Saturday, September 27, 2008

The ace in the Hole

It looks there's some snafu with the Brevet I did in Moorpark, so In order to keep my foot in the r-12 race(that's one brevet a month for 12 months). I rode my new route, Barrio to the Beach.(my ace in the hole)
The route starts out in the usual meeting place, it's a Grind Coffee shop. I started on my way and decided to take a picture of the Epicenter, which is the Stadium for Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Class A affiliate of the California, err... Anaheim, err.... Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was too dark.
So I headed south on Millken/Hamner, I was actually in danger of making a control too early! That's one of the odd things about randonneuring that I like - you can be penalized for riding too fast!
so I took a picture of the Australian walking sign. That did the trick.
I then missed the turn for the Santa Ana river trail. I found on was down by Angels stadium, where I decided to get creative with Halo on the Big "A". it actually lights when the Angels win.
The closer I got to the beach, the more marine layer(Fog/low hanging clouds) I ran into. That's why I didn't take a picture of the ocean - it was too thick.
I stopped and had lunch in Newport Beach at a Circle. I did not run into my two most excellent friends, Bill and Ted. I think they were at the one in San Dimas.....
In keeping with the baseball theme, I had some hot dogs.
Coming , I took some more pics of the Stadium. Sorry Hockey Fans, no pics of the Honda center.
I was going to take another pic of an egret at he end of the river trail, when I developed a case of tanglefoot. No damage other than skinned knee and bruised ego. I I stopped at Green River and washed up.
I made to the next control OK, but shortly after wards, I sliced my tire, I managed to get it fixed by booting it with a dollar bill, and was debating calling it off and going home to get a spare tire, at which point my boot blew. I was about three miles from home.
Then I remember I was across the street from the JensonUSA warehouse. I wasn't sure if they could help me, but it was worth a shot, as the nearest bike shops, Bumstead's in Ontario and Roy's in Upland were about the same distance as home.
I was treated like a Queen by Jenson. They got me new tire, two tubes, and changed the tire for me. I did have to give them some money.(good thing I had my MasterCard!)
One of the reasons I started so early was to avoid the Late afternoon wind, Needless to sign, another of my plans went awry. I made up Euclid and across Arrow, knowing I still had time (the minimum speed for brevets is a 9.5 mph rolling average ).
by this time I felt more like this song (lyrics may not be family friendly)
I made to the next control, an AM/PM in Claremont with about an hour to spare. I filled up with Gatorade and was climbing up to Base Line Road(er, 16th Street. it's Upland) determined to take advantage of the fact that it was downhill and the wind was at my back.
And my luck turned I did not hit a Red light until I got to Milliken Avenue! (That's the first time I've done that and about 8 miles.) I know had about an hour and twenty minutes.
Well maybe my lucK was better, I had cut a coupon for Baja Fresh to get supper. Turns out I lost it somewhere. but it was only a dollar.
So keep on keeping on. I need to rest my bones.
ps. I got credit for Moorpark! one more perm and i'll be eligible for the r-2000.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

lets's do a 180

I will confess, I almost didn't do this century. I had done a brevet last week, and got in over an hour and half late Friday night.
But I woke up early and drove on down to Norwalk. This was a sparsely attended century, about 100 folks.
The one eighty comes from the sponsor - oneightywest a christian charity dedicated to help young folks turn their life around.
So we started out at a christian bookstore
I hung with the main group for first five miles, until it was obvious to me that people were riding in an unsafe manner. So I hung back at the first rest stop and talked with Henry and Allen.
The next part was on the San Gabriel river trail. This is lesser cousin to the Santa Ana trail. There are usually a couple of bikejackings here a year - I could see why - several places it would be easy to lie in wait. Other than it was OK.
Henry, Allen, Cindy, Debbie and Barry, and a bunch of other cycling connection folks caught when we got off the San Gabriel Trail. we rode together through Santa Fe Spring and La Habra. Coming through Brea, I missed a light, and wound in a racing training ride. I also missed the turn for the 100 and my buddies(did I mention they need to do a better job with cue sheets and route markings?). I figured out my mistake in Fullerton and doubled back.
We rode by the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, but i forgot to take a picture(it's not much) My favorite thing is that they have house he grew up in on the grounds - It reminds me of the house my mother grew up. We had to climb a few hills here.
Then we got on the Santa Ana River trail. This should have been easy, but we had a 16 mph headwind for 25 miles. I took it easy, and stopped to take pictures of Angels Stadium and the Honda Center.
By the tim I got to the 405 free way I was pooped. Fortunately, there was rest stop right there. I pulled off and Fred and Slyvia and Tom and Mary Lou showed up. Look at the flag behind Fred to get an idea of the wind. I cut up with them for a while and got back to Huntington Beach, aka Surf city.

We were on Pacific Coast highway, and the wind coming from the side much better!. I stopped to some pics of the oil fields and of the Navy Depot in seal Beach (hey , my nephew is the navy and you could say he's found of SEALS.
We were back on the San Gabriel Trial for the remainder of the ride. I ran in to the gang at teh apres- ride feast.
This another feature of the oneeighty west ,The end is a mile away form the start. So I rode back to my car.
Great day , great ride

Sunday, September 14, 2008

An expensive brevet

Since, I 'm trying to get my R-2000 medal in addition to an R-12, I've been doing some different perms in addition to my own.
I decided to do the Moorpark to Mugu and Malibu perm. I had a little problem getting the card, but then...
I was watching the news on Friday, or should I was going to watch the news on friday, when word came in of the Metrolink train accident in Chatsworth. You know it's bad when the anchor advises that if you're squeamish, you might want to change channels (yes, looking at a blood smeared locomotive will do that you...
The organizer advised me to get an early start. I put down 6am. when I rolled by the accident site at 5am, there were still helicopters and floodlights everywhere.
I got to the start point and found that shopping center had signs posted "Car will be towed". There was a high school and park next door, but their gates were blocked. and I couldn't find any place to park on the streets, so I decided to risk it (although I did park in front of vacant store). I went inside of Vons, got a Red Bull, and started the ride. Of course, when I went by the park, it was open. go figure!
I rode through Moorpark, crossed the railroad tracks, and began climbing up Grimes Canyon. Grimes is on The Tour of California, and is used to get back to the right valley after doing Balcom Canyon. The climb is not bad, in that I didn't have to use my granny gear. I thought I would see "Fabain" or "Levi" scrawled on the road, but, alas, It was not to be.
when I got to the top, there was a large sign advising semitrailers to turn around. which was strange, since there were two semi coming up behind me. The descent is a lot steeper and very corkscrewy. I held off the semis until the road straightened out.
I then stopped at the first Control. This was what is called and informational control, as you are supposed to observe something and write it down. In this case, it was the name of a church. I was going to be real nifty, and take a photo, but discovered that my camera had fallen out of my bag! so imagine pedal among orange groves interrupted occasionally by oil field for the next 30 miles. I did pass through Santa Paula.
I stopped at the second Control, a Starbucks in Ventura, and got something to drink. It was about another 15 miles down the coast to Port Hueneme and the Seabee base. Here I was supposed to find out the name of the theater by the gate. I rode by the main gate , and didn't see anything that looked a marquee. I thought it was another gate, so I pressed on. no luck!. I doubled back and asked. I then got two different answers! So finally I asked some one to point it out. It was cleverly disguised as an office building. Maybe I should have brought my nephew, who's in the Navy Special Warfare Command along ("Give me the correct answer or Patrick will beat you up!" )
It was back to smooth sailing to Point mugu and down PCH. I noticed that they had part of PCH blocked off. I rode in the blocked off portions, since they had nice signs saying Bike one lane ,and cars the other lane. Turns out they were having the Malibu Triathlon that day. I got there after the race had occurred, but before the had cleaned up the course.
I had lunch in Malibu, and started back up the coast. part of the reason for the early start was to avoid the heavy afternoon winds. no luck, and I had 25 miles of pretty good rollers. The only upside was that I got to see the Pepperdine wave of flags for 9/11
after about 2 hours, I finally got off PCH and had the wind the at my back. I had another informational control at Cal State - Channel Island. I was supposed to write down what on the sign at the Southwest side of the entrance. I remember being glad that 4PM, as if I been there when I planned too, I could not have used the sun to figure which was the Southwest side.
most of the rest of the ride was on the same route as the La Wheelmen's Grand Tour and Cruisin the Conejo. At 6:00, I rolled back into the shopping and relieved to see my car was still there! I also found a park across the street that was not gated.
I was going to Baja Fresh for dinner, but decided on a local Chinese place. The food was good, if too much (my fault, as usual) and fortune cookie said "three month from now will be an auspicious date for you"
so, what will happen on December 13? stay tuned!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Whenver you need pictures, forget your camera

I had to drop my car off to get some work done, so I didn't get as much miles before the club ride.I did ride by the grape in Fontana, and there were harvesting , but no camera:o
Unfortunately, riding back by Victoria Gardens, they was a Kitten in the middle of the road. It apparently had been run over and it spine was broken:(. I was debating what to do, as there was a rider who was going to do one of my perm routes and was waiting for me to sign him out. The cat got me upset ,even though I didn't think there was much I could do for it....
anyway, on to more happier things.
I circled back, and found a motorist had also spotted the cat and was taking it to the shelter. I got the Randonneur out on the ride, and took off with Bruce,
And I didn't get dropped that bad on the first hill:) I could catch them at a light
I took my shortcut and found bruce chatting with Brandy from Team Estrogen. She was doing hill repeats. I still had cat on the Brain (guys didn't seem to be much in to emotions, other than arrgh! I can't drop the fat lady!)
we all rode back together. I decided that I need to get my mind off of the cat, and had some cheesecake.
I still needed some extra mile so I doubled back on baseline. Big mistake, as wound fighting the wind and the heat. did I mention my apt's a/c is out for the third time this month?: