So Giant Bicycles had a demo in my local hills today. Mike has a cousin looking for a bike so HE HAD A PLAN! Yikes! A little extended test ride was the goal that they shot down as soon as we arrived. Our friend Evan is the normal Demo truck driver but he was out of state with the other truck so we were out of luck. Not to worry, Mike had his wife drop off his bike and I had brought mine with me. After a loop on the Anthem X2 we turned the bikes in and said goodbye to the cousin. We mounted our trusty steeds and hit the trail with big climbing plans.
We headed out from Simi Valley and kind of hugged the edge of the lower mountain as we made our way to Thousand Oaks! We hit the trailhead off of Avenida De Los Arboles and started our long first ascent! This is a somewhat technical climb that I have done only once with Mike before and all I could think of was this one pitch that is over 30% grade! I did well as long as I kept a steady pace. The climbing loop we had done on the demo bikes was already weighing on my legs and I realized that I had forgotten to bring any food! When we finally hit the steep pitch I made it about halfway up before bailing. Mike made it all the way up as he usually does! Jerk! From there the descent pretty much started and it is a great technical descent with rocks, drops, water breaks, and other craziness! We got to the craziest part and Mike dropped it after taking a good look. I started to drop in and freaked a little. Mike yelled that I better turn around and try again so I did. I swallowed hard and rolled down it with no problem!
This trail drops you into the backyard of many of the rich and famous. The houses are unreal and the trail was in great condition. We made it to Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park, (right above my apartment) and then made our way to Dead Cow. I was hurting pretty good and was really starting to worry about what we had left between us and my car back in Simi Valley. I suffered 3/4 of the way up Dead Cow as I watched Mike fall into a groove and ride away from me! When the trail turns less technical 3/4 of the way up, I found a pace and cruised right up. We made the loop at the top and I was really in the hurt worrying about the climb home.
We made the decision before dropping Albertson Motorway that we would follow the same lower mountain trail back to he car. That left only about 300 ft. of climbing and made me feel a little better! Once we hit the top of the steady climb we were home free and started flying towards the car. About 300 yards before the parking lot it happened....WHACK! Right in the forehead! It looked and FELT to big to be a bee and I was stunned! I could still feel it moving in the hole of my helmet but I was going to fast to take my hand off the bars. Then it bit/stung/scratched me and I hit the brakes. I ripped off my helmet to see this fall out:
Ummmm... I was a little freaked out. I kept touching my head to make sure that there wasn't major swelling. The "Thing" could not fly away because he was obviously injured. He was about as large as 50 cent piece and not pretty! Mike finally realized that I wasn't behind him and rode back to see what was going on. I felt better when he said that my forehead looked okay, just a red mark. Pretty crazy! We hit up The Hat for lunch and destroyed a Roast Beef sandwich and Chili Cheese Fries! I was decimated! Great ride. I won't ride without food again!