As we mentioned in our previous post, visiting Stinner Frameworks, we were in search of some heat. Well, LA did not disappoint, it was boiling hot and we got barbecued.
Our second stop on the road trip was The Cub House in Los Angeles, (well South Pasadena actually, but it's pretty much all the same to us). We have been long-time fans of this small pop-up shop that just never quits, along the scene that surrounds it. It was about time we got together for a little ride.
The night we arrived in LA we hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery. This place has quickly become an institution and it's easy to spend hours lurking around the shop. We met Kyle (one of the owners), talked to John (of blog fame), and were officially welcomed into "The Club" (Justin almost puked).
Next on the list was to land some helicopters at the popular black top. So we meandered through Silverlake to find beers and snacks (multiple Clubs on an empty stomach wasn't enough). We were pretty sure we knew our way up there, and google maps always has our backs, although sometimes she sends you on a hike instead of a ride. Never-the-less we happened to be on our cx bikes and we made it to the most famous cyclist vista point in the world :)
We woke up bright and early after a late night of navigating LA by bike. The refreshing aftertaste of "The Club" was still hanging out somewhere. We stopped off for some coffee action at Civil Coffee and headed to South Pasadena. Driving in LA at 8am on a Saturday, or doing anything really, turns out to be pretty chill that early.
We finally rolled up to The Cub House which is an unassuming little shop. It's location off the main street makes it perfect for 50 kids in tight colorful clothing to meet up and hang out before and after a ride.
After we arrived, people slowly started rolling in. Everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for the "chill ride" up Lukens. The kit game was strong! From head to toe to bike to bottles to stickers. By the time it we were ready to roll out it had already warmed up and we had a massive group - it was going to be a good one.
We rolled out and started our hour long trek across the city. #lasucksforcycling - half true, it takes some effort to get to the hills but once your out there it's endless. Through the city, through all the shit miles, and past a particularly fast eliptigo rider. The locals led us through the turns and up Highway 2 for our first stop at the Angeles Forest Fire Station. By this time, it was, by our standards, blazing hot. So we all chugged water and refilled bottles before heading out. From there we started what was supposed to be a 7 mile climb up fire roads to the top of Lukens.
It was so incredibly hot! Unlike our ride in Santa Barbara where the sun gave us time to get into a groove, the heat in Los Angeles was ripping. This was some "open the oven door" type heat - constant and intense. But hey, we came down South for some sun, and the Angeles Forest delivered. We left the fire station and passed through a gate onto the Mt. Lukens Truck Trail. As we climbed the rocky, dusty fire road, I could see waves of hot air moving over us. Really, you could see the shadows from the heat. Every ten minutes or so there were riders taking breaks in the tiny bits of shade like little lizards. Even the locals were commenting about how crazy hot it was...
The elevation gain on the road is pretty steady, with some bumps along the way. Those steep bumps, paired with the dryness of the land, made for a big loss in traction and a slightly more challenging climb up the hill. It took a while, but almost everyone made it up to the turn off for Grizzly flat, a couple of road bikes included (nice job guys! as demonstrated, it's doable on a road bike, but probably not advisable).
By this time we had all made the decision to skip the last small section of the climb due to the heat.
It was a quick hop scotch down the sandy trail to highway two where we did a quick stop-gap fuel-up at a gas station. It was an even quicker sprint through the city back home. Everyone was in a daze of semi-dehydration and hunger. The sweet thought of pizza and beer kept us going just enough to get back to the Cub House.
Upon arrivial we broke open the cooler, gave out some free stuff, found some spots in the shade, and proceeded to fill our bellies with Italian goodness.
Thanks to all the guys and girls in LA for braving the heat for our little ride. We had such a blast meeting everyone and getting a taste of the riding down there. We don't know how you do it though,riding bikes in 100 degree heat is not something we want to get good at but rest assured, we will be back. We might wait until the temps drop back into the mid 80s though.
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