Santa Monica Mountains

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You’d think if you were staying on the beach, smack in the middle of LA, North to South, that it would be pretty difficult to get a good training ride in.  That isn’t really the case.  Of course, most of your rides are going to be in an urban setting, but you still can get out and ride where there is almost no one.

On Monday, I did a ride that headed up the coast from Manhattan Beach, thru Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu and then turned off the coast hwy at Latigo Canyon.  It is one of the climbs that is on the Mike Nosco Memorial ride that is November 3rd.

We rode up Latigo, descended, then turned on Mulholland back towards LA.  We took a little 4 mile kicker back up over the top of the mountains, Stunt Road, then descended back to the coast.  It was a little over 80 miles total, with 6000 feet of climbing.  Not a car passed us when we were riding up Latigo.  Is that crazy?  Maybe a 9 mile, 2000 foot climb, connecting to the coast and no one drove by.  Amazing.

I was hoping be more creative today, but am a little off.  I was riding pretty good the last few days, but my thumb is throbbing some now.  Enough to wake me up.  Today I guess I should get it x-rayed to see what damage I did.  Shit.  It has been a week.

I have been looking for some twist shifters to put on my mountain bike.  Does someone make 10 or 11 speed twist shifters?  I know I can get 9 speed shifters that work with Shimano, but I could just change the whole rear drivetrain I suppose.  As of now, I probably can’t use a thumb shifter.

It is supposed to rain all day Friday and Saturday for the Berryman Epic.  I guess that just makes it that much more epic.  I’ve ridden the race right after a deluge.  It holds water amazingly well, but there are a ton of rocks on this course, so it is tricky.

Okay, I think I’ll go back to bed and try to get some more sleep.  Here are some photos from the ride on Monday.

Manhattan Beach pier.

Manhattan Beach pier.

From the top of Stunt Road looking towards the ocean.

From the top of Stunt Road looking towards the ocean.

The famous Rock House on Mulholland.

The famous Rock Store on Mulholland.

The Getty Villa up above Malibu.

The Getty Villa up above Malibu.

This is Marc Lewis' family. Marc called me out of the blue, just wanting to meet up and say hi. I didn't know him. I was riding back thru Santa Monica and I met up with him. Super nice guy. Very good experience.

This is Marc Lewis’ family. Marc called me out of the blue, just wanting to say hi. I didn’t know him. I was riding back thru Santa Monica and I met up with him. Super nice guy. Very good experience.

Venice Beach. Crazy place.

Venice Beach. Crazy place.


9 thoughts on “Santa Monica Mountains

  1. C. Hillman

    SRAM makes an 11speed twist shifter for its XX1 group. I am not sure about its compatibility with XTR. Good luck at Berryman.

  2. Tom

    Sram and shimano do not play nice together. Steve if i were in your position I would get my thumb checked out. If the thumb is race ready switch your drive chain to the DI2 xtr. With that system you can run a remote shift button to your left thumb or where ever you want.
    Trail report from last weekend was fair. Customer said leafs were falling in buckets and the trail was covered. Granted he is not as skilled as you but he said it was slick. He was not phased but the chance of rain.

    God luck

  3. Craig

    Sram GripShift is nice but you have to swap the rear stuff. I run SRAM on my road bikes but prefer Shimano on the off road – as noted above, just upgrade to Di2 off road and you have no issue 🙂

  4. JKM

    Yes little bit of s secret.. the LA area, the valley, San Gabriels tons of kick ass road riding, and the dirt single track climbs and descents are legendary for the early soul riders like Aaron Cox, Greg Dres, Kye Sharp, Joe Sloup.. The So Cal tribe cut their teeth on this stuff, and tore a lot of visitors up,,,, just and FYI !

  5. Krakatoa (East of Java)

    I don’t know if they still run it, but there was a great event back in the day called the Nest Mtn road race. 15 mile course. Half up, half down. Stunt Rd was certainly part of the course. I remember being a junior in ’85 and ascending up into the thick fog, then being up above it. That was the first time I’d ever seen Shimano SIS shifting. The kid that had it was very competitive. He peed his shorts while climbing that first lap. Everyone saw him do it, and of course let him know we all knew. Tough kid.

  6. Krakatoa (East of Java)

    Oh, and that was the day we all first met one Raul Alcala, at least in local events. He and his Denti teammates showed up in the most dilapidated pickup you’ve ever seen. We drove behind it at 4am as they were coming up from TJ. Alcala was shivering in the back.

  7. Telford

    SRAM does Grip Shift in 2×10 (XX) and 1×11 (XX1). SRAM derailleurs and Grip Shift are compatible with Shimano cassettes, but you can’t mix the 10 or 11-speed Grip Shift with Shimano derailleurs. Grip Shift used to make twisties that were designed to work with Shimano, but I think that stopped with 8 or 9 speed stuff. You should be able to use your front Shimano derailleur/shifter and just switch to a GS shifter and SRAM derailleur with the appropriate cassette. I’ve got GS and a SRAM rear derailleur in 9 (XO), 10 (XX), and 11 (XX1) I can pull off and let you borrow for the Berryman weekend if you want to swing by Lansing on your way out to Missouri.

  8. mv

    You can run a 9 speed grip shifter with a Shimano Dyna Sys derraileur on a shimano 10 speed cassette minus one cog.

  9. Chris Froome

    Hey Cycling Fans and The Illustrious Mr. Steve Tilford, Chris Froome, long suffering (not to mention long winded) glad hand for all things Rhinoceros, and, or course Tour De France aficionado here to chime in on an easy solution to problem parts- Ring Yozo and have Shimano send all new stuff and a spare! Oh, sorry, that treatment is all but reserved for folks like me chumming up with Royalty down here in South Ken…. (Not to rub it in your face Richie, but Sir Davey let me take the RV last weekend and I practically burned up the Sky Versimo).

    But seriously, I just reviewed the TdF route and Prince William mentioned me gushing over the upcoming Bastille Day TT and he called me a Francophile to my face! Awesome!!!!!!!


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