Scuba, Thomas and myself decided a few weeks ago to do the final Tourist Race of the year and went full throttle on training, racking up an easy 60 miles between the 3 of us in the weeks prior to game day. Pretty much had it in the bag. If you aren’t familiar, books get hidden around LA and you get the coordinates to them and have to route yourself however you see fit to get the page out of them that corresponds with your race number. I should have known how the day was going to go when I got a sandwich from Starbucks named Ronny, close enough I guess. Next up was loading up the bikes and realizing I didn’t put a memory card in the go-pro which fucked up that whole thing where we make a video and post it to YouTube and get awards for it.
We opted for a clockwise route climbing up Big Tujunga and getting the page out of the furthest book first. Pretty nice ride up to be honest, I think it was about 27 miles, then about a third mile hike up to the book.
The hike sucked and my legs were not stoked at first but the figured themselves out and kept moving. Looking at the topo it seems it was about a 70ft increase in elevation but I sure felt like double that. I swear I even remember Thomas saying it was a lot more. We got halfway to the book and Thomas realized he forgot his race number and had to walk back down to his bike to find out. At this point, literally right after I tore my page out, a guy named Kent who has won every single one of these races hes entered ( and I think he’s only missed a couple?), ran up to get his page out. DUDE! We’re tied for first!!!!! LOL just playing, he was getting his 5th and final page!! Hahahah fucking nuts.
The second checkpoint was over a 200ft decline in less than half a mile so coming back up we opted for walking most of it…we weren’t alone in this decision. It actually felt nice. Back on the road we ended up seeing the secret aid station and although it was out of water we pounded a soda and grabbed one for our lunch that we had scheduled for when we got to the trailhead to Telephone Trail which we weren’t looking forward to.
Well..turns out our trailhead lunch spot was most likely not going to be a nice ride so we bombed back down the road to the other entrance that we should have gone in the first time. That equaled a half mile and 150 waisted. Telephone sucked, minimal biking, maximum hiking.
The photo above of team yellow shirt is the last I saw of them until back at Let’s Ride for the finish. All that crap above is Telephone Trail and going up it sucked. BUT the decision we had to make was to go up Telephone or Earl and after descending Earl (favorite part of the day, hands down) I know we made the right one. After I got my page at Telephone I hung out a little bit, ate a snack and talked to a few others thats were doing basically the same route but counter clockwise. Climbing Earl must have really sucked so I know they had a blast going down Telephone! Before leaving I told them to let the guys in the yellow shirts know that I took off. I felt bad for leaving but I’m the most impatient person ever and unless it involves sitting on the beach, or I guess drinking and eating , I hate sitting around.
Grizzly was the section between Telephone and Earl and was freshly wiped clean of all the rocks and plants so it was pretty easy to climb but holy shit did it remove all the character. It meets up with Lukens and going east was a nice little bomb down to Earl. I texted Scuba and Thomas when I got there and let them know I was dropping in. Hands down my favorite part of the day. About 4 miles of wild, sketchy at times, downhill with a little climb in the middle since Mike‘s sinister mind put the book off the trail a bit which gave everyone more climbing. Once out the gate of the mountains, and out of water, the first house happened to have the owner watering something and he let me fill a bottle. Best water all day.
About 5mi of decline/flat to the next book felt so damn good. Part of the fun of these is when you ride a trail or section of one or even a road that you haven’t been on which was the case for this part. When I got to the book there was a couple others looking for it, so here’s a tip – when you get the email with the coordinates, make sure you watch the videos he sends with them of where the book is. They were just maybe 30 feet off but without knowing exactly where to look it could have really sucked. With just about 15mi to go and mostly flat-ish it was time to just get the fuck back to the shop. I opted for the lower route on Colorado, per Scubas decision, which added some mile or two but saved 350ft which Im happy for. Once I got to flower I hit 24mph for a bit so there must have been some tailwind but holy shit did that feel fast. Thats about all I remember until getting back to Let’s Ride, eating an impossible burger cooked up by Eric from LoweLifes, and sitting on the ground drinking a beer (see I can be patient) waiting on Thomas and Scuba.
Soooooo….Scuba and Thomas…..The ran out of water, Scubas rd wouldn’t shift when he was in his 24t up front, and then Thomas slashed his sidewall requiring a tube and a boot. Scuba was over it and Thomas was a bit nervous about the boot/tube combo going down Earl so they bailed out half way up Grizzly and went to Lukens fire station, filled up their bottles, and rode back to the shop. Thomas ending up winning some stuff in the raffle so he was stoked.
Thats it. I think. Sorry no dumb video and only iPhone photos but I hope Mike keeps doing these even if he has to revisit some of the first routes (hint hint). There will be a mega one coming up in October, so consider this my training for it.