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This story is about trailhead: Backbone Trail(Malibu) - Malibu
Lady Backbone
It was a cool morning, there I stood, bare footed on a cliff, thick layer of fog surrounded me.

Crashing waves splashed on shore as Sea Lions chatter near by on the desolated beach, I peered not too far into the distance, just pass the Kelp beds as a flock of Albatrosses glided in perfect formation at an arms length away from me.

Where are they? mist is in the air, it makes it so hard to see. There! There, Glimpse of majestic Grey Whales traveling north, their yearly ritual, their journey home, to the nurturing northern seas they go. I see a Spout, then another and another!
Their gosh and the enchanting foam fizzles beneath me, it sprays and baths me in the aromas of the sea.

It is that magical time of the year, when rebirth it's all around us.

Faint mummer, ever so softly spoken, a seductive voice that's impossible to resist, it caresses my senses as if the call of Mermaids, familiar and soothing. it's Lady Backbone. She beacons from above, where sunshine is king, beyond the reach of graying fog and mystical sea.

I answered her call as I often do and at Kanan we met, cool breeze, greenery, blue skies as far as the eye can see. Buzzards Ranch at a distance, one of her tallest peaks.
As I embark in this journey, her hard pack trail greets me.
Infamous switchback, quick descend, I fast unclip as the waterfall it's running, a quick stop. natural, cool, sweet spring water, I splash my self with it just before it cascades into the abyss, onto my face and body before it meets his maker, the salty mist and sea.

Short climb awaits and the top I quickly reach.
Shift gears, pedal hard towards the bridge, bumpy descend, relaxed arms, loose grip, the 5 Spot handles it all with ease. Up and down we go. Zuma Ridge I reach and with the flip of the wrist locked shock and fork and split, oh what a cheat, the 5 Spot growls "WHAT'S THIS, RIGID? SHIATS!"

By now I'm warmed up, ready for the monotonous climb, legs feeling good, pumping away on the middle ring, taking it easy, heart rate a little above of where it should be. that's ok, I'm still in winter mode with a few extra pounds in tow.
It is a bright sunny afternoon, about 3:30 as I reach Buzzards ranch, time to zip up shirt and ready for the payoff. oh sweet lighting fast fireroad, loose rocks, sweet off camber turns with slippery sandy strips and speed bumps that just launch you into a faster streaks :)

As I made my way down towards Zuma beach at ever-increasing speed, eyes watering from it. To the far left it's Kanan's ridge and in between it and me there's a mysterious gully, immerse in fog. from it an that intimidating climb rises from it... Zuma - Edison Road. nasty trail it is, just as bad as Bulldog if you think of it.
So why not, it's early or so I think, Edison Road gate approaches, at the last second I grabbed one finger load full of brake at each end, 12 pistons activate, massive stopping power that is, shoot left I go into the steep fireroad, then it begins yet again, another adventure into unknown territory. The trail turns into overgrown singletrack, it descends, then it descends some more, it very step and dark as it keeps on descending into the shadowy gully, when will it stop, I reach the fog line, sun completely disappears behind me, temperature drop a whole lot yet I keep on descending, fox holes, ruts crisscross the trail, I'm staring to rethink the strategy but it's too late, I went beyond the point of no return, anyway, turning back it's never an option. As I lean left, then right, bunnyhoped this and that while peaking the best of what's the only line, deeper I go and finally, a climb, Oh my! When have I ever looked forward to a climb? never the less I was truly happy to see it., by know my legs have cooled off a whole lot, no biggie, changed gears, pedal some what, ok, not bad, up I go, it's dark down here, damp, dew all over me, helmets dripping.
As I pedal away the fog starts thinning, the apex comes, there's views I never seen, I hear the roar of a river, now this is no stream sounding, to my surprise, I was somewhere between the ridges, in no mans land. with conviction I mounted my rig, and descended yet again.
Oh Dear, what have I done? Did a cozy evening await me in the canyon?

The roar of the river grew nearer and being late winter/early spring I made sure to let the critters know I was coming, sure don't need to surprise them at their favorite watering hole, anyway, finally reached and crossed the raging river, think it was the final pass from sunless west to brighter east and the end of the descend, now all I had to do was climb on out of there, fueled up and geared for it, steady as she goes, no cramps, no uncrunchable thirst, just pedal baby, pedal 'til you can't pedal no more. Up and up, up and up some more, and more and more. Unrelenting climb!
Lactic acid makes his grand appearance, I know better but make the best of it and claim that's it's just building muscle. the sun disappears behind Zuma ridge, the sky darkens somewhat, still way to go so I persist, I hear my ears start to thump, that's good, really.
I increase the phase, thumping gets louder, it sounds like at 184bpm's, got to keep it there or Iíll bonk, pump thump pump thump pump, up we go, sweat streams down my face, sky it's blood red, thumping gotten louder, sounds like 190 hahhaha, up we go...

Finally reached the spot where the trail heads towards upper Kanan and familiar territory, Iím pretty high up there and should be able to reach the road just as it gets dark, then again, bombing down with early evening traffic it's less than ideal, so opted for the safer yet oxymoron enough riskier of the two options, take Zuma Connector singletrack towards PCH and having the newly risen moon lit my path.
Why not? so downwards I went, this singletrack was as steep as Edison Road descend into the canyon, only difference was that is was not covered by fog but by the dark of the night, same difference after all., sure glad I took that option even so little ramifications and treacherous conditions lay ahead, there were a few trails branching off that almost confused me and took me of course, but I held it steady and made it out, but not before enjoying some of the most obscured trails of Lady Backbone.


Posted by Freaky franky on 03/24/06

Responses: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) Post Reply Alert moderators of this post

  • Re: Lady Backbone
    You've been hanging around STP too long. Hope your brakes have been holding up........
    Posted by GhostRider a 31 year old Downhiller on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    Yah! FF, that sounded like a great ride! Soaking up the scenery, the karma and the trail all at once. What more can you ask for? Yeah, my stories are long, but how do you describe a good ride in 20 words or less? Is it sufficient? I think not. We all live for the rolling of knobbies on meandering single track. PS: Nice flog on the uphills! Feel the burn!
    Posted by STP a 47 year old Racer riding a K2 Razorpiggie from P'Dale on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    When we going again?
    Posted by Crzyridr33 a 34 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a SantaBansheeCruzBlurr on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    Orale!!!
    paz afuera
    Posted by Papisimo a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Bike on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    My spanish isn't the greatest, but did you just offer him head?!?
    Posted by The REEL Moneyshot on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    Money,
    Please back off the whisky(no pun intended) and move out of the Castro brah.
    Thank you
    paz afuera
    Posted by Papisimo riding a Bike on 03/24/06
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
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    Posted by DennisDixon on 09/04/17
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
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    Posted by Henrykiller a 34 year old Racer riding a 23232 on 09/22/17
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  • Re: Lady Backbone
    Life is too short to waste it for essays. If I need a paper related to sports I order it. The fast and quality essay help is priceless.

    Posted by Newtoner on 10/11/17
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