Saturday, March 29, 2008

Keepin up with the Challege

I've been trying to get an r-12 medal from RUSA.
After DNF'ing at Casa Grande, I need to do another brevet, Thankfully, I'm a permanent route owner, so I could do another brevet with too much turn around time. The only problem was which rout to do.
I had decided to go to Hemet, and had printed my card and cue sheets, but then I watched the weather forecast. They were talking about severe winds, and Hemet is infamous for winds. I had then thought about doing my other route.
After talking it over and sleeping on it, I decided to go ahead and do Hemet. I decided to start fairly early(6am). One thing I did differently was I actually drove to the ride start- that cut 12 miles off of a long day.
I got the bike out of the car, and went to the ATM to get a receipt(the coffee shop was not open yet). I took off, bouncing my way down Etiwanda ave. I had a Riverside County Sheriffs car keep am eye an eye on me through Jurapa - it's a rough area. I made it through there and Rubidox, and paused to take a picture of Mt Rubidox. I Then pedaled into downtown riverside on Mission Inn Avenue. Almost took a picture of a filling station that had been converted to restaurant called the Taco station. The pumps were labeled for Pemex, which is the Mexican oil company. I then went by UC Riverside and started the climb that brought me in to Moreno Valley. It rained very briefly on me here I stopped at the first control,and then continued on till I got to Gilman Springs Road. I stopped to take some pictures at intersection of Gilman Springs and highway 79. I thought about stopping and taking some pics at the Scientology compound, but decided against it.
I got to hemet fine, and stopped at the second control a 7-eleven. Normally,I like to have burrito for lunch when I'm doing these rides, but their microwave was busted. So I wound up with a hero sandwich. The next portion of the ride is primarily on the Ramona Expressway. despite its name, it's mainly a 2 lane road with a nice wide shoulder. I stopped and took a pic of the Bernasconi Hills. I rode by what I refer to as the David Nakai Memorial tree. David is a Fellow Randoneurr who did this route at night. The Tree is quite large, and is growing at the edge of the pavement. it's quite low hanging, pretty much covers the shoulder. I think you can figure out what Dave did.
I then pedaled through Mead Valley and Stopped at the next control, a Ralphs Supermarket. then 5 miles were downhill and soon I was at one of my favorite places. Victoria Street in Riverside. There was fight jet that was making low passes - I assume it was from March Air Force Base I stopped at the Next Control -a Circle K in Corona. Alas, my two most excellent Friends, Bill and Ted, were nowhere to be found.
I then stated the long climb back home. I almost stopped to take picture of the CSC building in Norco. It designed to look like an old west saloon, which I find anachronistic for building housing Computer Sciences Corporation(I assume there as part of a contract with the navy base there. One of the benefits of the housing boom is that Hamner / Milliken ave is greatly improved, with a nice wide shoulder. I saw some more fighter planes, this time vintage ones from the air museum in Chino.
To conclude the aviation theme, I rode by Ontario Airport and on to the penultimate control .
I wound up with this 3 miles from the end. I kept on coming up short when I designed the route, so i did a little jog. The hard is deciding what to but to prove I made it there. I wound up buying my favorite candy Reese's pieces, for later.
I made back to the coffee shop a little past 5. Not a bad way to spend the day!
In the end I did pick the right route. I had a nice crosswind most of the day, until i started the climb up Hamner, it was still a crosswind, but it was a lot stronger. My other woudl had my head on in to those winds for 30 miles!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Casa Grande distater

Well I was going to do the 400K at Casa Grande, AZ this weekend. I was doing very good until I got to the hotel. They could not find reservation, and the locking system wasn't working . I then discovered that I left my shoes and gloves at home. not good. Thankfully, I had spare pair of shoes in my car. You see, I had done the same thing a couple of years back at the Las Vegas century and went by the bike shop at the first rest stop. I figured I would try them and see how far I got. I went in to Casa Grande and found the bike stop.The only gloves they had were "Desined(sic) in the USA and made in Pakistan". Not very confidence inspiring. Maybe I should have bought some from Wal-mart. I stopped and had dinner at Golden Corral, which was also wrong. The food was very bad quality, Plus I lost my sunglasses. I stopped at Wal mart and got some stuff before heading back to the hotel.
I woke bright and early Saturday for the 5am start. I was tail end Charlene by the time I got to interstate 10. but found it was easier. I rode the town of Eloy. To get from my workplace to the train station , I take a shuttle bus. The driver in the afternoon is named Eloy. He always asks when I'm going to ride through his town". I go to the first rest stop at Pichaco peak, with over an hour to spare, and my feet and hands weren't doing too bad. I realized than I had left my camera in the car. The next 15 miles were riding on the service road of interstate 10. My feet started to hurt when I turned off the service road in Marana. I pressed on the the next Control near Old Tuscon Studios. I though I was going to get a blister and I was only a quarter of the way in to the ride. The Arizona RBA, Susan Plonsky, was staff the control, and after talked , we decided that I should turn around and head back. We talked for while. One thing about Tucson in the winter is that of cyclists plan vacation there. while we were talking , a gentleman pulled in wearing a Paris-Brest-Paris jersey. he thought we were with The desert Camp . I put what I could from my drop bag in my jersey pockets, and headed for the car. I had to stop a couple of times to massage my feet, But I got back about 3:00P. I did get a blister , but it was on my thumb. Susan came by my hotel and gave me my drop bag about 10PM.
and I actually enjoyed it!. Susan and I were talking that there's no point in riding , if you're able to enjoy it and it leaves you debilitated the next day. Plus I actually got to see Eloy in the daylight(If I had stuck to my plan, I would gone back through Eloy at about Midnight).I also admit I was worried about he lock at the hotel being on the fritz and having to spend the night in my car
So took a disaster, had a pleasant day, and got in 135 miles to boot!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Riding with the girls is such a blast!

Most Sundays, I try and ride with a Womens group that's associated with the Cycling Connection, It's more geared to beginners, so I usually ride over and back to get a good workout in. Today, my Cycle computer malfunctioned staring out:( The further east I rode the windier it got. Around the baseball stadium I got into a sandstorm. good thing I was wearing a matte finish helmet. Had some more dust storms going up Rochester, and I almost got blown over on Banyan. I finally got to the park(Banyan and Day Creek) where the women's ride meets. Tina Corn, Carolyn Pichardo, and Mary (?)were there. We decided it was too windy, so we canceled the ride. The only good thing about the wind wa that It blew my bike over, and we found out what was wrong with the computer. So I rode west to escape the wind. Rode through Alta Loma and the Colonies section of Upland. Of course I then found the afternoon breeze coming in from the ocean. I turned around and came , but not before getting a flat right before I turned off Baseline
24 miles