It’s that time again. Time for our almost-annual trip to Mammoth for fun-filled days of fishing, riding, and way too much BBQ-of course! The dates are for me, August 8-15 (Sunday to Sunday), and the rest of the gang will be there from Thursday the 12th through Sunday the 15th. We are staying at the Discovery 4 condos. They are close enough to ride to the mountain and convenient for getting to the lakes for fishing. Lodging is getting tight already so call ‘em quick if you want to join us there. The number is (800) 538-4751. Talk to Patrick. If they’re sold out, I’m sure there’s other condo rentals and motels to find since it’s not a racing weekend. Be there and bring your XC and DH bikes if you have them but you can still downhill on your XC rig.
Last week I sat in on one of the Forest Plan revision meetings in Glendora. In case you don’t know what that’s about, the Forest Service revises how they manage all of the National Forests every 15 years or so and decides what kind of recreation, protection or resource removal they will allow depending on the local situations. The Sierra Club and other mountain bike haters are using this opportunity to try to close off more of the forest to your use. They claim that they have nothing against bikes (although they believe we should stay on fireroads only and the yahoos that cut trail and scare hikers are only helping their cause) but will accept no other designation for protection in the forest besides the Wilderness designation. There are other lesser protections that do everything the Wilderness one does-except they do not prohibit mechanized, non-motorized (say bike) access. If it’s not about the bike (and the original wording of the Wilderness Act does not prohibit bikes it just limits access to self powered users which I believe we still are) then why not take the lesser coverage and have the hundreds of thousands of cyclists in the country on their side too? We are not the tree destroyers and land ravagers and mountain bikes (but maybe not their riders) give off no harmful emissions. Trails and fireroads themselves are not natural features of the forest so our riding on them doesn’t really do damage to the ecosystem. The reality is that they just want the forest to themselves even though most of these chest-thumping supposed protectors hardly ever come out and do any trail maintenance. They just want the government to give them the only access because they are somehow more privileged than the bikers and OHV driving riff raff. Unfortunately, their organization, money, and political power give them the opportunity to make themselves the gatekeepers of the forests and keep everyone else on the outside looking in. If you value your sport and your right to recreation in the forest that the government has mandated the USFS to provide to all users within reason especially in the LA area with it’s incredible number of people who are supposed to be provided this access, then you should find out the facts and different options the Forest Service is looking at. Don’t leave it to people like me or the undermanned and maybe undergunned IMBA people to keep your favorite trails open. Go to the meetings and see what’s up. At least check out the info on the USFS site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/scfpr/.
You can also get some great info from our friends at the Warrior’s Society on their site: www.warriorssociety.org
Chris from the Warrior’s Society has sent me a bunch of good info that I’d be glad to forward to you. E-mail me and I’ll pass it on.
The meeting held in Glendora during the last round of public comments apparently turned into a shouting match with the Sierra Club and Center for Biodiversity people running rough shod all over the heavily outnumbered-and never organized-mountain bikers in attendance. The Sierra Clubbers had their usual tables outside and were rallying their troops and passing out
“Protect and Restore the Forests” stickers to the faithful-and I mean that literally because it’s religion to some of these people who are zealots who run on faith in the cause and not necessarily on the facts. The tables rallies and stickers are obviously meant to intimidate the USFS staff and all who oppose them too. I snuck in early this time wearing an REI shirt to keep on the down low. They were showing the different alternatives for managing the forest going forward. It was peaceful while I was there probably because the bikers and OHV guys were incognito like me or just decided to go to another less hostile place to see the plans for themselves. Plan 1 is pretty much how the forest is maintained now. There were other alternatives and the one the USFS prefers for the Angeles is Plan 4. It is similar to how things are now but adds more opportunity for motorized use on fireroads and adds some Wilderness in the Mt. Baldy area. Strawberry Peak and Condor Peak as well as the Devil’s Punchbowl-which were all in jeopardy earlier in the process-are not being changed as far as bike access in this plan. Plans 5 and 6 are the most extreme. Number 5 shows way more areas open to OHV use. I’m not opposed to those guys having more places to drive. In fact, I might be inclined to do more off-roading in my truck if I didn’t have to go so far to do it. These users also need to have their recreation needs represented by the Forest Service. Plan 6 is the one the Sierra Club is pushing for and the one to fear. It makes more than half of the Angeles National Forest into Wilderness and means you are denied! Check out the plans on the USFS site above and make your comments to the Forest Service online. The plan that is implemented may change from these options and so your input on specific parts of the plan and places in the forest will be taken into account. Do not miss your opportunity to voice your concerns! This is too important. We are so lucky that the Angeles has been managed the way it has over the last 15 years and that we are not in the same situation that other places like Marin County are in where most mountain biking is limited to the fire roads. That’s all my rant for now. Get involved.
Don’t miss Pasadena Cyclery’s Demo Bike event at Hahamongna (Oak Grove) Park in Pasadena this Saturday, May 1st. I’ll have my Rocky Mountain demo bikes available for anyone with a driver’s license to take out for a spin in the dirt to see why they rule. Oh yeah, the Trek guy will have some bikes there too. It’s from 8 AM to 4 PM I think. Call PC at (626) 584-6391 or check www.pasadenacyclery.com for details and directions if you need them. I’ll also have bikes to ride at the State Series MTB races at Bonelli Park in San Dimas on Sunday the 2nd too. Get info about the Bonelli race at: www.teambigbear.com
It’s a real close race so if you’ve ever thought about racing your mountain bike-and you’re not just a fat boy, female bike messenger stalker, who boasts about being fast at his weight but will not race, it won’t get much more local than this.
I also wanted to invite you all to our club meeting and Cinco De Mayo BBQ at Ray Herrera’s on Wednesday May 5th. We should have address info and a map on the ride schedule page soon. At Ray’s we’ll be having some Carne Asada and doing the usual ride scheduling and probably talking about stuff like the Big Bear NORBA Nationals next month and seeing who will be going and sharing a condo. E-mail Ray ([email protected]) to see if he wants you to bring anything. I think we should fork over some cash at least to cover the grubbage.
We’ll also be discussing the return of the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association’s Pancake Breakfast. After a couple of year hiatus, it’s back! We, the Pasadena Mountain Bike Club, as well as members of CORBA, the South Bay Mountain Bike Club, Pasadena Cyclery and pretty much whoever else we can shanghai into this, will be putting on the Pancake Breakfast for the MWBA boys’ benefit and for other worthy trail organizations. It’s pretty much Alan Purnell from Pasadena Cyclery’s big idea and will be coordinating it. We’ll just be rounding up the schwag until then and providing some manpower for the grill work. Mark your calendars now. It will be on Sunday November 7th at Henninger Flats up the Mount Wilson Toll Road. The same place as almost always and the first Sunday in November like it usually was too. If you’ve never been to one of these, it’s a great event that was put on by the oldest mountain bike access group in the country. It used to draw over a thousand mountain bikers and other friends of the MWBA and it was covered by the bike magazines almost every year. The pancakes are great and taste even better after the short but steep hump up the Toll Road to Henninger. Save your money for the schwag raffle because it was always good and people left with many cool bikes and lots of great gear over the years. Be sure to tell Dave Arcaris too. He usually bought over a hundred bucks worth of raffle tickets every year to help the cause-which was to buy supplies for the MWBA’s trail work projects over the next year-but he did always drag home a bunch of loot including some of those bikes. I’ll keep reminding you all because it never fails that some people will ask the week after the breakfast about when it’s going to happen-even though it’s been the same weekend at the same place almost every year it’s been held.
That’s all this time.
See you at Ray’s and at Henninger in November!
I don’t know why I’m even wasting time to do this but I wanted to respond to The Peck’s continuing shots at my vehicle and the amount driving I’m doing versus the time I’m actually riding a bike, by saying that yes, I do drive the big old honking Ford but need to first point out that anyone who actually knows the 9-0-9 would realize that my truck is puny in comparison to even most of the Inland Empire Soccer Mom’s lifted Excursions with their 40-inch tires! Also, those of you who’ve been around a while would remember my old 1991 Toyota 4X4 that I was perfectly happy with for more than ten years and 140,000 miles. When my second kid came around, two car seats in the old Extra Cab just would not fly-especially if it meant the wife having to sit in the rear jump seats. Now I have three car seats and a fourth on the way so even the Supercrew won’t be going on any family vacations after this September. We’ll have to take my wife’s Expedition (that is not lifted or even four wheel drive by the way). The full size pickup is also almost a necessity for my job as an outside rep for the fine Rocky Mountain Bicycles brand that requires me to drive around with quite a few bike samples, many of which are through-axle front ends without quick releases. The full size crew is the only thing I could find to handle my ever growing Catholic family and the bike business. As far as his quips about me needing to ride more, they are absolutely correct. However, since I am a road rep, my job description means I’m driving a hell of a lot (a full tank and 350 miles or so every other day) and so there’s no way I can ever surpass my time in the truck seat with time in the saddle. That’s the nature of the beast but if the Peck can find a way for me to cover Southern California and dropping kids off at school and day care while sneaking in as much riding as he thinks I should be doing, I’d be glad to hear it.
I know the Peck’s trying to be funny and he’s trying to make some point mostly about the riding and not the fossil fuel thing AGAIN (and again and again) but it just sounds like someone else should just keep his mind on catching the hottie messenger chick and seing if he can actually engage her in any conversation before she drops HIS substantial ass!
“Your group is way ahead of you”, is what a Senior hiker lady hit me in the face with on El Prieto yesterday (Sunday, 2/29). I had to explain that I was right behind my group before I stopped to let her group of lollygaggers go by. That’s partially why I lost contact with Chris and his buddy in front of me on the singletrack-not that they wouldn’t be dusting me anyhow but I digress. Now, lately I have had plenty of wake up calls to tell me how out of shape I am, but how do you like them apples? To top that off, I just had a hateful time climbing up to Brown Saddle before the verbal abuse on El P added insult to injury. At the top I realized that it took me more time to get to the saddle than it used to take to get to the top of Brown Mountain fire road. I’m not talking about waaaay back in the day when I was a little faster and closer to 150 than 200 pounds like I am now. No, I mean like last year even.
Another painful side effect of my last couple of months’ let-up in riding is the deterioration of my already sorry handling skills. On El P I missed more switchbacks than I cleaned and half of them were full-on bails not just the usual dabs or palsies. That also is truly pitiful-but I won’t dwell on that too much longer for fear of stealing material from the Peck’s fine blog.
Needless to say, my tip for you today is to never let up on your riding or you will rue the day when some old lady rolls you under the bus! I guess Granny thought she was giving me some (unneeded) info and was just being helpful? Whatever. She really should be nice us usually polite bikers who are trying to keep some other people from scaring her off the trail on their drop-off runs. At the least Grandma should just hike on by and leave me to suffer in quiet…unless she’s got some cookies for me.