2018 Arch Ride Wrap Up


2018 Archipelago Recap Blog

This year’s Arch ride was one of the best ever. Weather was perfect, trails were in good shape, and spirits were high throughout! Here’s a quick recap of the ride from Board Member and sponsor Josh Bonnici (Bonnici Law Group) who rode the Arch with 300 of his closest friends!

The Start

We started from San Elijo Park in San Marcos which was a departure from La Costa Canyon High School from years past. Once there, everyone checked in and started to form their riding groups. We had everything from hardtails, cyclocross bikes, rigid 29-ers and enduro rigs getting their last tune in the parking lot before heading out. Great SDMBA volunteers were making sure everyone was checked in and had their valuable wristbands in order to partake in the aid station goodies. Breakfast snacks were provided by Canari Cyclewear for that last muffin or banana before we all hit the dirt. Thanks, Canari and also to Performance Bicycles who was on hand for last minute adjustments.


Our bikes with Sponsor placards ready to roll!


Our group consisted of my friends James (original member of Team Ninja – more on them later), Devin Young (Arch ride Sponsor with InTouch Chiropractic) and myself. We picked up another rider, Brian, at the start to ride with us.


Josh, Devin and James


We left the park, and headed towards the east side of La Costa Canyon Open Space to take a rather direct fireroad climb to the top. With the sun continuing to rise from the east, the views were amazing and the temperatures still cool. From there, we blasted down the fun Horned Toad trail all the way to the bottom towards the waterfall and back towards town.


The top of the initial La Costa climb


The First Carnage

At around mile 8.5, I stopped to take some pictures and started jamming to regroup with my friends. I quickly approached Brian from our group, who flagged me down standing next to his bike. To my astonishment, he held up a broken handlebar which had completely fractured off. Luckily, he didn’t suffer any injury. He phoned his wife and asked that she bring a spare handlebar he had in his garage and met her on the side of the road for a quick repair. Other riders stopped and helped Brian remove everything from his broken handlebar and was back on the trail in less than an hour! Brian ended up finishing the ride even though he had a pretty major failure less than a quarter of the way in. A special thanks to those who stopped and helped Brian with some trailside repairs!



Aid Station #1

After I regrouped with James and Devin, with Brian repairing his bike, we made it to aid station number one. Music was blaring, people were milling about and Paul Wyandt from major SDMBA sponsor Zoic Clothing was pouring water to riders in his traditional Deadmau5 headpiece. Virgin mai tais were set up in coolers, PB&J quesadillas were prepared (I must have eaten around 10 of those all day), rice balls and the ever-important Pickle Juice (a long-time SDMBA sponsor!) provided pocket-sized bottles were provided for the ride.  A big thanks to the SDMBA Volunteers and ultra runners who all pitched in to make aid station #1 epic!




And of course, no Arch ride would be the same without the hula girls! Oh, and Paul…



Aid Station #2 (aka The Tickled Tiki)

After climbing the new Collar Bone trail instead of the traditional route of the Way Up Trail, everyone descended down into Lake Hodges for some flowy fun. We rode out past Del Dios, and came up to aid station number 2, sponsored by Team Ninja racing and skills coaching. More Pickle Juice was available and snacks and good vibes abounded.


Nico with Team Ninja was acting as mobile mechanic on site, looking over bikes, diagnosing creaks and squeaks, and lubing chains. Thanks, Nico!


Nico checking out a bike, with a slick SDMBA repair stand in the background

Then it was off to the famed switchbacks and Lusardi Canyon. Lusardi Canyon is always a challenge with steep fireroad climbs and being sheltered from the wind. Riders started cramping, the heat was felt with very little breeze, but we knew that the third and last aid station was close by.


Entering Lusardi Canyon with Black Mountain in the background


Aid Station #3

After climbing out of Lusardi Canyon, the third aid station was a sight for sore eyes. Riders were pretty tired at this point, which lots of stretching and resting on the park grass. At Black Mountain Park under the capable supervision of Matt Bartelt, SDMBA Board Member, a nice spread of snacks, Coke and water was waiting for us. Velofix sponsored this stop, with their invaluable van on hand for any repairs needed after suffering through nearly 30 miles in the trails.




I stuffed my face with bananas and orange slices before doing the extra credit Lilac Trail that was built a few years back (thanks SDMBA!) before heading back to the aid station to drop into Doug Hill. This has always been my favorite part of the ride, but riding it on a hardtail for the first time and with 30 miles already under my legs, the rocky technical aspects of the trail beat me up a bit.


James just about to hit the Doug Hill downhill


From there, we rode out towards Penasquitos. I chatted with riders as we connected our way south, joking that we could already “smell the beer” at Green Flash. But, we kept pedaling and soon hit PQ and the ever-familiar Tunnels trail and Appendix trail built by SDMBA in 2016.


Devin fighting cramps heading towards the last climb of the day


The Finish!

Finally, we hit the pavement at the top of the Lopez Canyon climb and meandered our way through the Mira Mesa business spark to hit Green Flash. The welcoming party was needed as we got “lei’ed” as we rode in, checked our bikes into the complimentary bike valet, and got our beer and food tickets. Socks from Sock Guy were given to all finishers along with swag from Jenson USA, Poway Bicycles/Bike Shop at Del Sur, SportTea, REI, Zoic Clothing , Epic Rides, WD-Bike,

After a quick change, we hit the bar for a refreshing beer – Green Flash even had two beers specifically brewed for our ride - Arch Ride Ale and RJ’s Grass Skirt.  

A BIG THANKS to all the sponsors who helped make this ride possible in order for SDMBA to raise funds for trail building, maintenance, and advocacy for the rest of 2018.



Special thanks to:


Green Flash Brewing Co.


Jenson USA

The Law Office of Richard Duquette

Trek Bicycle SuperStores

Bonnici Law Group

InTouch Chiropractic

Bear Belle Cabins

San Juan Huts

Snow Summit

Sky Park at Santa’s Village

So Cal Endurance

Ritual Energy

North of the Border Bikes

Clif Bar

APX Sport Drink

Hollywood Racks

Ninja Mountain Bike Performance

Mountain Gems Jewelry


Primal Wear


Pickle Juice Sport

Poway Bicycles

The Bike Shop at Del Sur



Zoic Clothing


Sock Guy



Cal Coast Bicycles

El Camino Bike Shop

El Nopalito


and to the local land managers, jurisdictions, and agencies that make our trails possible….


San Dieguito River Park

The County of San Diego

Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council

Center for Natural Lands Management

City of San Diego Black Mountain Open Space

City of San Marcos

Questhaven Ministries

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve