by Jesse Peterson, Mechanic at The Path Bike Shop Live Oak
The Sunday Live Oak shop ride was well worth depriving myself of sleep to make, although a couple more hours of snoozing would have been so nice, but that's then and this is now.
I got to the shop at 6:50am, and to my disappointment, nobody was waiting there. I supposed a 21 mile single-track ride wasn't on people's agenda for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but I was soon proven wrong as Jeff (a fellow Sprockethead) pulled up into the driveway. I was relieved. On the way out of the parking lot, Jeff broke a chain (which we fixed with two rocks and tight MacGyver skills) just as Pat (a long-time Path groupie) showed up late to join us.
We were out on the road within minutes and heading east into Trabuco Canyon and already marveling at the Santa Anas! Everyone seemed to be on the same page as me. Feeling the lead break up in our legs, we set a good pace, beating the weekend motor-warriors out the long, dusty road. As far as I'm concerned, being a resident canyoneer and connoisseur of the wildernesses in and around my hometown of Silverado, Trabuco is the real deal. With the overcast skies clearing and the warm May sun dripping through the canopies of oak, alder, and sycamore, we scuttle-butted, pushed our bikes, and occasionally managed to surprise ourselves with fleeting moments of ninja-prowess trail skills and grunting quarterback-like stubbornness needed to grind up the many obstacles Trabuco Trail throws at you. We still were able to manage our endurance to last us the rest of the trip.
We summited Trabuco a little behind our original time projections and opted to eat lunch there at the motor barricade instead of on Yeager Mesa; all of us aware of our caloric depravities. Soon after our meager meals, it was back to the grind and up to Los Pinos peak we climbed.
I regret to inform anyone reading this that you missed out on the spectacular prismacolor finale of Spring's wildflower bloom in full effect on Bell Ridge; with Indian Paintbrush, Blue Dicks, Mountain Bush Poppy, Ceanothus, and many more I don't remember, acting like mid-morning fireworks as we finished our final ascent to the Yeager trail head. From there on into the canyon floor it was nothing but hoots, hollers, and the occasional "oh sh*t," either from our excited senses or the anticipation of impending Oak-rash doom. So far, so good (regarding Poison Oak rashes), so maybe Technu really works. I'm convinced!
After a short stop on the Mesa, we dropped the last few hundred feet of elevation to Trabuco Creek, back down the good 'ol floodplain trials course to Holy Jim, and into the dust storm of Jeeps and weekend adventurers.
We made it back to the Live Oak shop, where a few Modelos were put to good use! Anyways, it was over, sad as we were...not! We were stoked.
Canyon-Path guy, Jesse Peterson.
The Path Bike Shop has got a ride for everyone. Check out our Weekly Shop Rides and join us next time.