Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Carbon Canyon

Carbon Canyon
Saturday, Sep 6, 2008

Alarm went off at 6:00 am, to the sound of KFI 640, "Handel on the Law," and I quickly hit the snooze button. Just another 10 - 15 minutes and I'll get up. This last week, as usual, was a busy week at work and sleeping in was a nice idea. Not going to happen! After the second wake up call, I slowly got up and started my early Saturday morning routine. Grab the jersey, socks and put on my Hoss riding shorts.

As I make my way down stairs, I could smell the aroma of brewed coffee (I set the coffeemaker last night!). Packed my Camel Back with GU Energy Gell, filled my Camel Back Bladder with water and made a bowl of cereal, Cheerios to be exact.

As I sit staring into nothing, I think about the ride set for today, Carbon Canyon. This will be my first ride to Carbon Canyon and I wonder what it will be like, easy or hard. Bleep, bleep, my cell phone rings telling me I have a text message. I pick it up and wonder, who's running late or can't make it. It's Peter and sure enough he's out, not going to make it today. Darn! I think about giving him a hard time about it but pass on the opportunity.

I load up my bike and gear and head to our carpool pickup area, the Park and Ride next to Bonelli. The Park and ride was jam packed. "Looks like a lot of other riders are doing Bonelli today. Hmmm, Peter's not coming why don't I talk the guys into riding Bonelli today?" Kevin pulls up and I ask if he'd like to do a loop around Bonelli. He shrugs and says lets try Carbon Canyon, but if the group wants to do Bonelli we'll stay here.

Carl arrives and I say, " Looks like a lot of riders here today, lets ride Bonelli Park. What do you think?"

Carl says the same thing Kevin said, " Whatever you guys want to do." Carbon Canyon is it (Its new, different, great!).

From San Dimas, Carbon Canyon is about 15 - 20 minutes south on the 57 fwy. We exited Lambert and headed east until we came up to the park on the right hand side. It was $5.00 to get in. From that point we headed to the eastern most part of the parklot, parked and started unloading the bikes. The Park itself is nice, layout similar to Bonelli with jungle gyms, grassy areas, picnic tables and barbeques. Unlike Bonelli, Carbon Canyon did have a number of tennis courts.

Bikes unloaded and ready to head off, we examined the park map the attendant at the gate gave us. From the map the trails are clearly mapped. We head east through the parking lot to a dirt path that parallels Carbon Canyon Road. The trail leads you to a split; right takes you to North Ridge Trail and left takes you to Telegraph. We headed up North ridge. North ridge has moderately steep climbing for about 1/4 mile then evens out to a steady uphill. Overall it was a nice, well maintained dirt rode, great for beginning to intermediate riders. The climb was steady and progressive with very little areas of steep climbing. To the north of us was Chino Hills which provided a nice view of rolling hills.

The battery on my cyclocomputer was dying so I'm not sure how long we climbed for until we came up to Sycamore Canyon. This is a high point and connects North Ridge to Telegraph. Sycamore is a nice fast single tracks. There are a few surprises to be aware of like deep ruts, loose dirt and tall brush that whips your arms and legs at speed. Sycamore felt like a fast roller coaster ride. Carl got a little over zealous and was pulled in a deep rut that ran parallel to the single track.

At the bottom of Sycamore Canyon is Telgraph. From that point it is coasting until you end up at the entrance.

From North Ridge to Sycamore to Telegraph was a 12 mile loop. I would highly recommend this loop for riders just starting out. Except for Sycamore Canyon there were very little surprises. The climb was not bad and once you link up to Sycamore its all downhill.

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