REPORT FROM BOTH SPANGLER HILLS OUTINGS: by Chas Moser
TBSA had two consecutive outings at Spangler Hills; the first was the
regularly scheduled outing in January at Stephen’s Mine Road and the second was
an impromptu outing over the first full week in February, staging at Searles
Station. Only Larry, Karin and Chas were able to attend the January outing as
both Keith and Vicki were ill and Robin & Glenda were on vacation. Since the
riding conditions and weather were so perfect in January, plus the fact that
Larry had some business dealings relating to a special trailer hitch
installation in Ridgecrest, we decided to have another outing at Spangler Hills
- this time staging at Searles Station. The second outing was attended by the
Masons, the Heplers, and Chas.
January Outing with Larry, Karin, and Chas: Noteworthy were the mild weather conditions with 65-70 degree daytime temps and low 40’s at night. Larry and Chas had three great rides including one at Bean Canyon, which is about 60 miles south of Spangler Hills, with the bikes transported in Chas’ Sprinter van. Note that both Larry and Chas climbed the infamous Hanna’s Hill successfully for the second consecutive time. The riding in the Mojave Desert at Spanglers and surrounding areas including Bean Canyon is really superb, with most any type of riding condition one could ask for, including limitless single-track, sand washes, hill climbs, etc. On Friday evening Larry, Karin and Chas enjoyed a great Mexican Buffet in Ridgecrest, which specializes in really great prime rib on Fridays.
February Outing with Keith, Vicki, Larry, Karin, and Chas: The riding conditions were again just about ideal and, with only three riders, dust was never an issue. We took four rides including another trip to Bean Canyon. The 40-mile ride on Tuesday in and around Spangler Hills was really great for the most part, with Larry leading for the first half and Keith the second half. At about 11:30 AM Chas took a low speed spill in a rocky area, injuring his elbow (even with elbow guards). The fall also broke his Beta front brake lever. At our lunch stop Chas noticed a rather disturbingly large hematoma swelling on his right elbow. Back at camp Chas checked his brake lever inventory and found two brake levers, neither of which fit the Beta. A phone call to Desert Cycle in Ridgecrest found a proper brake lever replacement. After picking up the brake lever, Chas then stopped by the Ridgecrest ER to have them examine his elbow. After taking several X-rays and finding no structural damage, they bandaged up his elbow and sent him on his way. Early the next morning Chas decided that he would go to Bean Canyon with Keith and Larry. The ride started out well with no untoward events until Larry slipped off a steep narrow trail and needed help getting his bike up to the trail. Keith and Chas parked their bikes and hiked up the trail to assist Larry. By the time they got there, Larry had crawled back to his bike. Larry and Chas were pretty worn out by this time. Keith rode both his and Larry’s bikes the rest of the way up the hill and Chas began walking down to his bike. Unfortunately Chas’ legs couldn’t keep up with the speed that he had suddenly attained and he tripped, re-injuring his elbow in the process. At this point in time, Chas decided not to try to climb the steep shaley trail on his bike so he turned around and met the others down below. We finally worked our way up to the base of Hanna’s Hill, which Keith proceeded to ride up twice over two different lines. Larry and Chas decided not to attempt the hill climb, especially since they had already done it two times in the recent past. Chas led the group back on a twisty, challenging sand wash gully displaying his customary speed, expertise and tenacity at its best (at least in his mind). After driving back to camp, Chas had a couple of gin and tonics laced with hydrocodone to ease the pain. Chas woke up in bed at 2:00 AM with zero pain. Go figure! Since Chas felt pretty good the next morning he decided to go on a third ride with Keith and Larry. He realized almost from the outset that this was a mistake after his sore right arm was objecting to the jostling, and he therefore turned back for camp after several miles. Keith and Larry continued on and had a great 30-mile ride, including the farthest southeast Sand Hill area then around Charlie’s Place, etc, etc.
PHOTOS FROM JANUARY SPANGLER HILLS OUTING: by Chas Moser
PHOTOS FROM FEBRUARY SPANGLER HILLS OUTING: by Chas Moser and Vicki Hepler
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