Mountain Bike Race Season is Here! Sagebrush Safari Time
It’s February, which means the start of mountain bike race season in SoCal. While the Southridge (Fontana) series began in January, most of us were still recovering from cyclocross. Without further ado- the Kenda Cup West race #1 is coming up Sunday, February 27, 2011. If you are at all confused about the different Cups and Series, you are not alone, and we will address that later. Whether or not anyone is capable of making sense of the logic (and I use the word logic loosely) behind all of these series is still up for debate.
An almost epic race, the Pro course is 29 miles with 3400′ of elevation gain and can be viewed on Geoladders.com. This is an old school course with long climbs and a completely rippin’ singletrack descent.
This long loop is the “soul ride” race and offers riders a chance to shine in every aspect of skill, from climbing to descending. I highly recommend this race, and don’t worry about fitness. It’s early yet, while some will have good form here, most are just flinging out the cobwebs. For those in colder climes, grab a flight into San Diego and head over. You will not be disappointed. For host housing options, contact us and we’ll find you a place to stay.
The drive is about 5 hours from Phoenix and Vegas. Google lake Morena OHV Park for directions, and of course visit the uscup.net site for more details. Be aware everything is in PDF format, so you’ll have to download several files in order to find all the information.
This is not the best race for spectating- you will see the start and the finish of these races- and the Pros ride through once in between. However the scenery is beautiful and a weekend trip can be made of the race.
Since beer is the theme these days, Angelenos can plan a stop in Escondido on the way to the race or on the way home. In Escondido, you will find the Stone Brewing Company. Reservations at the Stone Bistro are in order for those who wish to pair the beers with foods created for that express purpose.The Stone Bistro is the largest buyer of sustainable produce in the San Diego region, and prides itself on fresh ingredients and a special twist on comfort foods. And of course, Stone sponsors SoCal Cross.
For other apres-race ideas (please don’t eat here before your race!), In-n-Out burger is a popular choice.
In N Out El Cajon:
1541 North Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon, CA
In n Out on the 15:
9410 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92126
For most, this race will simply be a test of driving patience. It’s far from civilization. Which is nice. However do arrive prepared and fully stocked on water, race food and spare parts.
The race starts on flat pavement before heading up a paved climb. From that point, it’s all dirt. A mix of fireroad and singletrack. This is one of the most enjoyable race courses in existence. And by enjoyable I mean this is mountain biking– gritty, climbing and fast singletrack.
Race Course Description (Pre Riding)
Go to the Ranger Station in Alpine and pick up the map called Corral Canyon Off-Highway Vehicle
Guide. It will be a big help; the map is FREE.
Ranger Station: 3348 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901 619.445.6235
The race will start on Corral Canyon Road on the north side of Lake Morena at the Campground.
NOTE: The campground is currently closed.
Take Corral Canyon Road to Four Corners. Take the Number 1 trail to Sky Valley Road ¾ of a mile
to the Five Jeep Road. NOTE: It is easy to miss. Turn right on the 5 Road.
There is a hike-a-bike on the 5 Road. Take the 11 Road back to Corral Canyon Road, turn right. Take
Corral Canyon Road back to Four Corners. NOTE: We may go up the 2 Trail but it is currently
closed. At Four Corners before you begin to go down Corral Canyon Road, turn right on Los Pinos
Road, go 30 yards and on your left is the Kernan Trail. Take it down to Corral Canyon Road, turn
right and head back to the Start/Finish.
Pro’s / Cat 1’s Men up to 49 & Pro Women
As we did last year you will do two laps up top instead of going up to Mount Pinos. We got a lot of
good feedback on that route.