Yesterday was incredible! I was able to pull together a group of seven guys, most who had never met each other to head out and ride 50 miles and 4000 feet of climbing on one of my favorite mixed terrain routes. Four guys on 650b, one sporting 26″ and only two of us on 700c, all “road” bikes and not what you usually see out on the dirt in this area.
The weather was perfect, warm not hot, light breezes and not a cloud in the sky. The hills had some green thanks to the recent late season rains. And the dirt conditions were perfect. There is an 8 mile warm up on the Ventura river trail before we set into the work of the 10 miles or so of dirt road climbing through the cattle ranches and countryside. While only about 1/5 of the mileage, this is where we spent the largest percentage of the time.
Here is Mike F rocking the Trek I had converted to 650b a few months back with some downhill pedals and sanuk sandal shoes. With a low gear ratio of 40/32 he was still leading the pack throughout the whole day.
For me the ride had a few highlights. First and foremost was sharing the loop with friends. I have done this ride a bunch alone over the years, and hands down it is better with a few buddies. Everybody had a good time, not too much suffering on the steep sections and the closest thing we had to a mechanical was a couple of slow tire leaks that needed topping up along the way, and Errin hit some gum. A giant Thank You to all who were able to come out for the ride. I am looking forward to doing this again soon.
Mike’s trek was flawless, not a squeak or rattle on a bike that has seen months of use since I restored it for him. My Rambler No1 met and exceeded all of my performance expectations, both climbing and descending. My friend Aaron was on Rambler No3. He had never ridden it before that morning, never ridden a bike with drop bars, never ridden more than 30 miles or so and surely not with 4K feet of total climbing and two wicked fast twisty descents. He was able to hold strong with all of us, the whole time, excepting a slight bonk, but that was right before our planned lunch stop. While riding a bike of my own design and having it go well was rewarding, having it go that well for your friend is far greater.