Sunday, July 12, 2009

El Prieto Revisited

On Saturday I did another 42 mile mtb ride out to El Prieto. It was absurdly hot: in the sun it was just over 100F. I also think I've developed exercise-induced asthma from living in LA. I just could not fill my lungs during the ride and was short on breath for several hours after I got home. Despite putting down 3 liters of water on the ride, I just collapsed when I got home and couldn't move for a long time. I've got a doctor's appointment on Wednesday for the potential asthma thing. It's been a problem on most hard workouts lately and hopefully I can get it taken care of somehow (short of moving away from LA, which isn't an option for at least a couple years).

Anyway, enough of my suffering in the heat. It was a good ride and I managed to clear more of it. For some reason I have a much harder time with right-hand switchbacks than left-hand switchbacks, but I'm working on it. Reversing my feet seems to help. Here are more pictures (all taken from the bottom of descents):

It took me a while to be able to ride this section. The key is choosing the correct line. Even though the line on the right looks better, it's actually quite unpleasant and delivers you directly into that big rock in the center. The line on the left looks ugly, but is actually very manageable.

This turn I absolutely refuse to ride. This picture simply does not capture how steep that embankment is on the right, nor does it highlight the 15ft ledge on the left waiting for you if you overcook the turn. Life's already short enough.

I cleared this one once, but haven't tried in a while. The last time I tried it I clipped that tree up on the left that juts out into the trail and went down the rock garden off balance (again steeper than it looks; this cell phone camera does a bad job of capturing slopes) and nearly endo'd, saving myself by body-checking the rock wall towards the bottom. All in all, an unpleasant experience that could have been much worse so I walk it now.

Requisite squirrel picture for Carie.

Speaking of mountain biking, Chet of Chet's Log fame recently had a nasty crash and is in the hospital with a broken neck. They were able to repair it and he should recover, but it's scary nonetheless. Good thoughts for you, Chet! Get better soon!


  1. Hey, that's cool! I've never been to mount biking before. Here in Malaysia, I find it easier to go for jungle trekking. Wish I can try mount biking soon.
    Enjoy your blog by the way, and I hope more people will enjoy it the way I do *wink* Do join AdExcel for free at so that more people will visit your blog ya!
    Keep bloggin'. You rocks!

  2. Wow, pickin' up some "fans" there.

    Next time you come to Tahoe I'll take you down the Tyrolean downhill. You'll dig it.

  3. I find it's really hard to relay the steepness of mtb trails in photographs. Regardless, those do look steep, so I can imagine they are quite terrifying in real life! There are a number of similar conundrums on trails around here that I refuse to ride. I'm totally with you when you say life is too short.

    Rob from livejournal