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Old 07-15-09, 11:08 PM   #1
rallison
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Las Flores Canyon Punishment

So I finally got to try out Las Flores today. That is one solid climb. 2300 feet of climbing. Last 2.5 miles of Las Flores averages 10.5%. Steepest mile averages around 13%. Ramps up to 20%. 7.4% average from PCH up to the saddle at 2350 feet.

Ride report, pictures and route maps here.

If you haven't tackled this climb yet, you should go try it. It is fun

Who has gone up this? What did you think of it?

And here, a few pictures from the ride:





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Old 07-15-09, 11:52 PM   #2
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Great report as usual. The info only the climb disappeared, though. How many miles was the ride? I was on PCH this Saturday cuz it was so hot in Silverlake. Lots of traffic, but I rode by Las Flores and one of my riding buddies said it was really hard. I have to try that ride sometime too.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:48 AM   #3
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Yes, Las Flores is definitely hard. I found it tougher than Deer Creek, for example, due to the extra elevation gain. Fun ride though for those who are masochistic

The total loop is 22.2 miles. The full climb up to the saddle is 5.8 miles. The tough climbing section on Las Flores is 2.5 miles. The whole thing is tough, but those 2.5 miles are what will get you!
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Old 07-16-09, 12:49 AM   #4
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It's a local route for me, but I only do it every so often. First time up was a good experience for me, but on the next attempt I ran out of gas halfway up. Hitting the wall, is the expression. It was shocking experiencing that kind of energy crash. It was so bad I ended up walking for perhaps a half mile until the grade settled down. Next couple of times were successful.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:53 AM   #5
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It is also deceptively tough. With few true switchbacks, it doesn't look as steep as it is. You realize it is steep though when your legs are burning and you look down and see that your speed is 3mph.

What sort of shoes were you wearing for that 1/2 mile walk? That would suck in normal road shoes!
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Old 07-16-09, 09:38 AM   #6
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Is this a tougher climb than Decker Cyn.?
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Old 07-16-09, 10:03 AM   #7
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Is this a tougher climb than Decker Cyn.?
It has steeper sections but isn't as long as Decker.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:56 AM   #8
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What sort of shoes were you wearing for that 1/2 mile walk? That would suck in normal road shoes!
They were running shoes with toe clips, so that made it an easy walk. Though I ride with clipless most of the time, I still swap the pedals out whenever I know I'll be exploring.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:59 AM   #9
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Las Flores is the second hardest Santa Monica climb after Tuna. I like it because it's challenging, but it's not very scenic.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:05 AM   #10
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Why is Tuna harder?
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Old 07-16-09, 01:10 PM   #11
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Great report as usual. The info only the climb disappeared, though. How many miles was the ride? I was on PCH this Saturday cuz it was so hot in Silverlake. Lots of traffic, but I rode by Las Flores and one of my riding buddies said it was really hard. I have to try that ride sometime too.
We're practically neighbors, I'm over in Los Feliz Village area
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Old 07-16-09, 01:14 PM   #12
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Is this a tougher climb than Decker Cyn.?
I'm totally not up to par riding wise with you guys but we drove Decker Canyon the other day and it's HELLISH! I can't even imagine you guys riding it.

MORE POWER TO YOU!
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Old 07-16-09, 03:20 PM   #13
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Why is Tuna harder?
I think Tuna is as steep or slightly steeper and the steep part is longer.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:31 PM   #14
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Tuna is next on my list. After I do that, and having done Deer Creek, Decker and Las Flores, what are the next hardest climbs in the area?
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Old 07-16-09, 10:15 PM   #15
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Tuna is next on my list. After I do that, and having done Deer Creek, Decker and Las Flores, what are the next hardest climbs in the area?
Early morning weekend is a good time to ascend Tuna. Just be alert for cars coming down. I never see more than 5 along Tuna, but still.

Piuma, Stunt and Fernwood should round out your "Worst of the Santa Monica's" list. Some steep sections, but not overly long. If you have any kind of core fitness on a bike, none of it is "off-the-chart" challenging. Have you ever done some longer climbs? More often than not, it's the time spent cranking the pedals that challenge climbers, rather than short and steep climbs. Head up Angeles Crest to 8K feet. That to me would be challenging. And yes, it's on my list.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:39 PM   #16
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I've done it, didn't think it was too bad. Didn't live up the hype for me anyway. I remember Deer Creek being harder but I think I was just less fit at the time and on my heavier cross bike.
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Old 07-16-09, 10:48 PM   #17
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Head up Angeles Crest to 8K feet. That to me would be challenging. And yes, it's on my list.
Why don't you come with us this Saturday?
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Old 07-17-09, 01:00 AM   #18
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Why don't you come with us this Saturday?
I thought good and hard about it when I first saw that thread. Unfortunately, my new side job has me working that morning. That and I'm getting over two weeks of very little riding - one week because of physical pain from over-working one day, and the other week because of a tooth infection. I went on my first hard ride today for the first time in two weeks and I wasn't very pleased. I did OK, but it was a struggle.

What's the usual climb time for that ride? Over 40 miles in how long?
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Old 07-17-09, 07:29 AM   #19
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What's the usual climb time for that ride? Over 40 miles in how long?
The 40 miles is one way, you have to come back. The longer option is 95 miles. At a casual pace, stopping to eat,etc., at least 8 hours for the longer one, possibly 9, and 7+ for the 80. Last week I did a 75 mile version starting from Charlton Flat and it took me about 7.5 hours at a nice cruise speed.
There was about 8500 feet in that one. About 10K for the 95 and close to 9K for the 80.
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Old 07-17-09, 07:35 AM   #20
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The 40 miles is one way, you have to come back. The longer option is 95 miles. At a casual pace, stopping to eat,etc., at least 8 hours for the longer one, possibly 9, and 7+ for the 80. Last week I did a 75 mile version starting from Charlton Flat and it took me about 7.5 hours at a nice cruise speed.
There was about 8500 feet in that one. About 10K for the 95 and close to 9K for the 80.
That sounds like a challenge
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Old 07-17-09, 07:39 AM   #21
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That sounds like a challenge
Why do you think I don't invite you? You'd be bored to tears. You should come when there are guys capable of entertaining you. I mean, you could come if you want to, but it's a slow ride.
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Old 07-17-09, 08:10 AM   #22
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Why do you think I don't invite you? You'd be bored to tears. You should come when there are guys capable of entertaining you. I mean, you could come if you want to, but it's a slow ride.
I need to start doing longer climbs again to prepare for everest challenge. One of these days I'll come down and check it out and let you guys know how long it takes...
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Old 07-17-09, 08:33 AM   #23
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I'll stay on the flat trail. Those climbs look too tough!
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Old 07-17-09, 10:26 AM   #24
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I need to start doing longer climbs again to prepare for everest challenge. One of these days I'll come down and check it out and let you guys know how long it takes...
It's a great ride, most of it above 6000 ft, some above 7000, so it's cool enough in the summer.
I figure from Red Box to Wrightwood and back is about 95 miles with 10K, so for you or Keith or even TJ it could be around 6 or 6.5 hours. There's nothing real steep, but nothing flat, either.
You could start at the bottom of AC and make it a double metric with at least 12.5K, do a couple short add-ons and you could bag 14K.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:40 AM   #25
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I think Tuna is as steep or slightly steeper and the steep part is longer.
I have not gone up Tuna, went down it though. It was a long time ago but here is what I remember. Steep and long. It is also narrow and old. Not a horrible road, but there was a section where part of the road was gone, so it was one way. Going down I 'had' to stop becasue my hands were getting tired from braking.

Oh and I had a bit of a mystery, part way down it sounded like either there was a Hells Angels run of 100 bikes or a dozen out of tune trash trucks coming up the canyon. Turned out it was a 2 bladed Marine chopper.

At least the lower parts are well shaded, but eventually it is exposed. Sorry I do not remember the percentages. But I'm pretty sure that there was enough shaded that just how hard this ride is compared to most others in the area can change on how much of a factor the sun is.
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