Editor’s Intro: Kyle from Outershell and his friend John Blackwell took on the fabled Stagecoach 400 route last winter, writing up a damn good ride Reportage with photos of this rugged trail. I included Kyle’s note at the bottom that John’s bike was stolen, so keep your eyes out for a 29+ Falconer! Also included are the Outer Shell products used here, in case you were wondering.
Day 1: Mid March 2018. Me, John Blackwell and Jason Silverek meetup in San Diego one morning to ride the Stagecoach 400 route, a 400-mile bikepacking race that was supposed to start the same day. We were starting in southern San Diego, at the midpoint of the route. The actual race starts and ends in Idyllwild. Unfortunately for us, the race start was delayed due to a big storm coming in and the prospects of precarious mud conditions. Our plan was to hightail it all the way to the desert, getting through the would-be muddiest sections outside of San Diego before the storm came. We were all hung over.