Performance-obsessed mountain bike veterans, a handful of passionate rookies, and one of Oakley’s Pro Riders, Anneke Beerten, met up bright and early, packs in hand and helmets on head, to tackle the lengthy ride up to Santiago Peak.
At 8 a.m., 41 riders hit the streets behind Oakley HQ and pedaled their way over to the Harding Truck Trail to start the climb as a group. This first trail took riders up 3,000 feet in the span of nine grueling miles to Santiago Peak. Anneke Beerten, World Champion Four-Cross racer from Holland, who is currently staying in Laguna while she trains for her upcoming Enduro races, found herself in the mix and tore apart obstacle after obstacle while others battled their way up the climb.
After a quick pit stop for reflection and refueling near the Peak, the crew readied themselves to begin their descent down Joplin trail, a highly technical trail that drops 2,000 feet in two short miles.
The ride was not without its spills. Mike Bell, Product Line Manager of Optics Design and founder of the Friday group rides, tore through a difficult section on his stomach in the Superman position. R&D APD Engineer, Neil Ferrier, blazed a trail different from fellow riders – in other words, he got lost and found himself ripping apart what’s known as the worst trail in the Santa Anas. Neil described the trail difficulties best after flying over his handlebars on an especially treacherous portion: “Grabbing full hold of both brakes on the downhill, I was still accelerating.”
Other than a few popped tubes, broken gears, bruises, and mild blood loss, all riders lived through the event to share their war stories over beer, and food served on the back patio.
Cameras: GoPro HD Hero2 and Hero3
Music: La Roux - In for the Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey remix), Rusko - Everyday (Netsky Remix)
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