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Los Angeles and The Mojave

Last month I traveled to the Sea Otter Classic on a work trip for Teravail. After Sea Otter we went to Los Angeles to ride, shoot photos and hang out with some cool people we hadn't seen in a long time. It had been several years since I had been to LA, and more than 17 years since I had lived there. Most of my time had historically been spent in Santa Monica and Venice. This time we hung out mostly in Silver Lake, making Golden Saddle Cyclery our home base. 

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The objective was to capture photography assets for Teravail, so we connected up with Eric Brunt and Frances Tran to show us around Mount Lowe. It never occurred to me just how close the mountains are to downtown LA. Just a short drive away, and we were in the perfect spot right at the golden hour to capture what we came for. The views were stunning. 

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Since our time was limited, and we needed to make the most of the light and terrain, we were only able to ride a few miles of this amazing trail. Next time I head to LA I will be reserving plenty of time to explore more of Mt. Lowe on two wheels with the friends we made while there. 

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The morning after the photoshoot at Mt. Lowe, we were set to meet up with Errin Vasquez for LA River Camp Coffee. Over the years I became familiar with Errin through my time with Salsa Cycles, and I was eager to finally meet him in person. We met at his house at 6:30am and set off on the route to the coffee spot on the LA River. 

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Errin's Ocean Air Cycles rando bike is a one-of-a-kind set up that he has truly made into his own. I could not resist shooting photos of all the details. 

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We rode through Pasadena and meandered through overpasses and cycle lanes through busy morning traffic. It was cool to see a side of LA that I had never explored, and that had become much more bicycle friendly since I lived there. 

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I really appreciated all the great design and small business activity happening in LA. There is truly a USA-made trend happening here, with coffee shops and bicycle shops designing and producing their own goods for sale. As we made our way towards the LA river we stopped in at À Bloc Coffee for some caffeine, and their amazing ride bar. 

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Eventually we made it to the bike path right on the river, and were nearly to the spot where LA River Camp Coffee happens. It was such a cool way to see this side of the city. 

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People were waiting as we arrived at LA River Camp Coffee. Errin has a following there. It was cool to see everyone and the eclectic mix of bikes everyone was riding. There were some true throwbacks to the 90's present. 

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Among the 90's throwback equipment were Bullseye Hubs, Gorilla brake stabilizers, and Kooka cranks. So good. 

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Classic mesh gloves too. Even better!

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After some coffee and nerdy discussion about bicycle history, Errin made his way to work and we headed to Team Dream's retail location, aptly named the Cub House. Our time in LA was coming to an end, and it was time to make our way towards the Mojave, where we had some more shooting to do before making the long drive to Denver. 

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When we arrived at the edge of the Mojave we just found an exit and started driving straight into the desert. Several miles in we found a cool spot to shoot some dirt and gravel photos. The heat was sweltering, but the golden hour of light was about to hit. Despite the crazy heat, Chelsea was a great sport and kitted up for some photos. 

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These ended up being some of the best light and landscape conditions I have ever experienced for cycling photography. The light just started popping, and I quickly filled up a 64GB memory card. Conditions were SO good. 

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The sun started setting, and the trip was drawing to a close. It was the perfect way to end a long trip out west. In the few hours I spent in the Mojave, it lured me in for more. I want to go back and explore this amazing landscape someday. 

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