The road trip is going well. After arriving in California, I was able to ride with my friend John in Nevada City. The trails were WAY better than I had expected, and that’s really saying something since my expectations were already pretty high!
I spent about a week in the San Francisco Bay Area where I spent the majority of my time with family and friends. I was able to get two rides in, one at Calero and one at the UC trail system in Santa Cruz, but the results were less than fantastic.
My next stop was southern California. I spent a day with my Daughter, we went to see John Mayer in Los Angeles one night! About 200 hugs and a day later, I was once again looking for places to ride.
I stumbled upon a trail system in an area that Trailforks calls “Tujunga”, meaning “Old Woman’s Place”. It is located in the canyon hills above San Fernando and Sunland. The roads take you back into the deep canyons where the mountains rise abruptly and the rocky trails look menacing.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at the trailhead, there was no productive way to cross the river to start the ride. This issue was compounded by the massive amount of vandalism and garbage strewn about the riverbank. I must say that I found the entire situation off-putting to the point that I decided to call off the ride and return to my hotel with my proverbial tail between my legs.
It was a day of defeat, for sure, but I decided to rally my efforts and work on finding a place to ride the next day. Since I was staying near Topanga Canyon, and I had such a great experience riding that area a few years ago, I started looking at nearby trail systems.
Gizmo Peak, near Westridge Canyonback Trails, looked like a good place where I could catch some dirt while staying fairly close to town. There were some climbs and the trails seemed to provide a lot of options if I wanted to extend the ride at any point.
It looked like a great place to enjoy the valley views.