Southern California just got another “Must Do” ride added to the annual list.
Cut to the chase: if you’re into this sort of riding, you really want to make sure you ride this next year.
The WW50 is a self-supported endurance ride similar in concept to our own San Jacinto Enduro. A single day ride, totally self-supported… up a bunch of mountains and back down a bunch of mountains. The whole shebang. Real deal big mountain riding. It’s put on by a guy who knows a thing or two about riding mountain bikes. Eric Nelson is a Tour Divide finisher, owner of Wrightwood Cyclery, and straight up good dude. A real ambassador of riding in his area.
My buddy Dave and I pulled in to Wrightwood at about 6:20am, 10 minutes before the start. Ideally we’d have spent the previous night in Wrightwood, but the realities of being a dad and a bike shop owner got in the way. And that’s a real shame, because Wrightwood is a cool town to spend some time in.
We huffed up to the line just before the start, and set off.
I hadn’t been on any of the trails before the ride and wasn’t familiar with the course, other than to know the first climb, Acorn, was supposed to be a real ass-kicker.
And it was.
Something like 2800ft of gain on loose trail within 4 miles… with a jaw-dropping view at the top.
The pack was starting to spread out by this point, and I followed the herd down Blue Ridge… and followed the rider in front of me right past my very first turn on the cues. I didn’t realize the error until some point much later in the ride, when I came across Eric. Turned out I missed a singletrack descent, and the following climb. Darnit.
So I decided to ride everything else and have a good time.
Ride highlights included “Leprechaun” trail, a thicket of shred interspersed with Troll (or leprechaun) artifacts.
“Manzanita” trail was my favorite; a high speed descent on loose terrain with the occasional death-defying maneuver… followed by a very long climb that demanded inner peace.
“Boy Scout” trail’s flow almost lulled me into a trance, but the moments of exposure to long drops off trail kept me alert.
Table Mountain Road? That sucked. Table Mountain Trail? That made it worth it. Super worth it.