With a set of brand new tires I went straight to the hill I couldn’t get up last time.
Since the last time we had a big rain storm that cause massive mud slides in Santa Barbara and Ventura California. This has been all over the news so you might have heard about this. The ground is dried just enough for perfect traction. I came up to the spot where I couldn’t go any farther because of bad traction. The surface was about 6 inches deep of powder like dirt. As I come up to the spot where I lost traction, I noticed there isn’t any powdery dirt because it washed away in the storm. Now it’s a solid rock face about 20 meters long. No problem getting traction with my new tire. I probably could make it now with the old tires. The picture below is looking down toward the spot I had to stop at last time. It’s down around the corner in this picture.
You can’t see it from here; I am above it now looking down at it.
When I got to the top I followed this road a little ways. There is a single camping spot on top of this mountain. Looks like a nice secluded spot to camp if you can get up here. Here are some pictures from the top of the mountain.
My new tires are awesome. I now have great traction. I rode around for a couple of hours. It was a really good day for a ride.
Below are more pictures from the ride.
I have lived in this area for many years. I have never ridden at Rock Front. Its nice to ride in some unknown area. This is the staging area as you pull into the Los Padres National Forrest.
There was this little guy riding around the staging area with training wheels. His dad was walking with him up and down the main road. The dad was saying “brakes…….brakes…….brakes…..brakes… and so on for 20 minutes or so. It reminded me of the days I was teaching my daughter to ride. I really enjoyed watching this father teaching his kid. I probably watched them for 20 minutes.
It was time for me to adventure on. I took the main road and followed it for about 12 miles.
It turns into a jeep trail that is marked with a blue square (more difficult).
I followed for a bit. I haven’t really tested what my KTM will do yet. I started down this hill and it makes some turns at critical spots that will make it difficult to climb back up. I’m committed though so I keep going. Being out here solo, I don’t want to push it too much so I turn around and head back. I’ll explore more next time.
Now I am at the hill I thought I might have difficulty getting up. There it is in the background. The white road going up across the valley. I made it up with pretty much no problem.
So now I am pretty confident I can make it up the blue square designated roads. On the way back I decided to try a blue square designated road that I passed on the way in. This is what it looked like as I was starting up the road.
Doesn’t look too bad. On the way up it keeps getting steeper and it keeps dog legging right at the base of a steeper incline. I made it up three quarters of it until I couldn’t get any traction. I had to jump off and turn it around back down the hill. The stock tires on my KTM are really horrible. The only reason I couldn’t make it all the way up was traction. I’m going to have to get better tires.
Overall I’m really enjoying my new bike. (EXCEPT THE CRAPPY TIRES) I’m going to fix that soon
I brought my KTM to a local riding area that I have been to many times. It is well known and can be dangerous because the trails are two way traffic.
I rode up a road that leads to this radar station. I can’t find anything about it. I know years ago it was manned by the US Army. Then it was transferred to civilian use for tracking flights. I couldn’t see anything that looks like anyone is around.
This is the road I came up to get here.
Here are some views from the top of Black mountain. You can see the smoke from the Thomas fire California’s largest wild land fire ever.
Out in the distance there is a jeep trail that looks fun. I have been up it many times on my other bikes I have had.
I made it up part of the jeep trail but I noticed that I barely made it up this section because of poor traction with my stock tires. I decided to turn around because I knew the trail was going to get more difficult. Below are pictures of the trail I barely made it up.
I went back down and followed a forest road for a few miles. It looked like this most of the way.
On my way back I took some “single track” back and bypassed the forest road. It is well used so its barely what I would call single track but only bikes and ATV’s are allowed.
I had a good time riding here but I really need to replace my tires to fully enjoy my time here.
I had to take my Cisco certification test in Taft Ca. So I loaded up my bike so I could stop by Ballinger canyon on the way back home. I have never ridden here. It’s pretty well known but I was there on a week day and was the only person there. I rode around for an hour or so. It was a little creepy being here solo. I will definitely go back with a riding buddy. It looks like you can have tons of fun here.
I only took one picture on this ride.
This is the view from the top of the first hill climb out of the staging area.
These stock twinduro tires suck. I really need to replace them.
I got a new bike. It’s a KTM 500 EXC-f. It’s loads of fun. I went to La Panza National forrest (we call it Pozo because it is right by Pozo Ca.) for a break in ride. Riding Pozo is fun but its really popular around here for Jeeps and off road vehicles. You never know what is going to be coming at you on the trail so it’s a little sketchy riding here. They really need one way trails. I would like to find out who I can petition for this type of change. Maybe just make some of the loop trails one way. I hear of head on accidents happening frequently. I have been riding here for 30 years and have witnessed the rideable areas shrinking. Lots of area is closed now. It is still fun but not as much area to ride in.
This is a view looking east. You can see the San Andreas Fault line from here. In the distance all the jagged hilltops are basically right on top of the fault.
This is my base camp for the day.
I spent about 3 hours putting around being real easy on my bike to break it in. One thing I noted is I need to change the gearing for trail riding and the stock tires aren’t very good for loose powdery hard pack.
I haven’t written anything on my blog for quite a while. I have been dealing with lung issues and asthma that appeared out of nowhere in 2012. I had two hospital stays and once was an hour away from death. I was running every day and was getting into good shape when all this happened. I went from the best shape I have been in to the worst shape in a week. The doctors guessed over and over what might be wrong. They were at first asking me if I had been with prostitutes out of the country. Um no. They thought I had AIDS so I had three AIDS tests because the first two negative results had to be wrong. Then they thought I had cancer and sent me to UCLA. No cancer. The did a ultra-sound on my heart. Heart is healthy. They then sent me to an allergist. She started giving me Xoliar shots. This seemed to help but I could tell it was only masking my symptoms. I went from using my rescue inhaler 8-10 times a day to twice a day. I had no energy to do anything. I went to work and then straight home then early to bed. I would get up 6 or more times to pee every hour at night. I seemed to be tired all of the time. I took frequent naps and basically didn’t do anything. The doctor suggested that I should get a sleep study and check for sleep apnea. I had actually known I had sleep apnea for a number of years. Probably 20 years. People always complain about my snoring. I sleep with my bedroom window open and my neighbors would slam their window shut when they got tired of my snoring. I thought the doctor was still guessing so I delayed my sleep study until this year. Finally I decided to go through the process. It was determined that I have severe sleep apnea and have 60 apneic events an hour. Apparently this is bad. So now I have my CPAP machine. The first night was amazing. I slept all night and didn’t wake up once. I felt refreshed and had a little pep in my step. This was after one night. Apparently I wasn’t getting into REM sleep and that’s when you heal, dream and your body recovers. So now its been over a month and I feel great. My asthma is completely gone. I feel ten years younger and wake up early every day totally refreshed. I can’t believe I put it off so long. If your doctor thinks you have sleep apnea it is definitely worth trying a CPAP machine.
So now I am feeling more motivation during the day and I am going to post some new ride reports and try to continue where I left off.