Tuesday, September 3, 2019

200km at 90F

Greg and Stacy just got back from a successful PBP and were ready to continue working on their K-Hound award. We rode my Four Rivers 200k permanent again, knowing it would be hot.

It was overcast when we started, which was lovely. The overcast burned off by the time we reached the beach. The Crema was out of baguettes so I settled for a quiche and a spinach and cheese croissant. Greg and Stacy are both on a weird no-grains diet so they had bacon and eggs. I must say their diet contradicts everything I've ever learned about losing weight, but I think we can all agree it's working for them.

Outside The Crema

By the time we reached Duarte it was 90F and we were cooking.I was more interested in re-hydration than nutrition and struggling with a headache.

The headwind back to the beach wasn't too bad, thank goodness, but the heat was oppressive. At Chronic Tacos I tried "Beyond Meat" that I've heard so much about. The only way you would think it tastes like meat is if you had never tasted meat. I took maybe four bites before I set it aside in disgust.

Belmont Pier
Greg and Stacy had started the ride at their house, so they pealed off as I headed inland on the SART with a light tailwind. It was obvious to me that I was going to bonk because I had hardly eaten anything in the last 65 miles. I had a Probar with me, but decided to see if I could complete the ride with deficient calories.

During the ride, the spring on my aerobar's elbow pad broke again. I used my tiny bungee cord to stop the pad flopping around until I got home. I have spare springs from when it broke last time, but decided to replace them with spare aerobars I had bought for Lejog. These aerobars have the advantage of being PBP compatible. Stacey is trying to convince me to do PBP in four years. I must be mad.

At least they'll have baguettes!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Kudos to OC Parks and Recreation

Amber and I found out that one of our favorite BBQ places, Beachwood BBQ, is now open for breakfast so we headed out early from Anaheim and got there with a raging appetite. It was well worth the ride so I took the time to speak to the manager and complement him.

Two weeks ago we noticed a small subsidence under the SART that had caused the edge of the bike trail to fall away. Last weekend Orange County Parks & Recreation had closed that section of the bike path off, although it wasn't too difficult to get around the barriers. It astounds me that they think forcing us onto busy roads for a mile is preferable to negotiating a pot hole with cones around it.

This weekend the hole was fixed and the barriers gone. I've never seen a bike path hazard fixed so quickly. Kudos.

PBP is running right now. I followed the progress of some of my friends. I see Greg Kline is ripping the road up and on track for a Charly Miller time. Good luck to all of you.

Sometimes I post an idea for an invention. This post includes an anti-invention. What's that?
You know how long fire trucks can be steered from the front and back at the same time to help them get around tight corners? How about a tandem that can do the same thing so the stoker can get more involved? I can only imagine the chaos this would cause. I hope no-one ever tries to build one of these.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Taking advantage of the weak Pound

About a year ago my daughter and I rode Lejog with Peak Tours. It was almost fully catered with overnights in B&Bs and hotels. It cost about $2200 for 14 days plus $600 for the plane fare. We paid an additional $200 to rent high-quality touring bikes so we wouldn't have to deal with transporting our bikes.

Today I got a email advertisement from Cycling Adventures for some rides. I clicked on one in the Natchez Trace and was astounded to see it cost $1400 for 5 days of cycling - fully catered and camping.

So right now you can get a 14 day tour with every meal catered except the evening meal and great overnight accommodation (and it was great) for $2200 in the UK or a 5 day tour, fully catered and with tents for $1400 in the USA. I'm not saying Cycling Adventures is overpriced, but the weak Pound is making the UK a great place to vacation.

I think the UK is going to crash out of the EU with no deal and the Pound will plummet - possibly reaching parity with the Dollar. The next year may be the best opportunity to have a UK vacation ever.

My daughter and I are heading back next Summer for a one week hiking vacation. I've found tickets on Virgin for $500. The vacation is going to cost about $800 (maybe less by the time we pay). It's going to be great.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Riding in Wisconsin

Amber and I spent the weekend in Green Bay, Wisconsin riding two of Michelle Brougher's populaires on borrowed bikes.

We flew out from LA to Milwaukee on the red-eye and drove to the Quality Inn in Green Bay. This is where Michelle is hosting the Dark Chocolate Cow 1000k, Door County 300k, Chocolate Chicken 120k, and the High Cliff 110k. Michelle loaned Amber her new rando bike and her treasurer loaned me one of his many classic bikes.

That evening Amber and I walked up and down the Fox River bike trail and were very impressed by the Green Bay waterfront. It's well paved, clean, graffiti-free, and beautifully illuminated at night.

Bridge from Fox River trail

The Saturday Chocolate Chicken ride started in Egg Harbor, about a one hour drive from Green Bay. The riders were Michelle and Lisa on a tandem (Lisa's first time), Regina, Amber, and me. I had authorized this route in my role as route committee member and just loved it. It's scenic as heck, on quiet roads, and fairly flat.

Michelle brought a tow vehicle in case her Prius broke down

Regina and Lisa at Northport Ferry
We started by riding north up to, and through, Peninsula State park, then on to Ellison Bay where we ate at the Viking Grill. I was disappointed to find we weren't going to quaff mead out of horned helmets, but the food was great. The black fly there were a joy - the way they can bite you through socks gave me considerable pleasure - not! We continued on to Northport Ferry, meeting many of the 1000k and 300k riders at various times.

At the ferry Michelle had put an info control in the window of the ticket office but, despite providing the clearest instructions imaginable, at least one rider couldn't find it. We headed back along a parallel route, crossing and re-crossing our outbound route enough times to confuse my gps system, but not Michelle. We rode a large chunk of Door county and it is gorgeous.

About eight miles from the end we were at the last control in Bailey Harbor. While reviewing the route I felt a control a mere eight miles from the end was excessive but it seemed perfect on the day. Kelly's bike (1000k rider) was outside so I went in to say hello to her. Despite having met at least twice already today, she looked at me without a gleam of recognition. "Who is this guy, and why is he talking to me?" It wasn't until I invoked Michelle's name that she realized I wasn't a weird stalker.

Bailey Harbor
We got back to Egg Harbor after a very leisurely day and I had the best plate of loaded fries imaginable before the drive home.

The eponymous Chocolate Chicken

Sunday we rode the High Cliff 110k from Green Bay to the Marina in Sherwood and back. This was even flatter than the previous day. Michelle and Lisa had been working the 1000k all night so it was just Regina, Amber, and I today.

Fox River trail

We started south on the Fox River trail and worked our way over flattish wood and farm land to the High Cliff State Park marina.

High Cliff State Park marina
Again, we met up with some of Michelle's 1000k riders so I was able to offer them a few slices of my pizza. Then we headed back up to Green Bay, finishing on the Fox River bike trail again. What a great way to finish a ride.

The best part of the trip, though, was that the St. Brendan's pub across the street from the hotel sold Murphy's Stout.

While supporting the 1000k riders, Cathy accidentally purloined a sign advertising a Christian school.
It made us all chuckle to see that the sign had an error on it and advertised 3K instead of Pre-K. If this is a quality school, I can only cringe at the thought of what kind of kids a merely average Christian school might churn out. I'm thinking Mike Pence.

3K or Pre-K ?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Post flu ride

I had a light case of the flu last week so was feeling a bit fragile for today's ride. Amber and I just rode The Crema. Fortunately it was calm and overcast for most of the ride and never got too hot. That was a blessing considering how I felt.

It was nothing like as busy as last Sunday so we were able to treat ourselves to a table at The Crema and only had to wait 10 minutes for it.

Still overcast at the pier

I had an idea for a tail light. How about one that looks like a miniature cop car light-bar? Drunks would see it from 100 yards back, think there's a cop half a mile ahead, and stop or turn around. Probably illegal. That proves what a good idea it is!

There were many planes towing advertising banners up and down the beach. One in particular caught my eye.

Museum of Weed - I hear they have a great gift shop

Monday, July 1, 2019

Summer is here

I rode Anaheim to Seal Beach and back with Amber on Sunday. We were going to ride Back Bay, but it was 77F by 9am at Anaheim and I really didn't feel like climbing Pioneer in 90+ degrees so we opted for the easier ride.

Everything was crazy busy - I don't know why. The bike path, the roads, The Crema had a 60-90 minute wait. So we just bought stuff at the counter and ate outside.

Really hot

As soon as we started heading inland on the way back the temperature shot up. Even with the onshore tailwind it was tough riding. When we got back to the cars I was toast. It was 91F. Yuck!

Greg and Stacy are off to Europe tomorrow and will be doing some tough riding to get ready for PBP next month. I wish them the best.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Bicycle cartoon

Found these at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jun/28/a-cyclists-guide-to-biking-the-city-a-cartoon


Greg and I were talking the other day and both expressed frustration at having to leave things at airports because of questionable security issues. We realized all airports have a collection of things, such as tiny penknives, that people had to leave behind at security. Why not give us a chit that we can redeem at our destination for something similar. Charge us a small fee. Take my one inch key-ring penknife at LAX and let me have a similar one that you confiscated from someone else at Denver International when I get there.

On the way back I'll had it in (because I will forget to put it into checked luggage again) and maybe get my original back at LAX. We don't lose our stuff, you don't accumulate mountains of crap, we're all happy.