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Thread: A Trip To SoCal

  1. #1
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    A Trip To SoCal

    I've read and enjoyed other peoples posts about trips so I thought I'd contribute and post one of my own!

    I'm travelling with my family to Newport Beach, CA in a few weeks and I've already pre-negotiated a day off for daddy to go ride some of these SoCal trails that always appear in MBA etc. etc.

    Thanks to the wonders of MTBR, I went over to the SoCal board a few months back and asked for input RE ride location, LBS and the like. Just as in this group, that group is super eager to help out and chime in. With their help, I've settled on the San Juan Trail, which looks like the ideal out and back ride. 19 miles and (gulp) 3300 feet of climbing.



    Here's a neat link if you're really keen

    MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures

    Anyway, I've got myself lined up to rent a Trance X29 (my regular ride is an anthemx29) from a recommend shop Home - The Path Bike Shop and I'm really looking forward to it.

    If any of y'all have been down that way, or just generally have experience in MTB rental/travel and have some tricks of the trade, I'd be obliged to hear it.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a fun trip! I would expect renting a MTB would be similar to a road bike, which I rented while I was in Spain in May. If you normally ride clipless, bring your own shoes and pedals and the shop will put them on. I carted my own helmet around as well. If you use a Garmin with any wheel sensors, I think it defaults to GPS signal if it can't find the sensors, so you'll be fine there. Remember your mount for it, though.

    Have fun!

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    Check out the bike well before you leave the shop. I've rented a few times from InCycle in LA and one time I didn't realize the fork had no damping at all until I was out for my first ride. It was a pain to have to go back to the shop to swap bikes.

    Bring everything but the bike. You'll still need all your gear. Don't forget a pump/tube/patch kit. The shop sold me some tubes and refunded them when I returned them with the bike. As mentioned, they will put your pedals on. In my case they also swapped the brake levers for me.

    It was so weird, coming from Ontario, to be riding mostly uphill for an hour and a half on one of the trails I rode.

    Enjoy!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tips. I will give the bike a good inspection. Since the trance 29er was just released I'm hoping the bike will be in decent shape, but I'll be sure to give it a go first.

    In terms of the pedals, they said they'll throw a pair of candys on for me (that's what I ride) so that's one less thing I need to bring, which I'm thankful for as I'll have enough as it is.

    The whole idea of climbing for 1.5 hours straight is a little daunting, but the promise of the amazing views not to mention the 30 minute wildburn back out will hopefully be enough to propel me up that mountain. It'll certainly give me a good chance to decide whether I could benefit from a longer travel 29er... (although the benefits are likely muted around here)...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewake View Post
    The whole idea of climbing for 1.5 hours straight is a little daunting, but the promise of the amazing views not to mention the 30 minute wildburn back out will hopefully be enough to propel me up that mountain.
    I remember years ago (like '95ish) when we first rode in the Kananaskis and decided to take on an "easy" pass. The trail just kept going up and up and up...

    Never having ridden outside of Ontario at that point, my mind (and my legs) were blown.

    Have fun; it sounds like it'll be a great trip!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  6. #6
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    What a Ride!

    We've now returned home from an amazing trip to the Los Angeles Area and it was a great trip in all respects. A day at Disneyland earned me my pass to go riding and it was simply awesome. I'll take the time to talk a little about the Shop, a little about the Bike and a little about the ride. So if you're interested, read on:

    The Shop:

    The Path in Tustin, CA was such a cool little shop. Not a fancy building, but it was crammed to the gills with high end stuff. There were carbon fiber frames hanging everywhere, rows of parts in boxes ready to go. Wheels everywhere, Forks everywhere. It was like walking into a small version of CRC, you could litterally build your dream bike (whatever that may be) from the parts available in the store. Really cool.





    The other amazing thing is that since it was my first time there, they gave me the rental for free! I also snagged a pair of Specialized Bib Shorts for $40! and found a kid's sized cycling jersey for my five year old. Overall, a very nice experience.

    The Bike:

    Coming from the Anthem, I felt immediately comfortable on the Trance 29er. I also didn't find the steering to be any slower in spite of the slacker geo. If I wanted more travel, I'd pick this bike up without a second thought. It had a full XT groupset 2x10 (including the Ice Rotors) and a dropper post. The tires were Nobby Nics. Everything worked flawlessly. I loved those XT brakes and will definitely be getting some this winter for my ride. Given the kind of riding I do around here I definitely would not replace my Thomson post with a dropper, but for this particular ride, it was a very nice piece of kit to have. The Nobby Nics were also a great match for the ride/terrain. So... about that ride...

    The Ride:

    Wow. Just Wow. It actually took my 1:45 to get to the top, but that was because I was constantly stopping to pull out my phone and take pictures. The views were simply stunning.

    The climb was long, but it was always interesting so I actually rather enjoyed it. At times it went from interesting to scary, what with sheer drop offs with inches to spare, but hey, that's all part of the fun.

    Here are some shots of the views and the trail:









    Here's the bike at "cocktail rock" which is essentially the top:





    And back down we go!




    The ride down took me about 35 minutes. And trust me, I gave those ICE rotors a workout. I am no downhill speed demon and I have a very healthy self preservation instinct, but there were sections when I was flying, and boy was that fun.

    I also learned a few things:

    1) desert plants are (perhaps obviously) much hardier then what we have around here. Therefore a small branch will be harder and move less and will hurt.

    2) I am terrible at right handed downhill hairpins. Left handers? no problem. Right handed? all awkward and slow.

    3) I gotta go on more mountain bike holidays.

    thanks for reading!

  7. #7
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    great pics
    i wish we had mountains around here.
    that 1st mountain shot where you can see the trail winding it's way down looks great
    Team Van Go

    the older I get the better I was

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    That looks like it was fantastic!

    It would be nice if we had climbs that lasted more than 10 minutes around here!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  9. #9
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    It would be nice if we had climbs that lasted more than 10 minutes around here! [/QUOTE]

    last year we climbed up Black mountain in north carolina.
    it was about 14 km of non stop climbing, mostly double track except the last 3 km.
    in flagstaff we had a 9 km climb ,all single track. actually a tougher climb.
    those climbs made the down hill afterwards more rewarding and made the beer taste even better.
    Team Van Go

    the older I get the better I was

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    great pics
    i wish we had mountains around here.
    that 1st mountain shot where you can see the trail winding it's way down looks great
    Thanks!

    The trailhead is actually at the bottom of that winding trail in that very narrow valley. The start of the ride is essentially 15-20 tight switchbacks as you make your way up the side of that mountain. There just isn't anything like that around here, that's for sure.

    I was able to chat to a few riders along the way, all of them very nice and willing to chat up a visitor. There was one guy in a full face, full pyjamas, protective gear and riding a Glory DH rig (this ride can be shuttled if climbing ain't your thing) and he was the only one who didn't stop to chat, but I gave him a pass. He must have been hot.

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