07-03-2012, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: So Cal - 310
My Ride: 04 330Ci ZHP
| Cynergy Cycles, my lbs, ran an overnight mtb trip up to Mt Pinos this weekend.
We went in their van on Saturday am with an entire fleet of bikes. Some people brought their own, but the shop had a good portion of their mtb demo fleet along, too. There were a few folks that drove separately because they had to come back to LA on Saturday night.
First stop was the parking lot at the base of Mt Pinos, elevation approx 6,000 ft. Anyone that wanted to climb the hill could start there. You can climb either on the McGill trail or on Mt Pinos road. There were about 10 of us that climbed and everyone went on the trail.
I was by far the slowest (read = poorly conditioned and unskilled) rider of the ones that decided to climb. I took a shot at the trail and rode some of it, but ended up walking some long stretches because I wasn't strong enough to ride uphill on a mildly bumpy trail for such a distance at high altitude. So when the trail got back to the road, I took the road the rest of the way to the "top". I ended up doing about 4.3 miles on the trail, and about another 2.7 on the road.
The "top" is the end of the paved road at the Nordic Base facility, which is apparently where the x-c ski patrol works from in the winter. It's a little over 8,400 ft. The summit of Mt Pinos is another approx 2 miles of trail past and about 400 ft higher. I didn't get there this time, but next time would like to ride that section too, just to have a look.
We then spent the rest of Saturday and the first half of Sunday riding downhill from the Nordic Base to a couple of spots down by the parking lot we originally started from and then being shuttled in the van back up to the Nordic Base.
It was the first time I'd ever done shuttled downhills and I felt guilty for not earning my downhills on Sunday by climbing first. I got over it.
I'm really not that experienced at bumpy downhills and the downhill runs I made on Sat/Sun really taught me a lot about skill and technique. What also helped tremendously was that one of the guys from the shop took me downhill on Sunday am and gave me some personal instruction on body position and line. That was awesome.
On Saturday, I rode a BMC Fourstroke FS02, carbon frame, 100 mm travel, full suspension, 26".
On Sunday, I rode a BMC Trail Fox TF02, aluminum frame, 150 mm travel, full suspension, 26".
Both bikes were great. I had a lot more fun on Sunday on the Trail Fox, but it's hard to say how much of that was the bike, and how much was the fact that I was a lot fresher and more confident on Sunday after having seen the trail already and not having climbed 2,800 ft before descending.
We stayed at a church retreat lodge. The accommodations were spartan. We brought our own bedding and slept in group bunkrooms. But it was warm and quiet and clean. They also supplied lunch/dinner/breakfast/lunch and the food was good and plentiful. Water and sports drinks were supplied. We also got some giveways, a nice Fox saddle bag, gels, drink mixes, an ice bag and stretching strap, etc.
All in all it was a great trip. This was the first time they've done an overnight like this, and I plan to join them again for future trips, hopefully in better shape.
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