The lone figure is hunched over his Colnago steed on top of the Malibu Hills. His majestic red and black kit is shredded in multiple places, with tattered pieces of red and black cloth hung here and there, barely covering his body. Blood were seeping from the hundreds of scrapes, flowing more openly from deeper wounds. Luke is losing his precious energy fast.
Down below the hills, the ugly Barbarian Horde scampered and fought each other to get to this lone warrior first. The blood thirsty and honorless greed showed on the faces of the Horde. Their multitude of boring colors, on their different non-matching kits, is no match for that of the single warrior’s shiny Capo red and black kit, with red stitching no less. The strong red kit had helped deflect the blades of these scavengers, but this one lone man can no longer stand above the thousands of barbarians that the Horde comprised.
Luke had sent out his call for help months ago to his VeloViet warrior teammates, the best cycling team in Orange County that $35 a year can provide. But Luke knew that most of this massive army is preparing for another battle and suspect that no help will come. The Beast had stopped on the Malibu Hills to make his final stand. He would kill a lot of the Horde before falling himself.
Suddenly... off in the distance... a sound can be heard. Like drums of escalating voices, this sound materializes into one of multiple mechanical sources. Early fog still surrounds the high mountain, but were swirling away violently from the center of this sound source. Slowly one can make out distinct red figures.
Leading the oncoming group, rode The Archer. Fresh from his GMR assault, Kazu was attacking the road aggressively and closing the gap to the Barbarian Horde. On his side, the lean and sinewy FedEx dances on his pedals. These two riders stood out from the oncoming pack.
Second line of this oncoming offense is the warriors Toan and Phong. These steadfast and age-harden warriors are here to do battle, to support Luke, and to enjoy the glorious show.
But... out of this foggy mist... appeared the most magnificent warrior... none other than the Commander in Chief himself Cap’t Thomas. Astride on his Trek yellow steed and his yellow shoes, it is he who will commandeer this attack and defense.
Six Warriors against the Thousand-Strong Barbarian Horde! Will this few defenders be enough? Will there be more compatriots that will come out and help them?
We will see...
Day of the Ride
The battle was fought fiercely the night before. The Barbarian Horde had made a pre-dawn attack on the six warriors. None survived except for strongmen Luke and Phong. The two would make the final stand on their own.
Desperate for additional man-power, Luke and Phong knew that they need more help. So what did they do? They recruited the women and kids of course!
Photo - The New Recruited Helpers
Photo - Barbarian Horde or Defenders of Malibu?
Photo - Luke and Phong Before the Malibu Battle
This ride was a 40-mile rolling ride, with an option of an additional 20-mile loop. At first, it seemed easy enough, as the gradient of the climb was only around 6%. But my mistake was to try to match Luke's speed. 5 miles into the climb, I eased off and let him go!
Photo - Luke Attacking on the First Hill
The scenery was gorgeous! The first 10 miles were just rolling hills and there were hardly any cars. On Latigo, the view turned into these fantastic million-dollar houses.
Photo - Gorgeous House in the Valley Below
Photo - What a HUGE House!
Photo - It's a House Folks!
The ride was a series of rolling hills, never letting one fully rest. Luke was attacking the hills and then circling back to pick me up. We saw a lot of riders heading in both directions.
At the halfway mark. the view offered us the Pacific Ocean. Luke said that there is a small beach nearby that has great views and natural sheer cliffs. Hmmm... beach BBQ?
Photo - View of the Pacific Ocean at the Halfway
We circled back and the views are now of wineries that we missed when we were bombing down the hills.
Photo - One of the Many Wineries
We got back to the car and man my back and legs were sore. We rode close to 3 hours with only one 10 minute stop at the halfway mark. After locating his family, we said our goodbyes and look forward to when we do this ride again with the entire VeloViet group.
Folks... this is an epic ride. Get ready! It's hard but an absolutely gorgeous ride!