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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 106 > LA is ok

LA is ok

CHIPPS GETS HIS LONG-HELD PREJUDICES ABOUT LOS ANGELES BLOWN APART BY FRIENDLY LOCALS AND INCREDIBLE TRAILS WITHIN SIGHT OF THE CITY.
PICTURES BY BRIAN VERNOR & CHIPPS

Absolute silence.

Absolute, deafening silence. Ahead of me I can see nothing but jagged hills, several thousand feet high. I’ve just topped out on a climb that took me over an hour of bottom sprocket spinning, but this is my reward. The view, the tranquillity, the silence. Nothing stirs apart from the low hum of birds and insects and the scrubby bushes and grasses blowing in the wind.

And yet, if I turn around, I can see a sprawling city that starts at the base of the mountain, perhaps five miles away and there, in the near distance, is the group of high-rise buildings that mark downtown Los Angeles. Down there are the freeways, the neighbourhoods of Beverley Hills and Hollywood and beyond those towers lies Venice Beach and the curving blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

10,000ft peaks, dusty corners and a whole lotta fun. LA has hidden potential.

Here, though, is silence and solitude. My riding companions are quietly taking in the view as well, sipping on a beer as we wait for the sun to dip a little for the light to be just right; the low sun that lights up every puff of dust around every corner. The golden hour.

We’re a tad disapointed Chipps didn’t return with a plethora of hats.
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About Singletrack

UK Adventure – Long Mynd: Barney goes in search of long singletrack descents too good to miss. International Adventure – Ecuador: Cass Gilbert goes bikepacking – stunning photography and adventure results. International Adventure – Los Angeles: Chipps seeks out that which is not concrete in the City of Angels. Crash Gallery – A fond look at some crash photos inspired by this issue’s cover. Classic Ride – Exmoor: Barney finds that steep hills and merciless gorse can hide a treasure trove of West Country singletrack. Grouptest: Trail SPD shoes are tested by the team. But do they pass the ‘pub’ test? Bike Test – The Second Coming: We test three second iterations of bikes from Orange, Santa Cruz and Singular. Is it a case of improvement through evolution, or a film sequel style flop? Grinder: A bucketful of shiny components, lovingly mixed with some springtime grit and exuberant riding before judgement. UK Adventure – Orienteering: Chipps tests out his map reading skills in the Dark Peak. Magic in the Margins of the Day: A change in circumstances leads Doug McDonald to discover the joy of dusk and and dawn riding.
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