01 February 2009

Cross Adventure

Finally got out on the cross bike for the on-road/off-road adventure I've been stoked on doing for awhile. First big ride of 09? I went out to meet up the Midnight Ridazz mountain bike extension, the Mountaineerz. They were meeting in Brentwood at 11am, which gave me enough time to be creative in getting there.

Many people have heard of Mulholland Drive, but did you know that a big section in the middle is unpaved? I find it outstanding and amazing that in the land of freeways and obscene love of pavement that this treasure exists. I've ridden the eastern side, which winds up from the 101 and the Cahuenga Pass past Runyon Canyon park and along the ridge of the Hollywood Hills, many times. It's twisty, fast and fun for about 15 miles. Then just beyond Sepulveda Pass it turns to dirt where I normally turn around and head back to the city.

Yesterday, riding my cross bike fresh with new front wheel, forks, stem, bars and 700x34 treaded tires, I kept going on the dirt. Climbed up and past the NIKE station. I've been here many times on dirt and now I've mentally connected where the pavement ends and the mountain bike spots begin. Turned left on Sullivan fire road and connected with the Sullivan Canyon single track where I had to defend my bike choice to some mountain bikers. Always makes me think of Chris Kostman's 1993 article, Mountain bikes? Who needs them?. Worth reading in its entirety, but this sentence sums it up well:

"The mountain bike is the most over-rated, most improperly used,
most over-built, and most greedily promoted piece of hardware to
hit the sport and fitness industry in modern history."

Hit the Whole Foods in Brentwood, grabbed some fruit and then 8 of us headed to near the PCH/Sunset Blvd for some single track climbing to fire road climbing to more exposed fire road climbing. Five 'normal' mountain bikes, one 29-er, and one single-speed with a coaster brake (was set up for the coaster brake only race series that recently ended). So much climbing. Though a positive correlation of climbing and the number of really attractive (and friendly!) female hikers helped. Went through Trippet Ranch, past Eagle Rock to 'the Hub'.

After descending reliable backbone through Will Roger park and back to Brentwood, the 30-mile Mountaineerz ride ended and I took the city route 15 miles back home. Seventy-five mile day? About half on dirt. Exhausting. Next I'd like to ride Mulholland in its entirety from Hollywood to the ocean and back, probably 120 miles round trip including the 30 off-road.

4 comments:

michael said...

My friend John said he met you today. He and I have been doing wolfpack together as we both live in Pasadena. I think he might have been riding a Ti mtb. I'm not ure if he has finished it yet.

He's looking forward to Feel my legs.

E-Rock said...

you could probably even do the full mulholland with 25's, the fire roads are pretty decent, and with that sort of mileage, the rolling resistance would be pretty painful on cross tires...

GenghisKhan said...

Yikes, sounds like a tough day--but fun, too. Though, I'll say without shame that I do love my mountain bike and I do love my road bike, though it sounds like they need to have a love child... ;o)

Peace!

XO-1.ORG said...

Matt: You are a true Rough Rider. Outstanding ride you put together. I used to a whole variety of similar routes in my B'wood days. I miss those mountains. The Santa Monicas are an incredible treasure and resource for LA. In the future, think about keeping notes for a basic route sheet and taking some pix, then we can post your whole report on the Rough Riders blog, too!