If you’re looking to climb up Topanga, Topanga Canyon Road is often very busy with cars and most assume that Las Flores Canyon Road is the next closest option. Or, is it? Many don't realize that you can climb Big Rock Drive, which is 75% paved and 25% fire roads.
Distance: 31.1 mi
Elevation: 3,028 ft
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How did you get started in cycling?
I began mountain biking in high school. Growing up in rural Connecticut, I had an incredible network of logging trails running through hundreds of acres of state forest right out of my back yard. I embraced road cycling after moving to New York in 2000.
Who were the first people you rode with? How did they influence you?
The first truly influential bunch that I rode with was a handful of grumpy category 1 and 2 racers based in New York. They formed who I am on the bicycle, for better or worse. I was never as good as them, so I always strived to be better – but I could never let on just how hard I was trying.
Who is your cycling role model?
I’m not sure that I have a cycling role model. I did once see BMX legend Dave Voelker do a backflip on the S&M mini-ramp at an Interbike party in 1998.
What’s the one story from the history of cycling that we should know?
Everyone should know the story of how Chris Horner finished the final 2km of the 2008 Cascade Cycling Classic. He had another racer perched on his saddle, the way kids ride with their friends on their bikes. The other racer had his broken frame held over his shoulder, which made the sight all the more incredible.
What would you tell someone just starting out in the sport?
Ride your bike, look around and learn how to be a respectful and well-mannered cyclist.
Coffee ride, paceline, or three-day epic?
Donut ride, always.