Post by Jocelyn Gaudi
Late last month, I took the Komorebi show on the road down to Los Angeles, CA! The invite had been extended by Jen Abercrombie, who manages the Sunday Social series held at Golden Saddle Cyclery. The Sunday Social is a great monthly event that invites ladies to take over the shop and hang out, share snacks and stories, and encourage each other to ride bikes!
But, before the event, there was time to ride! Although I've often traveled through L.A. on my way to visit family who live north out of town, I'd never had the chance to spend any leisure time or ride bikes in the city. We've all heard #lasucksforcycling - I would judge the hashtag's merits for myself!
I flew into LA on Saturday morning, settled into Jen's delightful AirBnB space and rebuilt my bike (which I had shipped) in her lush courtyard. That afternoon, I road over to Golden Saddle Cyclery to meet the crew. It had been a long while since I've just hung out at a shop for hours, drinking beer and talking bikes, bikes, bikes. It turned into a bit of a party (blame it on The Club) that kept right on going past closing time. A night ride was suggested - a pedal up to Griffith Park to enjoy the full moon - so our group of seven got ourselves and our bikes ready to ride in the dark. A quick but punchy climb up to the blacktop provided a great spot to hang out and enjoy the view of the city's billions of twinkling lights spread out around us. There was great conversation, photos were snapped, another beer drank, then a rowdy decesent to the local burrito spot. A pretty perfect night spent with friends on bikes - they don't get much better!
Sunday morning came much too soon and much too bright given the night's shenanigans. A group text determine the mutual desire to postpone our ride by a couple hours, so I snoozed a bit longer before busying myself with the Chemex in the kitchen. Properly caffeinated, I took off on my Komorebi to meet Kyle and Liz at the shop. Bikes loaded up on their car, we took off north of town to the San Gabriel Mountains to ride the El Prieto Loop. It was a great pedal up, gaining views of the valley and enjoying the blooming flowers along the trailside. We stopped for a quick snack at the top before getting giddy on the singletrack trail downhill. I typically ride a full-suspension bike when I go proper mountain biking, so it was fun challenge to be on this trail - which definitely had some technical features - on my full rigid Komorebi. Although I had to be a bit more choosey with my line selection, I was again impressed at how stable and strong this bikes feels. It's hard to describe, but I swear I can feel the attention to detail that comes with riding a handbuilt bike. As I froliked along with my rig, I was sure to transmit a telekinetic high five to my friends Tony, Ira and Chris for their impressive craftsmanship.
We cruised back into town and dropped Kyle off at the shop. Then Liz and I checked out the local farmers market, enjoying a lunch of fresh made fish tacos and just picked strawberries. I then headed back to Jen's to get cleaned up for the Sunday Social. After a shower and an ice cold Coronita, I packed up my bike with bags full of gear, rode back to Golden Saddle, grabbed an ice coffee from the neighborhood cafe and killed some time just lounging around the shop. John borrowed my bike for a glamour shots session and as the shop wrapped up with it's last few customers for the day, we started our prep work for the Social - setting out snacks and icing down some beer and sparkling water. Ladies started to show up and we gathered in the side alley to chat - I had the chance to meet some really interesting gals in the LA cycling scene (recommended reading/following S.W.A.T.)! When we decided to formally begin the presentation, I started on my standard beginner-focus presentation, but it quickly became a group conversation full of great questions asked, stories shared and lots of laughter. No doubt, there is already a great adventure cycling scene in Los Angeles and it's only going to get stronger with these rad ladies encouraging each other.
A big THANKS AGAIN to Jen for the invite to come and visit, to Kyle, Ty and the rest of the awesome Golden Saddle Cyclery crew for supporting women's cycling efforts and being a basecamp for great cycling culture in LA, to John for the gorgeous photos of my bike and to all of the ladies that I had the great pleasure to meet over the weekend. I hope to back in LA soon and get out on a overnighter!