5th Annual Le Tour de Tryptophan / 24hr Fullerton Loop

This weekend was the 5th Annual Le Tour de Tryptophan at the world famous Fullerton Loop. I met Moe & RL at the court house parking lot Friday afternoon. This event runs from Friday noon to Saturday noon (24hrs). I had every intentions of camping out with the guys however plans changed unexpectedly on Thanksgiving that I could only stay until the evening. Below is a brief description of the event:

Ride and Donate to the Fifth Annual Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of the Fullerton Loop.
Help Save Kids From Boredom and Protect the Future of Mountain Biking With High School Cycling Programs.

Fullerton, CA – November 25, 2008 – – If you’re in Southern California this Friday after Thanksgiving, come burn your Turkey off for a good cause at the Fifth Annual Tour de Tryptophan/24 Hours of the Fullerton Loop.

Presented by no one, this fund-raiser commences at noon on Friday and finishes at noon on Saturday. As it is a fun ride with no rules, you can start or finish at any time. Do one lap, go home for the evening and do another in the morning. Or ride your brains out for 24 Hours. Seventeen laps seems to be the reigning record.

The Fullerton Loop is an 11-mile network of suburban trails that pass through city parks, horse trails, hidden pathways and creekside wilderness. Originally pieced together by Richard Cunningham of Mantis Bikes and Mountain Bike Action fame in 1983, hundreds of people ride and train on the famed loop every week. This 24 Hour event was conceived as a celebration of the Loop, an excuse to burn off Thanksgiving dinner, and an opportunity to support a good cause. This year’s proceeds will benefit the SoCal High School Cycling League, which will bring cycling to Southern California High Schools in 2009. Former beneficiaries of the Tour de Tryp have included the Tara Llanes Recovery Fund, CHOC Hospitals, and various other charities.

The SoCal High School Cycling League is not even aware that they are the recipient of upcoming proceeds, so therefore are responsible in no way for this event.
The ride will start and end in the upper parking lot of the Courthouse in Fullerton at Harbor and Berkeley. You can show up at any time to donate $30 and receive the Ramones-inspired T-Shirt while supplies last.

As described above, this is more of a fun event; there were no pressure to do more laps than the next guy (unless you wanted to). There was a big turn out by the time I arrived at the parking lot. Moe had brought his pop-up trailer and RL had set-up the Team’s Redline tent. After signing up, we went out for our first lap. RL was pulling his daughter on a trailer while Moe and I followed. On the way to Gus Grissom Park, we were passed by Mountain Bike Action’s Richard “R.C.” Cunningham (see video). As mentioned above, R.C. was the man who made Fullerton Loop possible. In the past I’ve had several chats with R.C. where he shared stories on putting the Loop together in the 80s. Truly an honor to meet the man who created the trail that is shared by hundreds of riders on a weekly basis.

IMG_1977 by you.                                        Base Camp.  Not sure what Moe is doing back there…

Approximately 4 miles into the Loop, RL experienced mechanicals with trailer where the attachment was rubbing against his rear rotors. He tried several adjustments and it just wasn’t working out. He decided to head back to the parking lot and Moe and I continued on. From here Moe and I decided to switch bikes. Fortunately we were both using Crank Bros pedals so our cleats were compatible. I have never ridden on a 29er before so I was pretty stoked to try it. Also after reading Moe’s review of the Flagstaff 29er I couldn’t wait to ride it. In turn Moe rode my Intense 5.5. We had a very casual ride for the remainder of the Loop. First lap done!

When we returned to the parking lot, Priscilla had already arrived and will be joining us. Moe and I rested for a bit then the three of us would go for a second lap. RL was staying behind with their daughter. It was another casual ride however at a faster pace as we were losing light.

Making it back to the parking lot, we were greeted by Eric “the Animal” Hunner on a unicycle (see video) while RL was manning the bbq grill. By now it was dark and many participants were taking their breaks and also cooking dinner. There were also some riders heading out for more laps. After having dinner and a beer, I was too full to do another lap. At the same time it was getting cold and my helmet was wet (sweat) from the previous rides. Not so comfortable wearing a wet helmet… I decided to call it the night and return in the morning.

On Saturday I returned for the end of the event. The current record for the most laps is 17. This year the top rider would only complete 15 laps. Still a lot considering one lap is 11 miles. the next rider did 13 laps. The Moe checked in with 5 laps and RL with 3. Awesome job guys!

IMG_2005 by you.                 MtnBikeRiders.com with MBA’s Richard Cunningham

This was truly a fun event – I look forward to next year’s Le Tour de Tryptophan!