I got an invite from Erik to ride on Sunday around Strawberry Peak in Angeles National Forest. The area has been closed for a few years since the Station Fire in 2009 but has recently re-opened, which is exciting news. The loop was going to be mostly singletrack with only the first part of the climb on a fireroad. We parked the truck at the parking lot for Switzers and rode up the highway to the start of the dirt. Right at the start I had an issue with my bike. My derailluer hangar was bent and I kept throwing the chain. Erik helped to get it back aligned and while it was finicky, it managed to make it the rest of the day without any issues.
After the fireroad we started up the singletrack. I was admittedly out of my element, but that’s why I was out there. I wanted to push myself and spend time learning to ride tight singletrack better. I was pretty nervous for a chunk of it and had to walk a few sections. Either because I lost momentum and it was steep, or because I looked down. Don’t look down! Look where you want to go and not where you don’t want to end up!
We made our way around the peak and on the backside we dropped down to a sandy flat. The descent was pretty sketchy with all the loose sand and exposed dropoffs so we walked parts of it.
After the meadow we climbed pack up to the saddle. It was slow going at the start. Lots of pushing and hiking and the Stoke Meter was dropping into negative numbers on that section. It’s funny how a ride can so quickly change when there is not much riding happening. It wasn’t long before we made the saddle and the Stoke Meter started to climb back up again. The descent down the 2 near Red Box was super fun and fast. I felt like I was figuring things out and was feeling more confident. What a blast!
Look closely and you can see Erik.
We made it to Red Box where I enjoyed a refreshing beverage as Serbrina calls them. From there it was about 4 miles or so more back to the truck. This final section of single track had it all. Rock gardens, sand, drops, rock steps and fast sections. It was the most fun and also the most challenging section. It was also the section where I started cleaning more obstacles. Confidence inspiring was how I would describe that section. Only problem was that I was having so much fun I didn’t take any pics! Guess that means I’ll have to go back. Thanks for a great day out on the bike Erik!