My first Ciclavia was an epic adventure to say the least. For the past 2 weeks I’ve been fighting a nasty chest & head cold which has kept me off my bike. Finally feeling normal again meant one thing; I COULD FINALLY GET BACK ON THE SADDLE! I woke up early, got my bike all ready for the day ahead. I loaded up my handlebar bag with spare clothes and snacks, and my camera. I hit the Santa Ana river trail and headed toward the beach.
The weather was damn near perfect, with just a slight breeze to keep you from overheating. Knowing that I should take it easy, I turned up the jams, and settled in for a full day in the saddle. The trail was filled with your typical sightings, triathlon couples, families on cruisers, small packs of roadies pace lining and your typical fred’s on hybrids. I did run into a fellow Aventon rider who was smashing it on his diamond, trying to pace him at 24 mph+ with my bike fully loaded and snapping a picture wasn't easy. Now it was time to turn off the trail and take Slater all the way down to meet up with Zach our Customer Service rep.
We headed toward Long Beach for the remaining 10 mile ride. On the way I heard Zach yell “Hey man your tire's leaking”. We pulled over to find a big piece of glass stuck in my brand new tires… but thank God for tubeless. I pulled the glass out and spun the tire and she sealed right up. We continued to roll on PCH till we saw Anaheim street completely closed off for Ciclavia. It was a sight to behold, they closed about 2 miles of the street to let anyone and everyone freely ride, skate, or walk. You saw all kinds of bikes as well, everything from rental city bikes, to fully custom low riders.
Zach and I were on the hunt for 2 things, the Socal City Cross area, and more importantly some tacos. I was about 35 miles in, and surviving off of 1 clif bar for breakfast.Good news! We found both and they were both amazing. The Course was short and all dirt with a small pump track section, yes a bmx style pump track. After watching a Bmx race on the course we headed to find tacos. One block from the course I spotted a sign that said “tacos, soda,chips & salsa all 99 cents". So naturally, we pulled over and ordered 3 tacos and 2 orange Jarritos each. The lady making the tacos couldn't have been any more pleasant as she said “nice outfit” to my brand new Pokemon kit. We sat and enjoyed the view and the tacos.
We then crossed the street to the free bike valet and went to really check out the course and sign in. Zach entered the fixed gear race and I did the community race since we didn't arrive in time for the CX race. Zach and I pinned numbers on each other and chatted with the people nearby to grab any tips we could. I looked at him and just said “good luck man” cause lord knows both our bikes aren't designed for a pump track... but mine at least has brakes.
Its finally time for Zach to face the track, he lined up for a qualifying lap. Since there were only 4 other riders it was basically a practice lap to get familiar with the course before his 6 lap race. Zach would be rolling on his Diamond with his DEAD riser bars and 25c tires. He was ready to race. They set up his race with a lemans style start. All the riders placed their bikes at the start line and all stood about 30 feet back.
3..2...1… and they were off, all running for there bikes. Zach leaps on his bike and misses his saddle only to land straight on his rear tire. Not gonna lie, I laughed. Zach stays with the pack and at the first corner, while 2 kids wiped out. They all had basically zero traction in any of the corners. Zach continued down the course, hopping the barriers and navigated the construction slalom section. Zach was doing well and was swapping back and forth for 2nd/3rd place.
Lap 3 comes by and they made all the riders eat 3 ultra sweet donuts, which by the looks of it, made Zach wanna puke. Luckily he didn't and kept on pushin. The Second place rider had a mechanical - and not just any basic cross race mechanical... He somehow de-beaded his entire rear tire, and it was just all hanging off of his frame. The crowd and announcer yelled “keep going, you can't give up in a cross race!" "Shoulder that thing and run!" I have to give that kid credit 'cause he ran the remaining 3 laps. Zach ended up in second even though they said he got 4th.
I had the stupid idea of joining the next race, after already riding 35 miles beforehand. I was in second place until the end of lap 2 where I got a mechanical after the pump track. The last hump apparently hit my chain and it dropped on the inside, I leaped off to fix it, and as i got the chain back on I was passed up by the guy in third. With his 20ish second lead at this point, it was clear that I had no shot in catching him. I suffered the rest of the way until I crossed the finish line in 3rd.
Walking off the course I grabbed some water, and by some I mean I think I drank about a half a gallon in less than 2 minutes. I looked at zach and was like "let's pack up, and its gonna be a sloooowwww ass ride back to his place." We packed all our stuff back up and headed home. So after 2 weeks of being sick and off the bike I rode about 50 miles, ate bomb tacos, and raced a cross race… needless to say I'm extremely sore as I am writing this, but damn was it worth it.
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