Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the Barrett-Stoddard this morning...

A windy morning on the Barrett-Stoddard from Michael Wagner on Vimeo.

I hoped to escape the worst of the high winds expected to blow through today (gusts of up to 80 mph were forecast) by running up to the mountains. I thought the canyons might afford some protection. It did not seem to be the case. The sound of branches crashing to the ground all around as I traversed one of the more heavily wooded sections of trail was a bit unnerving. Other than that, though, it was a glorious day. Full sun, crisp and clear. The Barrett-Stoddard road begins just off the Mt. Baldy road, just before you get to Baldy Village. While it starts out as a rocky dirt road, in order to provide access for a small number of homes and cabins in Barrett Canyon, it changes to a double and single track trail a short distance past the little hamlet. 

Barrett Canyon is the dark wooded stretch of road, but once the road climbs out of the canyon the view opens up looking down into San Antonio Canyon and the city far below. There are a few stream crossings, and just prior to reaching the high point at a saddle below Stoddard Peak, it gets quite rocky. I am not the most adept mountain biker, especially when conditions become a little tricky, rocky, and technical, but I guess I have done this one enough now, that I can clear everything this trail offers up. Riders with more skill would probably call this trail easy, and most of it in fact is easy. It is also fun, and isolated; there was one couple out hiking with their dog, not far beyond Barrett Canyon, after that not a soul in sight. Be prepared. 

As I was descending today, back to the trailhead, I came around a bend and ran smack into a massive headwind which completely stopped all my forward momentum. If it had hit from the side, I probably would have been bowled over. As it was, I was momentarily suspended in place; then the gust passed on by, and I pedaled on my way.

Now, I don't have a GoPro, or any other similar trail camera for motion footage. I just used a Canon point and shoot and DSLR for stills. I also don't have the talent to allow me to ride with one hand while filming with the other when the trail or road turns to anything other than smooth. So, with a mini-tripod and velcro strap, I mounted the rig to my helmet, and it worked better than I expected it would. Not ideal, but it had to do.

1 comment:

  1. That's pretty cool. If we had trails like that around here, I might be more tempted to try mountain biking again. What usually passes for a trail in the Ozarks is more often a rock garden than anything else!

    Enjoyed the look at your ride!


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