has no name, as far as I know. I live in Fair Oaks Ranch, off the 14. The trail starts roughly where Lost Canyon Road crosses the railroad tracks. This goes up behind my house, and eventually tops out at a fence line. It's maybe a 5 mile ride, but it's perfect for a quick daily ride. It's pseudo-singletrack.

    I've ridden all the variations of the Nadeau trail, which starts where Golden Valley Rd meets Via Princessa. Fairly boring fire road stuff.

    Finally, I've been down to the parking lot at Newhall Ave and 14, and ridden up the truck trail a few times. That's a nice ride. I've been in search of the Viper trail, but I haven't made it that far yet. One time I tried something different and decided to do Elsmere Canyon, but I jumped on to some steep singletrack and realized it was too steep and torn up to be ridable. Back in the day I probably could have cleaned a lot of it, but not now.

    Anyway, that's what I've done. I'm looking for more interesting trails. Anyone know of anything? If anyone is willing to show me some places, I'd love to hook up some time.
    I ride on Lost Canyon for a short bit on one of my road bike routes, but I turn off Lost Canyon and go under the freeway and head back to Sierra Hwy just before the RR tracks. I'm on the other end of the SCV in Castaic and ride from the Sports Complex quite a bit. I ride quite a bit during the week (in the evenings) too. If any of you would like a local tour, let me know.

  10. #10
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    Thanks a lot guys for sharing. I'd certainly like to meet up with you guys and am in process of typing up something to friends and family just to see what I can stew up. I'm curious how long is the uphill fire road to Tapia Cyn? Wondering how much climbing there'd be for the kids? How long does it take you guys to complete the trail loop?

    Sounds like maybe my friends and I may hold you back a little though. My friends would be considered beginners. But are in pretty good shape so who knows. I'm no slouch but at 6'3" 245 no flyweight.

    Jeffj certainly have to take you up on your offer. Like to get to know a particular trail so when I demo some new rides I have something familiar to compare against.

    First have to figure out how to inform the wife that I'm going riding since I currently am in between work. Once I close positive cash flow I'd certainly like to get a new bike as I need a softer ride so maybe demoing would help with that. I'm sure it isn't cheap to do so though. Sorry to say it's tough justifying personal time when no cash flow is coming in. But don't say anything as the kids allow me to get out and have fun. Again thanks for sharing!

    Smkntrls

  11. #11
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    I live in SC valley as well. From the sport Chalet of the old road they organize bike rides.

    They go every Tuesday at 1800. Give them a call and see if they are still doing it now it is getting darker early.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMKNTRLS View Post
    Thanks a lot guys for sharing. I'd certainly like to meet up with you guys and am in process of typing up something to friends and family just to see what I can stew up. I'm curious how long is the uphill fire road to Tapia Cyn? Wondering how much climbing there'd be for the kids? How long does it take you guys to complete the trail loop?

    Sounds like maybe my friends and I may hold you back a little though. My friends would be considered beginners. But are in pretty good shape so who knows. I'm no slouch but at 6'3" 245 no flyweight.

    Jeffj certainly have to take you up on your offer. Like to get to know a particular trail so when I demo some new rides I have something familiar to compare against.

    First have to figure out how to inform the wife that I'm going riding since I currently am in between work. Once I close positive cash flow I'd certainly like to get a new bike as I need a softer ride so maybe demoing would help with that. I'm sure it isn't cheap to do so though. Sorry to say it's tough justifying personal time when no cash flow is coming in. But don't say anything as the kids allow me to get out and have fun. Again thanks for sharing!

    Smkntrls
    Tapia, from the Sports Complex, is about a 10.5 mile loop, and a tad over 5 miles to the top of the climb (about 800' elevation gain). It's not a difficult climb compared to others in the area. A loop (of 'classic Tapia') can take anywhere from about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how 'social' the pace is. Add in some other trails, and it gets longer.

    If I offer to ride with someone, I do so having already considered that they may be much faster, slower, or maybe they ride at the same pace. Makes no difference to me. We're riding to have fun. If I want to ride exactly at my own pace, I will ride alone. Sounds like we're actually pretty close to the same size.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Tapia, from the Sports Complex, is about a 10.5 mile loop, and a tad ov. 5 miles to the top of the climb (about 800' elevation gain). It's not a difficult climb compared to others in the area. A loop (of 'classic Tapia') can take anywhere from about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how 'social' the pace is. Add in some other trails, and it gets longer.
    When I ride there with friends we get around 15 miles looping Tapia, Charlie and Wayside. We also do Kona "repeats" because it is so fun. Great area. Development is pending so enjoy it while it lasts.

    Golden Eagle near Gorman deserves an honorable mention but wait a month; deer hunting season just started.
    Never give up, never surrender.

  14. #14
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    JeffJ I'm all for it. Working on biz stuff but hope to check out my frozen shifter this afternoon or tomorrow and see if I can't fix that as I'd like to put money towards demo's. I maybe starting due diligence on a biz purchase so I'm kind of helter skelter with all these different requirements right now but certainly would like to get out. PM what you think your ride schedule might be this week. What you ridin 26, 29 or 650b?

    Thanks LadyDi for sharing. Have to take that for a spin.

    I'm curious guys are these trails developed by the park system or something that hikers created?

    ATB...

    Smkntrls

  15. #15
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    Santa Clarita Riders

    I'm not in the SCV, but rather the SFV, but I wanted to sub this thread since I don't mind driving up. Just rode Viper today for the first time. Up the truck trail, down Viper. Super fun! Also like Tapia, and have ridden to East Cyn from the Granada Hills side. Always up for a group ride, if that happens...
    '14 Lenz Lunchbox

  16. #16
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    Cool Scvkurt03.

    I'm thinking about demoing some bikes and was thinking about some Turner and Niner and Pivots etc. for the fun of it. But there in the TO area. Wondering if any of you like to travel out there and would want to join me for a ride or two while I do so. Not sure when that's going to be but thought I'd just ask. Been to Cheesboro a couple times and Satwiwa Park and lived on the front side of Space Mtn. That was ten years ago and mainly with my wife who I was trying to get into this. Then we had kids :-)

    Only problem is the Turner's are M. Ahh it's ok I guess as I rode my bmx a lot even at sixteen :-)

  17. #17
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    So I am not sure what everyones schedules are like, but I thought I would give it a shot and see if anyone is keen to try and meet up for a SCV group ride this weekend. My suggestion is to ride either Saturday or Sunday at 8am, meet at Castaic Sports Center and ride up Tapia from there. Social pace and we can work out a route that works for most people, Tapia is great as you can make it as long or as short as people want to and the way out is downhill. Reply back here and lets try find a time when works for most people.

    Additionally, I hear that a lot of people do a night ride up the truck trail and down Los Pinetos on Thursday at 6pm. People meet at the park and ride on Newhall Ave and ride up from there, just in case anyone was interested in that, I may or may not be there this week.

  18. #18
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    I could be up for Tapia on Saturday or Sunday. I've never done it. I love night riding, too. Is it legal around here? Where I lived in the SF bay area, there weren't any legal night riding trails. That didn't stop us, however. We were lucky we never got caught.

  19. #19
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    Sounds fun Al G. I'm trying to talk some friends into going to. Problem is we avg 3.25 kids per household :-) And all are active with our children's sports, etc. Waiting to find out about Sunday avail as the ladies are planning Disneyland. But it hasn't been finalized. I wouldn't plan around my schedule though.

    Curious what you guys are using for lights as I'd like to get them for the kids for Christmas as we do ride a lot in the dark? Normally on the way back from yogurt or dinner.

    Illegal to ride on trails at night. Interesting Mr Spin.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMKNTRLS View Post
    Illegal to ride on trails at night. Interesting Mr Spin.
    I don't get it either. But the MPROSD doesn't allow it, and neither does Santa Clara County Parks. I personally know people who have gotten caught and were ticketed, and those tickets weren't cheap. (Those guys were stupid. They got caught riding in a place that could be seen from the whole valley!) We used to ride at one county park, but after a few scares, we ended up switching to another well-known spot deep in the Santa Cruz mountains where almost no one lived, no one could see us, and more important, no one cared. It was fantastic.

  21. #21
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    damn I would love to join but cant this weekend...how bout next weekend? on the 26th

  22. #22
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    Confirming my social calendar is filled up this weekend with Sat morning soccer games, then to Lumbardi and Sunday at Disneyland. Life is good :-)

    So I'm all for trying to arrange something next weekend too. Sunday is the best day for me next week.

    Have a great ride guys!

  23. #23
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    I see your response 3r_1c. Again I'd suggest not to work around my schedule. If I can tag along great.

  24. #24
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    I would love to join a group ride. I've been trying to ride tapia lately but things keep coming up. I'm in scv also so any organized meet I will definitely try to make. Hope I can keep up with you guys!

  25. #25
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    Anyone a tech and interested in taking a shot at my rear derailer/shifter for a nice smile and thank you? Meet you anywhere in SCV and if you can't fix in five minutes I'll be out of your hair :-) I'd rather spend the money to fix it on a demo bike to ride with you guys. Maybe just keep the Sugar for riding around with the family as a four speed till then. Just thought I'd ask. Thanks for entertaining my idea. Smkn no trails ;-)

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