Archive | Rides

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Rejuvenation Celebration on The Hill- Idyllwild Opening Again

Posted on 21 July 2013 by Brendan

The evacuation order for the Idyllwild area was just lifted. Locals are filing back in to town and beginning the return to normalcy.

The Mountain Fire has over the past week led us to the verge of heartbreak, and consumed our thoughts… but it has also grown our community closer to one another, forged new friendships and reinforced community bonds. I for one feel even better connected with the town I love after this fire than I did before. I am extremely proud to be a part of Idyllwild. Now it’s time to give back.

The imagery & coverage on TV news has been daunting and scary, but I’m here to tell you: To many, Idyllwild will appear pretty much the same. Some folks lost their homes- friends of ours, and fixtures of the community- but our town and vast swaths of our natural resources were spared thanks to the outstanding efforts by fire personnel working the Mountain Fire. We stand strong and ready to open for business again soon.

Many of our mountain bike trails remain unchanged. The “middle May Valley” area got burned and will take time to rebirth, but mainstay trails at Hurkey Creek, the Hub system, Thomas Mountain, and more all remain unscathed.


We want your support.
Local businesses will have been effectively closed for a week. As many of you know, Idyllwild depends on your visits for our economic health. Restaurant wait staff haven’t been earning tips, stylists & barbers haven’t been cutting hair, and storekeeper’s doors have been shuttered. The list goes on.

Come up for a visit- spend a weekend with us in town. Here’s some activities for you to consider this coming weekend:

-Saturday, July 27th, 9am at Hub Cyclery
Rejuvenation Ride and Cyclists’ Moment of Thanks: Please join us at The Hub for a Rejuvenation Ride around town followed immediately by a MTB ride at the Hub system.
The town ride and Cyclists’ Moment of Thanks is open to all rider abilities and bicycle types. Expect a leisurely, social pace and a stop for a moment to give thanks to the remarkable men and women who’ve worked so hard to preserve our town and way of life. We will gather for a group photo during the moment of thanks to share with the world.
After that, we’ll hit the trails at the Hub system for some of the finest Singletrack Idyllwild has to offer. ;-)

-Sunday, July 28th 10-noon at the ICRC site on Hwy 243
Sunday Bike Rodeo: Bring your kids, bikes, helmets, and safety gear for a FREE safety check, helmet & pad inspection, and kids skills course. Expect a relaxed atmosphere and a fun time with your little ones.

In conjunction with either day’s event, please consider donating to the Idyllwild Help Center. Financial donations can be made here, or we will be accepting non-perishable food items at the shop and during upcoming events.

We will have more info on next weekend’s events soon on our website and on our Facebook page. Stay tuned or call the shop with any questions. Please consider making a weekend of it, staying in our campgrounds or inns, eating from our restaurants, and shopping at our stores.

We appreciate your support!

Brendan Collier

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Overnighter in Garner Valley

Posted on 11 December 2012 by Brendan

We busted out a sub-24 a week ago in an unsung local area with a nearly full moon.


Errin and Bruce joined us from LA, and locals Nick & Robin chaperoned the party. We made our way out from the shop mid/late day down into the May Valley system and out into the land of sand, tri-tip, and gold mines that seemingly only ever produced broken dreams.







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2012 San Jacinto Enduro in the Books.

Posted on 30 October 2012 by Brendan

The year of the single track.

What can I say? We had a great ride. This year’s San Jacinto Enduro was mile-for-mile tougher than any year before. The difference between the 45 mile route and the 60 mile route was significant, the equivalent of climbing an extra mountain.

We took a new approach to the ride this year. Beyond offering a fun time for everyone to get together for a ride, we decided it was high time to leverage the opportunity to help out own local community. We asked for donations to the Idyllwild Help Center to stock the food bank shelves. Going into Fall, we figured this was an especially timely opportunity.
A cursory count shows us mountain bikers raised about 300 food items for the Help Center!

And we had a good time doing it.

The ride was hard, the weather was great, and the vibe was chill. Kids, and grown up kids alike all had a great time. Thanks to everyone who came out. On to the pics…







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Backcountry Family Experiment: Kokopelli’s Trail

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Brendan

We are heading out on an entirely new family adventure.

This afternoon, the Collier family will depart on Kokopelli’s Trail, a 140 mile trail linking mountain bike towns Fruita, CO to Moab, UT. What’s that you say? Crazy? It might be. But then again, maybe it’s not crazy. It might be a ton of fun.

The jist of it is this: Mary & I (Brendan) will be relaying the ride, taking turns riding and leapfrogging the other rider with our son. We will car camp along the route. We might even ride some of the trail with the kiddo in tow, where the terrain will allow it. We will do our best to keep a businesslike pace on the trail, but be sure to put that on balance with family time in camp.
It’s a grand experiment for us, integrating our family roles with the bike-based adventure lifestyle we’ve enjoyed for so long. We will be taking notes of what works and what doesn’t, and sharing them for other parents to consider.
We have set up a Spot Satellite Tracker Shared Page where you can follow along.


We will update the blog as we are able to.
We’re leaving Moab now to the Loma start. See you on the other side of the rabbit hole.

-Brendan, Mary, and Alexander.

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May ValleyCat was a hit!

Posted on 30 July 2012 by Brendan

The May ValleyCat fundraiser went off this past weekend, it was a huge success.


Didn’t hear about it? We were raising funds for the newly reformed Idyllwild Cycling Club, which is taking on a new focus as an advocacy group under president Wayne Sleme and partnering with IMBA to assure access to local trails and get the May Valley Trail system formerly dedicated by the USFS.


How’d we do it? Turns out it was pretty simple; we just asked people who’ve been enjoying the trails to get involved. We asked people to donate to the cause, and threw together a new ride idea, which loosely followed the urban alley cat ride concept. We called it the May ValleyCat. We were each issued a passport and a trail map marked with semi random checkpoints throughout the May Valley trail system. When we rode to those spots there was a stamp pad waiting for us. Voila! Credentials.

Our goals for the day were to raise funds for the new group and to actively engage trail users in advocacy efforts. And to have a good time doing it.
We managed to raise about $1100 from a single morning fundraiser. Not bad scratch to get the coffers filled and the process underway. (we prepared this maybe 3 weeks ago)
The ride, which followed no set route and saw us meandering all over the valley, was joined by more than 40 people. We broke into small groups and gave informal tours of the local goods.
After the ride, we met on the deck for food and good times. We celebrated as we more than doubled our fundraising goal, and laid the groundwork for an organized trail advocacy effort in Idyllwild.


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Juan Diego Flat / Cahuilla Mountain sub 24

Posted on 25 June 2012 by Brendan

Robin and I headed out on a quick overnighter last Friday.
The MO: punch out from work on Friday and roll from the trail at 5:30. I’d loaded my bike ahead of time and just needed to stop by the market for some grab & go items. Namely, a sandwich and a can of beer. We were rolling in no time.


The destination was a place called Juan Diego Flat. Neither of us had been there before and I specifically wanted to “onsight” a camping spot. Between the topographic information and the word “flat” we figured it was promising. We wondered who Juan Diego could have been.
I hadn’t packed with Robin before, or seen his gear. Cool stuff with lots of waxed canvas & leather from Swift Industries, rando style.



The riding up Thomas Mountain was cool and visually stunning. The descent down the backside was fast and thrilling.



We arrived before dark, found a spot under some cottonwoods and proceeded to chow down, potluck style. Sleep came easily.



The morning ride led us to a placard denoting Juan Diego’s death, and a ride high above camp with a view of hot air balloons launching from Temecula. We proceeded through the (wild) west of Anza to resupply. “Dusty” road was true to name.



From Anza we found a trail I’m calling “Jim Junior” that led us to the familiar Jim Truck Trail, on up to a hike a bike on to Thomas Mountain. We parted ways coming in to Garner Valley. I visited some folks at Cow Pie Springs and made the way back to Idyllwild on trail. Back in town by 2 pm with plenty of weekend ahead. Bam! Sub 24.



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Of Races and Rattlesnakes….

Posted on 14 June 2012 by joshuaweinfeld

Life is what happens while you’re making other plans. That’s a truism I’ve believed at times in my life, but after the past 4 days, I’m not really sure what those other plans might have been. What I assumed would be the center point of the weekend was a 12hour race in the desert. 12hr of Temecula to be precise. It’s a fantastic endurance series race here in Southern California that happens three times a year. I’ve raced it before, but this would be my first time racing it under the banner and watchful care of Siren Bikes.

Personally, I may be a bit of an endurance junkie. I love the long miles and the long hours in the saddle. Siren being run by Brendan and Mary Collier, it’s a perfect match. Those two define endurance racing. The short of it was that we came, we represented hard and went home with some medals. In between all of that, Brendan grilled up some kickass carne asada and I seem to recall both of the Brian’s that were in attendance had the foresight to keep enough beer cold and flowing. Races are in fact, cool. If you’re racing on a team, and you’ve got good teammates (as was the case with our Siren 4 person team) you’ll get to put in fast hours and have time to hang out in the pits and soak in the race scene vibe. Hundreds of like-minded people on bicycles. Awesomeness. If you’re a solo rider, like myself, you live for seeing the photographs from after the race. It’s sort of hard to experience anything beyond the suffering and mental anguish of riding your bike in hot, dusty circles for HOURS. The first hour is avoiding the adrenaline surge either by getting out ahead of the pack or hanging back, letting them all burn out fast and then picking them off one by one. By hour two or three, you’ve settled into a groove that will most likely determine your placing at the end of the race. Assuming that you can hang on. Hours four and five you’re able to pick up the pace a little bit, but still in a groove. You know your lines, you know where you like to throw in, where you get to have some speed fun. You also know where to throttle so that you don’t blow up early on the climbs. Because by hour 12, those climbs won’t have gotten any smaller. By hour six to seven, you start wondering why in the world you’re spending your entire Saturday going in circles in a hot, dusty, desert environment? Did I mention hot and dusty? At some point in the heat, food starts to become completely unappealing, which as you can probably figure out, when racing…is bad. I’m pretty sure that I struggled to stay fueled all day on very little besides oranges, bananas and avocados. Yup, whole avocados. And that’s about it. As your brain boils on each and every climb, you keep reminding yourself how thankful you are for avocados and their fatty deliciousness. Hours eight and nine roll around bringing some much appreciated relief from the heat. There is even a sense of relief that it’s almost over, maybe now is a good time to start turning the gas back on. Remember, it’s a bike race? Somewhere between hours ten and twelve that back pain rears it’s head again reminding you that you aren’t quite home free.


Photo Credit: Krista Adamek

But who cares? You’ve been pedaling solidly and turning laps since breakfast. What’s a little body pain at this point? You’re handling the bike and probably kicking a lot of ass. Hour twelve is the best. You know it’s the end, somewhere you found a reserve to sprint to the finish. And if you’re lucky enough to have a pit like the one I was racing with….There is someone there to hand you a beer.

Sunday was slow recovery and a drive back home to Idyllwild. I’m pretty sure I spent the day eating ice cream. Monday was also slatted to be a day of recovery, so I took a short spin into town to see Brendan and spin my legs out. While I was hanging in the bike shop, I met a couple of riders who had come up from San Diego. Rebecca Tomaszewski and her friend Bill Fehr. Bill, as it turns out, is from North Carolina. And Rebecca has spent time in the beautiful mountains of NC as well…Oh I’m liking this already…there was going to be much talk about Chicken Biscuits and Fried Okra….As I was in “recovery mode”, but not liking to miss out on a ride with new friends, I grabbed a couple of water bottles and took them out to the Hub Trails. In a word, the Hub Trails are AWESOME. Miles and miles and miles of flowy singletrack, which goes in and out of a light canopy. We hadn’t been on the trail for a single one of those miles yet, when we came flying around the corner into what would be my closest encounter ever with a rattlesnake, and this is where real life started happening. As I was rounding the corner, I saw what must have been at least 5 feet long and 6 inches around crossing the trail less than three feet in front of me. The snake must have noticed me just as I noticed him. It stopped it’s forward progression, pulled back, turned it’s head toward me and let loose the loudest rattle I have ever heard. In that micro-second, I put everything I had into both brakes, thinking I would just lay the bike down so that the bike was between me and the snake and I would make a hasty retreat in the direction I just came. As all good plans go, that wasn’t exactly how it went down. I had two handfuls of brake which somehow sent me into a full on endo TOWARDS the snake. I was closing the gap between me and the snake at what seemed like a much faster rate than if I was still pedaling the bike. The bike was going vertical, with the front wheel down and the rear wheel going skyward, and as it was heading skyward, the rear wheel passed it’s apex and as it was becoming horizontal again, I realized the gap between me and the snake was halved again. So now the bike is tumbling over itself, handlebars spun around backwards, rear wheel getting closer to the snake sooner than the front wheel, and I am somehow still holding onto the bike. In the next micro second, I got my right foot unclipped, over the top tube and started running BACKWARDS towards Rebecca and Bill. The bike was still hurling forwards towards the snake and I was somehow propelling myself in the other direction, all the while, neither of my feet had actually touched the ground yet.

Boy, that snake was pissed. I could almost feel the rattle inside my head. And it was getting louder.
The bike was now on the ground, completely twisted into a position that was unridable, and I was well on my way away from it. Rebecca and Bill were grinning that goofy grin you get the first time you ride new single track. And unbeknownst to them just 10 minutes earlier, they were going to be treated to a floor show by the crazy local.

Photo Credit: Bill Fehr

“Man that was an awesome nose wheelie you just pulled! You ride BMX?” – Bill

“………………”, That was the most I could get out of my mouth.

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2012 Season Opener

Posted on 02 April 2012 by Brendan

We’re officially calling the start of the 2012 Idyllwild riding season.

As the snow melts off, the creeks have started flowing a little higher and flowers around town are budding. The trails are opening up and running great with sticky dirt. With the aroma of Pine, Ribbonwood, and Sage, it even smells like spring.

This last weekend, we got our first shop ride in with Chris from San Diego, a guy who we didn’t know before. Like so many in-season shop rides past, by the end it was all hugs & high-fives.










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Coyote Canyon / Bailey’s Cabin Overnighter

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Brendan

We left the Friday punch clock and literally rode off into the sunset. 

Carter, Dave, Joshua, and I left The Hub around 5pm Friday, just as the evening alpenglow was starting to wash over the mountain. We were “out there” in no time.

The evening’s destination was Bailey’s Cabin, a rock house built some 70 years go by cattlemen. It’s in Coyote Canyon, part of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The prospect of a roof over our heads was especially alluring on a cold night.

To get there, we charted a route using a minimal amount of asphalt. We climbed a portion of Thomas Mountain and descended into Anza valley. We passed a property we’ve come to refer to as “the chainsaw house.”

Just before we entered the canyon, a friendly motorcyclist rode up alongside us… chatty, he told us about his own mountain bike adventures. He explained to us where he lives, and offered us water and assistance anytime we should want it in the future. (all this while shouting over the sound of his engine, in the dark, riding alongside us)

We dropped into the canyon, lights on, with a sliver of the moon above. Glancing over the edge, all we could see was darkness. A lot of it. We pedaled on down canyon at a good pace, dodging the occasional mouse.

When we arrived at the cabin we got settled, foraged some wood, and enjoyed a small fire. (aka “Caveman TV”) The stars above put on quite a show.

We’d packed food with us from Idyllwild. For future reference, the Grill & Chill sandwiches pack well, as do burritos. ;-)

Three of us decided to sleep outside, but Carter opted to keep the resident cabin rat company. Sleep came quickly, and deep.

Day 2

We woke up with the sun around 6am, enjoyed a light breakfast and lamented the fact we had no coffee.


We bid our cabin farewell and started our day of riding. The midsection of the canyon is explicitly closed to motorized traffic, so the riding became more technical in sandy wash and rock gardens. The Middle Willows are a bit of an unexpected paradise in this slice of desert; spring fed year round, and canopied in green.

We emerged back on to roads south of the Middle Willows in Jeep territory. The lower section of the canyon wasn’t too sandy, we made great time.

Coming into Borrego Springs, Joshua’s bike suffered a mishap that would keep him one place for quite some time. (broken frame! true story) Thankfully, he had plans for a pick up to catch a flight that evening anyhow. ;-)

We feasted on Mexican food and stocked up on high calorie offerings from the store before hitting pavement up Montezuma’s Grade. Not familiar with this climb? It’s as grand and imposing as the name would imply.
The climb really took its toll, we wrapped up our day at the top of the climb in Ranchita and called Mary for a pick up. Though we’d originally planned to ride all the way back to Idyllwild, we were all happy to shoot the breeze with Ranchita locals and explore their community park before getting picked up. We lounged in the grass and even got some new route beta from a local retired firefighter. The next trip won’t be too far off, I’m sure.

By the end of our adventure, we were only gone from home about 24 hours. But it was so good it felt like many more.

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Tuesday Alleycat and Film Screening

Posted on 25 June 2011 by SirenMary

Next Tuesday we have the pleasure of screening 23 Feet, a documentary, in Idyllwild. We took this opportunity as an excuse for another bike ride, with so many outdoors enthusiasts in town.

We will start at the shop at 6:30. The ride is an alleycat style ride (yeah, spoke card and all!) which will take you to some Idyllwild highlights and eventually meander over to the film screening. We’re going to roll out at 6:30 so we can get to the film on time with enough room for sight seeing.

Here’s a preview from the film – time for some summer fun in Idyllwild!

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