Saturday, February 9, 2008

RR: Los Penasquitos Canyon/Del Mar Mesa

Today I rode LPQ/DMM with the Skyline MTB group. The attendees consisted of Billy, his wife Helenka, and Joel and Nichole.

It was a stunning day, and we set out from the main trailhead at Canyonside Park. From there it was up the powerline road and into the Tunnels. This was my third trip through the Tunnels, and they remain one of my favorite rides in San Diego. I did have one small episode where I hit a root and was a little heavy on the front brake, causing me to go OTB. But I landed in soft grass, and only dinged my knee a little on the bars on the way over.

Also, I was extremely encouraged that my recent stationary bike riding has started to pay off, since I handled the powerline climb with no real trouble, and was able to climb out of the Tunnels without wanting to throw up. It was an awesome feeling, and exactly what I was hoping for when I committed to riding the stationary bike every night.

From the tunnels we rode on to the paved road to Hooterville, snapped a few pics, and shot over the the Mesa. We had a social ride along the top of the Mesa on the fire roads, and decided to backtrack to Cobbles and ride that section back down to the canyon floor. Someone had installed some fun waterbar/jumps down Cobbles, which made it even more fun than usual.

We also rode the short section at the end of Cobbles that I love, which has some short, quick up and downs that feel like a roller coaster. Awesome.

From there we decided to take a few minutes to ride over to the waterfall and see if the recent rains had caused the water level to rise. The water level turned out to be pretty much the same as always, but we had a nice leisurely visit and even met another rider who regularly attends Maranatha Chapel. Joel and Nichole had a nice photo op:

After that we left the waterfall and made the short ride back to the car. It was a great day, and I really wasn't even tired afterwards. Part of the reason for that was that it was somewhat of a social ride, but I would normally have suffered on the powerline and Tunnels exit climbs, which weren't a problem this time. That was the best part of today; riding enjoyment without the unnecessary pain.

It was also a great group to ride with. Joel and Nichole are good friends, and I always enjoy the time I spend with them, whatever we're doing. Billy is an impressive rider and excellent ride leader and coach. And I have such respect and appreciation for Helenka, who knows how much her husband loves to ride and is willing to join him in his passion, even if its not necessairly hers...

Here are the stats:

Total Distance: 14.41 miles
Total Time: 2:55:35
Ascent: 1230 feet
Average Speed: 4.9 mph
Top Speed: 17.7 mph
Bike: Specialized FSR XC Pro

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PacMan said...

Hey James,
I was actually looking for some peeps to roll with that day and didn't ride cuz everyone in my usual crew was busy.

Drop me a line sometime and maybe I can join you.


The Dohrenwends... said...

anyone able to give specific directions up to the tunnels from the preserve. I get lost sometimes and want to know if someone has sure fire way of finding em


Anonymous said...

Just for your info. The Bush Tunnels are now closed as of 12-12-08. Please do not enter the closed areas. Too many Rogue Mountian Bikers have been cutting and hacking up the natural beauty and flow of the trails. Then they started to cut trails in the PQ preserve area, known as Tunnel 5. It was just a matter of time until the County, City, State and Federal agencies shut us down. I have been riding the Bush Tunnels since 1999, us locals who knew of the trail called it "The Secret Bush Trail" then some riders found the trail last year and it was all over the internet, especially after they closed down the Del Mar Mesa area and intestines. Well, at least you got to experience a very unique trail in the north county.