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Agua Frio

2061 Views 23 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Duzitall
Yesterday, we did one of the classic, backcountry rides in the 909. Coldwater.

We drove up from San Diego, prepped and primped... and got started about 9:00 ish.

Things start out with a long fireroad grinder, about 9 miles, or so. It gets mindnumbingly ugly towards the last mile...but, the views are off the hook!

So, yeah...we grind up Indian Truck Trail starting from waaay down there by the freeway, near Lake Elsinore. We're probably a third of the way up ITT at this point. Squint really hard and you can see Evan and Granny rounding the closest switchback.

Nearing the top..we stop to break and refuel. We've still got one final push to go...up to that peak. About 3/4 of a mile. a freak of nature. The guy rides perhaps once a month, and still manages to slog his 45 pound DH Knolly up climbs like this. Freak!

Final push to the summit. But, wait......

DFT, Evan, and Granny decide that they've had enough of this blasted fireroad nonsense, and cut off to hike a bike up to the sumit, via Holy Jim. Me, not being that smart...I continue up the fireroad. It would almost break my spirit as a result.

About 2 hours later we finally summit and immedietly go into power lounge mode. We would soon be rewarded with the fruits of our labor.

Granny eyes up the loose, steep, scree filled cornice... that DFT broke his hand on a few years back. You drop in between the opening in the two bushes, up top.

And we're off. Buckle up, this is an E ticket ride. There's a portion of this first mile that is the oddest trail surface I've ever ridden. It's best described as the wood chip-type stuff you would find lining the bottom of a hamster cage. The roosters coming off of the tires, is a trip!

Granny gets things started with the first of many super tight, and loose switches.

Then, Evan follows suit.

So far, so good.

Here comes the kitty litter.

This switchback was brutal. Steep, slidy and really off camber. The consistency of the dirt? Think, a catbox that belongs to a feline with a bladder problem. There really was only one line to clean it, and that was just dropping the front wheel in the inside rut, like a slot car, and just letting the rut guide you through it.

Evan made it look trivial, nailing it on his first attempt. Slow and smooth. Note the ball of roots(on the inside), just waiting to rip your foot off.

I must have made 6-7 attempts on this thing and just finally said "Uncle". Each time I would get to about this point, and get stuck in a trackstand. It was just too steep and loose for me to regain my line.

DFT goes back for another helping.

"Lemme try just one more time". And, each subsequent attempt I made, I just chewed up the apex and made more of a mess.

Eff it... let's move on.

Time for some HAB-age.

This section is beyond steep. You know that sick feeling in your stomach you get as the roller coaster crests that long rickety climb, and it's "Hold we go!!!" Same vibe on this one. Avoiding the rut down the middle is not gonna happen. SO, you just try to modulate your entry speed as best as you can. But, there quickly comes a point when gravity takes over and you just have to hope that things work out for the best. It's a controlled, steep, slide, with your front wheel in that rut.

"Lock and Load".

DFT got a clean on this one. Evan and Granny had good runs. However, the bottom has a mean right hand turn, and it is difficult to make without a dab. Hell, if you made it to the bottom in one piece, I'd consider that as an accomplishment. I came down this thing in a full sideways tripod, front wheel in the rut, with both brakes fully clamped. And, I was still accelerating! Just a sketch section.

Ugly, steep, loose, rutted, chute.

There was one final feature as we exited into a quarry. It was a steep roll about 75 feet long and about a 75 degree pitch. I think Even got some shots of it. But, that's it for my pics.

Such a great backcountry ride. Pure up and pure down.

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Thanks Aqua

I was wondering what that trail was like.
Wow Aqua - nice capture on film/RAM... I went up there MANY years ago - if I recall I was riding my Mt. Tam so it was between '84 and '86 most likely. That slog up WAS mind-numbing - I don't really remember if from the countless other ones I have done over the decades, but I do remember the kitty-litter! Kudos to you for grinding that out on the SS! You're an animal.
Quite a range of bikes! That looked awesome. You're lucky to have a nice place like that to ride.
Nice Aqua. thanks for the invite. sorry i missed it

Great pictures. However I am confused.........what business or products are you trying to sell:confused:
29Inches said:
Great pictures. However I am confused.........what business or products are you trying to sell:confused:


Thanks Enel

Enel said:


Agua's marketing isn't as direct as what we are used to............
Aquaholic said:
Note the ball of roots there just waiting to rip your foot off of your inside pedal.
If you had the AM Fo'skey, you could just flex the BB outward to avoid the roots.

Awesome pictures and story.
Thanks for the hit Aqua. Might be hitting SD and LA for weddings next year, and wondering if biking is in the cards... Curious, what gear ratio did you use for this ride?
Drevil said:
Thanks for the hit Aqua. Might be hitting SD and LA for weddings next year, and wondering if biking is in the cards... Curious, what gear ratio did you use for this ride?
Back to work in the snow? Did you have to ride the Fat Front?
spanish has adjective-noun gender agreement, so

agua fria.

Looks like a good ride:thumbsup:

Jeff here, remember we met at Noble a few weeks back when I got seperated from my riding partner Robert. Anyway, we were right in front of you guys going down Coldwater Saturday. Saw your cars at the bottom.

What an awsome day it was on Coldwater, spectacular views and moist dirt. Good job capturing the day in pictures.
Here's a sample of one of the Coldwater steeps.

It sure doesn't look that ugly in the vid clip, eh?

Granny's run.

DEEEFFTEEE with the clean!
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Fo, what's up, why weren't you on the ride with that fancy new titanium hardtail?
Very nice- a couple of those pics made me cringe and thinking about climbing on that Knolly almost made me puke.

However, it is pretty pathetic that you are not creating a spam signature and telling us about the brands you sell... over...and over...and over...
snowdrifter said:
Fo, what's up, why weren't you on the ride....?
Ohhh Boyyyyy...don't even get me started!!!!!
I can't really add much to Aqua's writeup except for some pics:

DFT's adjustable travel boxxer

It worked well as he kicked my a$$ up the hill

Slow and steady was the only way for some of us

The odd couple: The knolly weighs in at 45lb. The jones, 22. :eekster:

Gorgeous views east and west. Looking out west towards water

Granny checks out the view

Main divide below us

Lone tree with snow capped mountains in the background

Token handlebar shot

First tight switchback. This one gave me the most trouble out of all of them

A lot of ridgeline descending on this trail

Brief rest stop

Looking N-NE towards San bernardinos

Another rutted, tight, steep switchback


This was the hardest switchback on the day for everyone. Somehow I managed to clean it first try. I think if I had seen a lot of these attempts first I might not have fared so well.

DFT, try 1

My run, thx to Aqua for this pic

You had to go just wide enough with the front that your rr tire would stay tight to the inside, and then steer back in tight at the bottom to stay on the higher ground. It was steep and off camber most of the way around which is what made it so tough. If one wheel sunk into the lower line, you were done for.

Taking the lower exit looked do-able but no one was able to pull it off. DFT tries it here.

I think it was try #3 when DFT got it.

Aqua tried every possible entry and exit and none of them were working.

Granny wasn't having any better luck

There were two sections that were out of control steep. Maybe 150 ft long or so? I've ridden stuff that is steeper than this and I've ridden run-outs that were longer than this, but I've never ridden anything that was so steep that you are pretty much out of control for such a long distance.

DFT drops in, nice and slow

30ft down he's already in the rut and sliding

Going back for another try. It was so steep, for every 3 steps forward you would slip 1 or 2 steps back. That was the hardest push up I've ever done. This pic actually gives a decent idea of steepness.

Granny looks on while Tom gets set to drop this last steep

Bombs away!

I was having doubts about riding this section, as that last turn in the chute is just plain nasty. But as with the other two steeps above, walking it would be near to impossible, so riding it is really the only option.

Granny drops in

That was pretty much it for the trail. We were riding around the quarry to get out when we came to another roadblock, a 70 degree steep embankment. While the rest of us were looking for a way down or around it, DFT was sizing it up. Turned out, once again, this was the only way down and walking it was not an option.

DFT checks it out

Its steeper than it looks. This was the only view that did it any justice

Aqua shows us how its done on the fully rigid

Granny is the last man down

We rode around the west side of the quarry and found a gate we could sneak out. And that's all she wrote!

This was one of the better rides I've done in a long time. I wouldn't say this trail is for everyone. Before you set out to ride it make sure you've got a handle on steep, loose, rutted switchbacks, and steep, loose, rutted descents.

Thanks DFT for the invite. Pleasure riding with you guys...we'll have to ride again in the new year!
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