By | December 22, 2013

On the day of Solstice in December, several Footers embarked on a recon/scout/unofficial group ride for what potentially could be the next Mudfoot Ride. The route, created by Moi aka @Mudfootismurder (you following us on Instagram?) proved to be challenging, spirit breaking, euphoric, and cold. Snow and ice sort of cold.

At the end of the day we would clock in almost a century with over 8k of climbing on various dirt roads, some covered in snow and ice. HC category type terrain full of climbing, steep steep climbing. No mechanicals, no flats, all good.

The seven of us straddled our cyclocross bikes and left Intelli Coffee and headed East.

Temps were still in low 50′s and we hadn’t reached the Mountains. Clouds hovered over the San Gabriel mountain range, as sort of an omen for the day.

We finally hit dirt and it was up for pretty much the rest of the day. All smiles as we took in the various terrain changes you uncover as you head farther and father into desolation.

You can see the earth change on itself switchback after switchback.

Things started to get hard. We hit a section of the climb that felt like a wall (you experience a ‘WTF!’ moment when you see it). Some were forced to dismount (which we avoid at all physical costs), while others barely kept enough rear tyre traction to make it to the top. The 360° views provided just enough distraction from the difficulty of the ride. And we were only half way into the 30 mile dirt climb.

Lunch/mental break.

Bike break.

As we pushed on, bear tracks were aplenty as we headed deeper into the mountains.

Hitting some snow and ice at this point, and making sure to have fun.

The day was getting shorter very quickly, as we work our way out back to familiar roads.

There is a light, that never goes out.

We just made the Red Box Ranger Station to get some Cokes, candy and other junk food to fuel our final stretch home. The descent was fast … the CHP thought so.

And we closed the chapter on one of the best group rides some of us have experienced.