Excuses, Excuses - how San Juan trail kicked my... [many pics]- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Excuses, Excuses - how San Juan trail kicked my... [many pics]

    Ok, before I get started here are my excuses:

    1. I already had 7 hrs and 100 miles of riding in my legs for the week (yeah, you're right, that?s not much of an excuse. How 'bout...)
    2. I was jetlagged from traveling across the country (uh, after 5 days? Hmm, maybe not.)
    3. It was a borrowed bike. which was about a 1/2 size too big. (true)
    4. The trail was unfamiliar - totally different terrain that I'm used to. (also true)
    5. Due to the recent rain trail conditions were, uh, rough. (a monumental understatement)
    6. I was getting sick and didn't know it yet. (ah, the mysteries of the body)

    Yup, I think that about covers it.

    My life sucks. Every year at the end of January I am forced to go to this conference in this terrible place called San Diego, where all they eat is fish tacos and no one ever does anything fun - especially not ride a bike! Can you imagine anything worse?


    the promenade just outside my hotel


    waiting for the green flash

    The first year I went to the conference I met up with Dave W, TRex, Darkeyz, et al. They poisoned me with fish tacos from a resturant that I'm pretty sure had a D- health rating, loaned me Dave W's old GT softtail, and took me out for a day in the mtns outside SD.


    rt & darkeyz in '01

    This was so much fun that the following year I brought my own mtb, found a fish taco place with an A rating (yum), and got 2 days of riding in with Dave W and crew (sorry, no pix, we were having too much fun riding).

    Last year I finally wised up. I realized that it was tough for me to get out to ride trails during the week (having a conference to attend and lacking access to a car), so last year I brought my road bike. Wooo hooo! Great riding straight out the door of my hotel. Oh, and a bonus ride with Carter Taylor where we nearly froze our toes off and ended up calling his wife to come rescue us from our own stupidity. On the weekend, after the conference was over, I met up with Dave W, borrowed his wife's bike and we got some good trail time in. Oh, and some great eating time in.


    no fish tacos here

    And in case you're wondering why your tax dollars go to pay for me to ride my bike in sunny SoCal for a week every winter, I do actually attend and usually present at the conference.

    With last year's road bike success I packed up my skinny wheeled baby and headed out once again. But this year I expanded my mtbr horizons and accepted Dirtcrab's fantastically kind offer of a lovely guest bedroom for the weekend after the conference and the chance for an epic, 40 mile, preparation for Vision Quest (VQ) inspired trail ride (once again on Dave W's wife?s bike.....thanks Susan!!)

    With beautiful weather (well, beautiful compared to the ice storm and 30s in Atlanta), and great company during the week (thanks Verne) I was inspired to log close to 100 miles on the road between Tues & Fri. Including a ride up Via Capris in order to report back on whether it was harder/steeper than either Hogpen Gap or Brasstown Bald (both of which were and will be seen again in the Tour de Georgia).

    The plan for Saturday's epic, affectionately known as "Dumb @ss training for VQ" (since Dirtcrab and Mark are both crazy enough to have signed on for 50 miles of VQ fun) was to ride up San Juan trail, over Main Divide to Holy Jim (HJ is part of the VQ). Then, down Holy Jim and back the way we came, finishing the San Juan lollypop and down. Predicted mileage would be around 40 miles with approximately 5-8K of climbing.

    Right. No problem.

    Except that nagging sore throat and weird cough I had developed. But I was sure it was just allergies. Nevermind that I don't have allergies.

    Sat., 7:00 am
    Mark arrives to find none of us ready.

    7:05 am
    Andi, who planned only to do San Juan trail with us (she's smarter than we are), finds out that her ride partner is bailing because it might be raining...somewhere...in the world. Should we all go up in one car or two? These decisions are difficult to make before the sun is up and sufficient caffine is consumed.

    7:15 am
    Two cars. Everything is loaded and we are off.

    It was chilly when we arrived at the San Juan trailhead, but all of the mudslides had been cleared from the roads approaching so our only issue was deciding how much to wear (since most of it would likely end up being carried once we settled into the long climb). Andi and Jen (Dirtcrab) suited up and headed out figuring that Mark and I would catch up once I was done getting my borrowed bike set up.

    About 10 minutes after Jen and Andi took off, Mark and I headed out. I mean, up. And up. And up!

    The trail starts with a whole mess of switchbacks none of which I rode well. In fact, most of which I walked. Humph.

    As I rode (or walked, as the case may be) I discovered that the San Juan trail gives you the best the area has to offer. Beautiful views, narrow, off-camber singletrack, climbing galore, and exposed edges to scare the pants off the uninitiated.


    all that trail to the right, yeah, we rode that.

    Shortly after the initial switchbacks the trail conditions began to deteriorate. For those of you who were incommunicado about a month ago and did not see a newspaper or news report, southern CA received their entire year's rainfall in approximately a single 2 week period. With loose, sandy, rocky trails this means serious water damage due to run-off. Ruts the size of chasms ran directly down the center of the trail. 6 inch ruts turned into foot deep ruts and once or twice it seems that the trail had disappeared all together!


    ruts & rock & washout, oh my.


    andi contemplating the damage

    Unfortunatley, my bike skills seemed to deteriorate in direct proportion to the trail damage. Doh! I felt like the bike I was riding had a mind of it's own. I had no control over where it went and discovered that sage makes a lovely crash pad while yucca does not! (Ow! Pokey!) The climb really isn't that bad. It is long, but there is plenty of space to ride (even with the ruts) and the slope is middle-ring-able. But, I struggled along feeling like my front wheel had an unnatural attraction to every rut in the trail. The speed at which I moved forward made evolution look like a lightening fast process. I'd ride. I'd fall into a rut. I'd walk. I began to wonder how in the world I would be able to descend a trail that I couldn't even ride up!

    Every so often Mark would stop and wait to make sure I had not been eaten by some rogue mountain lion (which didn't seem like such a bad option to me, to be honest!)


    a brief moment when i was actually riding

    Ugh, this saddle is terrible. What sadist created this medieval torture device?

    1 hr, 55 minutes and a whopping 7 miles after leaving the trailhead I finally struggled up to "coctail rock" at the top of the trail. Jen and Andi had been there so long they had made friends with everyone, had time to eat a full meal, and build a small city. Alright, maybe they hadn't been there that long but long enough for them to have cooled down and gotten chilled.

    On my arrival I looked at everyone and said, "there is NO way I'm going to be up for 30 more miles of this. Please tell me we are just going back down!"

    In all fairness, the trail conditions really were horrible and Jen said it took her 30 minutes longer than normal to do the climb. I felt moderately reassurred. Everyone agreed that to continue on would be silly, so after the obligatory group shot...


    obligatory group shot - L to R: rt, Dirtcrab, Mark, Andi


    just the grrlz

    we collected our bikes and rolled back down the way we came.


    andi navigating the trail with Dirtcrab crawling over the "trail obstacle" behind

    Well, they rolled. I rode like I'd never been on a mtb before. The bike went from being drawn to the ruts to being compelled directly into every rut. And if not in a rut I felt like I was hurtling (at a blazing 2.2 mph) toward the edge of the trail and then off into space never to be seen again. I had what my family fondly calls in skiing a complete LOC (loss of confidence). So I walked. If I could have gotten away with it I might have sat down and slid down the trail on my @ss. Occasionally I tried riding, but when I did so it was with 1 foot unclipped. I knew that if I clipped both feet into the pedals I would die.

    In the end it took me close to 3 hrs to descend 7 miles, for a total of 14 miles in 5 hours!! Longer to go down than to go up. I didn't even think it was physically possible. It is not often you have the opportunity to demonstrate a complete lack of skill and ability in front of a group of your internet stalker friends with whom you've never ridden before. Really, I'm glad I had the opportunity to reassure everyone that while riding skills may improve with time riding like a beginner lasts forever!

    Oh, and by Monday I was sick as a dog with some sort of nasty sore throat hacking cough virus.

    Many thanks to Dirtcrab and Andi for their incredible hospitality, to Mark for checking back to make sure I was still alive, to the whole crowd for trying to show me one of SD's premire rides (even if I rode like a complete spaz, I still had fun). And to Verne for inviting me to join him, Gene, & Jim on their roadie ride up the coast etc.

    Next year I'm bringing BOTH my bikes.

    rt

    one last gratuitous view shot
    Last edited by *rt*; 02-10-2005 at 11:21 AM.
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  2. #2

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    excellent example

    That trail is an excellent example of what shuttle monkeys and rain can do to a trail that has been there for hundreds of years. Yeah, some of the perpetrators of skidiocy can blame it all on the rain, but people who ride other trials that are not shuttleable in the Santa Ana Mountains know otherwise.

  3. #3
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    Including a ride up Via Capris in order to report back on whether it was harder/steeper than either Hogpen Gap or Brasstown Bald (both of which were and will be seen again in the Tour de Georgia).
    All the usual superlatives about nice pics and great report as usual aside, well? Is it?

    PS--That's why I never ride anyone else's bike. They always make you feel like a hog on ice.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  4. #4
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    So then, are you in training for our mis-adventure in April? And given Jen's ability, I think she must join us.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    All the usual superlatives about nice pics and great report as usual aside, well? Is it?

    PS--That's why I never ride anyone else's bike. They always make you feel like a hog on ice.
    LOL! hog on ice. i love it!

    no, via capris was neither harder nor steeper than hogpen or brasstown. hogpen is waaay longer and brasstown is waaay steeper. nevertheless, via capris is a [email protected] hill and by no means easy. as i was grinding up the last pitch at about 3 rpms some dude (probably in his big ring and on his 8th hill repeat) came flying by me with a "hey! how are you". i think i used all my remaining O2 to gasp "brutal!"

    thanks.

    rt
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  6. #6
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    That trail is an excellent example of what shuttle monkeys and rain can do to a trail that has been there for hundreds of years. Yeah, some of the perpetrators of skidiocy can blame it all on the rain, but people who ride other trials that are not shuttleable in the Santa Ana Mountains know otherwise.
    i can't really comment on that since i've never ridden there before but everyone i saw was riding up to get their thrills riding down. most of the erosion and trail damage looked like rain water run off to me, but what do i know?

    rt
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  7. #7
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    Great story and pics as usual. Thanks! It helped out my otherwise blah Thursday!
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  8. #8
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    So then, are you in training for our mis-adventure in April? And given Jen's ability, I think she must join us.
    i don't know if i'd call that particular ride training for anything unless you're hoping that i will win a prize for slowest lap in history during our mis-adventure!

    i tried & tried but Jen said 'no'.

    rt
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    Jen said 'no'.
    So, how do you feel about abduction/kidnapping?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    So, how do you feel about abduction/kidnapping?
    oh, i'm all for it if it gets us what we want.

    rt
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  11. #11
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    Hmmmm.... She's not too big. She could fit in a trunk with plenty of breathing space left over. Then I think we need to steal 2 of someone's 3 three gears...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    Hmmmm.... She's not too big. She could fit in a trunk with plenty of breathing space left over. Then I think we need to steal 2 of someone's 3 three gears...

    hmmm, that could work....

    (insert evil cackle here)

    rt
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  13. #13
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    Nice pics - the last one reminds me of a trail I rode outside of Irving once. My buddy was getting married and I had strict instructions to not let him crash th day before the wedding. Suffice to say I was unalbe to complete that task as evidenced by his limping down the isle....at least his face was OK.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  14. #14
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    Southern California Dreaming...

    Looks pretty nice, despite the massive erosion. Please take it very easy until you're fully healed/not sick this early in the season! One solid hard competitive season on the way!

    My guess is it would take an awful lot of shuttling to the kind of damgae shown - especially since SD & the whole SW part of the country have been hammered in an El Nino.

    Random SD flooding/damage pix:






    (Hope these work)


    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

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    Nice report, and good to see you.

    Well, we couldn't poison you this time (the food was too good, dammit), but at least we got you sick again!

    I promise to actually ride next time.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    Looks pretty nice, despite the massive erosion. Please take it very easy until you're fully healed/not sick this early in the season! One solid hard competitive season on the way!

    My guess is it would take an awful lot of shuttling to the kind of damgae shown - especially since SD & the whole SW part of the country have been hammered in an El Nino.

    Random SD flooding/damage pix:
    ...
    yes mom. i'm doing my best to take it easy. no more mid-season burn out like last year!!

    you ready for OP? remind me, are you doing it solo this year? if you are, you are my hero.

    oh, and i agree about the erosion. no amount of skidding could do that sort of damage. just soil conditions that aren't made for heavy & continuous rain.

    rt
    Last edited by *rt*; 02-10-2005 at 12:34 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Great story and pics as usual. Thanks! It helped out my otherwise blah Thursday!
    you're welcome.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    ...Nice pics - the last one reminds me of a trail I rode outside of Irving once. My buddy was getting married and I had strict instructions to not let him crash th day before the wedding. Suffice to say I was unalbe to complete that task as evidenced by his limping down the isle....at least his face was OK.
    thanks!

    at least he was still able to walk down the aisle. i went to a wedding many moons ago where the groom went out on a ride with his best man & one other wedding party member with the same instructions. unfortunately he spent his wedding night undergoing 6 hrs of surgery to repair his shattered femur. to add insult to injury he landed in a patch of poison oak.

    needless to say we all returned 6 months later when he was finally able to hobble down the aisle.

    rt
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  19. #19
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    Nice...

    Now I know Dave Double Yew is alive! good story as always and nice pix coverage, sorry you got ill. That erosion is bad, eyow.

    Jim

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave w
    Well, we couldn't poison you this time (the food was too good, dammit), but at least we got you sick again!

    I promise to actually ride next time.
    yes, your streak continues! LOL. i will never manage to spend time in SD without developing some sort of illness.

    it was great seeing you & susan & simon. babies and riding are often incompatible. next year for sure.

    rt
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    Now I know Dave Double Yew is alive! good story as always and nice pix coverage, sorry you got ill. That erosion is bad, eyow.

    Jim
    the erosion was tres ugly. sorta like how i was riding - tres ugly!

    yep, dave dubya (hee hee) is alive and well and enjoying his newest addition: a baby named Simon. wish i had remembered to bring my camera to dinner. he's a cutie.

    rt
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  22. #22
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    San Juan Trail nostalgia ~video~

    Wow, SJT needs some TLC. Man I miss that trail - one of the best there is.

    Here's a video of the SJT I made last year: www.sirbikesalot.com/SanJuanTrail2004.mp4

    and the previous year: www.sirbikesalot.com/SanJuanTrail.mp4
    I didn't just drink the koolaid, I stuck my head in the punchbowl.

  23. #23
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    Wow. *rt* is a QT.

    Sorry if I offended anyone with that sexist comment. But, someone had to say it...

  24. #24
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    Hey RT,
    next year, bring the SS, and the OC singlespeed brigade will make it worth your while.
    By then, Donkey will have had time to get his tanlines on par...
    We'll have SJT all patched up in time too...
    Great pics....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Hey RT,
    next year, bring the SS, and the OC singlespeed brigade will make it worth your while.
    By then, Donkey will have had time to get his tanlines on par...
    We'll have SJT all patched up in time too...
    Great pics....

    ok, so next year i need to bring the roadie (for mid week riding), the gearie (for whatever Dirtcrab, Dave W et al want to torture me with), AND the ss so i can do SJT the right way.

    hmmmm, maybe i'll just bring a moving truck with all my stuff while i'm at it.

    sweet! i'll be pale and Donkey can show off his tan lines. what more could a girl ask for? hehehehehe!

    thanks Padre!

    rt
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  26. #26
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    No Sheet!

    Quote Originally Posted by J.D.
    That trail is an excellent example of what shuttle monkeys and rain can do to a trail that has been there for hundreds of years. Yeah, some of the perpetrators of skidiocy can blame it all on the rain, but people who ride other trials that are not shuttleable in the Santa Ana Mountains know otherwise.
    I can't even recognize some those sections with that damage.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirbikesalot
    Wow, SJT needs some TLC. Man I miss that trail - one of the best there is.

    Here's a video of the SJT I made last year: www.sirbikesalot.com/SanJuanTrail2004.mp4

    and the previous year: www.sirbikesalot.com/SanJuanTrail.mp4
    hmm, can't get the videos to load. weird. stupid gov't computer.

    SJT needs lots of tlc. but someone had made a start at the bottom. the first few switchbacks were in pretty good condition. then it all went to h3ll in a handbasket.

    can't wait to make it out again and ride it when it's in better condition.

    rt
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    ok, so next year i need to bring the roadie (for mid week riding), the gearie (for whatever Dirtcrab, Dave W et al want to torture me with), AND the ss so i can do SJT the right way.
    Just ship them all to me a week in advance.

  29. #29
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    Ahem!

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    Many thanks to Dirtcrab and Andi for their incredible hospitality, to Mark for checking back to make sure I was still alive, to the whole crowd for trying to show me one of SD's premire rides (even if I rode like a complete spaz, I still had fun).

    Glad you had fun, but for the record, SJT is an Orange County trail, not a San Diego trail.

    San Diego has enuff fine trails of their own, they don't need to be laying claim to ours!

    - Grumpy Grampa

    p.s. Next year you should ask your SD friends to show you No Bull Canyon, which is really one of SD's premier rides.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    Now I know Dave Double Yew is alive! good story as always and nice pix coverage, sorry you got ill. That erosion is bad, eyow.

    Jim

    Hiya Jim! How's it going?
    I am alive ... and heavier than I've ever been in my life. Gotta work on that before rt gets back here again.

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    Could not find my reply to you here in Passion...

    as I used the link from your e-mail for the reply. Found it over in the Women's Lounge.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    yes mom. i'm doing my best to take it easy. no more mid-season burn out like last year!!

    you ready for OP? remind me, are you doing it solo this year? if you are, you are my hero.

    oh, and i agree about the erosion. no amount of skidding could do that sort of damage. just soil conditions that aren't made for heavy & continuous rain.

    rt
    Very good, then. Take two of "these" and call me in the morning!

    Ready for OP? I s'pose.... feeling pretty fat & lazy, but fair, I suppose. Ready to start riding agian! Alas, I don't get to be your hero just yet, as I'm sticking with a 4 person team so early in the year. My solo debut shall be at McDowell Park, in Phoenix this coming fall - provided they do the event again! 24 hours, I aim to do 24 laps. We'll see!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  33. #33
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    Great post!!!

    Wow, SJT looks like hammered dog $41+. Anybody know of any trailwork days coming up? Warriors...come out and plaaay... Doesn't even look like the same trail!
    If you're in the 'hood again, let me know. We'll take you on some SD local stuff, and you can play "follow the fixie"

    the los
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    Warriors...come out and plaaay...
    the los
    Whoa! So I'm not the only one who actually watched that movie on some random saturday afternoon like 15 years ago on channel 13? Sweet...

  35. #35
    It's not what you think.
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    That's a crying shame about that trail. It was in great shape when Elicia and I rode it 2 years ago. Sad to see for sure since it's (was) one of my all time favorites!

    Cocktail rock.
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  36. #36
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    Great shots *rt*! SJT is a great trail, I was there last weekend and those are the same spots that we had to hike down.

    Gotta love those switchbacks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Keep Pedaling

  37. #37
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    great report!

    nice effort to get out there and ride despite all the excuse, er, setbacks.

    And it's not just *that* trail unfortunately. Most of SoCal is still putting the pieces back together on their dirt trails (and paved roads too). Yesterdays night ride was very similar; ride some, stop, lift bike over eroded gap, repeat.

    great photos and details - fun to read. Thanks.

    Jeff (also in training for VQ)

  38. #38
    120 pounds of xc sex!
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    whoa

    nice pics!

    whats the best loop for this trail? something sub 20 miles, thank you!
    Team X-poser is back for 2006-

    WTB; 1.25 inch tow rack in SoCal

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  39. #39
    jrm
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    The glass is half full perspective..

    you didnt stack.....
    Last edited by jrm; 02-10-2005 at 03:37 PM.

  40. #40
    Glutton for punishment
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    You're alive!? Hey Dave!

    Good to see that you and the missus, and darkeyez et al are still there and riding. Dave Duff still alive and kicking?

    Elissa and I have about 10 lbs. of joy that's holding our riding back these days. A trip to SD might be in the books this year.

    ScottN

  41. #41
    It's a Turner!
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    oh, forgot to mention - you need Apple Quicktime. Or you can go to www.sirbikesalot.com and go to Videos. They may play in your browser with the Quicktime plug-in.


    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    hmm, can't get the videos to load. weird. stupid gov't computer.

    SJT needs lots of tlc. but someone had made a start at the bottom. the first few switchbacks were in pretty good condition. then it all went to h3ll in a handbasket.

    can't wait to make it out again and ride it when it's in better condition.

    rt
    I didn't just drink the koolaid, I stuck my head in the punchbowl.

  42. #42
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    Wasted...

    ... all those descending skills you learned up in BC four years ago?

    Ya, riding unfamiliar bikes is not that fun. I'll get you set up on an X-Small V-tach so you can get JD to shuttle you on those trails next time you're in SD. That way you won't be too tired to do the descent!



    At least the cough was a lot better than the neck! Are you heading to the FFTF?
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  43. #43
    "Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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    if you really want to climb

    next time you're here head up the front side of Mt. Palomar. It's really nice and steep!

    Jimena Florit tools up Mt. Soledad and down Via Capri (not sure if she then turns around) on training rides. I've seen her before at least when I've been slogging up Soledad. I'm not dumb enough to go back up Via Capri though..........

    YR

  44. #44
    "Ride Lots" - Eddie Mercx
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    best route is probably

    Quote Originally Posted by carbnjunkie
    nice pics!

    whats the best loop for this trail? something sub 20 miles, thank you!
    up, up, up, up, up, just when you're kinda sick of going up, head up, up, and finally up.

    When you finally get to Cocktail rock, turn right. stay on this trail until you come to the first obvious trail that intersects it onyour right. Turn right. stay on this piece of ST goodness until you get to a T. Turn Left. at the next intersection turn right. stay on this until you get to the top at the campground. water up and get some food. Turn around and head down. stay on the main ST though and don't take any turn offs. get to cocktail rock and continue descending.

    lots o fun.

    YR

  45. #45
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Whoa! So I'm not the only one who actually watched that movie on some random saturday afternoon like 15 years ago on channel 13? Sweet...
    Nope, I watched it too. If memory serves, I think that guys name was Cyrus(sp?) who yelled those fameous words? I like the gang in baseball uniforms the best

  46. #46
    cask conditioned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider
    . I'm not dumb enough to go back up Via Capri though..........

    YR
    I've done that. My computer on my road bike said one section was nearly a 20% grade.


    Hey Dave W- didn't I used to ride with you down in SD? Seems like years and years and years ago.
    Buy a bell, help the trails....

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    where are we eating?

  47. #47
    Lindsay
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    woooohoooooo!

    Thanks for such a marvelous write up, beautiful pictures and a great ride. Once again, it leaves me yearning for a ride. I really enjoy your post.

  48. #48
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    Excellent write-up!

    Thanks *rt*!

    Ummm in addition to your three bikes, it seems to me that next year you need to also bring your surfboard! (Surfing goes after morning coffee but before morning work!...it shouldn't impinge upon bike time at all!)

    You coming to the rockies this summer? Since GIPPER seems to be in stealth mode, perhaps you can find the time to make to to RMH? (See upper right corner).
    Friends don't let friends give their money to NORBA.
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  49. #49
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo verendo
    I've done that. My computer on my road bike said one section was nearly a 20% grade.


    Hey Dave W- didn't I used to ride with you down in SD? Seems like years and years and years ago.
    next time i'll definately give Mt. Polomar a try. i'm all for stupid steep challenges!

    i didn't find the climb up Mt. Soledad all that bad, though i have to admit it took me about 4 tries to actually find the right road. how was i to know that La Jolla Mesa turns into La Jolla Mesa Scenic and i'm supposed to follow the latter rather than the former? i think i rode ever hill in that neighborhood before i actually found Mt. Soledad and Via Capris! nice houses in there. bet they're reasonably priced too.

    i'd definately believe that the top part of Via Capris hits 20%. it's STEEP. but Brasstown Bald (GA) still beats it by hitting something like 24% - but even worse there are no real switchbacks on Brasstown so you are just heading straight up from the bottom. there is nothing more demoralizing than looking up at what you have to do while you're struggling to stay upright on what you're on.

    rt
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    Wow, SJT looks like hammered dog $41+. Anybody know of any trailwork days coming up? Warriors...come out and plaaay... Doesn't even look like the same trail!
    If you're in the 'hood again, let me know. We'll take you on some SD local stuff, and you can play "follow the fixie"

    the los
    thanks!

    it looked like someone had done some trailwork on the first few switchbacks straight out of the trailhead but there is a whole lot more that needs attention.

    i'll definately let you know when i'm heading back - it's an annual event for me so count on me being back at the end of jan 06 at the very least. it's not often i get to play follow the fixie.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    Nope, I watched it too. If memory serves, I think that guys name was Cyrus(sp?) who yelled those fameous words? I like the gang in baseball uniforms the best
    hmmm, guess i missed that academy award winner.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by knollybikes.com
    ... all those descending skills you learned up in BC four years ago?

    Ya, riding unfamiliar bikes is not that fun. I'll get you set up on an X-Small V-tach so you can get JD to shuttle you on those trails next time you're in SD. That way you won't be too tired to do the descent!



    At least the cough was a lot better than the neck! Are you heading to the FFTF?
    LOL!!! no i used all those walking skills i learned up in BC (wow was it really 4 years ago?!). hahahahahahaha!

    true, the description someone offered earlier of feeling like a hog on ice about sums it up. it was like the bike had a mind of it's own.

    oooooh! XS V-tach. yummy. i'm sure JD would love to shuttle me up and watch me skidiot through every switchback......'cause, you know that's the type of rider i am.

    the cough was way better than the neck but you have the honor of being the only person with whom i've ever ridden where i heard my vertebrae go "crunch".

    i'm thinking about FFTF. will you & your better half be there?

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampa
    Glad you had fun, but for the record, SJT is an Orange County trail, not a San Diego trail.

    San Diego has enuff fine trails of their own, they don't need to be laying claim to ours!

    - Grumpy Grampa

    p.s. Next year you should ask your SD friends to show you No Bull Canyon, which is really one of SD's premier rides.
    SD, OC as an east coaster it's all greek to me. i don't think anyone ever said SJT was specifically a SD trail. i called it that because i don't know any better. to me, if it's close to SD then it's an SD trail.

    No Bull Canyon? got it.

    rt
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlloyNipples
    That's a crying shame about that trail. It was in great shape when Elicia and I rode it 2 years ago. Sad to see for sure since it's (was) one of my all time favorites!

    Cocktail rock.
    sounds like there's a good network of people to do trail repair so it should return to it's better state at some point.

    when it does it seems like a beautiful ss ride.

    nice pic.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerdude87
    Great shots *rt*! SJT is a great trail, I was there last weekend and those are the same spots that we had to hike down.

    Gotta love those switchbacks!
    thanks!

    hey, i recognize that picture!! when i sized mine down for the report you couldn't see the switchbacks as well as in the original. yours captures it much better.

    rt
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    nice effort to get out there and ride despite all the excuse, er, setbacks.

    And it's not just *that* trail unfortunately. Most of SoCal is still putting the pieces back together on their dirt trails (and paved roads too). Yesterdays night ride was very similar; ride some, stop, lift bike over eroded gap, repeat.

    great photos and details - fun to read. Thanks.

    Jeff (also in training for VQ)
    thanks! glad you enjoyed it Mr. funniest post of the year. (hehehehe) it's not easy to come up with that many excuses for what really boils down to rider ineptitude!

    i know what it's like to have many trails out of commission because of weather. we went through the same thing this past fall with the hurricaines that rolled through here. granted we didn't get it anywhere near as bad as FL but we were still picking up branches and trying to find trails for months afterward. the good news is that it took down all the weak trees/limbs so when our recent ice storm hit the damage was minimal!

    good luck with VQ!

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    you didnt stack.....
    LOL! true that.

    oh, and i had fun and rode with super-cool people.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Once_Upon_A_Time
    Thanks for such a marvelous write up, beautiful pictures and a great ride. Once again, it leaves me yearning for a ride. I really enjoy your post.
    glad you enjoyed it.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapwithtom
    Thanks *rt*!

    Ummm in addition to your three bikes, it seems to me that next year you need to also bring your surfboard! (Surfing goes after morning coffee but before morning work!...it shouldn't impinge upon bike time at all!)

    You coming to the rockies this summer? Since GIPPER seems to be in stealth mode, perhaps you can find the time to make to to RMH? (See upper right corner).
    ack, no surfboard!! besides, that water is about 56*F. not a chance in the world that you could convince me to get into water of that temp. i'm a sissy southerer. i expect surf temps to hover around 80*.

    haven't nailed down my summer plans yet. gipper is definitely in stealth mode until i can get others to help me with the planning and logistics. willl certainly let you know though.

    cheers!
    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  60. #60
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    I'll definitely be there...

    ... not sure how much I'll be riding - hopefully somewhat. Otherwise, I'll be hanging out in the park drinking tequila and blabbing away with anyone stupid enough to come close

    Also, not sure about my SO: she's away in Brussels earlier in the month, then might be at McGill for all of May. It starts adding up to a lot of time away from work, plus the McGill stuff directly interferes with the FFTF. We'll see what happens: we're trying to get 6-8 of us organized to head down for a couple weeks of riding at the FFTF, Moab and in South West Utah.

    Ya, your neck still ranks up there as one of the top two scariest things I've ever seen while riding (Ken Neave now joins you with his videotaped crash onto his head last spring). Yuck...

    Oh ya - you were ripping it up pretty good at the end of the 5 days up here : fully armoured up, hitting the steep rocks on "Cream Puff" up in Pemberton! Four years ago this May - Damn we're getting old fast!


    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    LOL!!! no i used all those walking skills i learned up in BC (wow was it really 4 years ago?!). hahahahahahaha!

    true, the description someone offered earlier of feeling like a hog on ice about sums it up. it was like the bike had a mind of it's own.

    oooooh! XS V-tach. yummy. i'm sure JD would love to shuttle me up and watch me skidiot through every switchback......'cause, you know that's the type of rider i am.

    the cough was way better than the neck but you have the honor of being the only person with whom i've ever ridden where i heard my vertebrae go "crunch".

    i'm thinking about FFTF. will you & your better half be there?

    rt
    Noel Buckley
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by knollybikes.com
    ... not sure how much I'll be riding - hopefully somewhat. Otherwise, I'll be hanging out in the park drinking tequila and blabbing away with anyone stupid enough to come close

    Also, not sure about my SO: she's away in Brussels earlier in the month, then might be at McGill for all of May. It starts adding up to a lot of time away from work, plus the McGill stuff directly interferes with the FFTF. We'll see what happens: we're trying to get 6-8 of us organized to head down for a couple weeks of riding at the FFTF, Moab and in South West Utah.

    Ya, your neck still ranks up there as one of the top two scariest things I've ever seen while riding (Ken Neave now joins you with his videotaped crash onto his head last spring). Yuck...

    Oh ya - you were ripping it up pretty good at the end of the 5 days up here : fully armoured up, hitting the steep rocks on "Cream Puff" up in Pemberton! Four years ago this May - Damn we're getting old fast!
    cool! if things work out i should be there for at least part of the festivities. it would be great to see you again.

    Pemberton was a highlight for me. it still ranks up there as one of the best rides i've ever done. i think that was where i first learned how to really get back off the saddle.

    wow, we are getting old fast! i'm hitting 38 in less than a month!

    cheers!
    rt
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