California MTB # 3 of 3 : Black Star Canyon

Today was hot. That is the headline. Not nearly as enjoyable as last week, alas the scenic and literary blockbuster that was   “Old Camp #2/3” – it was was not to be bettered this week. So…. this will be short . I did see some different sorts of rock though.  And lots of lizards.  It does finish with a smashing photo at the bottom.

The map

Started out at 7:30am, already 27 deg C.  The usual 350m compulsory climb through suburbia  into the wilderness was uneventful, except that my Garmin died.  Hence the hand drawn maps this week.

Instead of turning off at the dirt 11km in, I continue another 10km down a totally boring valley road until I get to Black Star Canyon Road.  4km down this road there is a car park full of MTBrs.  I have company. Took about an hour and a bit to get out here .


there is company

The ride goes to the very top of the ridge of these mountains, the climb will be from 250m up to 862m . It is narrow double track. This is not really difficult MTBing. The many ruts in the road and loose surface are the dangers today.

The trails are quite sandy with the occasional boulder fallen down from the edge of the valley above.

There is a bit of a mass start, and quickly they’re  all blown off as I settle into the climbing rhythm  up switchback after switchback.  Seems that this group of MTBers are not roadies.

It gets hotter- much hotter the temp is over 37 deg C now, and it feels like it is getting steeper. But it is not really. I am beginning to suck.   The road hugs the valley walls the it feels like an oven, no wind and hot air rising from below. A little like honeysuckle on a hot one.  I am chewing  jubes and gels etc.


It's a long way from home

By now I am into my 3rd of  5 electrolyte biddens and I am so bloody hot  and then I begin to feel chilly and begin to get the shivers. What is this ? I back off the pace a bit click up a gear and after a few minutes the shivers go away and I just feel hot again. No competition in sight. I’m glad Ashley is not around . A competition might kill me.

The total climb is 14km/610m .  It took almost 2 hours though including sunscreen and bottle change stops.

At the top I descend 100m down toward a town called Corona, and then I decide this is a bad idea ’cause I am a bit low on water.  I stop and have a bit of lunch, and get moving again as my legs start to freeze up and get sore.  Downhill was good ! downhill for 40 minutes… back to the carpark, I have been on the bike 4 hours, now.

The top. Corona in the distance.

The guys I saw start off are already back having only gone 2/3 up the hill to the first pass… .There have been plenty of falls and spills with plenty of rubble rash…..Some  guys lend me their track pump and I pump tyres back up to 50psi for the ride home…..which was into the wind and not much fun at all down the canyon road in 38 degC  +++ ….Took 1.5 hours @ avg 20kmh, even the downhill sucked at that temperature.  Maybe my body was just beaten up.

70km today. The highlight today was : a) getting to the top of the range and seeing the awesome views…., b) have the body suffer like never before with the shivers.

Last week :






One thought on “California MTB # 3 of 3 : Black Star Canyon”

  1. You crazy freak. How did you carry all that water? In a backpack?! That hot dry wind coming out of the desert is a killer. I remember battling it all the way to Corona when I rode there from the coast. And what a shithole of a place once you get there…

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