TW200 Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,



Just a quick ride report and some news for you Southern Cali folks.



They opened up most of the closed roads in Cleveland National forest this weekend, finally! That included North Main Divide road and Maple Springs road, which gives us access to Mt Santiago and Modjeska, together referred to as Saddleback Mountain. You can get to them from the north off Silverado Canyon (not far from Cooks Corner) via Maple Springs Road, or from the south off Ortega Hwy, via North Main Divide. I think Santiago is about 5700 feet.



I decided to take the route in from Silverado Canyon and up Maple Springs road simply because the Maple Springs road had more squiggly lines on the map, so I was thinking more fun. Charting it on Google Earth showed me it was only a 33 one-way mile trip to the top from my house, with about a third of it just getting there. I was starting at about 400 feet above sea level, so there would be about 5000+ feet of elevation gain on the way there.



I loaded up some tools and a lunch and headed out at 2:00 because it was cloudy all morning. If you know Cooks Corner, then you know what my ride out was like - a two lane road through the southern CA chaparral. It was turning in to a nice day after all.



It took me about an 30 minutes to get to the OPEN gate at the end of Silverado Canyon, and within a few minutes the road gave way to dirt and rocks.



The main reason for the report is to let you know that this Maple Springs road is just FANTASTIC, and the TW handled it with amazing grace. This single lane road was apparently made specifically for the TW. The road probably starts at 2000 feet and climbs to 5700 feet in about 15 miles. Many sections were covered in softball size rocks that the TW just floated right over at 15mph like it was nothing. I never got much over 15mph due to the road conditions, and probably spent 80% of my time standing on the pegs - I was wiped out by the time I got to the top, but it was without a doubt the most fun I have had on either of our TW's since we got them.



I spent over an hour on top of Santiago Peak and ate my lunch, let me and the bike cool down, and took a bunch of pictures of the peaks sticking out above the clouds: Palomar Mt to the southeast, Mt San Jacinto to the east, Mt San Gorgornio to the northeast. Sitting on the highest peak in Cleveland National forest, looking at the 3 highest peaks in their respective ranges made the whole trip worthwhile. It would have been nice to be out on a totally clear day, but it was still impressive. Oh, and I had the place all to myself!



The ride down was even more fun than the ride up! Staying in 2nd most of the way down, I discovered that the bumps I was pushing against on my way up suddenly had become great ramps, and I was getting a lot of air off most of them. Just having a blast!



I saw two other bikes and one 4x4 on my way up, and only one other bike on the way down, so it seems that word has not hit the street that everything is open now.



I really learned a lot about riding the TW today. Making lines through rock fields, standing on the pegs, when to power through a situation and trust the bike. The thing that I really noticed is that if you just stay loosey-goosey and keep the bike upright and it will take care of the rest. I know I was going too fast through some of the rock fields, but I was just in awe at how well the bike was handling it. How do you describe that? Well, there's the up and down motions, but then there's the motions of the front and back wheel bouncing from side to side, in different directions at the same time - Everything is in flux - it really feels like the bike is just floating across everything, but it's keeping its line. Fun Fun Fun



I had two situations where I almost lost it, and both due to excessive speed through the rocks. Once with the front tire bouncing about 2 feet to the right off a loose rock at 15mph, and the other time when the back wheel basically did the same thing, only in the other direction, on a curve, which made me loose my line and I brushed up against some shrub on on the inside track, but stayed up. I thank the torque gods for that.



Once again, I noticed that the chain had tightened up on the 2010 from where it was when I started. I didn't take the time to loosen it this time, but it was on my mind most of the way down.



My other thoughts today were about the need to carry a better first aid kit than the one I currently have, and I thought a lot about my tires and tubes. I carry a 12v pump and a tube repair kit, but my big worry today was that I was going to have a sharp rock blaze a tube beyond repair. Lots of wood on the trail too. I think I'm going to order a set of extra tubes to bring along on my next ride.



I took quite a few pictures of the scenery and a few of the road, but as usual, I have to shrink them down before I post them to the forum. I'll try to get to that tomorrow.



And to all a good night...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
It was fun reading you ride report. Whin I was 15 and a half, (that's how we measured our age back then), I had just gotten my drivers permit. It allowed one to ride a motorcycle, but not to carry a passenger. The area you were riding in used to be part of the Irvine Land Grant and was closed to most public access back then. I used to do a lot of water skiing in the back bay of Newport harbor and that was also part of the Irvine Land Grant. We used to ski almost every weekend and got to know the guys that took our money to launch our boat each weekend. When the season ended, they asked us if we wanted a key to use the area during the off season. We took the key and it was nice to extend our water skiing season, but I found an additional use of that key. Back in those days, El Toro road was only one lane in each direction and it turned to dirt just after the entrance to O'neil Park. Not too far after that, there was a gate across the road that had a chain made up of maybe 20 padlocks or so. One of those fit the Irvine key and I used to use it to sneak in and ride up to where the transmission towers were. I was always scared of getting caught, but never did. In June, I rode out there on my Goldwing because my second cousin was visiting my sister in Santa Ana and she wanted to go for a ride. I couldn't really think of any twisty roads, and then remembered O'neil park. Wow! I can't believe that El Toro road is 5 or 6 lanes in each direction now, there is no Marine base, and more houses then would seem possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Urban sprawl! It's still a two lane once you get far enough east, toward Cooks. I won't even get on El Toro where it's wide because of all the old drivers that come out of Seizure World, and the crazed shoppers out of the mall. Still, I make the effort because it is wild back there and it's the closest place to get off-road here in the OC. If you believed all the OC shows on TV, you wouldn't even think there were places like this left. Good. More for us! With everything open, I figure there are upwards of 150 miles of trails in Cleveland NF, but don't tell anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
Another road in OC that I used to love and would often ride two or three times a week was the Ortega Hwy from San Juan Capistrano to Elsinor. I rarely would see more than three or four cars from the time I left I-5 to the time I reached Elsinor city limits. Whoa!, the last time I rode it I saw no breaks in the cars in either direction. There has to be a lot of wrecks on that stretch of road these days.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top