Upper Chilao Trail Session

I have to admit, it was a little weird traveling with my Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC instead of a cross bike this last trip to Los Angeles. Riding mountain takes it out of you. There isn’t the same kind of physical recovery or relaxation that you get on a road bike. No zoning out. You’ve gotta be there 100% of the time, or there are consequences and I knew we’d be hitting it hard every day.

Apprehension aside, the first ride we took on was Upper Chilao in the Angeles Forest, off the 2. I’d been up in this neck of the woods before on my road and cross bikes, but never on a mountain bike. I knew what to expect for the most part: upper altitude desert / arid riding. There would be no mud, but rather rocks, sandy switchbacks and fast, technical descents.

On the ride was Brandon, Sean from Team Dream, Kyle, Ty from GSC and Lyle from Mission Workshop. That’s three cross country bikes, a fatbike and two Tallboy LTCs. We were prepared, already hitting the flask and ready to roll, but first, a small climb up to the Rosenita Saddle…

Check out more in the Gallery!

  • Sean Curran

    These are awesome, looks like some fun trails too.

    Also, what size Acre is that in #59? If its the smaller, are they pretty light? I’m not often doing all day MTB trips, (although I wish I was) and it looks like it might be a bit bigger than I need.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      That’s the 10L (small) – it’s very light. 10L is a pretty small pack…

      • Victor_Tvrdy


        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          Nope. I just have a few settings I adjust. VSCO is too heavy handed. iPhone is ok but DSLR is too hokie.

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    That shush photo. I die.

  • hans

    good shots man!

  • Ahab

    Guy on the fatbike got rad.

  • Alex Forbes

    Oh man that looks like a blast!

  • http://theculturechick.tumblr.com/ TheCultureChick

    Looks like lots of fun! Will def. hit this up after winter break. Also good thing you left LA when you did…its currently pouring.

  • Jamie McKeon

    hearing that team dream is always late cracks me up. i have a few friends like that.

  • Pearl Velo

    One of the best galleries yet. So rad.

  • http://pntmagazine.tumblr.com/ PNT

    superb gallery!

  • Mark Reimer

    Agreed, one of my favorite galleries yet! Great color too, film?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      All digital.

      • http://hopecyclery.blogspot.com/ Hope Cyclery

        I would love to know your in camera settings. Or maybe my problem is shit glass, and cropped sensors.

  • Alex Fortuna

    what is the rack on the fat bike? It looks like a salsa, but couldn’t find it on the website.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Salsa Minimalist