Monday, September 15, 2008

A very long S24O...

I'm tired and am still recovering from my adventure this past weekend. You can check the map out here.

I'll write a longer trip report but here's the Cliff Note version.

-Riding from the ocean to the mounts in Los Angeles is possible. I rode the entire length of the San Gabriel River Trail and rode into Angeles National Forest. Woohoo! Something I never thought I could do.
-The SGRT is pretty boring. Hot. Flat. Nothing to see. After a while I lost count of how many graffiti covered bridges I saw.
-Mountains are big! Really! You should see for yourself. I don't think I've ever ridden in mountains proper but they're HUGE. The scale of things is amazing.
-Water is heavy. There was no water (other than questionable creek water) so I brought along a Steri-Pen and a gallon jug, in addition to three 27oz bottles.
-Always check your sausage. I grabbed what I thought was salami from a deli. It turned out to be spicy chorizzo, which is good but does not play well with your stomach and ass when you're on the bike for 6+ hours.
-I should have brought a sleeping bag. I've been spoiled not carrying a sleeping bag these summer months but it was considerably colder in the mountains than it is at the coast (duh!). I put on every piece of clothing I had and slept in the fetal position trying to keep warm.
-Bring more than one patch kit. I managed to run over these onerous prickly things that would give me multiple punctures per flat! I went through my two spare tubes and used up my patches! One more patch and I would have been hitching home from the mountains.
-Mosquitoes suck.I came home looking like a leper with about a half dozen bites on each arm and legs. The one that sucks the most is the bite near my eye that is causing my eye-lid to swell.
-Avoid mauling stories before you go into the woods. I was at a bar the night before and Joel, who was there, told me of some horrific story about his friend who was camping in Yosemite. His friend was camping and a bear ambled through. Someone scared it away with a gun or something. A few hours later, they were woken up by someone banging pots and pans. Apparently, the bear found its way to another camp. The pots and pans didn't work because the next minute he was screaming bloody hell and then it stopped. From across the valley they heard the last blood curdling cries. The ranger confirmed the next morning that someone was mauled to death.

I think the story colored my whole adventure a little because I was a bit antsy. It was my first time sleeping in the woods by myself.

I'm a grown man of 30 and I feel like a Cub Scout :)


luis said...

congrats. done that exact route back in the 80s and 90s. by the way, which damn is that in the pics? l.a. biking is "challenging" with the car culture out there but i hear it's getting better. these days i live in denver, it's a bit more bike friendly out here. keep it up, nice to read stories about my other home! if your ever in denver drop me a post, we'll go for a spin.

Joel said...

Nice ride, looking forward to the longer (and hopefully picture-filled) report on the exciting graffiti bridges you passed ;-)

I used to live in the San Bernardino Mts and my only real regret was that I hadn't gotten into biking as seriously as now. I had a mid-range MTB but didn't do much riding. Some day I'll head back up with the new LHT ( and do some overnights.

Joel said...

Sorry about the Bear story Russ, I was a little buzzed and I hadn't considered the sleep-stealing side effects of my creepy little anecdote. Can't wait to make one of these trips happen with you.