… outriding storm clouds at the highest point in the City of Los Angeles and then finding myself on a MTB trail on my ‘cross bike, completely covered in flowering Spanish Broom. Hope yours was filled with lots of riding and your steeds are sated.
Back at NAHBS, my lady friend Cari bought an Elephant NFE for her around town and touring bike. While we’ve done plenty of local, in the neighborhood rides and even a few fireroad jaunts while camping, we’d never done an official ride – to a destination anyway. For a few reasons, the most pressing issue being her general fear of descending down rocky, rutted and steep fire roads. Which, as you’ve seen in the Reportage here on the site, is pretty much all we have in Los Angeles. (more…)
Photo by Ryan Wilson
This is one of my favorite photos Ryan has ever taken and if it doesn’t make you want to get out and ride this weekend, then check your pulse!
With all the time I spend away from my new home base of Los Angeles, you’d think I’d want to stay put in between traveling. Well, at least sleep in my bed. This time of year, we’re on the precipice between the cool, early spring days and scorching, on-coming summer days. It’s hit or miss, but when the city of LA spikes to 90º this early in the season, there’s but one refuge from the heat: 5,500′ and up.
Chilao is an all-time campsite in the Angeles National Forest and knowing its popularity, it’s a crap-shoot trying to stay there on the weekends. Especially this time of year where aforementioned weather pushes the outdoorsy city dwellers en masse up Highway 2 and to the campsites surrounding some of our favorite singletrack and fire roads in LA.
Last week I slept outdoors more than in and having the week crescendo into a tent just high enough from Downtown LA to block out the ambient light and noise, yet far away enough to open up the sky to the stars was an unexpected treat. All this from only a 45 minute drive from my comfortable, yet still indoors bed. Check out some more photos below. (more…)
Photo by Kyle Kelley
It’s been a busy week over here and it’ll be even busier next week… While I prepare everything, make sure you get out on the bike. Thanks for the photo, Kyle!
In the first of Specialized’s Adventure Dispatch mini-documentary series, our friend Ty Hathaway hits on a theme that we bring up often here at the Radavist: using bikes to seek out the places very few people know about, let alone see – even in a place as densely populated as Los Angeles.
May 8th will bring about the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival, which just launched a Kickstarter page. Here’s a bit of information:
“We believe that Los Angeles is a beautiful, diverse city that has the ability to solve big problems while being a healthy and fun place for all. Yet riding a bike in Los Angeles is still seen as a crazy thing.
People in Southern California love theme parks, so we’ve set out to create a one-day ‘Bicycle Disneyland’ where families can wander through the different ‘Lands’ to explore bikes, resources, ride groups and nonprofits. Like speed dating! Get to know the kind of bikes that excite you and immediately connect to all the knowledge and community needed to get started or get more active no matter where in SoCal you live. Sure, it’s probably the bike enthusiast that will get the tickets, but with awesome food, music and entertainment – everyone will enjoy a great day.
For one day you’ll see all kinds of bicycle lovers – old, young, road, track or dirt, experienced and inexperienced alongside families celebrating Mother’s Day in front of LA City Hall. “
If you can, come out to work on the trail and if you’ve worked on two trail days, you can earn a free Ken Burton shirt. Check out all the information at the Facebook event page.
… hopefully you get dirty!
Yeah, technically I live in Los Angeles, yet this time of year, with all my travel, a duffel bag feels more like home. So when I do find myself at my home address, I like to get out on the bike as much as possible, with camera en tow. Earlier this week, I asked Kyle if he wanted to do a ride. Initially I was thinking of riding up Hwy 2 on a road ride, but that quickly evolved into a bigger undertaking.
Mt Lowe has been the subject of many rides here on the Radavist and rightfully so. It’s a doozie of a climb, much shorter than any other route up to Mt. Wilson’s 5,712′ peak and consequently, much, much steeper. The kind of steep where even MTB gearing is quickly bottomed out and your legs burn with each rotation as you climb in a series of necessary zig zags along the broken paved roadway. Eventually, the grade levels out once it turns to dirt, but for the beginning 6 miles or so of this climb, you’re in a dark, painful place.
No matter how many times I’ve ascended Lowe, I’m always humbled by it. Not necessarily through some suffer-induced form of personal gratitude, but through taking in the majestic views the San Gabriel mountains have to offer. These dry and arid peaks have been getting some rain this winter, resulting in a bloom unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Los Angeles. Every plant is a full-on pollen factory as it blooms with life after living for years, parched by the unforgiving sun. Plants weren’t the only thing sated on this ride. It’s exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for.
Once Kyle and I exited Mt. Lowe we headed up to the top of Mt. Wilson before heading back down Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a road I’ve only heard of. Here’s where it got fun, especially on my Crema 27.5 x 2.2″ machine. I railed everything, hit all the water boards with speed as they booted me into the air and further down the trail, only slowing up to roost a corner and wait for Kyle, who was having a slight mechanical issue.
We railed the dirt and surfed the somewhat sticky sand, stopping for photos, or appreciating the nuances that exist in a mountain range that is in a constant state of erosion.
As the sun fell, we descended back to the city of 10 million people, where fish burritos and coconut water awaited us, and where Max greeted us with a wagging tail… The route provided 55 miles and around 6,500′. All within the city of Los Angeles.