California MTB exped # 2 of 3 – “Old camp”

For those that liked last week’s blog (exped #1 of 3) here we go again on weekend # 2.

Alwyn noted last week’s blog  was not funny enough, alas there isn’t much funny about the climbing today through the valley at the right of the picture  ..30degC and no wind.

Day started at 8am with a 10km, 300m ascent on the bitumen up from the hotel(130m) , then the dirt starts. Plenty of bikers around, mostly on dualies some DHers with long travel going to ride The Luge (Louge ?). A couple of hardtails.

Pretty good single track quite narrow with big drops on the right FORCE you to look straight ahead and not look down into the abyss beside you.

Little wind for an attempted flag showing.


I followed the climb up to the flag like last week – the climb up to 720m(where the dot is on the map). The turnoff down The Luge is here.

A 10 min stop here to mix the 2nd bottle of water with some “Camelbak Elixer” Electrolyte tablets . Clear no taste is too my liking. I was sweating intensely the whole way.

Then onto a place called ‘End Camp’ – the additional 7km excursion out to the base of Modeska Pk .  I have been warned about the climb at this location.



This track has everything from rutted rocky narrow winding climbs and switchbacks to fast smooth singletrack in low scrub (once again with amazing views) along the ridge lines   between the big climbs.

My sandwich in my rear backpack web pocket is now gone. Either it popped out over a bump or some other biker pick pocketed it at some point. Oh well, it is Museli bars from here , then.


Up and up and up- bikers below look like ants

The final climb up to 974m was a real bastard of the purest kind . No letup, no wind, hot, dusty relentless climbing in the granny- I think I spent an hour in 22-30.  Passed a few on the climbs . I was smashed at the top.

A few more trees now. No shade though.

Whenever I was stopped to drink or eat, every single MTBer that passed asked if everything was OK. Seems that in MTBing , universal help and friendship prevails and there is no snobbery.

Guzzled a couple of bottles by now, then down hill through a narrow treelined watercourse to End Camp where there were some tree benches and some sort of hiking base for the big mountains behind us to the east.  A handful of fellas and Bleeksie types  were resting and chatting about wheels, tires, forks  (what else ?). A couple of hot velo chicks also were seen.

Smooth single track on 7% incline

A nice down hill back to the flag , dropped my rear from 34 to 32 psi and it made a huge difference to the ride quality.

Have “The Captain ‘Control'” tires on. pretty good alround  . Hard centre ridge of low profile knobs and big chunky soft cornering knobs.

Don’t underestimate a couple of psi difference. My calfs and lower legs were getting sore from  sitting off the saddle for the decent from the 974m hill top over 7km.



The option to get off the dirt  was another 5km  along the bumpy ridgeline  or like last week , straight down the Luge, and I did, I took the 1.5km, 300m decent short cut, didn’t balk at anything this week. Dropped saddle 5cm , what a dream ride it is- the corkscrewing watercourse loaded with inclined dropoffs and berms .  One point my arse touched the rear wheel and it wasn’t all that bad really.




Top before decent into End Camp.

Back on the singletrack the the bitumen, another 100m climb over the hill before the 300m downhill 10km run home.


huff, puff


Due to popular  demand, a “hot velo chick” picture  . I had stopped at the top of one of the rises to get a drink and take a pic . She wasn’t shy.  Susan and Amy (around corner) .


Hot Velo Chick Susan