Los Pinos Face Tenderizer

Last week I took the day off before Thanksgiving to attack a trail with my buddy equipped with our 5″ full suspension bikes:  the Los Pinos Trail in the Santa Ana mountains.  I think Mountain Bike Bill’s description of the trail sums it and its hazards up aptly:  

Located near the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County this is a pretty remote, steep and rugged trail that runs right along the spine of an undulating ridge for about nine miles.  This is a pretty raw, rocky, and steep monster that demands good bike handling skills. This is not a heavily used trail so getting hurt out here could be a real bummer. This place gets stupidly hot in summer and there is no shade or water until you get to the bottom.

Good idea, right?  Back in April, there were 5 of us who attempted this ride on XC bikes (a.k.a. bikes with negligible suspension) which was fun in patches but also rather slow and frustrating.  Those of us with full suspension bikes agreed to come back to tackle this trail properly at a later date.  Wednesday, November 21, was that later date for my buddy Josh and I.

As you can see in the video below, Josh and I decided to disregard Mountain Bike Bill’s warning about crashing and how it would be a “bummer”.  The only good news about us crashing is that you get to watch it.  Despite the cuts and tenderized faces we’re considering doing this ride again… perhaps next year.  Thanks to Josh for splicing the video together from our two GoPro cameras.  My favorite parts for those who like to skip:

0:42 – Josh takes his first digger

1:07 – same crash from my vantage point behind him as I almost crash into him

1:41 – my slow crash….. easiest way to slow down, right?

2:15 – Josh pushing the eject button

4:10 – follow the leader, rock surfing style

10:24 – my crash again with audio, “hey – come check my face real fast”

Here are some pictures of the ride and profile:

The Strava profile.  21 miles, 5,000+ feet of climbing, 3 crashes.

Los Pinos ride profile courtesy of Google Earth.  SJT = San Juan Trail (to get up); MD = Main Divide trail; SP = Santiago Peak; Stars indicate crash locations.

Los Pinos Trail from the opposite direction looking back towards the ocean.  You think you’re about to go downhill for a long time only to face steep hike a bike sections on this trail.  There might be 7 major hike sections… but if feels like 15 or so.

Look what we spotted…. Kasel Cycling!

BTW – my face is ok…. just some cuts on my cheek and nose.  Probably improved my overall looks…

5 responses to “Los Pinos Face Tenderizer

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Rides of 2012 | natespin·

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