Hi, all,

Was thinking it would be nice to have a repository for tandem ride reports. (Sticky?) Some outings/events deserve their own threads, but I'd like to be able to check in on the regular tandem MTB action in a single location. And of course I would encourage everybody to post any psyche you can. Group rides, missions, quickies, bails/fails...it's all good fodder.

What say ye denizens?

I'll start...

We conjured up with the idea of riding from the lowest to highest points in Orange County, CA. Sort of a super-light Badwater-Whitney affair. I was determined to do it without car assistance, which seemed natural since we live near the beach.

The high point would be Santiago Peak (aka Saddleback) in the Santa Ana Mountains, where mountain biking is popular. From the beach it's a 40-minute drive through suburban sprawl to the base of the trails up Santiago. We live near the mouth of the Santa Ana River, which has a convenient path that allows keeping away from traffic for a big chunk of the ride. Connecting the Santa Ana River with the mountain area required riding through the city of Orange.

We gave it an initial go, wanting to do it with a couple of bivouacs (tricky since no camping outside of campgrounds is the rule). I failed to replace my Steripen batteries beforehand, so we made one quick (and cold) bivy, used up our fuel purifying water, and cut the ride short by skipping over the range without tagging the summit.

The high point at Four Corners:

We beat it home, unsuccessful.

I began to think doing this ride in a push would be do-able, maybe easier than with bivouacs. So we planned in that direction, thinking we might be able to ride it round trip in 16 hours. I did stock the mountain with a couple of 50/50 (half water, half Powerade) caches a few days prior, as there are no reliable water resupplies high on our route. This turned out to be a boon; it eliminated the needs to purify/purchase/grovel water.

With two caches of four liters each in place on the mountain, we set out at 4:15 am from Huntington Beach. A stop at a coffee booth for hot tea in Orange pushed me through the coldest part of the day, just before sunrise. We rode up Silverado Canyon to Maple Springs Road, arriving at our first cache with a good amount of 50/50 still on board. Forced hydrating in the cool shade didn't seem natural, but paid some great dividends. We felt good on the climb and pushed past Four Corners to our last cache, which we stashed most of for the return trip down.

We hit the summit at 1:30pm and celebrated with a quick snack. The descent…need I say? A joyous break for certain muscles.

We stopped at Irvine Lake near the base of the Santa Anas for some comfort food. A couple burgers later, we were again pushing for home.

We finished a short while after dark, at 6:30pm, happy with our time and feeling (relatively) good due to low temps and lots of hydration. No singletrack, but a "mountain bike ride" to be sure...