Rapha Prestige Los Angeles
This all happened a few weeks ago… It’s Friday evening, you’re having small bite with friends, several Margaritas have been imbibed, it’s getting late and just before you decide to call it a night and the clock strikes Midnight you receive a flurry of txts, the first of which reads: I hope you’re going to Man-Up and come ride tomorrow!
The ride in question was the 2015 Los Angeles Rapha Prestige, and the txt was from one of the insanely fast gentlemen who had planned the route. 125 miles 14,000 vertical feet of climbing, including two ridiculous dirt climbs/descents, all to be done on Road Bikes and 25mm tyres. Of course I said YES!
The Prestige is a team ride/race; alas I had no team, but I knew many of the folk at the base camp / start at The Zorthian Ranch (a 48 Acre Ranch located in Altadena, Los Angeles). After scoffing at least half a dozen doughnuts, I rolled out with some good friends on ‘Team YOLO VELO’.
This was a monster of a route. The first dirt climb Mt. Thom seriously split up the teams and by summit of the second major climb, May Cyn, the reality of the ride had set in. I rode the final 90 of the 125 miles alone, silently suffering in the beautiful white noise that these rides become, prompting myself to often look around and wonder at the amazing scenery.
The final dirt section Pacifico Mtn almost broke my spirit, a sandy, rocky 7 miles up and 7 miles down. I have never been happier to see the horrendous ‘Chip-Seal’ asphalt of the Angeles Crest Highway.
Somehow I managed to be one of only 6 teams to complete the full route, this information did not console me on the final 12-15% climb back up to The Zorthian Ranch and a much-needed beer (or two).
Massive thanks to all our friends at Rapha North America, and all the amazing folk and their amazing teams for making yet another amazing day out on the bike.