We (OTB Club) rode Viper today as our year opener.... I chose to do a little extra credit, starting out in the SF Valley at Wilson Canyon and riding up to Pinetos Saddle. Winds were gusting pretty strongly, and blew me off the trail a couple of times on Viper (lap 1). You're on an exposed ridge top for most of it.
The rest of the group had started from Santa Clara Truck Trail, I was about 15 minutes behind but caught some of the OTB'ers about half way up. Dave had a heart attack on Bulldog six months ago, and this was his first ride back. Gary, a 73 year old animal was already at the top. There was also Jeff, John, Hans, Will, Ron, Chris, Dale and Tony. We headed down Viper (lap 2) with the winds a little stronger this time, and turned off down to the nature center. That's a steep, switchbacked, stepped trail. Fun, and a challenge.
From there we climbed the Los Pinetos/Placerita Creek trail, a newly designated LA County multi-use trail (used to be off-limits to bikes). It's steep, 25% grade in places, but all rideable with the tacky dirt right now. From the top I did a loop over the ridge line while the rest of the group finished the climb.
Back at Pinetos Saddle, it was time for body armor (for those who had it) and the helmet cam. We headed down Viper (lap 3 for me) with the helmet cam rolling. The wind had picked up even more....Tony, Hans, John are in front of me on the vid. The wind was howling, and even though I'd cleaned all the climbs on Viper a week ago, the wind was blowing so hard across the trail that when going slow (climbing the whoops) I was blown into the bushes a few times.
Gary, our septegenarian, went OTB on one section of Viper but was fine, got up, laughed, and kept going. He's an inspiration! Viper is like a roller coaster ride with grades from flat to 30% grade climbs, to -100% descents; it's fast and fun! Top speed was 30.7 for me, can't speak for our other riders.
At the bottom of Viper everyone left, and I rode back up the Santa Clara Truck Trail to Pinetos Saddle, did a quick little extra loop around the top of Los Pinetos, then back down Wilson canyon for some exploring and back to the car.
It was a fantastic way to start the year. Tacky dirt, good friends (some of whom are on STR) and a good dose of all-around fun riding. 9800' of climbing, 38 miles.