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    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    Some of us have been talking about putting together a ride that is a series of local gravel/dirt/unpaved sections that are ride-able on a non-mountain bike along the lines of the D2R2.
    There are lots of options on the edges of the county, including Proctor Valley Road and environs, the Nate Harrison grade, and the spots near Cuyamaca that we've already hit..
    We also have some cool ones within the city, like the path off Eastgate Mall and up on Soledad. I also know that there are some doable sections around Rose Canyon and the 52. SDMike has talked about one in Mission Hills. I've been looking at the trails around Lake Jennings and Bonita Open Space Park too, but haven't tried them yet.

    Use this thread to list trail connections and hopefully we can put some rides together and see how many we can link. My basic criteria would be that they can be handled on 25-28s without a ridiculous amount of braking on the descents and are climbable with normal roadish gearing.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    Black Canyon Road north of Ramona.

    From Black Canyon Ramble


    From Black Canyon Ramble
    •  
      CommentAuthorsvelocity
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012 edited
     
    Cecil - I'm afraid I'm not real familiar with the local trails around here so I can't contribute (yet). I'm starting to familiarize myself with some of the trails around Idyllwild but that's not much help... Anyhow I'd be happy to ride with you and help with your research!

    Oh yeah, and mfutch's black mountain ramble looks awesome!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    svelocity:Cecil - I'm afraid I'm not real familiar with the local trails around here so I can't contribute (yet). I'm starting to familiarize myself with some of the trails around Idyllwild but that's not much help... Anyhow I'd be happy to ride with you and help with your research!

    Oh yeah, and mfutch's black mountain ramble looks awesome!


    Let's do it.
    • CommentAuthorsd_mike
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    Sounds like my kind of riding... more so when it cools down inland.
    • CommentAuthormichael_s
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    I'm up in Carlsbad, since moving here in March, and have been searching out these kinds of rides. There are a few up here, although 32's are kind the min on some rides. I'd be interested in exploring too. I can ride the Coaster down if there is something further south. (or drive)

    I just finished my new 650b bike with Hetre tires, exactly for this kind of ride.

    Mike
    • CommentAuthorsd_mike
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    What is the story with the trail down Sycamore Canyon connecting Santee and Sycamore Canyon Park? Is it open?
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     
    Tecolote Road, from the baseball fields near I5 to Genessee across from Mesa College. I did this on 26 x 1.4" Ritchey Tom Slicks at 75 PSI (with a little hiking, mostly at creek crossings).

    Near SIO, there's a nice trail that parallels Expedition Way:

    http://app.strava.com/activities/20488619

    There's also a dirt alternate to the LJ Shores climb:

    http://app.strava.com/activities/19366493

    You could easily put those two segments together.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012
     
    Shady, those are perfect.

    michael_s - show us your 650b! We've been low on those since a certain shop left town. Right now, I'm riding Rivendell Jack Brown 33s, but I'll probably add some tread in the winter.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012 edited
     
    Here's one that Sky showed me in the "bi-canyon" area (please ignore the sections of the ride that are not in the loop).

    I rode this one by Cannondale touring bike with 1 1/4" Gatorskins - doable, but some sections were definitely "underbiking".
    • CommentAuthormichael_s
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012
     
    here is a link to my flickr page. My 650B bike was built by Chauncey Matthews of New Mexico. He came to the last custom bike show and showed a cool bike with a bilaminate heat tube. I ended up having him make me one in 650B. His prices are very reasonable for a custom. I have JB's on my 700c bike. They do pretty well off road too.
    [[_linker_]]
    mike
    •  
      CommentAuthorsvelocity
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012
     
    michael_s:here is a link to my flickr page. My 650B bike was built by Chauncey Matthews of New Mexico. He came to the last custom bike show and showed a cool bike with a bilaminate heat tube. I ended up having him make me one in 650B. His prices are very reasonable for a custom. I have JB's on my 700c bike. They do pretty well off road too.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/37347002@N05/

    mike
    What classy good looking bike!
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012
     
    Cecil, this is a slippery slope. Start on cigarettes, end up a heroin addict. Start riding dirt roads on a cross bike, you might end up---a mountain biker!

    • CommentAuthorsd_mike
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2012 edited
     
    I wrote about a few connector trails on my website -

    http://socalregion.com/bicycling/urban-canyons-and-open-space/

    with more listed within the City here:

    http://socalregion.com/bicycling/
  1.  
    Rode Proctor Valley Rd a few months ago - it's a washboard mess - really got pounded on 700 x 35s. There are LOTS of decent Fire Roads in East County, like Viejas Grade. Fall weather would be good for it, too. LOTS of climbing...
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2012
     
    Great spots. The database is growing.
    I agree that Proctor is a pounder. I rode it once on 25s and once on a cross bike with 33s and it wasn't that much better. The Strava KOM for full Proctor averaged 16.6 mph. I'm thinking it was on a full suspension Yamaha.
    Viejas Grade is on the list for sure.

    Shady - a good excuse for more bikes! I kind of like that kind of slope.
    SIgurd/Sky's bi-canyon route looks perfect for a mixed road-dirt ride and maybe a race.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2012
     
    Haven't been here in a while so figured it deserved a photo from today's ride - any guesses as to where the photo is taken?

    • CommentAuthorsd_mike
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2012
     
    Looks like either Penasquitos Canyon - north side trail, or San Clemente Canyon near I-805.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2012
     
    sd_mike:Looks like either Penasquitos Canyon - north side trail, or San Clemente Canyon near I-805.

    Neither.
    :)
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 24th 2012
     
    Maybe Tecolote Canyon, behind USD?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2012
     
    ShadyGaga:Maybe Tecolote Canyon, behind USD?
    Yepp.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2012
     
    The powerlines and lights in the background looked familiar. FWIW, I didn't check out your Strava track before posting my guess.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2012
     
    I did check, and my guess was going to be burying a body under the 163.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2012
     
    Cecil:I did check, and my guess was going to be burying a body under the 163.
    Tend to use the Cannondale for that...
    • CommentAuthorgavilan
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    ShadyGaga:Cecil, this is a slippery slope. Start on cigarettes, end up a heroin addict. Start riding dirt roads on a cross bike, you might end up---a mountain biker!



    This comment was too funny!

    I actually prefer riding my mountain bike on dirt -I feel so much more comfortable with the tires and the suspension (it's a hard tail but front suspension vs no suspension is a big difference), but then again perhaps it's just because now I'm used to it. Maybe an exploration ride on the dirt on the roadie is in order.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012 edited
     
    Taking a (properly equipped) road-ish bike off-road is beyond fun: Not always the fastest, but a blast!
  2.  
    I love riding my road bike with 700x28C tires on snow and winter season. It was more stable than my mountain bikes. Great article.
    • CommentAuthorlisi
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    I can't wait for it to get a little cooler and then I'm totally in for these types of rides!!
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    I miss dirt so much. Count me in post-Nov 6!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    Just warmed up on the bridle trails in Balboa Park. Only Futch has a valid excuse for not riding East County right now. Just saying...
    • CommentAuthorlisi
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    ^ I was waiting for you to chime in something to this effect Cecil! :)
    • CommentAuthormichael_s
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2012
     
    the dirt roads and trails around Calavera Lake are fun on a road bike too. The 650B hetre tires are confidence inspiring.

    Calavera lake again

    mike
  3.  
    It's been a while since I rode to Calavera Lake. Fun area for sure.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSmorg
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2012
     
    Hey, has anyone ridden a roadie on Mother Grundy from Honey Springs to Deerhorn Valley Rd? I've been eying it on Google Earth. Doable on 700x25?
    • CommentAuthorjacobk
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2012
     
    I love this thread. Another "is it rideable" question:

    Has anyone ridden the trail/fire road between Peutz Valley rd/Old 80 and El Monte rd along the south/western part of El Capitan Reservoir? I was thinking about doing this as a loop from lake jennings, you can see the trail I mean here:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5755926
    •  
      CommentAuthorSmorg
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2012
     
    jacobk:I love this thread. Another "is it rideable" question:

    Has anyone ridden the trail/fire road between Peutz Valley rd/Old 80 and El Monte rd along the south/western part of El Capitan Reservoir? I was thinking about doing this as a loop from lake jennings, you can see the trail I mean here:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5755926


    Well! I took a couple of gals riding to El Capitan this morning and had a look at the trail head where El Monte Rd ends...
    El Capitan trail 1

    Walked a little way into it. It looks quite good and firm (and wider than expected).
    El Capitan trail 2

    Then a local boater came by and we talked a bit. Turns out he rides his bike on that trail all the time. Says it's good all the way to I-8... a good downhill run going west. :)
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2012
     
    • CommentAuthorjacobk
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2012
     
    Smorg:Then a local boater came by and we talked a bit. Turns out he rides his bike on that trail all the time. Says it's good all the way to I-8... a good downhill run going west. :)

    Excellent! Thanks for the pictures and the testimonial, I'll have to try to make it out there sometime over the next month or two.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSmorg
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013
     
    Went cruising up and down Mother Grundy Truck Trail between Honey Springs Rd & Deerhorn Valley Rd yesterday. (right click photos & open in new tab for larger sizes)
    IMG_8638 IMG_8639
    Meant to go up Mother Grundy to Deerhorn Valley Rd to Honey Springs to Four Corners and then head down Lyons Valley Rd to have a look at Barrett Lake Rd, but a 1/4 mile up Mother Grundy four local dogs decided to escort me.
    looking west from Mother Grundy TT IMG_8653
    It's a mostly firm graded dirt road with ruts - some shallow, some deep. The view was consistently gorgeous, though. You can see Otay Lakes even on a cloudy day.
    IMG_8658 IMG_8664 IMG_8670
    There were a couple of rough rocky patches. Those were hard-going for my road bike (I'm on 700x25mm Gatorskin). My escorts were very patient. They waited for me and came back to look if I took too long photographing. From Honey Springs Rd to Deerhorn Valley Rd Mother Grundy is a gentle climb (around 5-7%) with two steep (12-14%) ramps; the 1st one on a bit of bumpy but firm tarmac, the 2nd one on loose gravel. Once the road plateaued going past Pringle Farm (a private animal sanctuary) it doesn't drain well. It last rained Monday night but there were still puddles on Thursday.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSmorg
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013 edited
     
    IMG_8696 IMG_8698 Beacon Hill llama farm 1
    Anyhow, I was looking for the Laminack Castle. It isn't very visible from Mother Grundy, you have to go a bit up Laminack Ln to spot it. Its next door property is Beacon Hill llama farm. I didn't go up to the castle (the article made it quite clear the owner wants his privacy).

    One of the dogs was struggling, but determined to follow me and his friends. I was afraid they wouldn't make it back home if they follow me up Deerhorn Valley Rd, so I turned around down Mother Grundy so they'd follow me home. Earned myself a flat rear tire descending a rough rocky sections. The steep ramp that was barely firm enough to climb up was pretty nasty loose coming down. It was only fair. Those dogs were such awesome companions and the view was amazing. Got a good look at Honey Springs Rd from above it.
    IMG_8733 IMG_8734
    If you've ridden Honey Springs, you might recognize Jacob's red barn and the Deerhorn Valley fire station just beyond the Deerhorn Valley Rd intersection (the fire station is the only water stop up that 7 miles long climb). Here's a good landmarks map of the area.


    (I shot a video, but it'll take a while before it comes on live at Youtube)
    All the dogs got back home okay, but tried to follow me down to Honey Springs Rd instead of staying home. Luckily we ran into a local lady who thought I was being harassed, so she threw rocks at them and chased them off as I escaped around the corner.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013
     
    Nice Smorg! i want to do this.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2013
     
    Smorg, I know what you need for your birthday:

    •  
      CommentAuthorSmorg
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013
     
    It's a fantastic ride, Paul. :oD Have to go slow-ish, though, if you're on a road bike. The couple of rough rocky sections are really rocky. :o) I caught a lucky break and it was a really cool day on Thursday. I was actually so chilled I had to put the wind jacket back on on my way back down Mother Grundy even though I was going slow and stopping every few hundred yards to wait for the older dog to catch up. The dogs were overheating, though (they don't sweat and can only release heat by panting). They were taking cooling dips in the puddles every chance they got.


    Hey Shady! I definitely need a pair of those! :oD I'm really impressed with the Gatorskins' hardiness after riding a road like Mother Grundy. The rear one has squared top and about 2000 miles on it now, so I've been sort of trying to wear it off riding cool dirt roads around town before changing to a new tire. It still rides well, though, and enough meat left to probably go a few hundreds miles longer. :o)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013 edited
     
    Shady John:Smorg, I know what you need for your birthday:

    I bet none of those are 27"...
    :)
    • CommentAuthorjacobk
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013
     
    Smorg: Looks like a great ride!

    Sigurd: there are a few 27" cross tires on this list, the tioga bloodhound looks pretty good:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/834372-The-ultimate-27-quot-tire-reference-thread!



    Probably wouldn't want to ride them all the time, but it might be nice to have a spare wheelset with something like that mounted that you could swap on for certain rides.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2013
     
    Kind of ridiculously expensive unless you are dedicated to gravel riding, but I like the profile of these: http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/05/bikes-and-tech/hutchinsons-secteur-28-road-tires-are-comfortable-durable_285675
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2013
     
    http://app.strava.com/activities/56256481

    As noted in "Where Did You Ride Today?" - Shockey Truck Trail south of Pine Valley is a 4 1/2 mile sand and gravel section that is mostly climbing. I did it on my road bike and 23s (on wide rims) but if asked, I'd say that's not really doable - the sand was deep and it was an act of pure faith to keep going. My friend was just a little better on 28s. Still, if you don't mind an occasional close call or walk, it's a beautiful and desolate road.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2013
     
    My first mountain bike, a 1987 Specialized Hard Rock, came with 26 x 1.5" knobbies. As things evolved in the MTB world, tires got wider, 29ers came in, then CX became popular...and now there are only a few choices for narrow 26" knobbies. After looking around a bit, I found these 39x559 CyclePro (ChengShing) tires:


    http://www.niagaracycle.com/categories/cyclepro-26-x-1-5-swiss-army-tire-blackwall
    (can get through Amazon also)


    I've been riding these for a few months on two different old steel fully-rigid mountain bikes. They've been great. It doesn't hurt that they were only $9 per tire. I don't know the actual weight--I'm sure they're not particularly light weight. But the rolling resistance on pavement seems very reasonable at 60-65 PSI. No flats so far in spite of riding over a fair amount of broken glass. I've ridden them through PQ canyon, on rutted steep dirt roads, etc. Handling is good on pavement, and surprisingly good on dirt. They don't "float" through sand as well as wider MTB tires, but with some practice they do OK. With these tires on a rigid steel MTB, I feel I can really "go anywhere," and a setup like this would be my preference for rough-riding rides that have more than a token amount of dirt.
  4.  
    I could'nt make it to this event this weekend of Jan 18, 2014. But I would definitely check it out soon.

    January MLK Ride



    Riding in traffic not your thing?

    Do you prefer bike-friendly sidewalks?

    If so, this ride is for you.

    We’ll ride multi-use, off-road paths as we pedal deep into Irvine on this 20-mile excursion. The San Diego Creek trail is a bicycle super highway which leads to a beautiful return route up Quail Hill with gorgeous views at the top. The final leg through Shady Canyon is the prettiest bike path in all of Orange County.

    We’ll stop for lunch along the way. By then you’ll be lamenting that this jewel of a bike ride is half over.


    Details
    Meet at the Newport Beach Civic Center at 10am Saturday January 18th, Martin Luther King Weekend. Free parking.

    Bring water & wear sunscreen.

    The ride is free and suitable for anyone with a bike with gears.
    (Save that beach cruiser for next month’s ride).

    Budget 3 hours — we’re more into savoring than speeding along this route.
  5.  
    Hi everyone, great topic! I am very interested in riding with some of you folks more familiar with “gravel” routes in SD and nearby. Shady I know you mentioned to me that there are a few routes nearby and Smorg you have a beautiful and informative blog on gravel routes, maybe we can create a little group ride? I have a XC mountain bike as well as my trusty CX bike. What do you guys think, a Sunday morning ride before the weather gets to warm? Cheers to dirt!