We moved last weekend. It was pretty unexpected, and a super-quick move, and we’re still working on unpacking boxes and organizing our stuff. We had the long Thanksgiving weekend that I actually had bigger plans for before we were informed that we needed to move — maybe a trip up to the Sierras or out to the desert or something. We scrapped those plans since our place is currently a cluttered disaster.
I still want some adventure though! I should be organizing and cleaning up our office area, but I decided to attempt yet another backroad biking trip — a little loop that I was hoping would be bikable while towing little Mason.
It was another failure, but I did learn some things.
We drove up to the Pioneer Mail picnic area on Mt. Laguna. We had a nice little picnic lunch. Our little guy (now 15 months old) played in the dirt, wandered a bit, and even found the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs right next to the picnic area. He even started walking up it a good distance — and even in the right direction, north!
Walking north on the Pacific Crest Trail
After lunch, we loaded up our bikes and crossed the highway to begin our ride. Our goal was to do a loop, riding over Pine Mountain, connecting with Deer Park Road, and then riding up the paved Pine Creek Road. There was a nice and flat looking road that would take us back to the picnic area and our waiting car. Perfect!
We made it 3/4 of a mile before turning around.
The road was just a bit too rough. Some good rocks in places made it pretty bumpy for the little man riding in the trailer, and some decent little rises and drops made it pretty rough-going (these are even more difficult when the road grade is slanted to one side — don’t want to tip that trailer or have it go sliding). So, we turned around and walked a half-mile on the Pacific Crest Trail.
So, things I learned:
- Stick to improved gravel roads, not unimproved roads. The roads we’re attempting to ride out would be great for a mountain bike, if you’re not pulling a trailer, and your adorable kid.
- Whenever going on one of these bike trips, make sure to bring the kid carrier backpack. We could have hiked a bit more as a backup plan had I had our backpack with us.
- Look for private land. I had assumed that we were totally within Cleveland National Forest — I didn’t look at the map close enough to notice that the nice, long, flat road that we were going to use on our return crossed through onto private land. After trying our loop counter-clockwise didn’t work, we thought we would at least try it clockwise for a ways, out a nice, flat looking road, but we soon hit a gate when we hit the private land, so that didn’t work either.
Trying to find good backroads to ride on when pulling a kid trailer seems to be pretty difficult. Hopefully one of these days we’ll get it right. It will feel pretty great once we do.