Horse Flats by Fair Means or Not At All

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Sophie Hines and myself embarked on a "by fair means" bouldering day a few weeks back. Our goal was to go climbing by human power, an earn-your-burns climbing equivalent of skiing's #earnyourturns. I built a very simple bike rack that allowed me to carry a normal sized crash pad and additional small pad slice over my bike's rear wheel. We left Caltech at 7:30 am, and began the slow ascent towards Horse Flats. Knowing we needed to save some energy to actually go climbing still, we took our time on the way up Highway 2. Five hours after leaving Caltech, we made it to the trailhead of Horse Flats. After cooling off in the shade and eating some lunch, we got the pads out and booted up. Turns out climbing is pretty difficult when your legs are already really tired! Not to mention it was in the 80s up there. After struggling on the rocks for a couple hours, we decided to get back on the bikes to ensure we had plenty of time to descend in the light. At least it was much easier going on the way back down! Although, even when peddling hard on stretches of the decent, I couldn't really get my bike above 30 mph with the crash pads dragging through the air. We got back to campus around 7 pm. All in all, a very satisfying day. We rode 70 miles with 7500' of climbing, hiked 3, and fell off some boulders. Next time, we will go on a colder day. Plus, I have a few ideas on how to rig pads up in a more aero way.

Sophie and Hayden biking with the pads