Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our New Bumper Sticker Is Out Now!

Place our new bumper sticker on your bike or car and you will be telling the the world that you are awesome. You will also be telling the world that you support multi-use trails, The Multiuse Trails Coalition, and you have an incredible sense of style. The new logo is really eye catching and in the shape of a painkiller meaning something really cool. We want you to have this so bad we are practically giving them away, actually we are giving them away. Send us an email with your address and we will ship it to you or pick them up at select local shops. Email: multiusetc@gmail.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Amgen Tour and My Little Pine Mountain Adventure

Solvang was packed! There was probably a line of parked cars toward Buellton 1 mile long. Luckily I snagged a parking space about 4 blocks from the start/finish area. I stuck around just long enough to see Lance and the last 3 racers take off then I watched the crowd of thousands surge to the finish line. At this point I wanted to get outta town before the masses had the same idea and before it got too dark to do a ride. Good job to all the locals who rode and some that did as well if not better than the pros.

Being over on the other side of the mountain I decided to head over to Paradise Road and ride to Little Pine Mountain. I hadn't ridden LPM in about 8 months and was hoping to find a little bit of snow from last weeks storm. Turns out the gate at the first water crossing is closed because the water is too high. Just by coincidence I had some sandals in the car and wore them to carry my bike across the x-ing- highly recommended. It was only about 1 foot deep at max but I hate starting a ride off with wet feet.

Other than the two people I saw walking on Upper Oso Rd., there was no one else on any part of the trail. Buckhorn Rd. to Happy Hollow was in good shape except for a few small rock slides and tree branches. The road got a little sticky in the usual places but for the most part it was dry and pretty hard packed. That is except for the few places where snow was on the road and it was a little muddy. Motorcycles are not allowed on Buckhorn but somehow they managed to get around the gate at the water crossing and at Camuesa Rd. as evident from the tracks. Not sure how they managed to get around the Camuesa gate but they did. Most days I would be upset they got around the gate but today I was thankful. Thankful because up towards the water tower snow on the road was about 3 inches thick and crusty. I tried riding straight thru it but found it tougher than riding in sand. The motorcycles had cut paths thru the snow and made it much easier.

My plan was to ride up the road, come down the single track and be back at my car just before dark. Maybe because I am out of shape, or I just rode too slow, or I took too many pictures of the snow covered peaks all around it took way longer than planned. By the time I started down the Santa Cruz Trail it was pitch black. Just as a precaution I packed my bike light and thank God I did. There would have been no way to make it down without as the moon was obscured by clouds. I didn't bring my helmet mount but my Cygolite TridenX is super bright and put out enough light that I didn't need it. Having done the trail hundreds of times over the years I felt pretty good about doing it solo in the dark. The trail itself is tacky in some places but overall very good and fast. The upper part is a little overgrown but it is always a little overgrown. There are a couple of shale slides on the trail, especially at the crib wall, but other than that it's pretty normal. Both lower water crossings are running pretty full but very make able.

Well I made it back to the car safely thanks mainly to the light. I would like to think that this scenario won't happen again anytime soon but realistically it probably will. BTW I have an extra Adventure Pass, so if you want one I can sell it to you for $17.50(normally $30)- Good for 1 year.

Yes, that's Lance somewhere behind all those peoples hands

1st Water Crossing

Camuesa Road and Snowy Peaks Behind Carp

Buckhorn Trail

Buckhorn Trail Zaca Fire Recovery

Buckhorn Trail in '08 Looking Pretty Scarce

Sunset and Snowcovered Peaks of the LPNF

Buckhorn Road Just After the Water Tower

Sunset Above Happy Hollow

Snowy Hollow AKA Happy Hollow

Super Bright and Super Light- My TridenX Saved The Day

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trail Volunteering/Trail Crew Leader Training 3/14/09

Dear Trail User,

Spring is coming up quick and so is the brush all around our trails. We are going to be sending the Front Country Trail Crew out to do cleanups very soon and would like you to be part it. Trail maintenance begins with the small stuff like clearing brush, cleaning out water bars, and repairing small damaged areas so that they do not become big repairs later. As simple as those tasks seem they have been difficult to accomplish over the years due to lack of groups doing trail work and organization of those doing it. Overgrown trails, aside from not being very fun to use, effect where a person uses a trail and can push people to use the outside edge, breaking it down and thereby narrowing the trail. The opposite is also possible, moving away from the edge and widening the trail to avoid brush. Water bars slow the erosion that water causes and direct water to exit the trail where it will not erode the trail prematurely. Other small fixes like preventing switchback cutting also helps prevent premature narrowing of the trails. These three steps are simple to do yet until now they have not been done adequately on our trails system. What is needed to help maintain our trails are people willing to work and lead work crews in efforts to battle the natural elements.

Saturday the 14th of March, the City, County, and USFS are sponsoring a "Trail Crew Leader Training" event to get people ready to lead trail clean ups. This event is free and will last from approximately 9am until 1pm at Stevens Park. We plan on attending and following this event will be sending out the Front Country Trail Crew many times over the next few months to help maintain the trails.

Is this event for you? If you plan on leading a crew to do work or individually plan on going out and doing work then the answer is YES. If at some point in the future you are going to attend trail maintenance project but not lead, you do not need to attend this event. If you know of anyone who might be interested please forward this to them. Interested parties need to get back to us by March 1st as we need to submit names to the agencies. More info about this event will be posted on our website.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tunnel Trail Avalanche Report- 2/13/09

Tunnel picked up a whopping 2" of heavy wet snow today. Just about as soon as it landed it started melting away. Only a small amount remained this afternoon. Snow level around 3000ft, temps in the mid 30's. Lots of cars up there, watch for ice and idiots on the road.

Tunnel Trail

Tunnel Trail

Sno Park

Little Pine with Loads of Snow

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Los Padres N.F. Snowboard Session

This past Tuesday I had a little free time so I decided to take advantage of the nice snow mother nature had brought us. Mt. Pinos was the location, in the far eastern part of the LPNF. Great place to bike in the Summer also as the mountain has a great 6 mile single track that goes from top to bottom. That single track, also known as the McGill trail was my starting point. My weapon of choice was my Burton Omen split snowboard. For those of you unfamiliar, this is a snowboard that splits into skis that enable you to climb up hill, then click back into a snowboard for the fun ride home.

Unlike many previous adventures in the snow, someone else had already "broken trail". Breaking trail is difficult and much more work than just following where others have already skied. I followed the McGill Trail uphill for about 2 miles and approximately 1500 ft before deciding to head back down. The area I dropped into is known as the Signature Bowls. These bowls are really steep and provide some excellent terrain but are a huge avalanche danger as well. The views all along this trail were spectacular down into neighboring valleys. The weather was perfect, clear and in the 30's, and very little wind. The snow could have been a little deeper in spots, but who's complaining. I have to say I probably like backcountry snowboarding better than resort boarding because the crowds are nil and the effort makes it so much sweeter. The trip was successful and as always I snapped a couple of shots to remember the adventure.

McGill Trail Head

No Yielding Today

Sig. Bowl/ My Trail

The Views

Me Right Before Unsplitting

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mt. Waterman Lives......Again

The first time I went to Mt. Waterman was in Summer 1995 and I rode my mountain bike up to the top. I was in school in L.A. at the time and had heard about this small resort located on Angeles Crest Highway. I had never even thought of going to anywhere else other than Mammoth or Mt. Baldy or Big Bear for snowboarding. Since that visit I have visited Waterman with my snowboard every year for the last 14 years. Some of those years it has been closed and I have had to snowshoe up, but after a five year closure, Waterman is open.......again.

This visit I took the GF and we spent the weekend riding the slopes. It was a bit busy for Waterman, 100-200 people and at one point we almost had to wait in a lift line. The snow was excellent, about 3 feet and about 1+ foot of powder on top of it all. The mountain is known for its natural terrain and the ability to go out of bounds without hassle. Going out of bounds is actually my favorite part of the mountain and is even more convenient that most of the runs take you back to the road for a short walk back to the resort. Thank you for opening again Mt. Waterman!

Lift 1/Face Runs
Fun Terrain
Long Lift Lines
Steep Face Runs

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thirsty? Drink Here!

Aaron Master contacted Ralph Fertig of the SBBC who emailed me about running and water stops in Santa Barbara. Good question, where do you fill your bottle if you are out on a long run or ride? There were no maps with water fountains on them. Aaron took it upon himself to create a map following a long 20 mile run while visiting SB. Thanks Aaron, even I didn't know there were fountains in some of those place. Check the link: