AN INSIGHT INTO OUR LAST AMERICA TRIP
Hi, my name is Jack Twisse, one of the United States members of La Famiglia. This February we set off on a week-long content trip here with a couple of members of our Australian team and this is a small account of what we got up to.
The week started off with Dylan M (our photographer) and Mitch (Dylan M's assistant) steaming in hot from Perth after a short 24hrs of travel. Touching down at 8 am and exhausted, they had a mere 13 hrs ahead of them until it was time for bed.
With a big week ahead, we decided to descend on Rose Cafe in Venice for a late lunch and some planning. It was at that point we were joined by Dylan L, who would be the 4th man on this 4 man dream team and after some banter, planning and a beer or 2, we set upon picking up our F150 rental car from enterprise. This car eats the open road and is great for content with its 4x4 capabilities and gun window, the perfect companion for our sprinter van which is used to carry the bulkier bikes and luggage that was needed throughout the trip.
A burger and some Madre Mezcal from Grand Blanco in Venice and it was time for bed, ready for an early start the next day.
The agenda for day 2 was to get from Venice to Big Bear. Big Bear, well known for its icy freshwater lake and freshly groomed powder was the perfect place to test out some of the new winter gear we’ve been working on and would form the ultimate backdrop for our afternoon photoshoot.
We stopped for lunch at Stell Coffee in the famous cycling town of Redlands for a quick bite to eat and shortly after we arrived at our Cabin in Big Bear by mid-afternoon. There was no messing around here as we unpacked, prepared and got kitted up for the eventual photoshoot, which due to some great planning was made super easy as the locations and kits were already picked out so we could ride straight out of the house!
The thing we didn’t prepare for here was the weather, we officially arrived on the coldest recorded day Big Bear had experienced in the last 5 years, which although dry and sunny, the temperature maximum was a mere -10c or 16f. (*Although in the shade next to the lake my Garmin was showing -16c or 2f with the wind gusts) It was absolutely freezing.
Lucky for myself and Dylan L, our Pedal Mafia gear was designed to work in these cold temperatures. With the correct layering we were warm as toast, I myself was wearing our:
- Pro Base Layer
- Pro Bib - Thermal
- Merino Socks
- Overshoes White
- Thermal Jacket
- Pro-Lite Vest
- Thermal Gloves
- PMCC Cap
I also substituted the Pro-Lite Vest with the PMCC Shell Jacket as a test, and boy was I impressed on how it handled the cold… Anyway, we got the shoot done. It was definitely time for a whiskey by that stage to warm-up a bit….
Getting back to the cabin Mitch W set about finding a suitable log of wood for the fire while I set about lighting some kindling, Dylan M ended up bringing home a few pinecones which helped get the fire cranking. A few beers, some whiskey and a pub feed and it was time for bed, ready for the next day.
With the boys still awfully jet-lagged, and maybe a drink or 2 too many the night before it was a bit of a slow start for day 3. It was decided that we should go about getting a good old fashioned American Diner breakfast, Dylan L at this stage had stopped counting calories and decided to tackle an omelette, 3 pancakes, an orange juice and 2 coffees. (Welcome to La Famiglia mate) After breakfast it was back to the cabin to start the next shoot.
Thankfully this day was a little warmer and Dylan L and I were able to get the legs out for some sun. The aim of the day was to find some snow and get off the beaten path, and really we didn’t have to try hard it was absolutely everywhere at this time of year in Big Bear. We hustled through the shot list, threw a few snowballs at each other and rode over some black ice for shits n gigs.
It was then time to bail from Big Bear and head to Las Vegas for the next stage of our trip. After a 5 hour drive we finally arrived, hungry and ready to chow down on one of Las Vegas’ most underrated Japanese restaurants for some dinner with the Pedal Mafia founder Jay Barron and his good friend Big Cat.
Day fourrrrrrrrr……. What a day, this was going to be the most exciting day so far!
With a great location in mind and the added help of some extra crew members everyone was out of bed promptly for the 5 am call time, we all got stuck into the best breakfast Best Western had to offer, got kitted up and rode out to the location.
This was an absolutely amazing sunrise shoot, on an incredible one-way road, America's raw beauty really gets me every time. For this shoot I was wearing the new Men's Elevation Bib - Navy coupled with a Men’s Tech Jersey - White, to talk quickly about the Elevation Bib, this thing was extremely comfortable in the 2 hours I spent with it, instantly becoming my new favorite bib, much due to it’s floating chamois design which allows it to conform to the body when changing between the hoods and drops, or in and out of the saddle. I’ve done a cheeky 500 miles in the bib since and am super impressed.
The other reason this day was so exciting is it was a couple of the lads birthdays and we were in Nevada not far from Vegas, who could think of a better place to be to celebrate our photographer Dylan M’s 25th birthday? We started off with some beers and lunch then followed that with a round of golf. After shanking a few it was time for some dinner and a couple more beers. The rest of the night was kind of fuzzzy, but ey when in vegas right? :)
It was a slow start… waking up to the sound of the housekeeper banging on the hotel suite door. Lucky for us it was a Saturday and the only plan was to drive 5 hours back to the city of angels. After a quick meeting about some custom kit with the most prestigious dentist in Vegas, we hightailed it back and that was that.
Another early start for the team, this time about 2 hours to a secret spot in Ventura county. As usual Dylan L was late, which was great… as it doubled the duration of our drive due to traffic.
The shoot plan was shot into 2 parts for this day.
- Shoot the resident local Matty D who is head of Textiles for Patagonia in his natural habitat. Lucky for him it was a bit chilly this morning so the winter gear we had set aside worked perfectly.
- Myself and Dylan L race up and down a canyon in the New Artist Series Pegasus Blue and Pegasus Red Jerseys (Coming Soon).
The day was fairly uneventful with everything going to plan for the most part. The only slip up we had was me losing a pair of Oakley Sutros clean off my head whilst descending at about 50mph. Sorry Dylan L, that’s karma for being late.
It was then straight to check out the Patagonia store in Ventura, grab a fish n chips and a beer at Neptune's net, and back to LA just in time for happy hour at the Cock n Bull.
Everyone was pretty tired at this point, so the morning was spent catching up on some sleep and emails before the planned afternoon shift in the Malibu mountains.
If you’ve never had a chance to ride in Malibu, it’s incredible… One of the best places in the world for cycling.
The light this day was a little bright, so we headed to the grocery store for some tortilla chips and PBR, ready for the beautiful sunset commonly found in Malibu.
For this shoot, we were back in the new Tech Jerseys and my favorite Elevation Bib. Super impressed.
We got the shots required and punched it back to Venice, it was now that we would say goodbye to Dylan M and Mitch. The boys had a plane to catch back to Australia!
TO SUM UP
The last week spent together was awesome, we got after it constantly and remembered to have some fun while doing it. These weeks spent on the road with La Famiglia are what I hope to tell my kids and grandkids about in the future.