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!
I’m back in Austin, before heading to NC to see my family next week for the Holidays and while I’m perfectly content being home, I miss these tracks and trails. This weekend, get out if you can. Although for most of the US, I doubt it’ll be this sunny!
I know I bid adieu to Los Angeles already, but Kyle and I had to do one last thing this morning before I left…
Is the riding in LA the best in the country, or did a group of my close friends make it that way and present me with a great time, every time I’m in town? Who knows. I enjoy riding in LA, be it MTB, road or cross and while I love to ride road here, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the real dirty Los Angeles.
Oh and Ty can really boost his Surly Pugsley!
I shot photos of this bike back at Crossvegas but first, Ryan wasn’t pumped on the build and I wasn’t that stoked on my photos. So last weekend at SoCalCross, I stole it yet again to shot more photos. This time around, I think we’re both stoked.
Paul Mini Motos, Thomson, Chris King and that bright orange-red frame make this Stoemper one of my favorite SSCX bikes I’ve shot this year! And Ryan is living the (team) dream. That is, until he fell and lost a bar plug during the race.
At any rate, see more of this beauty in the Gallery!
When I found out that London’s Tokyo Fixed Gear reached out to Death Spray Custom to design the paint job on one of their new track frames, dubbed the Ono, I couldn’t wait to see what the outcome would be. It wasn’t until seeing Kyle’s built up in person earlier this year that I could finally geek out on all the little details.
This bike slays and not just in the ride, but the overall presentation. The paint just pops! Kyle’s build ain’t too shabby either. The purple Chris King headset and that AARN track ring really set it off for me. Mixed in with the vintage Shimano post and Cinelli Unicanitor…
Kyle says this is his favorite track bike to date and I can see why! See more photos in the Gallery…
Photos by Kyle Kelley
Yesterday morning, Ty, Kyle, Sean, Moi and myself went out on a MTB ride. On the agenda: up to the top of Brown and down El Preito. I’d never done the full Brown climb before, the last time my rental bike broke down half way up the climb, so I was ready to see what all the fuss was.
We climbed up around 2,000′ from the trail head, soaked in the views of the Angeles Forest and bombed back down the double track to the El Preito entrance. On the way down, Ty found the elusive fatbike air!
El Preito was a lot of fun, especially on the Tallboy LTC. Tight switchbacks, rocky, technical descents down to stream crossings and lots of areas with “consequence” if you’re not paying attention. Basically, yes, it is an exceptional ride and worth doing if you haven’t!
Even though I’ve barely scratched the surface of all that Los Angeles has to offer on a MTB, I can say that what I’ve seen so far has me wanting more!
Check out a few more of Kyle’s photos below!
Photos by Jordan Clark Haggard
Like I’ve said a thousand times, #LASucksForCycling. I really wish I could have made it out for the Rapha West Coast Gentlemen’s Race this year. Head over to the Rapha Blog to see more, including some great photos by Jordan!
Photo by Sean Talkington
To party tomorrow night, then to ride some mountain bikes with the dudes from Golden Saddle, Mission Workshop and Team Dream Team. Hopefully, I’ll get to see something like this in person.
Great photo Sean! See the rest of the Full 36 here!
Mission Workshop is going to have a holiday collection showcase at Golden Saddle Cyclery, beginning this Friday with the opening party. This looks like it’ll be fun. So much fun that I’m flying out for this party and soak in some SoCal Cross!
BEER BEER BEER bourbon