Sunday, April 26, 2009

2009 Mt Wilson Bicycle Association Pancake Breakfast

Back in the glory days of our innocence, we could ride our bikes pretty much anywhere. PCT, most all the park lands, etc. But then there got to be a lot of us mtn bikers folks and other trail users began to take notice, take offense, and sometimes take action to get us shooed out of lands that we once were able to traverse with our knobby tires.

Rising up to meet the challenge of the arrogant few that hated us, and seeking to work within the system of land management folks like the USFS and the State Parks, were grassroots groups like CORBA, IMBA, and the Mt Wilson Bicycling Association. I knew (and still know) many of those early pioneers. The MWBA focused their work on the San Gabriel mountains and the network of superb trails located near to the Pasadena/Altadena part of Southern California. Hardcore trail builders, riders, and overall good guys and gals, they are still around today, a bit grayer around the temples (if there is any hair at all). They put on a yearly fundraiser pancake breakfast and raffle that was THE event of the season, requiring a ride up the steeply pitched Mt Wilson Toll Rd to Henniger Flats in order to taste those flapjacks. That pic above is one of the famous shots from the pan cam, circa 1990. Man, they always had some cool bikes and great schwag to hand out. In the pic, a Mantis (X frame, I think) is being held up above the crowd. Oddly enough, I am not in this pic so I must have missed that year. I do see 4 close friends in the pic and I still have the award plaque that my buddy is holding.

The Mt Wilson Toll Rd is closed due to slide damage, preventing the breakfast to remain at Henniger, but they have re-introduced the pancake feast and raffle a bit closer to town. For the second year now, I attended, poked around at the vendors tents, and ate pancakes. Not a bad deal, and all the money goes to a good cause. As well, there was a ride with Keith Bontrager of Bontrager fame, now part of the Trek Bikes empire. Very cool.

Niner was there showing off some demo rides, though.

Check out the white Stans 355 rims on this JET-9. Pretty bike. White is always in style.

This fork is really stirring up rigid 29er riders all over the countryside. You have to pick this up to feel the lack of grams going on here, put the triangular shape is unique. 500 grams of carbon goodness. I would be very interested to ride this and see how that unique shape handles braking forces, etc.

Seems that lately I have been around some light, light bikes. IIRC, this one was 18 lbs with your choice of pedals. Now it had some silly parts like that composite saddle (no padding), but road bike is that heavy, maybe more.

Trek Bikes had all kinds of demos there to, well...demo. Lots of carbon.

They also had Travis Brown's personal 69er there for anyone who wanted to ride it. I passed due to work obligations, but I would have liked to have tasted the odd fruits of the mix and match wheel sizes. It is a trick bike.

You can barely see it from this side, but the BB area was very manipulated, the seat tube flaring out towards the chainstays and looking very stiff to pedaling input.

It had this little guide back at the rear cog to keep things all tidy. Never seen that before.

Brent Foes was there with his new commuter bike and the 29er prototype. 4" of travel using the 2:1 Curnutt shock, a very stout looking rear triangle and overall a nice looking bike. Brent hopes to have a few more sizes soon other than this medium and I would love to try that on a few trails.

There were pancakes.... of skill and chance for you to do...

...and chancey things to watch others do....

I ended up with a nice laptop/backpack from Timbuk2 out of the raffle (sorry, Ed the Tall, no biscuit for you today) and I will leave you with this parting shot of an old Ross, suitably filtered through the solarized lens of the ages (or photoshop).

Till next year with the MWBA...

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