Monday, December 16, 2013

The Route

1/23/14 edit: The route on has been put on private until we can pre-ride and update two changes on it. You can still see the zoomed out map here to get the general idea. Changes will probably make it shorter, but increase the percentage of dirt on it it, so Lob taketh and Lob giveth back.

The Route by cyclotourist

This just in: The tentative route is up and can be viewed here on map my ride. As you can see, the ride is on readily accessable roads and trails. All I've done is stitch them together in order to link some of the best riding in the area.

The actual route that will be used on the 15th is subject to change, although will be close to this published one. A team of tireless volunteers is pre-riding it constantly in order to make sure there are no access issues. There is some construction that the state water project is doing out by the Santa Ana River that we're particularly keeping our eyes on. This is 90-93 km (56-58 mile) into the ride as you're looking at the map. Would hate to have to cut that portion out, but it would be the only known problem we can't work around.

There is also a short hike around a gate and a bridge that we want to make sure is passable in the Riverside nature preserve. That is at the 31mile/50km mark as you leave San Timoteo Canyon Rd and go onto Woodhouse Rd. It's the only part that may feel sketchy, but I looked all over for private property/no trespass signs, and just came up w/ no hunting, no motorized vehicle, road not maintained by county. Sort of an invitation for an awesome ride if you ask me!

Take some time and get a feel for the route. Look at it in the satellite view so you can see what's dirt and what isn't. This is self-supported so we're not going to have route markers, sag vehicle, or sweepers planned. The map link will stay active, so you can use it in real-time on the ride as well with your personal electronic devices.

Everyone is encouraged to pre-ride any or all of it over the next few months to get an idea of what to expect.

Rain would be the only concern, as we'll have to figure out what to do if it really pours. A little rain is fine, even nice to be honest with you, but a downpour would really saturate the dirt and we would leave it quite rutted.

Again, map here:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tires, Tires, Tires...

What should you ride for this ride? Only about 5km will be as rough as shown above (riding on 37mm Vittoria Hypers), the rest of the dirt is pretty smooth like the road below (riding on 32mm Challenge Eroicas):

There will be some sandy sections, but they're pretty short (5 meters or so each) and not terribly deep. Most all of the dirt will be hard pack or light sand over hard pack, and pretty smooth without rocks or ruts. A few km of climbing up smooth ~8% grade singletrack. But remember, 50km or half of the route will also be on the tarmac.

So, all that said, I think a 30-40mm tire with minimal to no knobs would be perfect. Something that won't drag on the road (1/2 the ride) yet will let you float on the dirt. I wouldn't drag around a heavy agrgessive tire for the few km of rocky or sandy sections. That said, a 28mm or narrower road tire could make those same rocky or sandy sections pretty unpleasant. But if that's how you roll, nobody here with think less of you! Friends of mine have rode this with 23mm tires and lived to tell the tale!!!

The last consideration is the potential for goathead punctures throughout the ride. Really no way around that. Stay out of the gutter/shoulder of the road. You either run over them or you don't. The only sure method is tubeless, and if you have those set up, go for it. But not something to worry about.

In 650B, Grand Bois Hetres might be close to perfect for the ride, although they may slip out a bit on the singletrack climb. But for the other 98% of the ride, they will be great! SOMA's C-Line should do really well, with the same positives and negatives in the 700C size.

Really though, this is a "run whatcha' brung" ride. Don't stress out on it too much, spend more time figuring out how to get out here for the day and join us!