Monday, April 2, 2012
Mountain Bike Sunday: Paseo Miramar to Eagle Rock
This past sunday morning, I jumped out of bed bright and early eager to go on a mountain bike ride, my first of the year. I've been looking forward to taking out my barely ridden Jamis cyclocross bike, which has been sitting for 6 months with nowhere to go. It's the perfect bike to ride on fire roads, where major suspension is not needed.
Around 630am, I tossed the Jamis in the back of my truck and drove to Pacific Palisades. I chose to ride up Paseo Miramar, a very steep uphill trail that leads to the Backbone Trail and Eagle Rock.
The backbone trail goes from Will Rogers all the way to Point Mugu. You can literally spend days and days riding around the Santa Monica Mountains on this trail.
I arrived at the trailhead and hopped on the bike and began pedaling. The trail got steep, fast!
I tried to shift into the lowest gear and realized it was slipping. I spent a few minutes turning adjustment screws and finally got it sorted out. Back on the bike and even in the lowest gear, this was waaay too steep for me and my double ring cyclocross setup. At that moment, I really missed the triple chainring I was so used to on my mountain bike.
Without the triple, this ride turned into my own personal alpe d'huez.
I struggled to keep the cranks turning, taking turns sitting and standing, and eventually getting comfortable enough to accept that I was going to make it to Eagle Rock, eventually...
Once I got past the first 2 miles, where there's a 1000 feet of altitude gain, the ride became much more pleasant. The air was ultra clear and the trail had a soft tacky trail surface from the rains that fell the night before.
As I finally had a chance to catch my breath, I was reminded of the fact that I live in gorgeous part of the world that is there for me to enjoy whenever I want it. Deer ate breakfast by the side of the trail and spring was making her presence known in the blooming flowers everywhere.
"Why don't I ride here more often?" I asked myself.