report and photos by Eric (Auk) Akiyoshi, The Path Bike Shop Ambassador Race Team
"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."
Alright, so it isn’t 1972, we weren't sent to prison, there were both men and women, we did more than “survive,” and we aren’t wanted by the government (as far as I know). Still, The Path Bike Shop’s “A-Team” road contingent was out in force today for a Santiago Canyon loop: 33 miles, 2,900 feet of climbing, and a hoot of a good time. The ride was a mix of some hammerheads, some new to road riding, and some building a base for the coming race season. Although the group split a couple of times, there was always riding company for all involved.
About 15 folks showed up today and everyone brought their “A” game. The forces gathered at the Path Bike Shop in Tustin and rolled out about 7:15 am. Heading up Newport, a small breakaway developed as the rest of the peloton eased into a crisp morning pace line. Just past Irvine Lake, Jeff Irwin parked his SAG vehicle to snap some paparazzi photos and heckle the riders. Jeff also drove out and met us at Cook's Corner
in Trabuco Canyon…solid support effort!
Heading through the ‘canyon, a few folks managed an extra credit loop up and over Modjeska Road and looked yearningly up the Santiago Truck Trail towards the Luge. Alas, the road called and Nick, Andrew, "The Lad", and Auk pedaled off to meet the rest of the peloton at Cooks Corner.
Hearty banter abounded as Lou, Letty, and others rolled into Cook's Corner. Shortly after 9AM the crowd rolled on, down El Toro and up Glenn Ranch Rd where Nick (on a road Singlespeed nonetheless) sprinted the entire hill, splintering the lead group. By the time we hit Alton Raceway, folks were ready for some 35+ mph sustained pulls towards Irvine Blvd. Regrouping at Irvine Blvd, more big efforts by Smiley, Dave, and The Lad got the group back to Tustin in tired, but good spirits.