Re-Escaping to the Old Ridge Route

While I’m world renowned for being such a radical, awesome adventure cyclist, the reality is I’m fighting for scraps of time to get great experiences out on the road.

Let’s talk Paw Patrol for a couple of sentences.

I don’t know much about it other than it being a cartoon featuring power puppies each with a set of special skills to solve problems.

I’m not into it either, but when the female side of the CV family had tickets to see a live show (I don’t want to get deep into that either) at the Microsoft Theater, Mr. CiclaValley had a rare Saturday to devote to one of those epic rides.

Since I had advanced warning, I casted the prospect of a big ride out to a web of friends and the idea of doing the Old Ridge Route brought a few of them out.

Our group of six had a diverse group of bikes to ride this mixed surface of a road.



Early thumbs up as we start to roll. (photo: Victor Boyce)


We had a cross, mountain, road and steel touring bike in tow.

Vic and I both did this ride previously on our carbon Niner RLTs, but I opted to go on my steel commuter because why not have a different experience?

Nik was great to have along because he has encyclopedic knowledge of the area beyond what I already knew.



Welcome to the Old Ridge Route Kevin.


I asked why there were far fewer rubber mats this time and he figured rains flooded them off the side.

Sure enough, that’s where they were found.

Kevin had the toughest go of it as his hefty Surly made the climbs extra tough.



“Civilization” below.


I can tell on my steel bike that the added weight makes the difficulty go up exponentially, so his 6,500 feet of climbing is the equivalent of 10k for the rest of us.

It was the same road, but felt like a completely new experience.

Every landmark seemed closer, yet the rest of the terrain felt foreign.



One last peak at Castaic Lake (photo: Nik Bales)


It was a clearer day producing more shadows than before giving a crisper depth to our surroundings.

I brought along my Roadrunner Jammer bag with a couple of extra waters I froze before the ride and I was super impressed they were still almost in the same state two hours later.

So wonderful…



That’s a pic of me. I ride bikes (photo: Nik Bales)


The ride wouldn’t be complete without stopping at the multiple remnants along the way.

The Tumble Inn site is unique to take in as you can still half imagine it as it was and wouldn’t be something if this road could relive part of its former glory again.

While it’s fun to go in a big group, but it also increases your chances of something going wrong.



Narrowing our way through Swede’s Cut.


On the ride over, I asked Vic if he would take the over or under if I set the number of major calamities at two.

He took the under.

Kevin was victim of the first mishap following a group of mountain bikers he mistook for us riding up the Golden Eagle Trail which was soon followed by a flat from Bo.



Tumbling up the Tumble Inn. (photo: Victor Boyce)


Just a handful of miles later, Nik’s battery on his front derailleur (calamity #3) went out meaning it would be a little tougher down the line, but the biggest problem was the heat causing a meltdown(calamity #4).

Even though it was hot and cramping picked away at our crew, we somehow made it back in enough time that I sprinted to DTLA it time to pick up my family.

Weeks later, I appreciate what a welcome respite this excursion was and now that I have more time to ride this summer, I look forward to more days like these.



Love is a highway…



After seeing this blooming flower, I wanted to eat a bloomin’ onion! (photo: Nik Bales)



It’s worth a shot.



Tree canopies were few.






A thirstier selfie. (photo: Victor Boyce)



The start of the return.



Descendin’ to the endin’.