ROAD TV Towers and Back, SOMO

~6am >> home >> hooked up with Pete >> 44th St >> Piedmont >> The Point >> west Baseline >> west on canal >> south on 24th St >> west on Euclid >> south on 20th >> west on Dobbins >> south on 7th >> west on Mineral / Summerside / Mineral >> south on Central >> into SOMO Park >> park road out to TV towers >> turn around and rewind

2:34 hr:min, 35.32 miles, 2949 ft ascent

Dusted off the cyclocross and met up with Pete around 6am Sat morning. Headed up to the TV towers and back. We took it easy most of the way up. We started pumping a little harder around Telegraph Pass. Pete got ahead there and stayed ahead.

I've done the ride up to Buena Vista and back 3 or 4 times but never to the TV towers.
Buena Vista usually takes ~2 hrs. This ride took just under 2.5 hrs.


HIKE Trail 23, National, Old Man, SOMO

~5am >> hopped on Desert Classic at San Gabriel >> west on DC >> up Trail 23 >> up Fat Man's Pass >> up National >> down Old Man >> east on DC >> San Gabriel

2:26 hr:min, 8.1 miles, 1857 ft ascent

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I've been wanting to check out Old Man Trail ever since I heard that some maniacs ride down it from National. Decided it would be wise to hike it first. So I decided to hike it on one of those mornings where I didn't really feel like riding.

From the San Gabriel entrance to Desert Classic, I headed to the trailhead at trailmarker 23 on Desert Classic - the trailhead for Trail 23. Hiked up Trail 23. Took a left (west) at the top. After a couple hundred feet, the trail starts heading north into Hidden Valley and Fat Man's Pass. This is a really neat area. Huge slabs of granite jumbled on top of each other. Many cavities where desert animals must shelter during the summer heat. A few larger spaces that a person could shelter in. There is an area where the rock is scrubbed clean by flash floods and sand. The desert varnish is gone and you can see clean white granite. Very smooth and purdy. Neat area.

Anyway, kept heading west to National Trail. Up National towards Buena Vista.

Old Man Trail runs down the south face of South Mountain - sorta paralleling Corona de Loma - between 1/2 mile to a mile east of Corona de Loma.

Old Man T's into National less-than 1/2 mile east of Buena Vista. It starts from the high saddle just east of Buena Vista. The trail heads uphill from National. It goes up and over a peak. [BTW - There's an outstanding view from that peak.] From the peak, the trail drops quickly to the valley floor.

At the bottom, Old Man Trail T's into Secret Trail near the rock step. Just east of the rock step on Secret: Look for a pile of rusted fencing off of the side of Secret Trail near the rock step. That's the trailhead for Old Man.

For me, Old Man Trail is totally unrideable. It is SUPER steep (almost hard to even walk down), super technical, and super loose. Very bad combinations for most XC riders. I wouldn't even want to have to carry my bike down it because it so steep and loose in some places.

However, it is a great hiking trail. I'd rather hike up than down - when you're hiking down it would be easy to lose your footing and slide for a ways - that shouldn't be a problem hiking up it.

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MTB Desert Classic, National, Javalina Clockwise Loop, SOMO

~5am >> hopped on Desert Classic at San Gabriel >> west on Desert Classic >> hike-a-bike up Telegraph Pass >> road to Buena Vista >> down National >> Mormon Loop >> Javelina >> clockwise on East Loop >> Desert Classic >> exit at Olney >> home

2:46 hr:min, 19.5 mi, 2645 ft ascent

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Rode with Kevin. Temp was around 75 degrees when we started - very much appreciated. When we hiked up Telegraph Pass, the sun hadn't made it up over the mountain yet - hiking in shade is always nice.

Couldn't get Dig for Fire by The Pixies out of my friggin' head.

Just another solid (if uneventful) ride.


MTB Desert Classic out and back, SOMO

~5am >> hopped on Desert Classic at San Gabriel >> west on DC >> Secret >> Corona de Loma Saddle >> west on DC >> ridgeline approach to Helipad >> Helipad >> goat trail to Desert Classic >> west on DC >> concrete pad at Telegraph Pass >> turn around >> east on DC >> goat trail to Helipad >> ridgeline to Swamp Monster >> back to DC >> east on DC >> Corona de Loma saddle >> Secret >> east on DC >> San Gabriel

18.3 mi, ~2:40 hr:min, 2123 ft ascent

Kevin and I were joined by Mike of MTBikeAZ.com. Very cool to have a celebrity riding with us. ;) He's a friendly guy and a great climber - he made it almost all the way up the goat trail to the Helipad. Very impressive. Hope we can ride together again - I think I could learn a thing or two or ten from him.

Mike said Swamp Monster is also known as Dagobah.

The GPS track info here is Kevin's. I forgot to turn on tracking on my GPS again...gosh!