So there are these cool dudes in LA called Mudfoot. I think they’re a team, at the very least they have their own cycling kit, and it is fresh. They’re very stylish, net savvy dudes and apparently they have some relationship to Golden Saddle Cyclery, a very hip bike shop in LA. Sometime last week, a Facebook event (thank you to Mark Y. of the Bicykillers for adding me) was created and was titled the Mudfoot Hump Hundo. It basically consists of a hundred mile loop encompassing the San Gabriel Mountains found north east of LA with about 10,000 feet of elevation gain.
The route includes State Route 39, which is closed to cars for the last 4 miles because of damages sustained some years ago, and the Angeles Crest Highway which is also known as the 2. The ride also features a summit at Cloudburst, which sounds cool but it’s just a spot with a rinky dink sign and no view, and then a 30 mile descent with a few rollers ending just north of LA in La Canada.
We started from the Golden Saddle Cyclery headquarters someplace in LA/Echo Park/Silverlake/I don’t know, and the ride headed east into the heart of the SGV towards Azusa where I was waiting for them at the base of the 39. As I saw the group roll up, I couldn’t help but admire the spectacle. It was a spectrum of the LA “hip to it” bicycle scene. There were tons of kits that I had seen on blogs and websites and cool LAfixed threads featured in videos and all that jazz. It was like a rainbow of the LA bike scene literally and figuratively.
A kaleidoscope of characters, also known as the LA cycling community — Photo Credit: Jances Certeza
As soon as the ride started the climb, the group broke up and the weather began to turn ominous but in the distance at points you could see an assortment of colorful cycling kits spanning the climb. There was the Mudfoot kit (a mixture of light and baby blue, and their team vest, a bright orange), the VCR kit (an assortment of blues, blacks and highlighter green), the Team Dream kit (a green and white prison striped kit), there was half of an LAfixed kit, a couple sexy SGV kits, some classy Rapha kits, and of course, the Rainbow Coalition itself, Ritte. It appeared almost as a rainbow bridge consisting of cyclists ascending into the heavens. Near Crystal Lake, the topography of the climb became more rugged and the mist started to move in and as we entered into the closed section of the 39 it donned on me that I was entering Valhalla.
The ominous conditions — Photo Credit: Max Duck
The road itself is cracked, covered in fallen rocks from the cliffs above and patched in certain sections, but still better than most of the roads in LA. It began to get really cold at the end of the 39 just before the 2. There was a water station set up right at the 2, but more importantly there was newspaper to stuff our kits with and cars with heaters, it was like stepping into a perfectly preheated oven. Big props to the Mudfoot guys for letting a bunch of sweaty strangers warm up in their cars before making their way back home, back to LA.
(Top) The author and his pain face, (Bottom) Re-uppin’ on water — Photo Credit: Max Duck
As I sat in one of the trucks, I saw the conditions getting worse. The fog was so dense that you could see it being pushed away by gusts of wind, along with the occasional a rider who ventured out. I gathered my things, taking my gloves off the vent in a successful scheme to dry them, put on my helmet and then stepped out into the cold. The rest is a frozen, exhilarating, blur with the occasional dose of fear as the wind would push me from one side of the road to the other. I had a blast. Thank you Mudfoot dudes, plate tectonics, inventor of asphalt, the wheel, the shovel, the heater, trees for paper, etc… If everything you read up above doesn’t make sense, just watch the video below.