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Fires and Floods Impact the San Bernardino Mountains
and Temecula Valley

Miraculously, Vail Lake Resort's beautiful RV park is spared from the fires. Most of the trails are in great shape but the rains have created major erosion on some of the low-lying trails.
The rains have also accelerated the
re-greening of the vegetation
that was destroyed by the fires.

 
Granny Gear's Commitment: A Fun, Fast Course

From day-1 we've been very excited about the awesome venue at Vail Lake Resort. The trails are a blast. The venue is one the most beautiful of all our races. The RV/camping area is fantastic with shady 200 year-old oak trees and full-hookups. We've made a long-term commitment to develop this race to it's full potential as one of the largest and most exciting races in Southern California.

Our hearts sank as we learned of last year's fire but we we're ecstatic to learn that even though the course had been completely burned-off, Vail Lake's beautiful venue, shady RV park and historic building complex had survived due to the hard work of an army of fire fighters. (For many year's Vail Lake has generously offered it's facilities as a staging ground for firefighters as they've fought various fires in the region. Good karma, eh?)

At the time, we had no idea what the fire would mean about the future of the race. In our subsequent conversations with Vail Lake we made it clear that we intended to stay in our commitment to continue developing the race. The folks at Vail Lake were equally enthusiastic about keeping the race going. So hey, LET'S RACE!

The rains have served to green the place back up quickly. You can see in the post-rains photo gallery & post-rains photo gallery 2, how verdant everything has become, especially in comparison to the pictures from the post-fire photo gallery. It's really amazing. At the same time, the sheer amount of rain has had a devastating errosive effect.

Granny conducted a site inspection on March 5th and 6th with IMBA Trail consultant, Joey Kline. We are implementing a course re-design and trail re-building program based on our consultations with Joey. Our commitment is to deliver a fun, fast course for this year's race. And now, after surveying the area for ourselves and working out our plan, we are really excited. This year's course is going to be awesome!

GGP and Vail Lake are partnering with local trail groups and local racers to form up trail crews. If you are interested in pitching-in, please e-mail

Happy Trails,


Joey Kline's Comment

Joey Kline heads-up one of IMBA's new Trail Solutions design/build crews. He also worked for many year's on one of IMBA's original Trail Care Crews. Joey has built hundreds of miles of trail, all over the U.S. and all over the world. Here is his comment, after our trail survey and discussion about the new course:

...that's going to be a great course!

Jason Ranoa's Latest Report

{Granny's notes interspersed}
Hey Laird,
Everything is going well great out here. The initial fireroad {the Dam Road} has been completely fixed. The other fireroad {The Ambulance Road} that splits the two ridges {The Funner Downhill and *new* "Funner-too" downhill} is the next project for Vail Lake. I told them that this is where the ambulance needs to have access and they are moving on it ASAP. The rest of the course is coming along nicely. I have a team of people helping out and things are looking good.
-JASON

Jason Ranoa's 1st Trail Report

{Granny's notes interspersed, many thanks to Jason and his riding buddies for sending the post-rain photos for the photo gallery and for writing this "play-by-play".}

Here's a link to the Old Course Map and the New Course Map for your reference.

HI LAIRD,

JASON HERE AND I JUST WANTED TO GIVE YOU A PLAY BY PLAY OF THE VAIL LAKE COURSE:

MILE 1 – INITIAL FIRE BREAK RD IS IN DECENT CONDITION ACCEPT FOR TWO SECTIONS THAT ARE COMPLETELY WASHED OUT. THESE SECTIONS OF ROAD ARE COMPLETELY GONE AND IMPASSABLE. {Vail Lake is already in the process of repairing this}

MILE 2 – THE SECOND SECTION OF INITIAL FIREBREAK RD IS IN DECENT CONDITION. A LITTLE SANDY BUT RIDEABLE.

MILE 3 – RIGHT NOW THE UPHILL PORTION OF HE COURSE IS THE BEST PART OF COURSE. THE HILLS ARE ROCKY AND HARD. {Cool Beans!}

MILE 4 – PORTIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE SLGHTLY WASHED OUT. BUT RIDEABLE. THE LOW PARTS OF THE SECTIONS ARE VERY SANDY MAKING THIS SECTION VERY SLOW.

MILE 5 – THIS SECTON IS IN PRETTY GOOD CONDITION. THE UPHILLS HERE ARE IN GREAT CONDITION.

MILE 6 – THE FIRST DOWNHILL OF THE COURSE IS OK. THE INITIAL PART IS IN GOOD ROLLING SPEED SHAPE. THE LAST TECHY PART OF THE DOWNHILL IS REALLY RUTTED AND LEADS INTO DEEP SANDY WASHES AT THE BOTTOM. THE TRAIL AT THE BOTTOM IS COMPLETELY WASHED. YOU HAVE TO DISMOUNT SEVERAL TIMES TO CLIMB IN AND OUT OF THE WASHES.

MILE 7 – THE SMALL UPHILL HIKE A BIKE SECTION HERE IS VERY UNSAFE. THE HILLS ARE SEPERATING FROM THE BASE. THERE ARE PORTIONS OF THE HILL THAT ALREADY HAVE FALLEN OFF. BIG RUTS GO ALL THE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM HERE. ONCE YOU GET PAST THE HIKE A BIKE PART THE REST OF THE UPHILL IS GOOD. THE APPROACH DOWNHILL TOP DRAGONSBACK IS TECHY AND RUTTY BUT RIDEABLE.

MILE 8 – DRAGONSBACK IS THE FUNNEST PART OF THE COURSE. HARD FAST AND FUN. THE RAIN CREATED A FEW SMALL DROPS WITH WAYS AROUND IF YOU WANT. THE FINAL DOWNHIL LEADS TO ANOTHER DEEP SANDY WASH. THE TRAIL HERE IS NEARLY GONE. PEDALING IS ROUGH.

MILE 9 –THE TUNNEL OF LOVE CANYON IS TERRIBLE. THIS SHOULD BE A HIGHLIGHT OF THE COURSE BUT IT REALLY IS BAD. THE TRAIL IS MOSTLY GONE AND THE SAND IS DEEP THROUGH OUT. YOU HAVE TO DISMOUNT 4 TIMES DURING THE ROUTE. BUMMER!!!!!!
{Bummer indeed, Tunnel of Love was such a fun fest.}

MILE 10 – MORE SANDY WASH. MOSTLY RIDEABLE.

MILE 11 TO THE END – THE REST IS OK ONCE YOU MAKE THE LAST UPHILL. BEFORE THE HILL IS A HUGE SANDY WASH AND BARELY RIDEABLE. ESPECIALLY AFTER A FEW HUNDRED RIDERS.

I THINK THERE IS HUGE POSSIBILITIES AT VAIL. MY OPINION IS THAT THE COURSE NEEDS SOME MAJOR ADJUSTMENTS. THERE ARE A LOT MORE TRAILS ADJACENT TO THE EXISTING ONES WHICH CAN BE RIDDEN BOTH WAYS. {We couldn't agree more and we're looking forward to getting to work on the new course}

WE ALREADY HAVE A BUNCH OF GUYS READY TO DO SOME WORK HERE. WE REALLY ENJOY GRANNY GEAR EVENTS AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE BEST COURSE EVER!

I ALSO AM SENDING YOU A BUNCH NEW PICS. HOPE THEY HELP.

JASON RANOA
{Thanks, Jason!}

>Back to Top
>Post-fire Photo Gallery
>Post-rains Photo Gallery
>Post-rains Photo Gallery 2

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Phone: 304-259-5533
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