Category Archives: Los Angeles
Talk to anyone familiar with the trails in this area and they’ll tell you that we went up to Inspiration Point the wrong way. Truth is, however, we’ve been going up the right way too often (on cross bikes) and wanted to try something new. Riding, or in this case, hiking up a downhill line ain’t fun. Especially on a long travel bike.
Kyle from GSC, Sean from Team Dream and myself had a lotta fun on the mountain that day. I was riding the Foes F275, we did a quick review, stopped a lot for photos and blasted down one of my new favorite trails.
Our route for the day: lower Merrill to upper Merrill, to Inspiration Point, back down upper Merrill, down a trail called Monkey Face, to Sunset, Brown and El Prieto. It was a short day on paper, but a big ride on the legs. Any MTB riding in Los Angeles is tough on the legs…
If you’re from the area, you know how fun that is. If you’re not, well… check at the photos in the Gallery!
From snowy Minneapolis to sunny SoCal…
What better place to shoot this bike in Los Angeles than a spot that Kyle calls “Little Big Sur”. In actuality, it’s near the top of Griffith Park, just 30 minutes and 1,000′ in elevation gain from Golden Saddle Cyclery. This is the shop’s official sunset beer spot.
Just about every time we ride up, Kyle’s been on his All-City Space Horse. We’ll poach the horse trails as the sun is setting, rather than take the road and climb in half the time (they’re freaking steep). Usually, I’m huffing, out of the saddle on a cross bike, but Kyle kicks it into his triple and spins on up.
This bike is setup for the kind of rides Kyle enjoys: fully-loaded dirt S24 camping trips in the Angeles National Forest. He’s taken it up Mt. Lowe in the middle of the night, down a dirt track off the backside of Gleason and all over the San Gabriel Mountains. The build specs tell the tale:
Surly’s do-all Rack up front holds his E3 lamp, powered by a SON hub. Sitting on top is the JANDD Briar beer cooler rack bag (in stock at GSC). His shifting relies on Retroshift and Shimano. PAUL Minimotos provide the stopping power. A well-used Selle Anatomica saddle has seen its share of spills and thrills and those Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires keep his rear wheel roostin’ turns.
This is probably one of the nicest Space Horse builds I’ve seen! I love the brown Chris King NoThreadset too. See more in the Gallery and remember, if you’re in LA and want a similar build, the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery can make it happen!
This is the third layout of the 2014 PiNP Calendar, entitled “Golden Hour Cyclery”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
Over the years, content on this site has changed considerably, but one thing I’ll always support is getting rad on bikes for the fun of it. Christian from Golden Saddle Cyclery is one of the most enthusiastic people I know when it comes to riding. The dude just goes hard.
On my last night in LA two weeks ago, we shot this photo and it came out so dialed that I thought it’d be perfect for the PiNP Calendar! I know this is a day early, but there’s a good chance I won’t touch a computer tomorrow.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – 2014 PiNP Calendar: March
Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
For those who didn’t get their fill in 2013, there’s more coming at you from Wolfpack Hustle in 2014!
I’m a firm believer that once a track bike leaves the velodrome, steps can be made to make it slightly more practical for street use. First, off with the tubular wheels and the road pedals, then a gearing change. Maybe even a brake gets added, depending on the skill level of the rider. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to a beautiful machine like this.
Joseph is an “intern” of sorts at Golden Saddle Cyclery. He’s a third hand in the mechanic’s area and is learning all he can about bicycle maintenance. Though you wouldn’t think it based on their day to day interactions (you gotta keep kids in check!), Joseph got on Kyle’s good side and managed to swoop up this bike for a song. He built up new wheels – since he’s a bigger guy – he felt that deeper rims would be more durable, added a brake and put on SPD pedals.
While it’s not a purist build by any standards, it’s still a gorgeous machine. On my last night in LA, Joseph brought it out for me to shoot some photos. I wish there had been more daylight because this thing is a beaut! If track bikes are a gateway drug into cycling, this bike is heroin. See for yourself in the Gallery.
Granted, the last time I did this ride in Los Angeles, it was during sunset. The views were spectacular but I certainly missed a lot riding in the dark. What was originally going to be a scouting ride for the Mudfoot Dirty Hundo, became a slow and steady march to the top of Mt. Lowe.
We rode from Silverlake for 15 miles or so, then hit Cheney trail, the beginning of Mt. Lowe. It was hot, steep and after close to 10 miles, we had climbed 4,000′. Henry was on a road bike with 28c tires, the rest of us, on cross bikes. I don’t think any of us were really feeling all that well that day.
Good thing the views made up for it and the Cokes at Red Box. We totaled 54 miles and 5,400′ of climbing.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Portra 400
Photos by Kyle Kelley
Sean from TOLA recently built up this Heavy Pedal Zephyr and rolled it by GSC to show it off to Kyle, who has been a fan of those frames since they were first announced. It’s easy to see why too. Check out more photos here!
Photo by Kyle Kelley
The Necronomicog knows no boundaries when it comes to two-wheeled sacrifice and as alluded earlier, this insane Cannondale track bike served for plenty of entertainment on my last night in Los Angeles. Of course, Kyle’s film photos do this icon of American aluminum track bikes justice. See more at Kyle’s Flickr!
The Yeti. A mythical beast, said to inhabit the Himalayan mountains, sought by Westerners with cameras. Or in this case, an American MTB company that began by selling hand made frames in the USA. The first frames of this purebred brand were crafted by Frank the Welder (FTW). Yeti’s early bikes are very much sought after by Westerners, much like their namesake spirit animal. But unlike blurry photos shot in snow-capped mountains, I managed to document one sharply in sunny Los Angeles.
This bike in particular is part of an ongoing collection from a Los Angeleian who knows where to take his bikes. His collection spans a few Chris Chance MTBs, various Yetis and this yellow Yeti Ultimate. Spec’d with period correct parts, a FTW stem and yes, built with care by Golden Saddle Cyclery, this beaut stared me down all last week while I was in LA…
See more in the Gallery!
I’m still going through all the madness from Los Angeles. This one in particular came as a last minute surprise. Luka’s Cannondale track. Pristine condition. He even has the original wheels at home. As always, more on this to come!