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Upchuck

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Reply with quote  #1 
We have a regularly scheduled ride in our area that encompasses 4-5 different multi-use trail areas that are connected by short stretches of road. I'm wondering where the locals are taking their gravel/adventure bikes.

C'mon, spill the beans. What's your favorite loop?

One of our favorites include the following areas:
Cheseboro Canyon National Park, Malibu Creek State Park, King Gillette Ranch, and Paramount Ranch.

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OTHRider

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm still new to this style of riding after many years of MTB'g.  Most of my rides tend to be on local dirt in the O.C.  Each place has some areas that are kinda rough on the bike, so I just go a little slower.  I don't think any of these are worth a drive from your area unless you've got something else planned down here.

1.  Fully Loop - very popular urban trail with about 75% dirt.  11 miles and 900'.  Plenty of options to extend to 20 miles and 1700'.  Or, just tie together multiple loops (boring) for more training.

2.  Chino Hills S.P. - You can start in Carbon Canyon Regional Park or about 2 miles away and add a climb up a small dam.  There are a lot of options back there.  We usually stick to climbing Telegraph from the Brea side.  You can turn back from Four Corners; loop around to Southridge; continue on Telegraph to the Chino side and return or get adventurous and wind around on Raptor & Faultline (a little rough on the CX bike).  99% dirt.

3.  Anaheim Stadium north on SART.  You can transition to pretty smooth D.G. for a long way while the roadies give you weird looks for riding in the dirt.  I peel off at Coal Canyon and enter the other end of Chino Hills S.P. (not directly connected to the bulk of the park).  The climb up is my biggest test with the CX gearing.  Some day, I will connect this over to Sierra Peak and down Blackstar to Irvine Lake.  If you did an out-n-back from Coal to the base of Blackstar and back it'd be about 35 miles & 6K of climbing. 

I'm more of a cruiser and many of these climbs may be just so-so for a more accomplished rider.  The parks south of us, Whiting, El Moro, Aliso, etc. are also options if you pick your routes carefully.  LOTS of hikers down there and many of the trails are so much nicer on a MTB.

If you get a chance, enter into next year's Redland's Strada Rossa for a super cool, multi-surface ride.  Probably a good 2 hours from your area.  The ride was very challenging for me but I'm definitely doing it again.  The climbs at the end of the 100K are humbling.

I think your areas sound much nicer.  Good luck.
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Hitchhiker

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm in the Santa Monica Area.  One loop I do that is multi surface is: starting in Santa Monica, Pch to Topanga, old Topanga (road) Summit to Summit (gravel), down Topanga to Mulholland (road) up Mulholland eastward to dirt Mulholland, (Fire road with gravel, sand, dirt etc) to Westridge (gravel) down Westridge to the road and then home.  It's about a 43 mile loop with 3,700 ft of climbing.  I think it ends up being about 18 to 20 miles of gravel and fire road.

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ericfoltz

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Reply with quote  #4 
Here's a loop I did up in your area last year. Sycamore Canyon is great on a gravel bike.

https://www.strava.com/activities/178905085

IMG_0593.jpg 

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kowalski

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Reply with quote  #5 
hello everyone,

I've been riding mixed terrain in the Diamond Bar area for a short while now. I enjoy riding road and jumping onto fireroads in Turnbull canyon and Powder canyon (near Schbarum park). Chino Hills State Park from the Brea entrance (Telegraph canyon rd, down to Lower Aliso) is also really fun. Here below are two rides in Strava to give you some ideas:

https://www.strava.com/activities/344033375
https://www.strava.com/activities/472723752
IMG_2151.JPG 


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coursecutter

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Reply with quote  #6 
I find the OC area hard miles on a gravel bike.  Relentless steep climbing and gearing is an issue. 34/36 if you can make that work with your kit is challenging and not an ideal cadence.  The the same pitch descending and its often a rough ride beating you and a bike up pretty good.  I've destroyed rims and bottom brackets here.  not to mention back and arm pain.  Leaning toward a 1x 38/42

we can convince ourselves it isn't bad but its not the flowing gravel dirt you see in the pictures and recent rains have rutted things out pretty well.  bottom line is if riding OC gravel you are pinned at max heart rate and somethings going to give on the bike eventually.  and you are going down.  It's just a question of when.

A fun training ride that is half pavement half dirt is Irvine park area down Chapman up and over the hill to orange/anaheim.  east to corona/norco.  Skyline to balckstar/silverado Santiago home

Or some sort of Santiago canyon out and back with blackstar mixed in.

I find El Moro and Bommer hella steep in many spots.

Calabasas from Peddlers Fork to Nike tower ridge is descent.  One huge climb out

Verdugo/Glendale not bad socal cross has organized rides in these areas often  look them up

our saying here is "walking is a gear"  indeed

I'm not saying it is not doable.  I am just saying it is a mother load
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coursecutter

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Reply with quote  #7 
Eastern Sierra bishop and Mammoth even Bridgeport is wide open and never talked about.  But it is desolate and bring a water filter there are no services.  I've done some out and back and trying to map some routes
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SKV11000

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Reply with quote  #8 
It's not that tough really. Speaking of LA specifically, any road that is flat enough for development has been turned into neighborhoods. That leaves us with a network of fire roads, some of which are pretty steep (as coursecutter mentions). some of the trail reports say things like, "If you're looking for fun, look elsewhere." and similar heavy comments that are probably either a deterrent or imply the riders ability. So take it as a grain of sand if you enjoy or at least don't mind climbing.

However, believe everything they say about Mt. Wilson Toll road (the dirt version, not HWY 2).

I ride a cx bike with road compact gearing (50/34 - 11/28) on 700x40 tires. My wife was riding the same on her CAADX, but recently switched over to mtb gearing for hauling camping gear. No complaints from either of us, nothing but smiles.



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alexbentley

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coursecutter
I find the OC area hard miles on a gravel bike.  Relentless steep climbing and gearing is an issue. 34/36 if you can make that work with your kit is challenging and not an ideal cadence.  The the same pitch descending and its often a rough ride beating you and a bike up pretty good.  I've destroyed rims and bottom brackets here.  not to mention back and arm pain.  Leaning toward a 1x 38/42

we can convince ourselves it isn't bad but its not the flowing gravel dirt you see in the pictures and recent rains have rutted things out pretty well.  bottom line is if riding OC gravel you are pinned at max heart rate and somethings going to give on the bike eventually.  and you are going down.  It's just a question of when.

A fun training ride that is half pavement half dirt is Irvine park area down Chapman up and over the hill to orange/anaheim.  east to corona/norco.  Skyline to balckstar/silverado Santiago home

Or some sort of Santiago canyon out and back with blackstar mixed in.

I find El Moro and Bommer hella steep in many spots.

Calabasas from Peddlers Fork to Nike tower ridge is descent.  One huge climb out

Verdugo/Glendale not bad socal cross has organized rides in these areas often  look them up

our saying here is "walking is a gear"  indeed

I'm not saying it is not doable.  I am just saying it is a mother load
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alexbentley

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes I'm in the Santa Monica area and it is pretty much the same.  Looking at a new gravel bike now and thinking about a 1X with a 38 in the front and a 46 in the back.  Some people might think that is crazy but the climbs here, in my opinion, are pretty hard.
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