SoCal - Gorman Report

the Eel

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#1
Highlights:

A deer cutting across Powerline 10' in front of me ... really neat !

A shadow on one of the Freeman sand trails that I rode right by ... it was no shadow but rather a 2' long rattlesnake !!! I didn't even realize what it was until I passed it by. I stopped about 20' away (still felt too close) to take a look and it seemed dead ... but sure enough after lying frozen for about 2 minutes it stuck up its head, looked around, and slithered off. I've never seen one of those before but I guess it was just a matter of time.

Gorman was like a zoo ... deer, snakes, squirrels, lizards, rabbits ... I saw a little of everything today.

Other than that I think I finally have the 'ol XR's suspension dialed in and it's working pretty well. Nice compromise between rocks and big whoops.

There's an insane rock garden by the 4x4 obstacle course !!! It's right by the front of that 4x4 staging area - on top of a long flat-topped rise. Anyone who wants some major rock practice should give it a go. I only made it through clean twice out of about 6 tries. Banged my fork brace up pretty good but met a guy on a WR400 who let me use his rubber lead-shot mallet to bang it back into shape. He saw me doing the rocks and joined in - good fun but hairy.

Finally, Gorman is so hardpack right now it's ridiculous. Regarding tires - I've got an IRC IX07s front on right now and I wouldn't recommend it. It's a soft-to-intermediate front but isn't really that great in the sand - and it's absolutely horrendous in hardpack !! However, the IX07s rear has been the best rear tire I've used so far. The IRC VE33 I have on the rear now is inexpensive but breaks away very unpredictably in sand or on hardpack. The IX07s rear rocked !!! Good in sand and very predictable - it also didn't bounce much - kept on the ground very well.

So Gorman was great as usual - I find it tricky riding there right now though 'cause it's so hardpack. I think because of that it's actually one of the more difficult places to ride if you're going to let it rip. Very slippery ... and look out for those Rattlers !!!
 
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#2
I have seen bobcat and some off shoot of the badger family up there as well. There have been sitings of mountain lion over the years. Bottom line is, dont trail ride alone as I used to do. How many close calls did I have!
 
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#3
I always thought Gorman was one of the best riding areas in SoCal. I recently returned there after a long break from the sport and boy what a change! A lot more regimented with the marked trails and camp sites. They have definitely spent some money there! I guess it was needed with the increased use.

We used to ride a trail we called "Snowy Trail". Back then nothing was marked so it may have actually been some other trail. I remember it as a little tight and a fun way of getting up to the top of Alamo Mtn. On a recent trip with the wife and kids I noticed that the entire area we used to access the trails to the top of Alamo is now closed. Is all of Alamo Mtn. closed as well? They gave us a trail map when we entered and didn't see any reference to "Snowy Trail" Maybe it was renamed?

BTW- after an 18 year absence from dirt biking with involvment in other sports and activities it's nice to see it fluorishing. From what I see dirt biking really hasn't changed. It's the people that make it good and I'm happy to be back into it again.
 

the Eel

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#4
I think some of the forest trails are closed until they get in there and clean them up - also still some snow last weekend. Snowy is still there and it's still infamous. It should be open again very soon ...
 
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#6
THE best place to ride in SoCal! As much fun as it is, as my brother Tentbound stated, it can get dangerous sometimes on the trails. I think they should make more one-way trails like the backbone. True, you'll still have some idiots not following signs, but it should make it more safe. I got to try that rock patch out next time. If its anything like Sterling Canyon trail, it should be fun to do.
 

the Eel

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#7
The rock garden by the 4x4 obstacle course is quite a bit gnarlier than Sterling Canyon Trail. The garden is all rocks - no flat ground at all - most of the rocks are as large as a computer monitor - and those that aren't are even larger !!!!!!

Have fun and be careful ....