A ride in the San Gabriel Mountains

It started out this morning with a meet time of 10:00am at JPL parking lot. Everything seemed right, the temp, the attitude and the empty truck to put our 35lb. monsters in.

This ride was not planned other than two friends saying to each other the week before “Have you ever tried Sunset?” “No! The other replied”

So as the Motley Crew gathers, Sevada, King Taco, Randy and I, we make that dreadful phone call.

(Ring, Ring) “Hello” “Jose get your stuff were going to pick you up” “I can’t go; I got to do stuff around the house”. We said some things at this point but the FCC might fine Martin if I repeat. So we drove by his house and harassed him anyway, we felt bad after seeing the look on his face.

So we park at the Chaney gate and ready our 35lb monsters like were about to shuttle.
We all make this slight comment like “Let’s give this Sunset thing a try” not knowing how far the climb is, we proceed like naive tourists not sure what there in for.

We climb, and climb and then climb some more. The ride starts at the lower sunset entrance. Ahh! The bliss of the front and rear compression of the suspension as the bikes glide over water logs (man some of those were steep). Sevada has the biggest smile on his face as he conquers all the switchbacks and drops like he had ridden the trail a 100 times.

As we get to the right switchback that has two steps that drop like 5ft, where the consequence is going over the bars, going off the trail or being impaled on the metal support fence sticking out like a knife. Sevada rides it like a trial rider, I stop and walk. As King Taco approaches I tell him of what his life means to his family, he gives me some special finger code and drops the two steps. I’m blown away and jealous simultaneously. Sevada gets back on his bike and does it again.

As we proceed we get to a point were King Taco is loudly talking about seeing a moving shadow of a big cat on the floor from the tree above as he looked up it was gone and so were we!

Now we climb up to El Prieto and start our journey of the best course So Cal has to offer. About half way down we run into Jose! A few choice words and more of the popular finger code were exchanged. We get back to the truck and decide to do one more run. Everything is going good at this point. We are all clearing the switchbacks and riding the old trail I might add.

We get to the trail were the plastic water breaks are sticking out of the ground, we wait for some off the riders to catch up (I’m not saying it’s King Taco and Randy, we’ll just leave that a secret). As we push off Sevada, Jose and I here this loud bush breaking on the left side of the trail and Sevada hears a deep but not loud growl, I did not see anything but that brush breaking was enough for me to ride that trail like Steve Peat. Funny thing is there were lot riders on the trail and a lot of hikers with dogs. Who knows what we heard and saw this day, but I’m sure to tell you that we will be there this Saturday for the Mt. Wilson Drop. All in all it was a great ride and couldn’t get any better.

Interesting Fact:
I also ran into a guy named Ken who sells coffee and he told me that there is going to be a mountain bike race in San Gabriel Mountains, he said it took 7 years to get a permit.
I’m not kidding! See for yourself! http://www.altadenanakedcrowmtnbikechallenge.com/

Stoner