Alpine to Anza…Part 2. The Ferrari Show.

photo credit: Rob Roberts

A Ferrari show. As we were trucking through San Diego, along the Bay, Rob Roberts and I were having one of our usual epic discussions of food and coffee. Mostly coffee. There aren’t many things that would cause us to stop pedaling but coffee would be one of them. If you’ve ever been to San Diego Bay, you know what to expect. Cyclists, walkers, families pushing baby strollers, tourists, lazy Sunday afternoon tourists. As we’re navigating the urban sea of people, what do we stumble upon in the grassy park on the waters edge? A car show featuring dozens of Ferraris of all vintages. We’re talking millions of dollars worth of Italian mechanics wet dreams. And what goes best with Italian cars? Certainly not filthy mountains bikes, but in fact espresso. Yes espresso. Somebody hauled a fully legit espresso maker out onto the grass. So there we were, day 2 into a multi-day ride, jersey pockets stuffed to the brim with burritos that I’m pretty sure we bought out in the desert, and we find our very own baristas. As we were passing the on-going’s, I grabbed two handfuls of brakes and came to a halting stop.

“Are you serving Espresso?!?!”

“But of course! You like some?”

Some things I don’t have to be asked twice about.

This was one of them.

There we were, Rob still clipped into his pedals, me on my green Siren, fully loaded with bike-packing gear, helmets, desert dirt still on our faces, sipping freshly pulled espresso shots in front of a background of million dollar Ferraris.

By now, we’re well caffeinated and on our way north out of San Diego. First we climb into Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a quick water re-supply and then turn east back into dirt country. As we’re pedaling and checking maps, we realize it’s getting late, dark is only a couple hours away and we’re probably going to have to bivy someplace before the next planned resupply. A quick check of the Googler and we find a Mickey D’s just off route. Dinner, and breakfast to go it is! Nobody really likes pedaling off route for anything. But the prospect of gnawing off one of Rob’s legs the next morning for breakfast, doesn’t really sit well with either of us.

Off we go. Up a hill, down a hill, over another hill, through the parking lot and into our last re-supply for a while. I love the look on the cashiers face when we’re ordering while out on a bike-pack. 1 chicken sandwich, 1 large fry, 2 chicken nuggets, 2 apple pies and a large chocolate milkshake. I’ll be back in a minute for my to go order.  It’s pedal, pedal, pedal, consume, pedal, pedal, pedal, sleep. Repeat as necessary.

Out of the parking lot with full stomachs and fresh smiles we roll. Never underestimate the morale boost of fast food.

We hit some pretty awesome singletrack in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, right off the roadway.  We cruised through the backwoods of suburban San Diego County for about an hour of fast easy riding. Good times. Just as sundown was upon us we rolled right into what might be some of the funnest trails anywhere. The Tunnel Trails. So perfectly named. You drop into some more killer singletrack that immediately gets into a full canopy of low lying trees. No more sky. Our sky was now low clearance branches to avoid while trying to navigate the intricately twisting trails. This is Hobbit land. And of course, in perfect fashion, the sun had set and we were running full lights. We exit The Tunnels, cross a few roads and it’s back to dirt. This cycle gets repeated another half a dozen times before midnight, when we finally decide we’ve had it for the day. Rob finds us a good stealth bivy site along the trail behind some bushes, but right at the base of a chain link fence. Perfect, that last Mickey D’s apple pie is going to be delicious!

Up right before sunrise, we pack and realize the chain link fence we slept under was the backside of one of the most lavish golf courses either of us had ever seen….

So off we go down the trail. Next up, Lake Hodges. What a beautiful sight. Our approach from the trail brought us up on the other side of the Dam. The dry side of the Dam.

Call me morbid, but I always envision what happens if when dams let go. That’s a lot of water. Next time I’m pedaling through the desert, rationing my water bottles, that’s going to be my new happy place. And on we pedal. More mountains, more valleys, more trails, more dirt roads.

We climbed Lost Valley Road, crossed the Chihuahua Valley into the sunset, and made our descent into Anza where we popped smoke and waited for our extraction from this adventure. As we sat there knocking back a couple of long ago purchased bottles of chocolate milk I could only think of one thing: There are just so many cool trails in this part of the world. Most of them you would never even know existed. More importantly, you would never realize that it’s possible to actually tie them all together.

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Women’s Wrench Night

We are All Mechanics

There aren’t many female bike mechanics in the industry and I can relate to Katlyn Hershman who owns a shop in NY. “Guys automatically ask for the mechanic.”

Last weekend we had another ladies only get together at The Hub. But, instead of our monthly movie night, we decided to start the year off with a Women’s Bike Maintenance 101. We had almost 30 women (and Zander) and the night was a success for us all, on different levels. We got Café Aroma’s breakfast pizza and made a little party of it. I had a couple of women from out-of-town, but the rest were all locals! Yeah, Idyllwild is blowing up with women on bikes and I’m very happy to be in the middle of it.

Since I had such a big response to the clinic, I decided to make it “lecture” style and forgo the hands-on part. It was a little bit of a sacrifice, but it helped us to all fit in the shop. We went over fixing a flat, fixing a broken chain, and what and how to clean and lube on your bike. We had a great Q&A session in the end and everyone pitched in.

For those of you that missed it, stay tuned for more clinics this spring. I also found this organization that was put together by a couple of women in Madison, WI whose mission is “To provide a supportive environment for women to overcome the barriers that keep them from learning how to maintain their bicycles.” They offer a series of women’s only clinics and have a great logo (above.) The also have some great maintenance resources on their site.

Thanks to all the women who came out and made the Wrench and Bitch a success. See you next month for movie night, again!

Tuesday Alleycat and Film Screening

Next Tuesday we have the pleasure of screening 23 Feet, a documentary, in Idyllwild. We took this opportunity as an excuse for another bike ride, with so many outdoors enthusiasts in town.

We will start at the shop at 6:30. The ride is an alleycat style ride (yeah, spoke card and all!) which will take you to some Idyllwild highlights and eventually meander over to the film screening. We’re going to roll out at 6:30 so we can get to the film on time with enough room for sight seeing.

Here’s a preview from the film – time for some summer fun in Idyllwild!

A Warm Welcome

Thanks to everyone who came out for our grand opening. It was quite a blast with perfect weather and a great group!

We met some cyclists new to the area, and visitors from out of town and had an opportunity to get together with lots of our local cyclist and non-cyclist friends. Electra, Ellsworth and Intense all represented well allowing people to swing a leg over some demo bikes and geek out. Patsy staffed the grill all day and Mary made chipotle vegetarian chili.

For those of you that couldn’t make it, here’s a little sampling of what you missed.

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