Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Searching the Telonics, Laguna Beach, California

Everything started with a mountain bike magazine short article I read describing a downhill trail called Telonics as one of the favorite trails of Hans Rey, one of the best trail and DH riders of all times, and the RADs, a local DH riding group.

I then decided to get in touch with my friend rider Geoff from Orange County and ask him if he would take me to the Telonics the next time I visit my partner's family. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do it because he was going to be riding at Mammoth. But he assured me he was going to find someone to take me down on that trail and other DH trails of the area.

After a couple of days, Dave emailed me to set the date and time for the Telonics ride. I was so excited! Finally I was going to check that trail out! So I packed my Nomad, helmet, knee and elbow pads in our family car, the minivan. I was bummed I couldn't take my truck to this trip, but I had to compromise since I was travelling with my three teenagers and my partner. Remember? This was a family trip not just a bike trip.

Anyway, the day of the ride Sally drove me in the minivan to meet Dave at the bottom of the Aliso and Wood Canyons State Park. We put Dave's bike in the minivan and drove to the top of a local DH trail called Five Oaks. It was the perfect trail to get used to the terrain: loose sand, nice sticky slick rock, cactus and packed dirt.

In this picture you can appreciate the trail conditions of the area:

And we found creeks with trees offering nice cool shades:
The trail has some technical sections like this one where Dave is riding with perfect balance and body positioning:
After playing on some other DH trails, we then headed toward Telonics. On the way there, I learned from some downhillers we found on the trails that Hans Rey broke his leg racing Telonics at a local competition.

Near the top, the views of the ocean, Laguna beach and the mountains were just gorgeous! I am glad these mountains were recently made into parks so no development will take over them and its fun trails.

We continue on our ride toward Telonics, near the top along the ridge I took this picture below where you can see the bottom of Telonics (trail at the left of Laguna Canyon Rd) and another DH trail called T/A (trail at the right of Laguna Canyon Rd. behind the fire road you use to climb to the top).
And here we are at the very top of Telonics, called "Top of the World" which is how you feel when you are done with the DH trail and have cleaned the whole thing!Telonics is a fast DH trail with steep rocky, loose sand and slick rock sections. It also has jumps and drops that you can hit with different speed levels. To fly just go fast and to jump and get some air which is what I did this time just keep a steady pace/speed and pull up your front wheel. All the sections were rollable with the exception of a couple of drops. It is a good idea to scoop the trail and check it out before going on it at a high speed. Well... at least for riders like me that like to keep their bones in place. :-) Toward the bottom of the trail, there are great steep swichtbacks with really well designed chambers that allow you to corner fast without loosing control.

This is me riding down one of the steep sections. I promise this section is steeper than what it looks in the picture!
Here is a picture I took from the top where Dave is pointing at the trail to show how steep it is:
This is another steep section on slick rock like Moab, Utah. I took this great picture od Dave riding it without sliding because it was quite sticky rock!
When you see this picture at the end of Telonics you do feel in the top of the world! Dave was really happy because he rode and cleared many sections on that trail he used to walk.
After celebrating while eating some snacks we climbed, went down and climbed back again a DH trail called Steps with some really fun rocky sections forming steps. Some steps you can launch them and get exhilarating air.
And here is me going down on Steps with my dorky concentration face
After Steps we went back to the other mountain and hit a super fun trail called Rock It, really fast trail down through rock gardens.

When we were done, we pedaled our bikes to the local Mexican restaurant for tacos and beer. Dave's friend Jason joined us for beer and to talk about the ride. Too bad Jason couldn't join us earlier for the awesome ride but I was happy to meet another local rider. Bob couldn't join us because that day he was celebrating his anniversary. I learned that Jason, Geoff, Dave and Bob won a 24-hour race competing with 33 other men teams. These guys are really in shape and ride fast. I am glad I was able to hook up with Geoff, Dave and Bob a couple of years ago.

This time instead of Sally picking me up, I got picked up by our brother-in-law Jess who probably was bored listening to so much biking talk. But Jess is very nice and polite so he listened to all of our stories, drove Dave back to his car that was getting new tires. Thank you Jess! And also thank you Dave for an awesome ride. I will be back!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mountain Biking Marin Featured in Newsletter

Mountain Biking Marin was featured in OffAssist's online business newsletter this week!

Read the spotlight article here: OffAssist August 2008 Newsletter

Thanks Candy and the OffAssist team!

Reminder: Hot Mama's Mountain Bike Skill Clinic is on August 17th.
Click here for more information: