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SART North - a mini review

Old 07-23-11, 11:25 PM
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SART North - a mini review

Since I needed to get some mileage in before the end of the month to meet the 300-mile goal for the month, I decided to ride the Santa Ana River Trail instead of GMR. Got a real late start, partly because I wanted to stop by and visit the Open Road Bicycle Shop in Pasadena. Heard a lot about that shop and wanted to check it out. With heavy freeway traffic and all, I didn't get started on SART until about 3:00 in the afternoon. Way too hot to be riding during the worst heat of the day, but I came too far to not ride. It was just shy of 100, so not too bad.

As told in a different thread, the start of the SART trail is at Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino just north of Hospitality Lane and the 10 freeway. Right next to the trail is a Quality Inn motel and between the check-in lobby and the trail is a separate, little parking lot with space for about seven or eight cars. When I finished my ride, a younger guy pulled up into the lot and started putting his gear on. Turns out he is a roller blade racer and uses the trail as a training route. (The speeds he told me he rides is pretty impressive. I think I'd have a difficult time keeping up with him on my bicycle.)

At the time of day I started out, (about 3:00 in the afternoon), the trail was little used. Probably due to the heat, (in the high nineties). I only rode the first 17.5 miles or so of the trail, just short of where it ends in Norco and one needs to traverse city streets before picking the trail back up past Corona. (I wanted to get in a 35-mile ride today, so that is why I turned around when I did.) At the 17.5 mile marker, there is a little "park" that is an overlook of a nature preserve. There is a porta-potty here and a few benches scattered about near the cliff that overlooks the preserve. One bench has a nice display explaining "stuff" about the area.

For the most part, I found this trail to be well maintained, with only a couple minor exceptions. The berm is starting to give way at one point, and there are cones around the area so you won't ride into the gap. In one or two spots, the asphalt was a little rough, but not really too bad. The only bumps I really looked out for were the transitions between where concrete and asphalt meet. There always seem to be bumps there. They aren't too bad on SART, but I still looked for the smoothest spot and rose off my seat so as to not jar the bike too much.

Only real hazard of note is one area (somewhere around the 16-mile marker, or so) where the trail dips down to the river before climbing out and back up. There were a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of people who came from wherever to play in the water. Families! So, it is pretty easy to get up to some speed on the downhill to the river, but be aware that there will probably be kids and moms with strollers in the bike lanes. Just announce your presence, go around, drop a couple of gears, and climb the little hill out of the valley. As you climb, be aware of people coming down the hill from their cars parked at the top who are going down to enjoy the river.

That's about it. A really nice trail that I will definitely ride again when it is cooler. Oh, forgot about the wind. I was bucking a head wind on the south/southwest run. Probably because it was mid-late afternoon. It was nice having a tail wind on the way back to the car, but I was a little pooped so couldn't maintain 20 mph for very long at any one time.

Oh, and water ... be sure to bring your own, and as much as you need. I suspect you can refill in Norco and Corona, if you go that far and more, but between the start and Norco, there is nothing! The trail really is in the boonies.

For those who want it: Garmin Connect link to SART - North

Last edited by volosong; 07-23-11 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 07-24-11, 09:08 AM
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You need mileage for a 300 mile goal, so you did 35 on SART? That's crazy man! You could have gotten more (42miles) on GMR.
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Old 07-24-11, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
You need mileage for a 300 mile goal, so you did 35 on SART? That's crazy man! You could have gotten more (42miles) on GMR.
On the drive from Pasadena, I had to decide which one to do. Flipped a coin. That and my triple wasn't ready to be picked up from the shop. Just had my flat-land bike with me.
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Old 07-25-11, 09:30 AM
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There s a point right after the nature preserve where you may need to dismount to get across the incomplete section which is dirt. I hear there are plans for a bridge at some point, Otherwise, you chose a good place to turn around. There's water at one of those parks in between the nature preserve and Mt. Rubidoux. Glad you had a good ride.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:48 PM
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I rode most of that going Corona>Norco>SART to Highway 60 about a year and a half ago.
I thought there were at least a few water spots on trail.
At Mt Rubidoux near the dog park, at some Narrows park, and Hidden Valley area.
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