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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after all that talk last week, I decided to hang the racks and panniers on the new Groove and give it a spin. That's a Nitto rear rack, and a Bruce Gordon front mountain rack. The BG is pretty nice - very well brazed and thoughtfully laid out. There's just enough room for low profile cantis.

Stay tuned for a couple scenic shots along with the requisite hardware closeups...
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chumash

We did a short trip up to Mt. Pinos, on the Grapevine near Frazier Park. The task was to take a GPS and map some cross country ski trails. But it was hard to follow the unmarked trails without snow (or ski tracks). So in the end we just pedaled the double track and had fun.

After a quick shakedown in the parking lot, el. 8300', we grinded up a couple miles to Condor Point at about 8800'. The top of Mt. Pinos is a sacred area for the Chumash indians, most of whom live in Ventura county. Pinos is prominent on their horizon and they believe all spirits pass through Pinos when ascending to heaven. Perhaps that explains all the ladybugs - swarms of them representing all the spirits of the past...
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lurid flora

Then we dropped back down the doubletrack and enjoyed the hard earned descent. Both racks performed well, although I only had perhaps 5-10 pounds in each. Not too much load, just enough to test the connections, sturdyness, and fill out the volume to look for heel clearance. No problems whatsoever.

We bushwacked (hike-a-bike) from First Meadow to Inspiration Point - totally missing the ski trail which was vaguely apparent after the fact. On a clear day you can see the snow capped Sierras, and the Mojave desert, but they were barely visible with the summer haze and of course the digicam lost what little detail there was.

Continuing the descent, we stopped to admire a lurid red plant sprouting from the otherwise dingy brown and green soil. We were bombing down a rutted doubletrack a fairly good speed, and that plant was perhaps 30 yards off our left shoulder (~8 inches tall), but it stood out like a tie die in a sea of camo!
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
rack wrapup

Well that's about all the photos we took. Most of the ride our hands were firmly holding the bars as we bumped down rutted rocky tracks. I know this is basically MTB content, but given all the commuters and pannier toters on this forum, I though someone might find this info handy. Anyway I don't do dude-speak very well and so avoid the MTBR forum!

The BG front rack is really nice. Due to the platform design, it moves weight forward and up from the steering axis and so it's not as stable as a true low rider. Standing still the fork tends to dive sideways. But once in motion it tracks surprisingly well and requires little input from the handlebars. So if you want the platform for extra stuff, it's not a bad compromise.

My first offroad experience with a rigid fork wasn't too bad, surprisingly. 35 pounds in the tires allowed some cushion. Not to mention the lightly loaded panniers seemed to keep the bike right-side-down on a couple occasions where I lost control and really launched into the air...

Did I mention the Carradice Super-C panniers? They're voluminous, huge in fact. I coulda probably fit both my blue commuter panniers in a single Super-C. The cotton duck is really well made and seems durable - although the small reflecters aren't much considering how dark the black fabric will appear at night. Will need to sew on extra reflection. Anyway, these panniers hold a lot of stuff but I'm not all concerned about them being too big. Gotta fit the kitchen sink.

So let's pack up the baggage, get out there and have some adventures!
 

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The lurid bit of vegetation is a snowflower, obviously not called that because of its appearance. They're pretty common on Mt. Pinos; we used to picnic up there and watch the condors when I was young, and some years we'd see dozens of snowflowers scattered around. Definitely an oddball, but odd is good...
 

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"It's alive!"
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1,454 Posts
Mt. Pinos

I love Mt. Pinos! Next time, take me! I'll meet you in Santa Clarita, and we'll drive up from there. Of course, I am fat and slow, so maybe you'd do better without me.

BTW: I was a folklore and mythology major in college. I did my big junior year project on Chumash folklore. Recently, I did quite a bit of research on the Chumash for a book I just wrote. So, I could inundate you with Chumash stories while we rode up the mountain.

Yours,

FBB
 
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