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    • CommentAuthorHMeins
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2014 edited
    We started by stripping it down, replacing the banana seat with a solo saddle ripped off from the many abandoned bikes left locked to racks outside the dorms at Revelle by the cafeteria. Took the frame to Cerveny's Welding on Cass St. in PB where a steel gusset was welded into the head tube, top tube, and down tube. The dual seat stays were reinforced where they met the downtube. Handlebars were reinforced with crossbar and gussets to keep the ends from breaking off. One piece crank was upgraded to Ashtabula heavy duty. Rear wheel rebuilt on a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed coaster brake hub with 36 spokes tied and soldered. All the reinforcements were added after breaking things. Once we bent the crank, the day was over and we loaded our bikes into the trunks of our huge American cars and went home to return another day.

    Our favorite game was "ditch." The rabbit would take off and the hound followed after ten seconds. Contact of wheels, bikes, or body parts ended the chase. I remember slamming into elevator doors as they closed with brakes locked up as the rabbit waved to me from inside. That move was called "The French Connection." He would emerge somewhere above or below and take off again with a bigger gap. The chase would sometimes last for an hour or more and was instrumental in building basic endurance fitness.

    We flew off jumps, loading docks, caromed off dumpsters, and down staircases. No one ever wore a helmet.

    When I got back to the US after studying at a West German university for a year, the first question I asked my parents was "Where are my bikes?" They looked at each other and then at me sheepishly and told me they had sold them at a garage sale because they didn't think I'd need them any more. My customized Sting Ray and my 1962 Schwinn Corvette klunker were gone! That was 36 years ago and I'm still bummed.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2014
    We played bike tag, probably quite a bit more tame than your version of ditch. We played on a high school campus. One person would be "it" and would ride with a bean bag, and he had to throw it and hit one of the other riders to make the tag--so there was definitely some marksmanship involved. I distinctly remember one time fleeing at full speed from the guy who was "it," and then all of the sudden I went into a complete rear-wheel lockup skid and came to a halt. The guy had thrown the beanbag at me and it had lodged between the seatstay bridge and my tire, locking up the wheel. Of course we never wore helmets either.

    I do currently have a 24" wheel BMX cruiser that I ride sometimes--it's a good feeling, though climbing any distance on it takes some doing. And of course I can't wheelie on it.
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2014
    This thread needs some love now that it is cooler temperatures now and the local mountains aren't 90+ degrees for MTB riding ... Anyone hit a good trail or two this fall so far? I'm starting to think I really need to spend time doing mission trails .. so much potential and trails so close to the city!
    • CommentAuthorHMeins
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2014
    I often take one of my MTBs to the velodrome and ride in and around Florida Canyon after my track workout.
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2014
    Took a day off work today and had 4 good mission trails rides ... east side and west side! it was a great day! Barely anyone on the trail and perfect cooler breezy weather!
    Loving the cooler temps for cruising the trails around here, it's been ages since MTB riding out there. Do you guys use route maps when riding ever? Or do you just have a general knowledge of the trail systems when out and about and know when to turn etc? Here's 2 of my recent MTB rides- LPQ/ Del Mar Mesa here: Mission Trails: I find myself pulling up google maps to see where I am sometime and it takes the fun away a bit, but don't like back tracking if i get lost, come to a dead end etc. Any tips? I have an Android smartphone I ride with. Cheers!
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2014
    For Mission Trails, I like to get up into the very north end of the West side, near the 52, then descend the E ticket single track--you can see those trails in these rides: (turned into hike a bike going over the Fortuna hill as I recall)

    I go over the summit to the East side but it's not really great riding. Many people go under the 52 bridge on the east side to ride North of the 52, near (or in) Miramar MCAS. I've never gone there, but I believe there's now some sort of agreement that makes some of that terrain legal--you should check with other sources before you go. Also, as you can see in the second trace, you can connect over legally to Sycamore canyon. In that ride, I went east of the lakes and into the lower part of Sycamore (Blazing Saddles), but it's probably more fun to ride west of the lakes (enter off of Mast at Medina). You can go all the way up to the Sycamore road entrance, then descend Martha's Grove. There are lots of parallel flowing trails that carry you back down (west of the lakes) towards Mast. Again, many people ride off on the trails to the west of the lakes up towards the ridge and MCAS Miramar--I haven't because I'm not sure what's legal there and what's not.

    I tend to use Strava's "segment explore" feature (in the comfort of home) and browse in the general area where I want to ride. I check out the popular segments in the area, and then I click on the actual routes for the riders on the leaderboard--you can see their entire rides that way to get an idea of routes that you might want to do. Then I head out on these rides and invariably get lost. Google maps on your smartphone can save you, but it can also be really frustrating out in the bright sun in areas where the data connections suck and you're trying to save battery (for your GPS recording, of course). At least having the GPS to tell you where you are is nice.

    If you don't want to ride all the way through Kearny Mesa (and I don't blame you), then you can do some connecting routes using the trolley (Gillespie Field) or the #27 bus (which has an inconvenient weekend schedule).
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2014
    thanks for all the detailed tips John! I wanted to do the area closer to Santee lakes, but will have to be next time. and as far as maps on the phone, I did try to avoid it and just explore. the paths were all large enough you could get a general sense just by looking around. Though going up and over big Fortuna hill would be really a huge bike-hike ... i'll try that next time!
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2014
    Black Mountain Trail Work - Help build new singletrack!
    When: Saturday December 27, 2014
    Time : 8am - 1pm
    Where: Miner's Ridge Parking Lot GPS Location 32.994828, -117.115761
    What to bring: Sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for working in brush.
    Tools will be provided (or bring your own if you prefer)
    RSVP to:

    It's the holidays, a time of celebration and gift giving. Let's give ourselves some new singletrack!

    Work is now underway to build the first of several new trails (5 miles in total to be added) at Black Mountain Open Space Park. This trail will link from the Miner's Ridge Loop over to the Glider Port Trailhead and also connect with a sister new trail that will connect to the Community Park on the Lusardi Grasslands side of Carmel Valley Road.

    The first portion of the trail has been partially cleared of brush to establish the corridor. We'll be working this cleared section, bench cutting the side slope to establish a level trail surface.

    Come on out, burn off some calories, escape the in-laws, play in the dirt . . .

    Warning: No egg nog will be served at this event.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2015
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2015
    Spent some time in the wildflowers this weekend:
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2015
    I thought that looked like Crested Butte from the video. Same Trail 401?

    ? Looks amazing. Hopefully get out there someday.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2015
    Yep, same trail. Each time I ride that trail is better than the last. It's got it all. Fun switchbacks, head high wildflowers, fast descent, roots/rocks through the aspen grove.
    Awesome videos. As San Diego gets into the hot season, these cool clear mountain rides are a respite to watch. It really is a different part of the world. Check out this music festival coming up this weekend.

    RockyGrass Bluegrass Festival in Lyons CO
    (North of Boulder on the front range.)

    I love that the festival encourages bicycling.

    From the web site:
    Biking to RockyGrass
    The area around Lyons has some of the best bicycling on Colorado's Front Range. For the past few years, several inspiring groups have organized rides of varying lengths to RockyGrass. Some of these rides incorporate gear transport to the festival, parties for cyclists, and other benefits. Are you organizing your own ride to RockyGrass? Let us know, maybe we can help you out. Email
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2015
    I didn't see this posted anywhere on here, but from what I gather this is a 'big deal'. I had heard of trails in east miramar for years north of the 52, between the landfill and the 15 freeway were all 'technically' off limits but the marines had years where they were more strict with enforcement and years when they weren't. it sounds like they are back to being strict. knowing a lot about firing ranges and 'life-fire' status / hot status, I think this is a good thing to not allow riders the potential to be shot. but it also just shows that san diego is severely lacking any good MTB trails!

    SDMBA was contacted today by MCAS Miramar regarding an enforcement change. Military police on MCAS Miramar have started detaining civilian trespassers found on federal property. People found on the property will be detained (with the possible use of handcuffs) and transported back to military police headquarters on MCAS Miramar. If bikers are apprehended, their bikes will be held as evidence. Once processed and issued a federal citation for trespassing, the civilian will be brought to the base perimeter and released (not the location where the civilian was apprehended). While the fines start at several hundred dollars, the further loss of a bike is extreme.

    Since 2006, there has been a rifle range in the area known as East Miramar. This range is actively used (hot) year-round. It is used almost everyday throughout the week and on most weekends. Civilians have continually been sighted on the ridgeline behind the targets while the range is hot. The Marines train with M-16's and other high velocity rifles. If aimed above the ridge line, these types of rounds have the ability to go thousands of feet beyond the ridge. There are also several active pistol ranges and an explosive ordnance disposal range where ordnance is detonated. Unexploded ordnance is also scattered throughout East Miramar. This area was used for artillery training starting in WWI and continuing through the Korean War.

    Recently, all military installations have raised their security level to Bravo, including MCAS Miramar. These means an increase of security on every part of the property, including East Miramar.

    If you have any questions, you are welcome to call the Community Plans and Liaison Office at MCAS Miramar at (858) 577-6603.

    SDMBA is actively working with the military, city and county regarding the lack of legal trails. Fortunately the government and agencies are starting to realize the lack of legal trails is leading to greater conflict and environmental damage. This is producing results such as new trail in Crest Ecological Reserve, new trail at Black Mountain, soon to be approved new legal access (with extensive work from MTC) in Del Mar Mesa. We are also partnering with the city, county, US Fish and Wildlife, CA Fish and Wildlife in other plans such as the Mission Trails Master Plan Update (many miles of new trail!), Sweetwater, and Tijuana River to name a few. We are also working and having dialog with developers pushing for trails to be included in new community plans BEFORE any dirt is shoveled.

    With more and more people moving to San Diego, having a county wide trails plan is the only viable option. However this cannot be done without the help and support of the community! We need YOU to join us! If you are not a member of SDMBA, please go to and become a member right away. This is only the first step. More importantly is to get involved. There is no better venue than our monthly advocacy meeting. We meet the first Monday of the month, 6-8:30pm. For more information go to

    Please don't be the person who experiences how serious the Marines are! Forward this to everyone you know and get involved today!
    As a follow up to T's reporting above;

    Marines warn bikers to stay off Miramar
    By Marty Graham, July 25, 2015
    SD Reader

    The confusion over who's allowed in the area where the northwest part of Mission Trails meets the east end of U.S Marine Corps Air Station Miramar will now be cleared up by armed Marines taking bicyclists, hikers and other trespassers into custody, the Marine Corps confirmed Friday.

    "We will take their bikes and hold them as evidence," said Lt. Gabriel Adibe, a Miramar Public Affairs officer.

    The base met with San Diego Mountain Biking Association President Kevin Loomis this week and went over the Marines' concerns with open space users who knowingly or unknowingly trespass on the base land north of Highway 52 in the area known as East Elliot.

    "The problem is there's people who are going on the base land, cyclists, runners, high school kids who are trespassing," Loomis said.

    "There's a rifle range and people are using the trail across the top of the hill, which means the Marines have to stop what they're doing at the range."
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2015
    Old Knotty Buoy:The confusion over who's allowed in the area...will now be cleared up by armed Marines taking bicyclists, hikers and other trespassers into custody, the Marine Corps confirmed Friday. "We will take their bikes and hold them as evidence," said Lt. ...
    "Clearing the confusion" by taking bikes and arresting people would be funny logic if it weren't for it being such blatant power abuse.

    I wonder if the legal system would find it acceptable if law enforcement, as a matter of policy and routine, confiscated cars and motorcycles, on the spot and for an indefinite amount of time, as "evidence" in cases of alleged vehicle code violations on our roadways?

    I wonder if the legal system would find it acceptable if law enforcement, as a matter of policy and routine, confiscated cars and motorcycles, on the spot and for an indefinite amount of time, as "evidence" in cases of alleged vehicle code violations on our roadways?
    Military Justice and Civil Justice; two very different judicial protocols.
    • CommentAuthorT
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2015
    Some maps from the facebook posts:
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2015
    I made a little video of Ana's first singletrack experience up here in Crested Butte.

    And here she is posing with her Yeti Arc we found on craigslist.

    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2015
    I'm getting mtb-envy... Big time! :oD
    • CommentAuthorJSnook
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2015
    I was up in Tahoe a couple weeks ago and the trails up there keep getting better. It's always been good but people are building new trails including the forest service, and they are really doing a great job with them. Some of the trails were a little worn out from a long season up there since there was so little snow - people have been riding pretty much all year. That said, if anyone has the urge to go to a mtn bike destination that isn't Utah I highly recommend Tahoe. Either north lake or south lake - there's plenty in both areas.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2015
    Idyllwild is another great, not too far away, MTB destination. Stop in at The Hub Cyclery and buy a trail map or ask Brendan for some recommendations.
    Laguna Beach / South OC is by some accounts one of the top MTB destinations in the world, especially in the winter for Europeans.

    I did a couple of rides there a few weeks ago (actually one ride in Aliso Woods/Laguna Coast Wilderness / El Moro, and another ride in Whiting Ranch /Santiago Truck Trail / Luge trail), and it was nice. It's not as exotic for us here in SD as Tahoe, definitely, but very accessible for a day trip or a weekend.
    • CommentAuthorJSnook
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2015
    Here is a Tahoe resource that is new and has GPS enabled trail maps for both North and South lake rides. It looks like they have quite a few rides up already, and I expect they will add more.
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2016 edited
    I took this quick shot of the Breezer Bikes booth at Sea Otter Classic. Only after seeing the photo on a bigger screen that I realize that on the truck is THE FIRST MOUNTAIN BIKE ever designed and built for offroad. Then the fella on the left is Charlie Kelly himself who wrote Fat-Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking.

    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2016
    Anyone have recommendations for an affordable but decent set of 26" disc mountain bike wheels? I've got plans to update the fork on the yeti a few posts up and might as well go disc while I'm at it since the frame will accept them.

    Kinda got my eye on these as well...

    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2016
    mfutch, Sun Ringle might suffice. Aside from the bling, there is no reason to change out the rear hub or rear brakes on a hardtail when upgrading suspension fork. An inexpensive Sun Ringle XC front wheel (match QR/axle to new fork) and Paul Components Klamper or Avid BB7 front brake (match pull ratio to lever) is a decent budget setup. -GTB
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2016
    You could get this set of Sun RIngles for about $100, including tax and shipping, and they take either disc or rim brakes:

    Good reviews, seem robust, but pretty heavy. You could continue to run rim brakes with these rims if you want, but disc brakes are far better in wet or muddy conditions. Also, on long descents, rim brakes heat up the rims, tubes, and tires, and I believe this has contributed to tube failure on a couple of occasions for me personally. Disc brakes cool better and the heat is concentrated near the hub, not the rim.

    If you do go with discs, I think it's almost like one of the laws of thermodynamics: you should choose Shimano hydraulics. It doesn't matter which level you buy, from XTR all the way down to Alivio or even the non-series brakes they're making now. Shimano hydraulics are uniformly praised, and you can probably get some for less than the cost of BB7s. They run with mineral oil, not automotive-type brake fluid, so bleeding, etc are pretty much trouble-free. But in reality you could probably go years without needing to bleed them. These brakes have been so successful that other manufacturers have basically copied them at the low end (e.g. Tektro Auriga, Promax). At the high end, there are some other brands that people claim to have better feel than Shimanos, but not a solid argument for overall superiority.

    Here you can get a set of Deore front and rears, including rotors, for a little over $100:
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2016 edited
    Shady John
    Good info on the Shimano hydraulic brakes. For simplicity on street and CX/XC, I lean more towards mechanical brakes. Also, not sure Ryno not-so-lites would work very well unless it was for a Clydesdale build.
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2016
    Yes, the Shimano hydros are the best bang for the buck, hands down. Plus they use mineral oil so you don't have to deal with the hassles of brake fluid every time you bleed them or need to shorten the lines.

    You can get amazing deals on them from the UK, taking advantage of the weak Pound. I got a complete set of Deore XT for under $100.

    Merlin Cycles also has a sale on the XT wheels at $179/set.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2016
    Thanks for the recs! I don't know if I've reached clydesdale range yet...

    The steed was tethered cowboy-style outside a supermarket in the North of Scotland.
    "Might be an emission or two, but at least it's biodegradable!"

    I wonder, might that be a Brooks saddle?