Doubling Down on the Dirt(y): 2016 MWBA Pancake Breakfast

What gave it away? What was the first clue that something big was a happening at Gould Mesa Campground? Was it the perpetual stream of mountain bikers heading up the trail? Was it the scent of fresh roasted coffee, or hot grilled pancakes and sausage wafting down canyon? Maybe it was the ringing of bear bells filtered through the pine needles? If none of those, it could very easily have been the laughter that bounced from one side of the canyon to the other. The occasion was the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association's annual pancake breakfast and raffle - one of the big fundraising efforts for the organization that does so much work advocating for trail access, and maintaining the trails that we all love to spend our waking (and probably some of our dreaming) hours riding along.

the gathering

The Gabrielino Trail, which leads up the Arroyo Seco to Gould Mesa Camp, was the very first trail I rode when I finally succumbed to the lure of the knobby tires. Somehow I almost wiped out back then, and somehow I almost wiped out again this time. Thank goodness there was only one of those couple hundred riders behind me at the time, so it was only a minor embarrassment and had no bearing on the rest of the morning.

This years' breakfast was extra noteworthy because it also marked the reopening of the Ken Burton Trail, which was severely damaged during the Station Fire of 2009 and had been closed since that time. Through the dedicated, and extensive, efforts of the MWBA and CORBA the trail, named for forestry fire fighter Ken Burton, who was killed by a drunk driver on Angeles Crest Highway in 1985 has been restored. Very touching that Burton's family were on hand to mark the occasion - I dare say the words spoken by Burton's daughter reverberated among everyone gathered around, and a smile spread across each face as his brother cut through the rededication ribbon. Very cool as well, was the plaque presented to CORBA's Steve Messer for all the work he has put into spearheading the rebuilding efforts. If you are a member of the MWBA, or follow them on Facebook, you have no doubt see photos of Messer each and every week over the course of the rebuilding effort.

Know who else I am going to give a shout out to? PAA, the Pasadena Athletic Association, one of my old race teams, who donated, what was it one thousand dollars to the MWBA. Know who else I am going to give a shout out to? The Bunters, who I had never heard of. But that's irrelevant because they donated two thousand five hundred dollars. Heck yeah! And then there are all the shops and other companies who donated merchandise to the huge, and time-consuming, raffle; I don't remember all of them, but the list of contributors included Trek, the Montrose Bike Shop, and Pasadena Cyclery.

What a morning, huh? All that and it was still just the first half of my doubling down on the dirt. I'll finish up with the afternoon portion of the day later. For now if you want more photos than the few shown here, jump to the Flickr album where you will find another ninety-three or so photos. And by the way, there were many people with cameras, snapping photos all around, but some you don't want to miss are the eighty-five images taken by Erik Hillard and posted on the MWBA's Facebook page - they really capture the spirit of the morning.

some of the Burton Family

Steve Messer

making a morning out of it was not enough for some riders, and why not? it was a nice weekend to make a weekend of it


one of the major contributors to the raffle - Trek - throwing out some freebies

the coveted brown shirt of a multi-day trail work volunteer