Saturday, August 16, 2008

Do a Brevet, get a medal!

Well today I did brevet. Actually this is a special one. Today is the 10th anniversary of Randonneurs USA and if you did a brevet today, you were eligible for a medal.
The only thing was that It was in San Diego . I had to get started at 4AM. I did get there a little early, so I found some place to have breakfast. I then moseyed over to the parking lot and got everything ready. You could tell it was a special day since there were about 20 riders,usually there's about 7.
We did the warm-up lap around Fiesta Island, before taking off. I was soon at the rear as we climbed up through UCSD and down the grade at Torrey Pines. I ran into some of the faster riders waiting to make everyone was still on the road. This one of thing I really like about brevets, is that everyone watches out for everybody, unlike the usual "Saturday Morning World Championships".
Anyway, back to the positive! I chatted with them until I missed a light in Carlsbad. I took advantage of my loneliness to snap a photo.
At Oceanside, you have an option. You can either ride the shoulder of Interstate 5 through Camp Pendleton, or ride through Camp Pendleton if you show the guard an ID . I usually like riding through the base, although I do wonder about the "Tank Crossing" signs and the one directing Ambulances to the various live fire ranges.
It takes about 7 miles to get through the base. You then spend most of the rest of time on old abandoned highway 101. Nothing Like a 6 lane wide bike path! it's also part of San Onofre State Beach(and you get to go by San Onofre Nuclear Reactor). I stopped at the Control in San Clemente, which was next to Carl's Jr(Hardee's to folks back east) I got my card stamped had lunch, and headed back out.
Then the fun began. going through Oceanside, the traffic was bumper to bumper with no bike lane. The bike lane picked up in Carlsbad, but people were double parking on it to get to the beach. This lead to it swarming with Police cars and Tow trucks. I was think I need to re-fuel before Torry Pines (did I mention I had a Hammer Gel flask spill all over my bag, so I only had instead my normal two?) I passed by a 7-eleven in Encinatas, and had a Gatorade. I stopped before Torrey Pines to take a picture ( you can only see the first half). it's about 7% for a mile. I made it up with no problems and was soon on the bike path that takes you to Mission Bay Drive. I got on Mission Bay drive and found myself in the middle of a police pursuit. What a day!
I stopped to take a picture of Mission Bay. Things got better, as Mike (our RBA, Regional Brevet Administrator) had a medal waiting for me. I had registered early enough That he could pre-ordered mine. He also had some pizza and sodas. we talked about If would be willing to be an RBA for the Inland Empire (the name of the area I live in) I'm going to have to think on that.
I was going to by the outlet mall at Lake Elsinore, but decided that I had enough excitement for one day.

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