When my buddy Adam told me he was moving to LA from Brooklyn, I was stoked. Not only is he a rad dude that’s married to an equally rad lady, but he RIDES BIKES. The GOOD is he’s here in LA, the BAD (for me) is he’s in Venice (45 mins away)…or so I thought. This Saturday I got up bright and early to head over to Venice and go explore the Westside with Adam and his Surly Cross-Check.
We had a loose route planned that was going to Mandeville Canyon Rd, Will Rogers State Park and a visit to the Eames House. After mapping this route out on ridewithgps.com, I noticed something…fire roads. I silently tossed the planned route out the window and set my sights on some gravel grinding. The rest is history. We discovered a very sweet loop which is somewhat easily accomplished with a CX bike. We still rode Mandeville afterward, just to do it, because we’re men. Men on bikes. MADMEN ON BIKES.
Chin Up, Kid.
Eventually we landed at San Vicente Mountain Park, and saw some old Cold War Nike missile stuff.
Where Da Nukes At?!
I’m Pooping. Push.
By noon it was a 40 mile day with 4000ft of elevation. Plenty of dirt and plenty of smiles. I will be back.
My take away for the weekend: EXPLO YO CITY.
Check the route and do it yourself here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2532605
Be a good one.
Every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, our friends at Box Dog Bikes host an awesome night ride. Anywhere from 5-20 riders have shown up and there are different variations on the route to keep it fresh. One thing for sure, it’s nice to get out of the city and across the bridge on a Friday night.
Did a quick ride this morning to Twin Peaks, Mt. Sutro, Golden Gate Park and then went to Trouble Coffee, where we ran into a fellow randonneur.
He chatted with us for a few minutes, then he asked “did you guys take the day off or something?”.
Noah, Brian and I just looked at each other, shrugged and responded that we were just going into our respective workplaces later than usual. We then asked him what his deal was.
“I’m on call, so I can do whatever the hell I want”, he said matter of factly.
Brian with the look back (sorry Manny, I just had to)
Required viewing for everyone!
This is the second year in a row where it seems like I’ve gone into rando-sabbatical after the SFR Flèche. It’s nice to go on some shorter rides and even ride with some friends you haven’t ridden with in years.
Carlin found out about this awesome event which acts as a fundraiser for the maintenance and preservation of a historic inn that is a great rest station for hikers and bikers. Here are some photos from the day of sun-filled fun:
Ian with his custom painted Oakley Radars, and someone’s matching Serotta Colorado in the background
Ian picked up some electric green bibs (MUSA!) on sale at Bike Odyssey on the way home
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 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.
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.
Last night I installed a set of Paul MiniMoto’s on my secret CX bike. This morning I took it for a quick spin to test ’em out. Jamming down my street, riding on my neighbors lawns I targeted a stopping point and squeezed the hell out of my brake levers. The result? I nearly went over the handlebars because I hadn’t prepared for the stopping power that these brakes put in the palm of my hands. With the provided Kool-Stop Salmon (all weather) pads, these brakes stop on a dime. They also look awesome, are easy to install/adjust and are made in ‘Merca (my adoptive state of California, specifically).
Orange brakes are cool
When I got home and threw my CX bike into my bike pile, it just happened to land on top of two other bikes I’ve got equipped with Paul brakes. Something clicked. I felt dizzy and the room started to spin. It all started to come together like the revelation of Keyser Soze at the end of The Usual Suspects. I am Paul fanboy.
If you don’t know what this means you should watch The Usual Suspects.
What does this mean?! Should I be ashamed? Proud?
Paul all up on my bikes
After calling out of work to spend the entire day dissecting my epiphany I came to the following conclusion. I am not a fanboy, but an EXPERT BRAKE SELECTOR. Just like a dancehall selector picks the next jam to keep the crowd moving, I choose the best brake for my builds to keep my bike…stopping. More importantly looking sweet and being totally awesome. Paul does it right. The products are quality and do exactly what they should do, they look good and are built to last. To top it off, once you’ve worked on a Paul brake you’re lined up perfectly to work on and adjust any brake in the portfolio with the same equipment and tools. They make me feel like a master mechanic slash genius.
I’ve heard some complain about the looks, more often I hear complaints about the cost. I’m reminded of old sayings like “It only hurts once.”, “You get what you pay for.” and Filson’s “Might as well have the best.” I think they all stand true in this case.