Category Archives: mountain biking

An LA Urban Oasis – Puddingstone Reservoir Camp ‘n Brunch ‘n Ride

At the east end of Los Angeles County, at the junction of Pomona, San Dimas and La Verne, lies Puddingstone Reservoir, a flood control and groundwater recharge facility that for decades has been a draw for its fishing, boating and swimming.  It is surrounded by Frank Bonelli Regional Park and the huge Raging Waters water park, while the LA Fairgrounds (Fairplex), and Bracket Field small plane airport are adjacent.

East Shore RV Park (some tent sites too) has some 500 sites, although 300 of those are long term. Built in the hills above the lake, many sites have panoramic views of the lake and the San Gabriel Mountains.

At the lower, or “Unit F” Loop, two trailheads lead to our main attraction, a fairly easy bike route around the reservoir, with only a handful of manageable hills. It is a combination of paved lakefront promenades along the north and south sections of Bonelli Park, a scenic novice mountain bike trail, and a long easy scenic cruise across Puddingstone Dam.  It is a 5-mile loop, or 8-9 miles if you opt to cycle on Class I/III roadways around the airport, perhaps stopping at Norms Hanger cafe for breakfast or lunch, a popular thing to do with cycling groups.

Bonelli Park has a lot of trails throughout, and much of it is more challenging mountain bike singletrack.  For those who like to stick to roadways, there are both easy and difficult hilly options around the lake.  East Shore RV Park is expensive, and is full well in advance most weekends.  We take advantage of the 3-for-2 weekday special.

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View of lake and dam from our site at C Loop of East Shore RV Park.
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Path leading from Unit F along east side of lake.
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Path winding along southeast shore of lake.
Scenic mountain bike trails on west side of reservoir.
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Long flat road over Puddingstone Dam.
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Nice promenade along north section of Bonelli Park.
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Closed road next to Bracket Field leads back to Unit F of the campground. Norm’s Hanger is a popular spot to park/stage from, and have an al fresco meal on the patio watching the small planes take off and land.
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CAMBRIA BIKE ‘N BRUNCH – CENTRAL COAST BEAUTY

By Richard Fox

Cambria is an upscale jewel of a coastal community near the north end of San Luis Obispo County, and is the gateway to San Simeon, home of the fabled Heart Castle.  Its historic downtown is located inland, east of Hwy 1,  a popular destination for shopping and dining.  The spectacular coastline is accessed along Moonstone Beach Drive, a short bike ride from the downtown.  The coastal Fiscalini Ranch Preserve contains some welcome open space and provides a mile-long bike cruise on a fire road, or some hilly singletrack for mountain biking.  A very pleasant ride on trails and low speed limit roads will take you to all of these Cambria highlights.  Those who feel comfortable with rural road riding can amble inland up scenic Santa Rosa Creek Road to the Stolo Winery and Linn’s Fruit Stand, famous for its Olallieberry pies. The perfect way to explore the town nicknamed “Pines by the Sea” is via a two-wheeled cruise, as described in the book “enCYCLEpedia Southern California- The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”

It's beginning to look a bit like Big Sur as Cambria is the gateway to the fabled Hwy 1 along spectacular coastline. Here is the boardwalk along Moonstone Drive, great for a stroll but not a bike ride.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Big Sur since Cambria is the gateway to the spectacular Hwy 1 coastline.  Pictured is the boardwalk along Moonstone Beach Drive, great for a stroll but bikes must ride on the adjacent low-speed roadway.
Find free parking and restrooms at Leffingwell State Park at the north end of Moonstone Beach Drive, a good starting point for your ride.
Find free parking and restrooms at Leffingwell State Beach at the north end of Moonstone Beach Drive, an option for your ride start.
The hardpacked fine gravel fire road provides a very scenic 2 mile round trip ride across the coastal Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
The hardpacked fine gravel fire road provides a very scenic 2 mile round trip ride across the coastal Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.  A hike-only path closer to the sea allows better views of the sea otters foraging in the kelp beds.
Beautiful coastal vistas from the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. A hike-only path closer to the sea provides glimpses of those darling sea otters foraging in the kelp.
Beautiful coastal vistas from a neighborhood park en route to the  Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
Singletrack MTB trails in Fiscalini Ranch Preserve lead to a grove of rare Monterey pines.
Singletrack MTB trails in Fiscalini Ranch Preserve lead to a grove of rare Monterey pines.
Downtown is split into the west village, and the East Village, where you'll find historic Linn's restaurant.
Downtown is split into West Village, and East Village, where you’ll find historic Linn’s restaurant, among others.
Choose from many restaurants in town. This interesting Danish breakfast is at the Creekside Garden Cafe, popular with cyclsts.
Choose from many restaurants in town. This interesting Danish breakfast is at the Creekside Garden Cafe, popular with cyclists.
Lovely Stolo Winery, open for tastings, is 1.5 miles up scenic Santa Rosa Creek Road.
Lovely Stolo Winery, open for tastings, is 1.5 miles up scenic Santa Rosa Creek Road.
Linn's Farm Stand sells fresh pies and fruit-related gifts.
Linn’s Farm Stand, 5 miles up Santa Rosa Creek Road,  sells fresh pies and fruit-related gifts.
Linn's is famous for their olallieberry pie.
Linn’s famous olallieberry pie.
October is a great time to visit Cambria, when most businesses and organizations create a scarecrow that represents themselves.
October is a great time to visit Cambria, when most businesses and organizations create a scarecrow to represent themselves in lighthearted satire.
Here is a humorous entry for Cambria's dog park.
Here is a humorous scarecrow at Cambria’s dog park.

 

 

Cape Disappointment State Park, WA Camp ‘n Ride

Video Diary, by Richard Fox

Cape Disappointment State Park is a gem, situated at the southwest corner of Washington State near Long Beach, where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. A jetty built in 1917 to aid in shipping navigation resulted in the formation of most of the land comprising the lowlands of the park, including the campgrounds and the beautiful sandy ocean beach. Dramatic Cape Disappointment and North Head lighthouses stand sentinel over the entrance to the Columbia and the region known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific” because of the over 2,000 shipwrecks that have occurred in this area.

This very popular park near the resort area of Long Beach contains a large campground for RV’s with hookups or tents. We explored the park by bike, riding along the firm sands of the beach, then up past “Waikiki Beach” and several installations of the Confluence Project, which features structures replicating those used by Native Americans. The return ride is through the idyllic park road for a total of about 5.5 very scenic and flat miles.

Following is a video of our experience from May 2016.

Those wanting more of a challenge can ride on the hilly roadways to the two lighthouses.

Nearby is the 8.5 mile Discovery bike/hike Trail, that runs mostly behind sand dunes and through forest between Ilwaco and Long Beach, skirting the State Park but not connecting to the park’s flat coastal section.  We will be exploring that trail on our next visit to the area.  In the meantime, here is a nice description of it:  http://outdoorsnw.com/2012/escapes-long-beach-wash/

Yachats Oregon Bike ‘n Brunch Video

The spectacular Oregon Coast is a worldwide destination for ambitious cyclists that brave busy and hilly US 101 for the rewards of ocean vistas, pastoral countryside, and access to many wonderful coastal towns.  For the Easy Scenic Cyclist, however, there are precious few places available to explore this region by bike.

My favorite town along the coast is Yachats, the “Gem of the Oregon Coast.”  It lies between Newport and Florence, just north of the spectacular Cape Perpetua coastline.  Cyclists riding along Hwy 101 can pass through the town in a matter of  minutes, but those of us that enjoy slower, scenic riding can linger on its waterfront gravel 804 Trail in the north (part of the Oregon Coastal Trail) and Yachats Ocean Road to the south, with the lovely village in between that offers several interesting eateries to choose from.  You can spend over an hour pedaling around this town that travel guru Arthur Frommer  named as his #7 travel destination in the world!

This short video gives you a feel for what it’s like to pedal around Yachats.

 

Local Trail Map: Yachats Trails 2015

 

 

 

Cycling the Colorful Colorado Rockies

Colorado offers endless opportunities for mountain biking, especially in the Rocky Mountains. Most trails are technical but there are also lots of trails that the novice can handle.

The aspens turn bright yellow in late September to early October depending on elevation, adding even more stunning beauty to the mountain scenery.  Kenosha Pass is one of the most popular leaf peeping areas in the state because of it’s location about an hour southwest on US285 from the Denver metro area and the wide panoramas of fall foliage seen there.

The Colorado Trail crosses US285, open to mountain biking here.  The trail that heads west is steeper and more technical, however the eastern side that is open to bikes for its first 6.5 miles is more for the novice.  During peak leaf peeping season, however, expect scores of hikers on the trail, especially on weekends.  Another option is a forest service road that starts here and passes some great aspen stands.

Trailhead for the Colorado Trail at Kanesha Pass.
Trailhead for the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass.
Colorado Trail with fall color.
Colorado Trail with fall color.
Cycling the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass.
Cycling the Colorado Trail at Kenosha Pass.
A great spot for lunch overlooking the valley.
A great spot for lunch overlooking the valley.
Heading back down the Colorado Trail.
Heading back down the Colorado Trail.

enCYCLEpedia’s Earth Day Music Playlist

Happy Earth Day everyone!  Even though every day should be Earth Day, activities are centered around April 22nd.   Songs are already paired with enCYCLEpedia’s rides, but for Earth Day consider this playlist of enCYCLEpedia’s favorite tracks that evoke the spirit of the day. Feel free to comment with any other favorites not on the list. 

Remember, on roadways it's illegal to listen to headphones in both ears, and on trails keep volume low so that you're aware of your surroundings. Better yet, listen to the music before you begin your ride, and enjoy the sights and sounds around you during your ride.
Remember, on roadways it’s illegal to listen to headphones in both ears, and on trails keep volume low so that you’re aware of your surroundings. Better yet, listen to the music before you begin your ride, and enjoy the sights and sounds around you during your ride.

AWESOME SONORAN DESERT CAMP ‘N RIDES NEAR PHOENIX

Imagine gliding down a perfect winding singletrack mountain bike trail for mile after mile through the Sonoran desert landscape, jagged mountains in the distance, birds flittering in saguaro cactus, a wide smile plastered on your face. You are downhill on the north segment of the Pemberton Trail in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, located in the McDowell Mountains between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills east of Phoenix. You can finish the ride in the comfort of your RV if you’ve secured a precious site at the beautiful and popular Maricopa County campground. About 45 minutes to the south is Usery Mountain Regional Park east of Mesa, where you can also camp out and hop on magnificent mountain bike trails. Usery is flatter with more lush vegetation, whereas McDowell is on a gradually sloping alluvial plain with many more miles of trails and more of a wide open feeling because much of the park burned in the 90’s. The adjoining Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve extends the 50 miles of trails even further. Both have fabulous views of the Superstition Mountains and most of the time no civilization is in sight, a different world than the nearby Phoenix metro area. The vast majority of the trails are non-technical, with few rocks or challenging pitches, perfect for the everyday mountain biker who likes to enjoy the outdoors and get a good workout.

Beautiful vistas abound on the Usery park trails, especially looking to the east.
Beautiful vistas abound on the Usery park trails, especially looking to the east.
The RV campground at Usery Park with Usery Mountain in the background.  Set amongst lush Sonoran vegetation with partial hookups, reserve early for this popular spot that is about a mile along the park road from the MTB trailheads .
The RV campground at Usery Park with Usery Mountain in the background. Set amongst lush Sonoran vegetation with partial hookups, reserve early for this popular Maricopa County Campground ($30) that is about a mile along the park road from the MTB trailheads .
Signed trail junctions on the fabulous Usery Park trails.
Signed trail junctions on the fabulous Usery Park trails.
Spacious campsites with electric and water hookups with MTB trailheads all around it  make the campground at McDowell full most of the winter.
Spacious campsites with electric and water hookups with MTB trailheads all around it make the campground at McDowell full most of the winter.
Gliding down the lovely Pemberton Trail at McDowell Park.
Gliding down the lovely Pemberton Trail at McDowell Park.
Cycling near the striking granite boulders of McDowell park.
Cycling near the dramatic granite boulders, top of the hill at McDowell park.
Trails continue into the adjacent Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Trails continue into the adjacent Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.