Free Tacos and a Day with the MWBA

Free tacos. Two words. That was all it took to clinch it, to seal the deal. Free. Tacos.

my lucky raffle ticket was good for a shirt, socks and hat combo, but I wondered what would have happened if I had won the grand prize. Something like this, I guess.

But I am getting ahead of myself, and in order to sink my choppers into those free tacos, I first had to get to them. That meant climbing up the Mount Wilson Toll Road to Henninger Flats high above the cities of Pasadena and Altadena. Now I don't know if you have noticed but there has not been a posting here about a Friday GMR or a slog up to Potato Mountain in a long time. For that matter I haven't done Monroe Truck Trail since crashing on it earlier in the year. It is not because I have been doing those rides, but not writing about them. It is because I plain have not done them. In fact, I haven't done any kind a sustained climbing ride in a good six months, if not more.

That deficit came back today to bite me on the arse. Or maybe it was a tarantula hawk, I don't know, but it hurt like heck, I tell you what. Funny thing is, my legs weren't the body parts paying the price for half a year of easy rides - it was the lungs and the heart that had a rough go of things. I was really hoping (first time to have ever ridden it) the Toll Road would be kind of like the climb to Potato Mountain, but no, it was twice as steep in half the distance.  It truly did kick my arse, but through it all, those free tacos kept me pushing on.

The free tacos, as well as the ride to claim them, was a part of the Mount Wilson Bicycling Associations (MWBA) annual membership drive. I don't know how many of the riders signed up (as I did) during the day, but at the peak of the afternoon, after all those who climbed, and all those who descended had arrived, there had to have been at least a hundred riders there. Some came and went, but most stuck around for the free tacos, the raffle, the bike talk, the camaraderie. No one was wasting talk about the political campaign circus, or the horrible events in France; it was a day to escape all that, spend a few hours doing what we love to do on a weekend morning. 

If you are not familiar with the MWBA, they are not so much a bicycling group as they are an advocacy and action group composed of bicyclists. They build and maintain trails in our local mountains, especially in and around (though not limited to) the San Gabriel Valley area. If you hike or bike along the San Gabriel frontage, you may very well owe them some gratitude for all their work. It was awesome to see so many come out to recognize the service of the MWBA today, some of whom got to shuttle up, and ride down, with Kyle Strait and Brian Lopes, while the rest of us got to hang out with them at the Flats. Of course, while it was good to have those people come out, to lend their name and presence to the event, ultimately it didn't really matter who you hung out with, but rather thet you were simply hanging out for a good cause. 

Whatever you did today, hope it was just a satisfying. 

a long way down

taco time


"Frenchy" rode in on a fat bike. that got my attention, and because of that I now know that there is going to be a "Megavalanche" style fat bike race at Big Bear in December. 

rainbow stripes of a world champion

filling up Henninger

edge of the world.

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