2008 California Mountain
Unicycle Weekend

October 17-19 -- San Diego, California
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  • Details:
    Sunday - Oct 19th, 2008

    (times subject to change)

    Eric Douane
    Eric Douane

    Directions for all Sunday events (in a more printer-friendly format)

    8:00 AM–2:00 PM MUni: Noble Canyon

    NOTE: Our User Permit for Noble Canyon requires CMW to provide a Shuttle due to limited parking at Mt. Laguna)
    Elevation Gain/Loss:  650'/2400'

    We need riders to be at the bottom of the trail at the Pine Creek Road gravel parking lot, ready to get in the vans, by 8:00 AM sharp. That means you probably want to arrive by 7:30, allowing time for possible wrong turns, and get all geared up and ready to carry everything onto the shuttle.

    Before departing in the Shuttle vans, put the Adventure Parking Pass your Shuttle driver will give you in your own vehicle. Your registration fee covers the "Adventure Parking Pass" fee so do NOT buy a parking permit at the Country Store. A CMW volunteer will be at the parking lot.

    Shuttle Vans will take you up to the Penny Pines trailhead in Mt. Laguna in the Cleveland National Forest. The drive takes 30 minutes from the Pine Creek Road Trail head to Penny Pines trailhead In the Cleveland National Forest. You will unicycle down the trail approximately 12 miles to the Pine Creek Road parking lot, which will take approximately 5 hours allowing for fun along the way. The lower third of the trail is the most technically difficult part of the trail, but also by far the most fun. Come ride one of the most famous trails in Southern California!

    This is the longest ride of the weekend, and there is no water on the trail or at the trailheads, SO CARRY PLENTY OF WATER and food, since it could be a hot day. It may also be cold in the morning at the top of the mountain, so dress in layers. We also recommend having some more water in your car at the end of the trail for your ride back to San Diego. Horses, and then Mt. Bikers, and hikers have the right of way on this trail (but horses are not often on the trail). We want everyone to have a designated riding buddy to ride with since this is a remote trail with sections of difficult terrain. There is not cell service for much of the trail. There are several trails that branch off of the main Noble Canyon route, so also have a trail map with you. Please stay with your riding buddies!

    "Noble Canyon is considered to be one of the best trails around Southern California. It is technically difficult with narrow single track, gnarly rocks and tight switchbacks. This ride takes you through three distinct ecosystems. You start out in alpine meadows and oak trees that transitions into typical Southern California chaparral and finally into an arid desert climate similar to the Anza-Borrego desert. This is an advanced ride. This ride will be fun for intermediate riders but you will most likely find yourself doing some walking over and down obstacles." -- From Mountainbikebill.com

    More Trail Information from a Local Rider

    Alternate Shorter Ride:
    Any Muni riders who don't have the time (or stamina) to do a 12 mile ride on Sunday morning are welcome to speak to Marty Ornish on Friday or Saturday, to discuss possible options to shuttle to a different entrance onto Noble Canyon. Riding from the bottom of Pine Creek Road where we will leave the cars is not recommended.  This decision will be based on interest and also the availability of other Shuttle drivers.

    Noble Canyon maps available on Mountainbikebill.com

    Noble Canyon trail map and profile (click to enlarge)

    Noble Canyon Elevation Profile

    Noble Canyon Trail Map



    More details about the ride from local rider Dan, who has ridden his mountain bike on it many times:

    Dan's Description of Noble Canyon:
    The overall ride will consist of three main parts. Each of the parts can be a separate ride. The trail is very well traveled, so it should be very easy to follow. Stay on what looks like the main trail and you won't get lost. There are some small trails that take off the main trail. Don't take these (This time)!

    The upper part is about 5 miles of cross-country singletrack. A few challenging climbs, and fun winding/twisting downhills, on a very smooth trail. The trail will cross Pine Creek Road three times. At the road crossings, the trail will continue directly across the road. At the fourth road crossing is where the middle part trail begins. This upper part should take about 1.5 hours.

    The middle part is where the technical riding begins. A short 15-20 minute shuttle, from the lower trailhead parking lot, will take you to this section. The trail starts out as a cross-country trail but soon turns rocky and steep. There are several very sharp switchbacks. These switchbacks are very loose and rocky. There are several areas that consist of large boulders. These are great areas to practice your skills. As the trail continues, it gets steeper and rockier. The edge of the trail also becomes narrower and steeper. This part will be the most demanding of your skills. A couple of short climbs and downhill sections and you come to the intersection of the lower part. If you have had enough, you can turn right and ride up to the road. It is a short ride to a staging area and down Pine creek Road, back to the lower parking lot. This middle part should take about 1.5-2 hours.

    The lower part starts at this staging area. It is a very short 5-minute shuttle from the lower parking lot. Some may even choose to ride their unicycle to this staging area instead of using a shuttle. Ride down the trail to the intersection of the middle part trail. (Continue straight.) This section starts out as mellow cross-country singletrack. There are a couple of gradual climbs to the summit. From here, it is downhill all the way back to the lower parking lot. The trail varies a lot. There are smooth hard pack areas, rolling sandy areas, some off-camber areas, and the "rock garden". This quarter-mile section consists of many various size boulders and rocks. There is no definite line to follow. You will be challenged to create your own line. This lower part should take about 1 hour. If you have chosen to do the long ride, you will be combining all three of these sections.

    Nobel Canyon is a very popular multi-use trail. There will be hikers and bicyclists, and occasionally there might even be horseback riders. You are CYCLISTS, so obey all trail rules.
    Due to Nobel Canyon's rugged terrain, emergency service is very difficult! (There is also very little cell phone reception). Be very careful and enjoy a very memorable, epic ride!


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