Well, I found a couple of 'volunteers' to go along with me on my little tour of the Sawmill/Liebre Mtn loop. Phil and his buddy Rob are training for a high altitude Colorado trip that requires them to harden their bodies like Navy Seals and be able to survive on nothing but plants, roots, and Wrigley's gum while riding all day. Thus, I decided to begin their path to ultimate-ness with a nice loop.
We began at a friends house on Pine Cyn Rd and pedaled uphill back on the pavement toward a fireroad climb to Sawmill Mtn. I was thinking as I drove this route to begin the ride, "Hmmm, there sure is more pavement climbing to get to the dirt climbing than I remember." I don't think anyone noticed. Shhhh...don't tell.
Once on top the 5 mile dirt climb to Sawmill Mtn., we hit high winds and snow patches but nice views. There must have been a LOT of snow up here for it to still be on the ground. This pic is looking over the Leona Valley toward Palmdale. Probably 1 hour and 15 mins to here. Rob is a tall guy and he deserves a 29er. Just thought I would mention that. Back to the ride.
From here we dropped some elevation and then climbed back onto the Eastern shoulder of Liebre Mtn. A couple hours into the ride, there was a bit of walking here and there as these are some of the steepest grades in the ride. I only walked to set an example to the others of humility and self sacrifice. It had nothing to do with fitness. Really. I am a giver. Pic below of Phil and Rob, Rob on that silly tiny wheeled bike. Think 29er, Rob.
Finally we hit the top and had lunch at around the 3 hour mark, maybe less. Phil and Rob had nice little sandwiches. I questioned whether or not this fell into the training regimen they were undergoing for their trip. I suggested they forage for roots and pine nuts, but they clutched their P B and Js with animal ferocity and bared teeth. Navy Seals are defensive when it comes to Weber's bread. Phil took a moment to lay back and meditate, slowing his metabolism and allowing his body to completely regenerate and refresh itself, an amazing technique learned over years of study in a Himalayan yurt. His meditation was only broken by his snoring.
Running along the top of Liebre, we found Golden Eagle trail. Tons of snow and lots of overgrowth met us and slowed our flow a bit. I actually crashed twice. Amazing. The snow got me once and the branches the other time. Maybe I should slow down? Naw.
We dropped out onto the Ridge Route and pedaled back on Pine Cyn Rd. For the next hour, we would see not one car on the awesome country road that was taking us back to our car and awaiting coolers full of cold drinks. It was not easy with three good climbs in it. Phil was getting strung out a bit. He suggested that if it came to it, and he could not continue, we could use his carcass for a food source. What a good fellow.
We made it finally, coasting into 'home base' with 5 hours and 15 minutes on the clock. Not bad at all. Rob and Phil immediately hoisted a log onto their shoulders and ran around the property chanting military songs:
"I am tired and I don't care,
cuz my legs, they have no hair.
I rode with Mike and he is swell,
he just took us straight through Hell
Sound off...1...2, sound off 3...4..."
Ah, those Navy Seals. What a bunch of fun loving guys.
"Please don't let me die."
5 years ago