My buddy Tyler is moving to California from Austin, TX to work at Strava in San Francisco. On his drive to his new home, he swung through Los Angeles for two days. While yesterday was a grunt of a dirt ride, today we found our pain in the Hollywood Hills. I love taking people on rides in LA and I only wish we could round out his experience on mountain bikes! Next time, buddy!
Hey, did you hear? California is getting rain. Highways are disappearing, landslides are covering roads, but the mountains are rippppping. After a full week of riding in Utah, I took the rest of the week off but the mountains are calling yesterday so I hollered at Colin to go ride Strawberry peak, which did not disappoint.
To call Martin from Second Spin Cycles a “collector” doesn’t do his operation justice. When I think of bicycle collectors, I picture hoarders stacking NOS parts for the sake of their own enjoyment, often shutting off their acquisitions from the real world, while only allowing members of various online forums the sneak peek inside, via photos. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but personally, I feel a great amount of indifference to people who hoard bicycles and components. Unless they’re riding them… (more…)
No matter where you are in Los Angeles, the snow-capped, towering mountain loom overhead. It’s rare that we get this much rain in such a short amount of time here in Southern California and at the higher elevations, that translates to snow. Over the past few days, there’s been snow and ice as low as 1,800′ in the Angeles National Forest, yet with the warmer weekend temperatures arriving, we weren’t sure just how much we’d encounter once we reached the 5,000′ mark.
On Saturday, Cari and I drove up Highway 2 into the Angeles National Forest, parked the car and began riding a loop I’ve wanted to take her on for a while now: we’d climb Mt. Disappointment and cut through to Mt. Lowe via an unmarked trail, resulting in a short, but scenic ride. As we pedaled up the mountain, on the icy road and through all the people building snowmen and taking selfies, it was apparent even with the warm temperatures, the north-facing sections of road would be entirely frozen. The theme for the day was “go slow, and avoid sliding out” on the black ice and slick roadside.
The views did not disappoint, nor did the riding conditions. That’s the beauty about the wilderness here, you’re only a short jaunt back to civilization…
Our buddy Gabe from Limberlost was in town after the Baja Divide, completing his strictly-taco and mezcal diet before heading back up to Oregon. While a month of riding in the Baja Penninsula is a great way to disconnect from it all, Gabe’s back to work on planning the Oregon Timber Trail. Over the next few months, he’ll be working with a team on cutting more trail and working to gain access to areas in the backcountry of Oregon. There’s a bigger story to be told with all of that, but for now, I just wanted to bid him adieu and safe travels back up North. Oh and sweet Chinook!
This time of year, all types of ramblin’ riders roll through Los Angeles. Many of which are of the bikepacking cyclotourist variety, seeking to take on some of Southern California’s most infamous desert routes. One route that has always piqued my interest is the Stagecoach 400. As you might have guessed, this 385-mile, mostly dirt route with a bit of singletrack mixed in, is best tackled in the cooler months. Usually the winter is a prime choice, yet with all the rain we’ve been having as of late, even a well-traveled route such as the Statecoach can quickly turn into a muddy mess as Sean and his friends found out. While they made it through the entirety of the course, it wasn’t easy. For the past week Sean’s been in LA soaking in the local riding without the weight of his bikepacking bags on his NS Bikes DJAMBO 27.5+ hardtail, including our group ride on Saturday morning.
His rig utilizes Porcelain Rocket, Revelate, Shimano and Race Face to ensure he’s not left on the trail with broken or town parts. As for the lightweight aluminum frame, it’s perfect for bikepacking, with a good amount of front triangle space and a built-in handle at the seat tube cluster for when the going gets tough!
Sean’s on his way up to NorCal, via a route that Benedict and Nam plan to tackle as well through the Los Padres National Forest. If you see this trio on the road, give them a high five!
Ringtail’s lightweight and colorful Breeze Breaker wind jackets are back, due to popular demand. These jackets are individually-dyed with special Cordura fabric and sewn here in Los Angeles. They stuff into a pocket and are easily stashed on your bike or in a jersey pocket. This will be the final run of this particular design, so act fast! Head to Ringtail now to see availability.
All the rain and weather that moved through California recently has brought along with it lush, green vegetation and full nüke sunsets. Tonight in an attempt to shake the last leg of this winter cold I’ve succumbed to, Cari and I pedaled through Griffith Park to catch the last bit of daylight.
Don’t let the rain keep you indoors tonight, Los Angeles. I’ll see you tonight, 7pm at Day XIX Studios.
This weekend brings about the Sverigetempot premiere in Los Angeles. To give you a taste of what to expect, Ertzui has uploaded a teaser trailer. Check out all the information for the premiere at our archived post and info for the group ride on Saturday morning below.
NOT THE LENGTH OF SWEDEN POST RIDE WITH THE SEQUOIA TEAM.
Meetup at Golden Saddle Saturday morning 1/21 7am. All welcome, no drop, 35 miles, mixed-terrain with over 4,000′ elevation. Be advised, these roads are steep and the terrain is rough at times. You can ride it on a road bike, but a fat tire ‘cross bike would be best. Complimentary breakfast stuff upon return to GSC.
For anyone that can’t make it to the premiere, you’ll be able to view it on Specialized.com over the weekend!