135mi and 15k climbing around the mountains this is how my Trans San Gabriel ride (race) attempt ended. Front D cable snapped out of the housing about 5 miles before reaching Red Box leaving in my 24t (yeah piss off I have a 24t). Fine for the trail we we on but no way in hell would I be able to ride fast enough to finish in time. With 85 miles and 10k left to go I just said fuck it and bailed.
When Mike announced the ride (race) we joked about doing it then that turned into a “why not” scenario followed by some serious training (lol). Turns out it was just going to be Thomas and I attempting it and our schedules didn’t really match so that left me riding a lot of mornings by myself, along with some fun little ones with the crew. For a second I seriously tried to get prepared by riding as much as possible even to the point of heading out one morning by myself with the goal of climbing as much as I felt I had time for. Ended up with about 11k and 75 miles and was pretty bummed my Wahoo crapped out on me and didn’t reload what I had ridden. But when I did the math I knew I was on that bubble. Sounds dumb but I knew I had to ride a minimum of 6.25 mph avg to finish on time and I was trying to use that ride as my base. Also a note to self on that, holy shit do we (I) stop a lot sometimes. Ride time and total time are my enemies.
Above is a video of that dumb 11k ride.
The morning of the ride (race) came up quick as I ended up leaving town for the 3 weeks prior to celebrate the release of Leo Baker’s signature shoe (go buy some, they’re hella comfy!). No bike, with the exception of the little rental bikes in some of the cities (rode the electronic one last couple days and that shit was mad fun!) aaaannnnnddd there went my “training”.
8am and we all rolled out. Something like 125 people so Thomas and I waited bit, we know our role. We ended up riding the first 15+ miles with a rad little group, tbh I just stayed in the back but on someone’s wheel most of it and holy shit was that dope! Swear that helped my avg so much, riding 20+ with way less effort. I think I’m gonna need someone to lead me from now on.
But as with everything good, they took the fuck off and left us to fend for ourselves. So we took a break and ate.
So bit more across town on the road then we took that left heading north into the mountains. Thats when the sky absolutely opened up and pissed on us for a couple hours. Luckily I had a disposable packable poncho that kept the water rolling right down into socks. Gore-tex hiking shoes don’t matter at this point, my socks and insoles were soaked. Oh yeah, here’s a good one….I re-wrapped my bars with some thick tape followed by neubaums so that just soaked up all the rain, and although I was wearing waterproof gloves, they aren’t waterproof, so my hands were just in wet gloves on wet cloth tape. Pretty dope. Up a 4×4 trail for a while, then a pretty fire road, the rain had stopped but the wind went apeshit. At this point we had climbed up to the peak, I think just under 8k and 80 miles, the sun had set and we had a wet road bomb down to Baldy Lodge in time for some dinner and drinks.
We walked in to multiple table of people we hadn’t seen since the start, when I was told “I’m bailing” by a few of them I walked around to all the tables and they were all bailing! Fucking hell, Thomas let’s bail dude! He was pretty reluctant so we ordered veggie burgers and tequila, set our soaked shoes/socks/gloves/insoles by the fireplace while I let that marinate in his brain a bit. Next thing I know my feet are up by the fire, eating a piece of apple pie, sipping another tequila and Thomas STILL wants to ride.
We headed outside to get ready, filled our water bottles, an as soon as we were about to head out it started to rain again. We had been there way too long already so I went in and got us some bags to cover our shoes and we took off in the dark cold rain.
That continued on for the next 10-15 miles and another 15 or so later we were at the next trail where we would spend the next 7 hours climbing out of. Hahaha that sounds so dumb when I type it out but seriously, I remember it was 11:something pm when we started it and we came out at Redbox shortly after 6am. That was my first time riding through the night and it was pretty cool actually. Would not have been so cool doing it alone so I was stoked Thomas and I were about the same speed all day. He saw a baby “cat” looking down at him from a cliff, and I saw a couple eyes looking down at me a bit later but other than that the only animal encounters we had were some crazy birds sleeping on the trail. The first one we saw we couldn’t tell what it was, just saw 1 fire red dot facing us. I thought someone had dropped a light, but as soon as we got a few feet away it took off. Those birds were on the whole trail all night.
At red box It took me a bit to figure out that the snap I heard on the trail was the cable popping out of the housing but after frantically (jk) trying to tighten the cable etc i thought it was my bar end shifter which led me to see the snap. Whats crazy is when we came out off the trail there were people getting ready to keep going, but they had been there since 11pm – WHEN WE STARTED THE TRAIL! hahahaha. I guess they partied then slept in the toilet to stay warm. Sounds like a wack Saturday night lol.
Long story short (too late for that) I had to bail and get a ride down with someone, Thomas was going to bail but needed up going on to to the next trail, Strawberry Peak, alone before bailing on the other end of it. He was apparently falling asleep before Redbox but he was behind me and when I looked back every so ofter I could see his headlight so just kept moving.
After the second rain I wrapped my poncho around my bars to keep my palms from soaking on the wet cloth tape and that worked great so take notes folks. Also, I bought a Fenix light and headlamp and holy shit those things were dope! I didn’t even use the spare batteries and the trail was LIT!
Oh yeah, I just double checked, the ride (race) started with 119 people. 7 people finished on time (including Andres on his Evasion Lite) and 1 finished after the buzzer.