Saturday saw our team tackle our most ambitious effort to date. We would spend 2 1/2 hours climbing up the Mt. Wilson toll road in an attempt to get as many riders to the summit. (Mt. Wilson is the tall peak above Pasadena with the antennas on it). Our team has been training hard since December 1st, and I knew we could do it.
Our day started at 8:00am as we headed through Pinecrest street gate with 15 riders and 6 coaches. Today's riders included: Cameron Aubert, Steven Ayoob, Christian Breitschwerdt, Trent Carlson, Michael Greenberg, Connor Haas, JT Ingram, Keenan Koch, Colby Koklas, Eddy Kronfli, Matt Kubly, Scott Marshall, Hunter Nalley, Chris Sercel, and Michael Togneri.
The first 3 miles of the climb is a steep fire road that gets you up to an area called Henninger Flats. At this point, our riders had broken up into groups with coaches, and continued on up into the forest; hoping to make it the next 6 miles to the top of Mt. Wilson. At 10:30am, which was our turn-around time, 7 riders had made it all the way to the top!
Our turn-around time was important, because we had plans to meet Coach Kubly, who is a crew-chief on the Sheriff's Air 5 Rescue helicopter at the Henninger Flats heli-pad. We safely descended the fire road, and met the rest of our team who all had come very close to reaching the summit.
Around 11:15am, Coach Kubly arrived in the BIG Air 5 helicopter. This helicopter and crew perform an incredible service, flying rescues in the forest almost daily. The crew exhibited a demonstration for us, landed the helicopter, and then allowed us an up-close view of this huge machine.
Our day ended with another descent down the hill from Henninger Flats, with our ride safely ending at 12:45pm.
Most of our team rode over 18 miles, with 5000' of climbing. That's a BIG day. Everyone was tired, but felt good about our accomplishment. Only 4 more weeks until our first race. Great job guys!
The antennas on the Mt. Wilson summit
Eddy and Connor enjoying a 6 mile descent
Colby and Steven
Christian, Michael, and Cameron
Trent leading Coach Nick
Air 5 after landing at the Henninger heli-pad
The team looking on as Air 5 approaches for a landing
Coach Kubly giving us some tips on mountain safety.
The team, and coaches, in front of Air 5
Is this our new training "secret weapon"?