My buddy Vince whom I met last year at the BC Bike Race picked me up and shuttled me out to his training grounds. The location being the Santa Monica Mountain Range more specifically Sycamore Canyon. This was some sure enough shredding on some super laid out single track. It is so open out there that the views simply become mesmerizing.
We descended into Sycamore Canyon to a super fast rolling track enjoying fast turns that were smooth as butter with a few jumps thrown in along the way. Then it was up up up on some multi-layered switchbacks that were strewn in such a way that allowed you good speed but made you aware that a climb was in progress. Topping out on a vista that delivered a vividity of colors reminding me of New Zealand. You could see forever on this day full of sunny skies and open visibility. Views of the ocean to the left and a gnarly rock face on the right with a big green valley below. At this point in my sensory overload I whoofed down a Snickers bar and took a few photos. We exited this spot on a fast twisting descent that kept the senses alert and adrenaline pumping.
In summary, this was a sweet ride that I rank highly and would ride again and again. I understand now why they use that backdrop in many ads and such. We covered 20 miles with 2300 ft. of climbing over a picturesque landscape. Thanks goes out to Vince for his hospitality and delivering a primo ride. The bike he loaned me was important as well, thanks buddy.
How fortunate can one be as I got to go out the next day and ride again in a totally different area with my buddy from Price Point, Milo. Being our title sponsor and our first time meeting in person, I was super stoked for this encounter.
Milo picked me up at a metro station in LA and off we went passing by the HOLLYWOOD sign and into the San Gabriel Mountain Range. We got a late start, which meant that dark would catch us and it did. Our start was launched from the parking lot of Chantry Flat with a technical climb up rocky track with sharp narrow turns. This area was forested with multiple creek crossings that afforded some tranquil sites. The trail turned into some rolling fun that broke out of the trees into vistas of the mountains littered about with views of the valley out below, beautiful. As we progressed through these stellar trails dark descended upon us, but not completely until we finished a crazy set of 8 switchbacks that created a lust for the summit of Mt. Zion. Once we topped out we began descending at first without lights down smooth single track that cut through big trees on an off camber trail that dropped off on the sides into oblivion. After several skids and near misses of slipping off the tight rope, we decided it was light time.
I brought out a hiking headlamp as I did fly out and didn’t want to fumble with a lighting system in my luggage. My light was clearly short of the task, but it gave me just enough of false security to keep me on the trail and not in the crevasses of the night. Milo had a great light, so I followed him down the hair-raising descent. I slipped around corners and clawed to hang onto the trail avoiding the sheer edges. Milo showed me just how deep these drops were with his super spot light, which couldn’t reach the bottom. I assumed that meant it was comparable to an abyss. Milo took some photos of me that had some cool effects with the moon in the background and the LA lights glimmering below.
This ride turned into an epic ride that I was proud to be a part of and many thanks goes out to Milo for the experience and Price Point for bringing me the new Sette Phantom to try out. The Phantom delivered on all aspects of the ride. It was nimble and aggressive. Holding true on the trail, while absorbing my torquing and punishment. I also would like to add that the carbon frame of the Phantom is solid and it took everything I threw at it.
In summary, we covered 20 miles and 2500 ft. of climbing. Chantry Flat is a solid playground that would be a common locale for me as a training ground if I lived there. My trip was 5 star all the way and the steak and ale in Pasadena was delicious.
Now I’m off to Iceland with Jackie for some R&R. Hope to do some ice climbing, so expect a story.