Second Annual Party at Pinecrest Peak : Updated

Check the weather update at the bottom of the post

On September 22nd and 23rd the TROGS, the Ogre (from, and some Sonora area locals are inviting you to a get together at Pinecrest Peak. Prepare for 2 days of riding, camping, and general MTB mayhem. If you’ve never ridden at Pinecrest, this is a great chance to try out some awesome Sierra Nevada trails which are a bit off the beaten track. Anyone is welcome to show up and we have plans for any level of rider.

Location : We will be camping at Fraser Flat Campground near Strawberry on both Friday and Saturday Nights. All rides will meet at the Strawberry Store (Big Red Store on Right).

Times : Rides will meet at 10:00 AM on both the 22nd and the 23rd (Sunday’s Easy ride will start at 11AM)
The Rides: Exact rides and routes will depend on who shows up. Currently the following rides are planned.

Friday: We’re going to have a Friday night ride at 9PM along Fiona’s Favorite trail. The ride will be laid back and at a slow pace. Expect a mellow ride dodging trees through some fairly tame terrain. This is about a 9 mile loop and will be the only ride to start and finish at Fraser Flat campground. (Rain/ snow cancels)
Saturday: (none of the rides planned on Saturday are to be shuttled)
Easy Ride: Fiona’s Favorite Loop, down Ewok Trail from Strawberry, crossing the river at Spring Gap Road, then returning on the RR Grade to Strawberry. 10 miles, easy pace with very little climbing.
Challenging Ride: Climb up to Pinecrest Peak and alternately climbing up Willow Creek or Hammil Canyon then returning via Pinecrest Peak Trail.
Expert Route: This is a highly challenging ride for expert level mountain bikers, it’s a 35-40+ mile route with tons of climbing, technical cross country riding and finishes with the the killer Pinecrest Peak Downhill.

Sunday: Sunday’s plans are not set in stone yet. Here are the tentative plans for the day.
Easy Ride: 10-15 miles riding along the Flume trail above the Stanislaus River (may have a delayed start time due to shuttling Challenging riders)
Challenging Route: This will be a shuttled ride, the shuttle will drop riders off at the base of Eagle Peak and riders will climb up to Eagle Peak coming down some fresh new singletrack. At that point they can go directly to Pinecrest Peak via forest roads or drop down Willow Creek trail before climbing to Pinecrest Peak.
Expert Ride: A second day of high mileage, challenging cross country riding. The second day will likely not include Pinecrest Peak but will include 30-40 miles of challenging singletrack.

Cost: Zero $ (responsible for own campsite and food/ alcohol)
Registration: Just show up at Fraser Flat on Friday Night or meet us at the Strawberry Store on Saturday or Sunday Morning.

Weather Update:

Mostly cloudy with rain or snow likely. Highs 41 to 51 higher elevations…54 to 64 lower elevations. Snow level 7000 feet.

Weather seems to be deteriorating on Saturday. Still have a chance that it will blow over but I would suggest anyone day-tripping to come on Sunday rather than Saturday. The trails should be awesome post rain/ snow. I’ll be up there both days rain or shine and will likely ride on Saturday if it’s just limited to showers or a light drizzle. Friday nights ride is canceled if there is rain. Night rain rides are not fun (I’ve done it)

Also, note that Sunday’s Easy Ride will start at 11AM rather than 10AM as was listed originally.

Mountain Bike Oregon

MTB Oregon PicI spend the last 5 days riding up in Oregon, 2 days on rides just with friends, and 3 days at Mountain Bike Oregon (MBO). Mountain Bike Oregon is a mountain bike get together held in Oakridge, Oregon, a no-name town in central Oregon with a trail system that is second to none. The ‘500 miles’ of trails listed on Mountain Bike Oregon’s web site is not an exaggeration, and the quality of the trails is phenomenal. Most of the trails are skinny, buffed single track, but there is a good selection of technical riding as well. Rivers and streams crisscross the unique rain forests of northwest Oregon. The technical challenges are as often made of roots and tree stumps rather than rocks and you are just as often riding on bark and pine needles as dirt on many trails. (My Pictures from MBO) Continue reading Mountain Bike Oregon

24 Hours

I stumble into the RV, my brain isn’t working quite right, I know I need to get out of my sweat soaked clothes, eat, and wake up my brother before I go to sleep. I start to change but get distracted by hunger and start to prepare some food. Before I make much progress there, I look at the clock, it’s 3:30AM. I set the alarm for 6AM so I can wake up in time for my next lap. Clothes are hanging all over the RV, mostly air drying stuff I’ve already worn. I chase down my clean, non-riding clothes and start to put them on but decide I’d better eat something first. Pour myself some chocolate milk and chug a little before my numb right toe reminds me I need to get out of my wet clothes. This time I manage to finish changing. Then I scramble up some eggs. I put some seasonings on them and too much salt but it doesn’t bother me one bit. Scrambled eggs have never tasted so fluffy and good. Drink a little Gatorade and some chocolate milk. The adrenalin is finally starting to drain out of my system. I’m getting tired fast. Continue reading 24 Hours

Bear Valley Get Together

We’re going to be having a little get together up at Bear Valley on the weekend of September 16th. Some of us will be camping and some people will just be doing day trips. Personally, I’ll be up there on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We will have 20-30 mile rides each day for more advanced riders and on Saturday and Sunday there will be some 10-12 mile rides for beginning riders. So far it looks like a fairly small group of about 5-10 riders, but if you come it will be more. There are a lot of killer singletrack and some fun challenging jeep trails (including the really cool “slickrock trail”). Check out the pics I have posted for this place.

If you would like to camp with us, let me know.  I’m not sure which site we’re going to be at yet. If you just want to day-trip for one or more of the rides, we are meeting at the bike shop/gas station right inside of the town of Bear Valley at 9:30AM on all three days.

MTB Oregon Capstone Ride – Middle Fork Trail

Middle Fork TrailWow – WOW – WOW! What an incredible trail. While the other two days of riding were great, this trail was a true gem among gems. The Middle Fork trail is a 25 mile shuttled ride that descends more than 3500′ from top to bottom and includes miles of incredible technical singletrack. The top 15 miles is an incredible serpentine trail that slithers over roots and slides past tree stumps at a lightning pace (well, it seemed that way to me anyhow YMMV). The trail is covered in bark and organic debris making traction questionable from moment to moment and tree branches and the occasional rock made it interesting. Not a big drop/ hucker trail this is the ultimate gravity assisted technical cross country trail.

After the first 15 miles or so the trail flattens out quite a bit and you are shooting through long meadows and zig-zagging over small creek crossings on logs and small bridges. The bottom of the trail is fast and fun with some small climbs thrown in to keep your heart rate up. Overall this is one phenominal trail which you should make every effort to ride if you are anywhere near here. As usual too much chatter, picture count and quality is low due to the addictive nature of this trail. Pics and more yakking about Middle Fork Trail.

Alpine Trail = Downhill Bliss

Alpine Trail near Oakridge, ORMore MTB Oregon Action. Our first ride out the gate is the Alpine Loop and starts with a monster 15-18 mile climb up some forest service roads. A second group of riders took a shuttle to the top of the run, skipping the climb up. In total about 150 people rode this trail on Friday with about 100 of them taking the shuttle. After the 15+ mile climb we were rewarded with a brake burning 20 mile downhill run comparable to any of the popular Downieville rides… only the singletrack is 15″ wide. Unfortunately, by the time our group started down the hill about 120 of the 150 people had already been down it so many of the corners were washed out from massive use overall though the trail was in great shape and obviously well taken care of. I would love to see this trail in the pristine condition it is normally in when it gets it’s typical 20 or fewer riders per week. Lots of super fast sections, switchbacks, some steep sections, jumps, and whoop-dee-doos. This downhill has a very high fun factor.

I rode up the hill most of the way with Impy from MTBR and Mark Gee, a Sonora local whom I had ridden with previously. After we started down the hill our group of about 15 riders broke up and when we hit the main downhill we were in a small/ fast group of 6 including Mark and Steve, one of the DoD ride guides. We kept the pace up and our group had no mechanicals so right around the half way mark we started catching the other groups coming down the hill. Mostly people who had either had mechanicals or had crashed or bonked. Overall for such a big group MTB Oregon and the DoD ride guides did an awesome job of keeping things organized and keeping folks together. This is a great ride either shuttled or ridden as a loop and is rideable by any level of rider with the endurance to handle the route.

Enough Chat. On to the Pictures!.

Waldo Lake Single Speed Experiment

Chum at Waldo Lake near Oakridge, ORThe first of several ride reports I’ll be posting from the MTB Oregon Ride. I apologize for the flood of posts here but lots going on in my riding world!

Waldo Lake was our second day at MTB Oregon and was not an actual sanctioned event. It was just a bunch of guys who got together for a bonus ride. I made a big miscalculation on this ride. Since my bike was having some mechanical problems, I decided to try out a demo bike, a fully rigid Redline Monocog Singlespeed. I’ve played around a little in parking lots and such with singlespeeds but, this was my first full length ride on one. I’d been invited to ride out at Waldo Lake, a “Mostly Flat Trail that circles Waldo Lake”. This was supposed to be a rest day between two challenging rides. When I first started riding, the Monocog and I got along just fine. It is a little harsh but it was also the most responsive bike I’ve ever ridden. The bike just carved up corners. The gearing was a bit high yet seemed rideable. The hills got tougher and tougher as the day progressed and I was really suffering by the end of the day. My legs were shot and I wound up walking quite a few sections I would normally ride. Also, my arms were sore from the constant pounding they were getting from the rigid fork. Ouch! So much for a rest day. This could have turned into a huge problem for the Middle Fork Ride I was doing the next day. Please enjoy the Pictures and Trail Report For Waldo Lake.

May By The Bay

MTBR sponsors several annual gatherings. One of the biggest in Norcal is May By The Bay and it’s going on right now. Last weekend they had some rides at Coe Park and in the South Bay area, this weekend (and during the week) they are moving north, I’m planning on participating in 4 rides over the next few days, at Rockville Ride on Friday, Annadel Saturday, Boggs Mountain Sunday, and I will be leading the Oat Hill Mine trail ride on Memorial Day. If you are interested in participating you can catch the buzz at the MTBR Norcal Forum or there is a MBTB 8 page which was put up by Fast Eddy.