Two weeks ago I got a text message from a team mate that I need to do this epic ride with him. Without much homework and said yes. We got our team of 6 ready out of 24 teams that got invited to race/ride this event. We got the route on Thursday, I went over the map pretty well and also uploaded it into my garmin 800 for turn by turn stuff needed to get through the city.
Race started at Golden Road Brewhouse in Glendale. I woke up at 3am to make the drive from San Diego, picked up a teammate at 4 along the way. After getting stuck in non moving traffic for 50min, our buffer went out the window. Arrived at 6:50 with a 7:56 roll time. As we got all thing together the team assembled at my truck. With the sun starting to warm the valley I was in debate on the arm warmers but figured if anything I can us them on the long decent off the mt. The route had had us snake through the valley on false flats before hitting the real climb at mile 18, I felt slow at the start and being the team navigator I had to stay near the front but finally legs came around about 10 miles into it and stayed on the front to set the pace.
As we hit the bottom of Little Tujunga Canyon we swelled the group with two other teams. I was still feeling good and settled into their easy pace of 10ish mph but couple miles into the 10 mile paved climb half my team was hurting already. We dropped off the group and hung back to asses the problems. We let them fight their battles in the back at their our paces, Kevin and I were up near the front, he was spinning 39x27 as his low and I had 34x27 as my low. He was saying that he can only spin so slow before it stresses his knees. I told him that we all agreed to climb as fast as the slowest guy or gearing allowed. I just paced him most of the day.
There was a small sag stop 28 miles just before we turned off into the gated forest/dirt/F'd up road. From there, no support to we get back on real pavement at mile 60. 30 miles.....sure how hard can it be LOL....understatement of the day!!! Looking at the course map, this segment is were we gain the most elevation and it didn't disappoint. The garmin pegged 12-15% more time then it ever should. Average being around 8-10% Then it happened....the team cracked hard. One of our guys had double leg cramps less then 35miles into the ride, 7 miles of steep paved with scattered landside rocks sorta climb. We waited at mile 38 for him where the turn off goes from F'd up roads to dirt fireroads. Gave him salt tabs, I topped of his 3rd bottle w/ mine. There was a ranger station that was at mile 42, mostly climbing but some very nasty/sketchy decending. We regroupped at the ranger station, there was water there at least. Mike was still cramping hard and he was running 39x26 as his low. More salt tabs and made use he had enough fuel for the next section. But the station was in the valley and 9 mile dirt/dusty/rocky/ climb to the peak of 6400ft. This section broke 2 more team mates, 1 got 3 flats, 1 started to cramp. Kevin and I was still riding strong picked off other teams but spent allot of time trying to waiting for the team.
We laughed pretty hard as we finally got to mile 50 and had 9300ft of climbing under our legs already. We got near the peak where there was an intersection. We waited here for the team and admired the view in the valley. two guys where there before use and one was bonking hard. I gave him half a water bottle and a nun tablet. Poor guy couldn't even clip in w/o help to the legs lung buster 15% section to the peak. We waited about 15 mins til one of out team showed. He was cramping a few miles back and ran out of water already. Next sag wasn't for another 9 miles. Few other guys shows, their team was scattered on the mt. One guy was walking his nice disc brake spesh crux. He had FIVE flats on 28c tires. two other team mates where there with us already. He said he needed to patch a tube to get rolling. as he had all the used tubes wrapped around his shoulders and neck. I offered him a fresh tube and he was hessitant. I told him I'm tubeless and had 3 tubes that never got used. He took a tube, offered two but only took one. Later found out he flatted again and walked/rolled down the mt for a ride back to the brewery. Two more teammate showed, said Mike was walking most of the way up and told them that he was going to get a ride back at the sag point. After some debate we moved on to try and make it back before sunset.
The decent to mile 60 was nasty as hell, bunny hop holes mid hairpin put me wide and into a fallen tree TWICE. Somehow kept it upright. Mile 60 sag we were told to refuel as fast as we can, 2 cokes pounded, 1 banana and 2 small PBJ sandwiches done. We paced lined the decent, took the easier fork that cut off 8 miles and 3k ft of more climbing. I still felt sketchy on my decenting but damn REAL PAVED roads felt so good. We pace lined the 5 of us hardly hitting brakes on the decent. awesome times but those efforts started to burn matches quick in my legs. Few more climbs out of the valley and I think we're all feeling it as my garmin read more then 10k ft of climbing. And we're still climbing...As we dropped back into the city we hooked up with the men and womens Rapha teams and followed them back to beer. Sun had already set we rolled into the parking lot. Found out Mike's bike was already back and he was 5 mins behind it. We got some free beer coupons and a Rapha cap. I had a burger, 2 beers and few waters before the 2hr drive back home.
All photos taken w/ gopro3 in burst mode which died before we got to the peak
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