Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Dirt Diva (probably nobody remembers Dirt Diva from the good old days on this forum)texted me and suggested that we head up to Big Bear for a Saturday ride.  We have done some mountain and local rides together over the years, and now that her kids are all grown up and she gets to work from home, we are able to hit the trails more often.  Usually, we stage at Heart Bar up on the mountain, but because of the forest fire near there last year, and the summer thunder storms, part of highway 38 got covered in mud slides on Friday, and it was closed.  We discussed that, and decided to go up the 330 to the 18 and park somewhere in Big Bear to stage.  We ended up parking at my "super secret" spot, that nobody else parks at, there's nice bathrooms and a cafe with good food.  Perfect.

The weather forecast had fluctuated, calling for a large chance of rain the night before, but then changing to a smaller amount by morning....but with the San Bernardino mountains, you never know.  As we unloaded our bikes in the empty parking lot, I noticed a few fluffy clouds to the south.  I wondered if I should take my rain jacket with me.  In fact, I had a couple of rain jackets in the jeep, one that I always have in there for an emergency, and the Acerbis that I tossed in the passenger side while I was loading the car on Friday night.  I wondered for a moment if I should wad them up and toss them in Diva's backpack....and then thought nah, we'd be fine....and off we went.

A quick pavement stint across town, found us ready to enter Polique Canyon road.  Then we crossed the front of a mountain in one direction on a south face, then crossed back on the north face.  Next, we were ready to do 3N45,  Arctic Canyon et al.  I don't often ride this route from west to east, so it would be a little bit more of a workout than usual....but it's good to mix things up once in a while and break the old routine.  It was a piece of cake, and by now they sky was quite overcast.  We stopped towards the east end of the route near the big rocks that all the rock climbers seem to like.  Since it was a weekend, there were plenty of people out that way, pitching tents and camping, exploring the rocks and of course, crawling around in  their 4X4s.  As we rested and had some snacks, there was a loud peal of thunder.  Oops....time to boogie!  We thought we might outrun the approaching storm, but it was upon us and spreading out within minutes.

51348923641_938695dc85_o.jpg?width=1920&

The thunder and lightning was intense, and often a little too close up and personal for comfort as we scrambled down the trail to hook up with 3N16.  I was hoping that once we got far enough east, we might dodge some of the rain squalls.  We found that this wasn't going to be the case at all, as we scoped the surrounding ranges and the valley itself.  There were scattered rain squalls all over the place.  I suggested that we head out 2N02, and we started out that way, but were met head on by a storm front that had swirled in from the south.   We stopped and discussed the situation a bit more, all the while I was thinking about those two jackets sitting safe and sound back in the car.  Hindsight....20-20....etc.  There was no place to stop and shelter, so we turned back and were going to head into town.  On the way, we came across a dirt trail that I had seen on Google Earth.  I wanted to see if it was as complete a route as it looked like on the computer, and by now the rain had let up a bit, so I convinced Diva to take a detour and check it out.  At first, it looked really nice, and obviously not used much, but in less than a mile, it led into a narrow canyon, and the tire tracks disappeared.  Then level ground disappeared.  Then it was all rocks, and just kept getting more and more narrow.  Then it started to become Graham Jarvis material in a v-slot ravine.  This is where we stopped and turned back.  I was disappointed, but that is how Google Earth adventures often go.  Besides, the rain picked up again, and we decided to go back to staging area, and maybe have some lunch at the cafe.

It was a cold rain that fell, sometimes stinging like a bit of hail was mixed in there.  The streets were lightly flooded in some spots, so even though we tried to keep our distance from the vehicle in front of us, cars going in the opposite direction managed to drench us with wheel splash.  By the time we got back to the staging area, we were both soaked.  We pulled our bikes up into the covered area and went into the front lobby to check out the menu.  The menu looked yummy, but the host came out and told us that the electricity was knocked out and though other parts of the building were on a generator, the cafe was not.  I looked past him into a darkened dining room.  Dejected, Diva and I sat down on a bench with  all of our rain soaked packs and gear dripping on the floor.  A lady from another part of the building came up to us and told us that the west end of the valley still had power, so we could probably find some food over there.  So we waited a while, the sun came out, and off we went.  A good indication of where the power was on was when we got to a traffic light that was actually working.  From there, we made our way to BLT's, had a nice lunch, dried out a little more and then headed out to finish our ride.

The storms passed for good for the day as we started our last loop.  We had a lot of fun and ended up on Sand Canyon, before I wanted to hit another exploratory spot I had seen on Google Earth.  We headed over there.  I was pretty excited about the route entrance, because on GE, it looked like there wasn't a gate on the forest service road.  Unfortunately, when we arrived at said road, an apparently recent, fresh gate with a "road closed" sign was barring our entry.  This seemed odd, because the other end of the route was open to the public.   We walked up to the gate and inspected it, but couldn't really see any way that we could justify squeezing around it.  It just didn't make much sense that it was open on one end, and closed on the other.  But it was right up against a small, quiet neighborhood, so the residents probably convinced the rangers to keep off road riff raff out of their neck of the woods.   Further more, we were being watched...by some old guy  that looked like a walk on extra in a B western.  He was trying to be very still, peering over the butt end of a mule in his corral, sporting a beard and a Lonesome Dove Gus style cowboy hat.  Diva didn't see him looking at us....I realized that we had just gone from being explorers to neighborhood annoyers...even though we hadn't done anything wrong.  At this point  it was late in the day, and all the spots I wanted to know about, were now struck off my list of possible routes, so we headed back to the cars, loaded up and went home.  I decided to go down the 38 on my way down the mountain.  It had been all cleaned up and was looking pretty good.  It was just another day of adventures on the mountain for these two FE riders.

IMG_0310-1.JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fi

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great ride Dirt Dame, Cool that you are out exploring, and making adjustments on the way.  hmmmm, an adventure for sure :) 

I still hope to be part of one of your rides soon!  Cheers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MacDuncan said:

Great ride Dirt Dame, Cool that you are out exploring, and making adjustments on the way.  hmmmm, an adventure for sure :) 

I still hope to be part of one of your rides soon!  Cheers.

There will be plenty more rides up there in this hot weather.  I usually don't have too much lead time on a ride plan, but i will certainly drop you a PM next time I plan to head up there, especially if you can make a ride on a week day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sure admire the places you folks on the skinny bikes get to go.       Sounds like an awesome ride!    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/11/2021 at 9:55 AM, Bub_Hannah said:

I sure admire the places you folks on the skinny bikes get to go.       Sounds like an awesome ride!    

It was awesome, and there are plenty of routes that big bikes can go on up there.  As for the skinny bikes, luckily they will remain skinny, unlike the riders, who are treated to sammiches like this patty melt at BLTs!

228934602_4275868602527536_3442727985740

 

 

228934602_4275868602527536_3442727985740134510_n.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dirt dame said:

It was awesome, and there are plenty of routes that big bikes can go on up there.  As for the skinny bikes, luckily they will remain skinny, unlike the riders, who are treated to sammiches like this patty melt at BLTs!

 

228934602_4275868602527536_3442727985740134510_n.jpg

Looking good!  I love Patty Melts!

Nice write and pics too. My kinda riding

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×