Those mountains between Griffith Park and the San Gabriel range — the ones rising up north of Glendale and Burbank, were historically my favorite place to go get a little mountainbiking in large part because of their proximity to where I live and because mountainbiking isn’t a crime there like it is in Griffith and Elysian parks. I say historically, because until last weekend as evidenced in the following timelapse of my uphill ride Sunday along the Beaudry North fireroad to Tongva Peak, it had been more than three years since I’d put my mountainbike’s treads to the Verdugos’ trails.
Despite not being the most wildnernessy and scenic place in the county, the Verdugos are home to a notable array of wildlife including bobcats, coyotes, mule deer, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, opossums, along with various reptiles, amphibians, birds and bugs, most of which I’ve encountered. I even had the pleasure of coming across a rare coastal horned lizard during one trek way back in 2003.
So why the hiatus? Well, all the bike commuting I’ve been doing is largely to blame for my extended dearth of dirt riding, but I’m in the beginning stages of reversing that trend with morning rides every week or two either there or in the not-much-further-away Angeles National Forest above Altadena. And as something of an offshoot to our notorious IAAL•MAF bike gang infamous for any variety of group rides, I’d like to extend an invite to anyone with a mountainbike (or a set of knobby tires that’ll fit on their hybrid/commuter) and an interest in getting above it all to join me one of them there weekend mornings.
So stay hear and listen to the crickets chirping or go for more info after the jump.
First and foremost, my offroad rides are civilized affairs designed to enjoy the journey and the place and minimize any impact on the trail, the wildlife or on other trail users. I try to be an ambassador for the sport. I don’t go fast coming down and certainly not going up. So even if you and your legs are new to such a thing, don’t manufacture any discouragement worrying about being able to keep up or catching 10 feet of air coming off a jump. As a jealous protector of remaining upright and uninjured: I don’t jump. I fall sometimes, but I don’t jump.
All told the Beaudry path out and back from trailhead (pinpointed location) to Tongva Peak is about six miles roundtrip. Elevation gain is something like 1,500 feet over the course of 2.8 miles — which offers a grade that will definitely provide a work out. Efforts are rewarded by some pretty nice vistas.
Barring an early morning change of heart, I’m planning to do a ride tomorrow setting out from the trailhead at 9:30 a.m. Next weekend I may take aim at the Gabrielino Trail up past JPL. Wanna join me in the fun one o’ these days? Cool: mail me at wildbell at g mail dot com.