San Diego MTB and Border X Blood Saison

The Earning

One of my favorite mountain bike rides in San Diego involves linking up trails to connect Cuyamaca Rancho State Park with Laguna Mountain Recreation Area in Cleveland National Forest. Technically, you even roll tires through Anza-Borrego State Park, as well. Three land management designations exist, overlaid on what was entirely indigenous land, primarily that of the Kumeyaay people. The interface of desert and mountain, with seemingly countless microclimates and ecozones, makes for a stunning ride up and over pine-forested mountains with meadows and canyons that have seasonal waterfalls.  On a recent outing, I hooked up the trails this way:

Up East Mesa and down the backside > Up Indian Creek to Champagne Pass > Down Indian Creek to Noble Canyon Trail > Top of Noble and a lap around Laguna Meadows > Back to Penny Pines and down Sunrise Highway to Lucky 5 > Across the “top” of Cuyamaca on La Cima > fire roads to Cold Spring Trail > West Side Trail > East Side Trail back to East Mesa.

It’s a doozy of a ride, coming in around 32+ miles. You can easily add on more miles, if you want, and spend more time in the saddle to knock off Chico Ravine and Los Gatos or Red Tail Roost. Variations could be done to add in Noble Canyon Trail. Essentially, the options are endless for putting in a big ride. Pack food and plenty of water. In spring, you could filter water in some of the seasonal streams. 

For navigation I recommend

The Beer

Border X Brewing opened in San Diego’s historic Barrio Logan in 2014, and brings innovative and unique Mexican-inspired libations to the already crowded local beer scene. Latinx owned and operated, Border X was nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award this year. Also this year, they’ve opened up a new spot in Bell, a small city that is more or less a suburb of Los Angeles, and they recently announced a new endeavor back in Barrio Logan, Mujeres Brew House (MBH), which will be the go-to spot for underrepresented female brewers, primarily, to learn and hone their craft beers. MBH is a non-profit collaborative effort between Border X, MBH, and a local gallery.

Without a doubt, Border X pushes the limits, goes outside the box and doesn’t just think about it; they do it. Their spot in Barrio Logan is a welcoming place and true-to-the-colors of all things Barrio Logan. They are the real deal, and they are big supporters of the local urban and mountain biking scene.

Their Blood Saison is simply beautiful when poured into and viewed through a glass with light shining on it. Hibiscus flowers give it that color and its tartness, which is mellowed out a little with agave. It’s a sneak-up-and-getcha 7 percenter, so watch out! To me, it kind of sits somewhere between a sour and a saison, but really, who cares?  It is a beer like no other, and knowing all that Border X does in the community and what it represents, it tastes extra refreshing. If in San Diego or Bell, check out their varieties of stouts (Golden Horchata and Mexican Chocolate), too, and enjoy the various Michelada offerings, perfect for a weekend afternoon.