Los Flores Canyon and I

Amazing – almost a year has passed since my last blog entry, and it was not for the lack of trying. I simply did not have anything I cared to share on this blog. I started a new job in January and it was all consuming. The chapter is closed now and I am trying to pick up the fitness pieces, which are in shambles.

Luckily I did not lose all of my friends along the way and @roadchickie was kind enough to drag my sorry butt up Stunt road last weekend. You can read a ride description on her blog http://mydogparty.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-cant-describe-my-joy.html . I am really grateful that she brought the whip with her and chased me up that hill. Reaching the top of Stunt Canyon kindled a renewed fire to get back into shape. Eleven months off the bike, no real exercise to speak off have left me soft and without power. But, I am going to change that, and since I know I already did it once, I know I will succeed.

Perfect Riding Conditions

Fast forward to today. My friend @M2Tiguy got sick earlier in the week and is floating high on medication. Our planned ride up the coast and Latigo canyon would not be. I figured earlier in the morning that I will do the ride by myself. I checked the weather earlier and it looked just about perfect. So I got my gear together, and  because I am a spoiled So Cal rider 54 degrees is cold, I packed a couple of layers, just in case.

I had every intention to ride up Latigo, but about 11 miles into the ride I approached the turn to Los Flores Canyon. I have a love/hate relationship with this canyon (you can read about it here), but then the thought occurred to me, that this would be a perfect balance to last Saturday’s ride. You see the end of the Los Flores Canyon intersects with the end of Stunt Canyon – serendipity, I had to do it. So I swung a right and let the climbing begin.

PCH - Los Flores Cyn - Fernwood Cyn - PCH loop

This is a 36 mile loop from my house with 3200 feet of climbing, most of it up Los Flores, which is mostly in the lower teens grade percentage, but has a number of sections which are in the upper teens, and a couple break the 20% grade barrier. Let me just say that there were a number of times I had to take a break and about half way up it started to rain. How did I miss that in the forecast? Of course, immediately I hear that little voice “ah, it’s raining, probably a sign to turn around”.

Ha, I did not – I challenged that little voice and when I needed a break I told myself I am doing that to snap some pictures (such a liar). In the end it worked out and I am reminded how challenging that canyon road is. Good news is, that the lower portion is repaved and has nice shiny new tarmac. At the top I decided to return via Fernwood canyon for different scenery, but the constant rain made that decent very technical. No time to take photos, just paying attention to the rode and keeping the rubber down.

My legs are toast and the hot shower felt incredible. But the best part of cycling is the way how great you feel when you come home – nothing compares to it. Below are some images from today’s ride.

about 1/3 up Los Flores - looking at the Pacific

I forgot how steep it gets

It is starting to sprinkle

Raining now and it is slick

A welcome sight - top of Los Flores LA County Fire post

The climb continues up Rambla Pacifico and Schuren

On Top - Stunt and Schuren meet - it got really dark there for a while

The Pacific Ocean and the sky blend into each other


About GT in LA

Road cycling enthusiast
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5 Responses to Los Flores Canyon and I

  1. Pingback: Not Los Flores Canyon again?? | GT in LA

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  4. merider says:

    Wow, GT! That’s a steep climb and a road I’ve never been up (no, that is not a challenge). By the way, you’re butt was anything but sorry on Stunt last Sunday. Stop sandbagging!!! (giving you evil eye). Like I told you last week, your body has a memory and faster than you can say “stupid f*cking hill” – you’ll be up it and so many more, dropping me in the process! I’m so glad you’re back. 🙂

  5. Welcome back! While I personally don’t consider 54 degrees perfect riding weather, I’m glad it works for you. Good luck on your road back to fitness. It is well worth it.

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