It’s Not a Review: Riding the Open UPPER
The Escape From LA: Stage 1
As humans, we’re obsessed with journeys from point to point, from beginning to end. In local lore, the Coast Ride, a cycling journey from San Francisco to the northern reaches of the Los Angeles megalopolis is one such ride, and by all accounts, a fairly tame one. Unfortunately, we like doing things the hard way, just because. Presenting the Escape From LA, Above Category’s take on connecting the two mighty coastal icons in the most difficult way possible: 523 miles and 50,000 vertical feet in five days on coastal California’s most breathtaking roads.
The Escape From LA: Stage 2
Los Angeles and cycling. Two potentially conflicting ideas, a concept we’re unfamiliar with. On our second installment of the Escape From LA, our riders exit the Southland, but not before taking in the majesty and prominence of the enormous San Gabriel range along the Angeles Crest, followed by a day tackling Santa Barbara’s two monster climbs in scorching heat. #LAsucksforcycling? Hardly.
The Escape From LA: Stage 3
The mercury is peaking at ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. It is early November. There are two of California’s monster climbs in front of us. The Escape From LA’s Third Stage is well underway, mounting a full frontal assault on Santa Barbara’s grueling Gibraltar and Figueroa Mountain climbs, a return to rural isolation, and a confounding waffle creation.
The Escape From LA: Stage 4
Ambition is a hallmark of everything Above Category does, and the Escape From LA is no different. As the Escapists transition from the barren wilds of Southern California up the lush Central Coast on the penultimate day of the adventure, they get Icarian whiffs of wax melting, ascending ever closer to the proverbial sun.
The Escape From LA: Stage 5
The final and culminating stage of the Escape From LA is here. The Elysian Fields of the Bay Area await the protagonists, who are joined by two World Tour hammers for their winding 200km ride into San Francisco from Santa Cruz, Laurens ten Dam and Ted King. The exhausting pace is high, the towering redwoods higher, and delirium-induced euphoria is at a fever-pitch.