Category Archives: Los Angeles
#LASucksForCycling
As did Andy. But hey, LA sucks for cycling...

LA has a bad rep for cycling. Just the other day I got in a debate with someone at a bar because they literally said “LA sucks for cycling”. I laughed, thinking they were referring to the hashtag (right?), only to find a solid 10 minute debate followed. Basically, any city is what you make of it. It’s your attitude and approach that changes your outlook.

I went through so much film during my last stay in Los Angeles and that’s probably because we rode every single day. Some of the rides I had done before, but having Andy along brought a new perspective. We rode mostly cross bikes and even the “road rides” had a fair amount of dirt thrown in.

Here’s a collection of a few rides, in a playful Photoset. See more in the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Fuji Pro400H

Oct 14, 2013 7 comments
Recent Roll: Ride Til Death
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Hopefully, “til death” is a ways away for you but here’s a friendly reminder to get out this weekend and ride!

Oct 12, 2013 Comments are OFF
Topanga Trail Ripping
Chasing

For some self-deprecating reason, we decided to go ride mountain bikes in Topanga, the day after we climbed Mt. Gleason. Nothing like getting out of bed at the crack of dawn the morning after a 100 mile, 10,000′ ride. Was it worth it? Hell yes.

Topanga Creek Bicycles supplied Andy and me with rentals and Sean from Team Dream Bicycling Team was our guide. On the agenda for the day: Backbone, J-Drop, Sullivan, Snake Stick, Squirrel Cage and other trails, but first, we’d start the day climbing all of Cheney into the trail system.

Basically, we had a cold start and climbed around 1,200′ in two miles. It sucked and the climbing didn’t stop there, because to go down, first you must go up. We totaled our day with 30 miles and 4,500′. The only thing that kept me from cracking at the end of the ride was the delicious banana bread the guys at Topanga Creek Bicycles had cooked up!

See more in the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4
Neopan 400

Oct 7, 2013 3 comments
The 2013 PiNP Calendar: October
PINP_OCT2013

This is the tenth layout of the 2013 PiNP Calendar, entitled “Sunset on Mt Lowe”. The camera, lens used and location are noted on the bottom left of the document. 

What better way to end the day in Los Angeles than an HC climb up a frontage road to watch the sun set over the mountains? Mt. Lowe is no joke, especially on a cross bike, as we all found out. While we missed the sunset at the top of Mt. Wilson, we were able to soak in its last remaining rays as our legs burned…

Right Click and Save Link As – 2013 PiNP Calendar: October

Oct 1, 2013 1 comment
Mt Gleason is Tough!
The scorched land

Like many cyclists who have spent time in the Angeles Forest, I know that the roads and ranges can be very unforgiving, especially during the hottest time of the year. Over the years, I’ve been up a number of the area’s HC climbs and every time, I’m reminded of the massive undertaking a 100 mile ride is in these parts.

Mt. Gleason is no exception. In fact, I’d argue it’s harder than Cloud Burst and Baldy. The difficulty lies in the shear steepness of the climbs and the full exposure from the sun. If you’re going to go, go early! Had it not been for the two fire stations and the spigots, we all would have cracked…

Our ride began heading out with the sunrise, en route to Big T. From there, we spiked off up this little prick of a peak known as Mt. Gleason. Come mile 50, we’d already hit over 8,000′ in elevation. We climbed for 30 miles straight, got to the top and then had to climb out of Clear Creek. If you’re familiar with that area, you know what kind of an undertaking that is.

Totals for the day were 100 miles and 10,000′. Nice and even. If you feel so inclined, here’s our route.

One of the main reasons for taking on this ride is the exceptional views over the fire-torn mountain tops. It’s truly breathtaking. See more in the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4
Fuji Pro400H

Oct 1, 2013 14 comments
Hans’ Rock Lobster Cross
Beautiful Bicycle: Hans' Rock Lobster Cross

Golden Saddle Cyclery has a lot of really incredible customers, who happen to own really incredible bicycles. I usually sit there all day and just pick off the gems that walk through the door. Case in point: Hans’ Rock Lobster Cross.

Like most people forking out money for a custom bike, Hans was very mindful of what he wanted. The truth is, most people don’t need a cross bike for racing. But for travel, dirt roads, weekend getaways, light touring, singletrack, fireroads and yes, maybe the occasional race, they’re one of the most perfect machines.

Hans and I talked a lot about this bike via email (it happens a lot). He was initially drawn to a lightweight race machine but he kept describing the kind of riding I do on my cross bike. So I asked, “what will you really be using this bike for?”. He ended up going with a more versatile tubing selection, much like I had on my cross machine.

The end result, as seen here, came out superb. See for yourself in the Gallery!

Sep 30, 2013 13 comments