Latigo Canyon – a New Year’s ride

Originally I declined to participate in a ride for Monday, January 2nd with my good friend @roadchickie, which was to take place somewhere in Santa Clarita. My mind was elsewhere, but once I realized that everyone was still on a Holiday on Monday and none of my anticipated events would occur, I changed my mind. (yes, men can do that too!)
As it turns out @roadchickie had to bail out of her ride plans, so @M2Tiguy and I connected for a ride up the coast to Latigo Canyon from Santa Monica. You should follow the bail out link above for a good story and an amazing blog banner picture.
For those who would like mor info on Latigo, here is a link to a detailed ride description from 2010: Latigo Canyon

at the base of Latigo - let the climbing begin

Funny enough, today’s ride is the exact same ride we did on January 1, a year ago. I sure hope that this year will turn out a lot better than the last despite the same start. The route turned out to be a  good challenge for me. Since I picked up cycling again some 30 days ago, I happily logged a bit over 400 miles. This is more than I rode during the entire 2011 year. Ha, I think that I am off to a good start, but now it is time to get some elevation into the mix.
The Latigo ride is a 54 mile loop for me with 3800 feet of climbing. Most of the elevation gain is the canyon itself, accounting for about 2400 feet over an 8 mile stretch. I did OK  going up and my goal was to stay in the middle ring, which I did. But I knew on the way back (which is mostly downhill or flat, with a handful of good ‘rollers’ thrown in) that I was pretty much running on empty and I was very happy when I reached my front door.
A most disturbing encounter happened on the climb up Latigo. We were about 2/3 up when we came upon a Father/Son duo. My estimate is that the kid was about 8 to 10 years old. Dad was “coaching” the kid up the hill, and please note that the term “coaching” is used in the losest sense possible. Kurt and I could have killed the A-hole.
Picture a young boy, on a sun drenched mountain side in 80+ degrees in biking shorts, no shirt, with a chest cold (by his dad’s admission), gasping for air, dehydrated and his Dad yelling at him: ” Come on junior, put some legs in it, for crying out loud, you are being dropped by these guys!” What a way to get a kid into cycling – some people should not be allowed to have children (I can say that, I don’t have any).
On the flip side of the coin, I chatted with a Canadian rider during the ascent for a while, who is here on vacation. Two strangers in the middle of no-where, connecting through the bond of cycling – a great moment.
I am glad we got to get out riding – it set a good tone for things to come, and hope that you all had equally as much fun.

About GT in LA

Road cycling enthusiast
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