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  1. #1
    007 is offline
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    Reputation: 007's Avatar
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    Jun 2005

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA

    So I went on another one of the "must-rides" in SoCal . . . the Cannell Plunge. This ride is VASTLY different from the SART that I rode a couple weeks ago. This is a shuttle ride, unless you're a beast or glutton for punishment. It's very appropriately named "The Plunge" as you descend approximately 5K feet over the last 8 miles of the trail. That is not a typo . . . 5K feet over 8 miles. Yes, its steep. Yes, its fast. Yes, its fun.

    After the ~60 minute shuttle, you arrive near the summit. I say "near" because there's an optional shoot to ride from here that takes you up to about 9,900 feet of elevation . . . I forgot to mention, the air is a little thin up here. This is a view from the parking/drop zone:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_1158%25u0025255b2%25255d.jpg

    And another, non-panorama:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2109.jpg

    I have to apologize in advance, but my pictures are few and far between . . . I tried to remind myself to stop and take pics, but its hard to do when you're a) having fun and b) riding chunk. What they DON'T tell you about this trail is that it is pretty damn technical. There are multiple prolonged stretches of trail where you are riding down a dried alpine stream bed, littered with boulders, roots and all sorts of things to throw you off line. And then there's the cows. Yes. Cows. (they're small in the pic, but there in there . . . at least a dozen).

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2088.jpg

    There's also a couple pretty nasty climbs, however, they are early on in the trip which is good because you're fresh and ready to go . . . bad because you're still over 8K feet and breathing just ain't the same at that elevation. This is after one of them . . . pretty solid rest stop that has clearly seen similar weary bikers:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2077.jpg

    And here's another . . . this was a somewhat technical section with some pretty nasty exposure:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_1166%25u0025255b2%25255d.jpg

    The trail is generally well marked (so long as you pay attention to the signs/arrows), but there are a couple confusing spots. I'd definitely recommend going through this route with someone who knows the way. There's only a couple significant turns, but if you miss them . . . . well . . . lets just say you're a long way from nothing out there.

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2086.jpg

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2071.jpg

    There's an abundance of scenery, thats for sure. I called this the "Pots O' Gold"

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_1162%25u0025255b2%25255d.jpg

    And yes, it was a BIG meadow:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2074.jpg

    There's lots of this (crappy pic):

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2087.jpg

    And this (see the sand? There's LOTS of it on this trail. And I mean LOTS):

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2106.jpg

    Portions of the trail are very buff, fast and flowing (it seems that this is what MOST people show of this trail). There's one section in particular that was just so much fun traversing through a wide open meadow thats lush, and green RIIIIIIGHT before you hit "the Plunge," which is essentially dropping you back into the desert.

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2069.jpg

    Here I am, contemplating life:

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_1165.jpg

    Then comes "the plunge" . . . . not a lot of pics along the way here. Again . . . 5K feet . . . 8 miles . . . you do the math.

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_1174.jpg

    RR: Cannell Plunge - Kernville, CA-img_2105.jpg

    All in all, its an excellent ride and well worth the trip. What we did, is make a weekend out of it that included an extended stay in Mammoth Lakes to hit the bike park, which is ALSO awesome fun. I'd recommend this ride to any intermediate or advanced rider, but its definitely not a beginner's route. Its long, so come prepared with spare parts, tubes, food and water . . . you'll need it. All of it.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  2. #2
    El Gato Malo
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Nice pics 007, looks like you had a wildly fun ride!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Cannell Plunge is a beast.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gmats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Aloha 007,

    I've had the pleasure of riding the plunge numerous times. Love it, never gets old. Yes, parts of it can be sandy. I usually ride it in October during the Kernville Fat Tire Festival. John Stallone and the gang there are top notch. What a great ride, it's got a little of all kinds of stuff and a lot of really great stuff. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing, never gets old.

  5. #5
    9 lives
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Good report and pics. Looks like a great place to ride. I like the landscape
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PerfectZero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    yeah great pics!
    buzzes like a fridge

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Rad shots, thanks. I rode it once back in 07, I think. I need to get back up there!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: demetivi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I hope to do that ride someday
    It's a good day to ride!

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