Thursday, November 24, 2016

Lucky Greek

In preparation for eating too much this Thanksgiving Amber and I rode my Lucky Greek 100k permanent #1687. It was 50F when we started and calm. About half way on the outbound leg a strong Santa Ana wind picked up which got us to the turn around in good time but boded ill for the return trip.

The Lucky Greek was closed for Thanksgiving but the IHOP next door was open. Meh - the Lucky Greek is much better. The return trip was into the teeth of a 20+mph headwind. What a grind. Nevertheless the worst day spent riding is better than any other day.

Those of you who rode the Night Audax 200k this year or who ride the upper SART will be pleased to know that the three mile stretch of the SART between the two parks has been repaved and is open 24x7. It is lovely.

I came across an interesting article today in the British Guardian newspaper about making it impossible to text or use a cell phone while driving. Those of us who have lost friends to distracted drivers will find some hope in it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2017 Brevet schedule

While we wait for our betters to post information about the 2017 ride schedule on our website, I have decided to post information about my 300k ride here.

February 4th Five Rivers 300k

The Five Rivers 300k uses some of the best bike paths in Orange County and Los Angeles County. It starts in Corona and heads along the Santa Ana River Trail (SART) to the first control at mile 30 in Huntington Beach. Remember to fill up here because it’s almost 50 miles to the next control at the end of the San Gabriel River bike path in Duarte at mile 80. There’s lots of parks with RR and H2O if you need them. In Duarte we turn around and retrace ten miles on the San Gabriel bike path until we jump over to the Rio Hondo and Los Angeles River bike paths to Shoreline Village in Long Beach for the third control at mile 120. Here you can class it up at the Yard House, grab a smoothie and danish from Twisters and Coffee, or anything in between. Then we head east along the ocean to the San Diego Creek bike path and head inland to Irvine for the fourth control at mile 150 in the Crossroads Shopping Center where you can enjoy a rice bowl, kebab, burrito, or pretty much anything you want. The last 40 miles have a mix of bike paths and bike lanes back to the SART and a straight shot back to the motel.
The heavy use of bike paths and the relatively few controls means a strong rider could complete this 300k in 12 hours or so. There are several stretches where the bike path runs alongside a perfectly good road and riders are welcome to use whichever they prefer. These stretches are noted in the cuesheet.
Ride Organizer: Terry Hutt (

Monday, November 14, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Good Google

Despite being sick for the past week I decided to ride my easy Four Rivers 200k permanent today. I wasn't looking for a fast time which is good because I was struggling out there even with favorable winds.

At the first control in Seal Beach something happened that has never happened to me before. Hard to believe considering how much I ride. When I pulled my front water bottle out to top it up, the whole cage came with it. The weld that attached the cage to the base plate had failed (good thing it didn't happen while I was riding). I pulled up Google maps and typed in "bicycle shop" and found one a mere 0.2 miles away.

I put the filled water bottle in my back pocket and cycled over to the Main Street bike shop and bought a new cage. The nice man working there installed it for me and said the total was $5 so I gave him $10 and told him to keep the change. Mechanicals don't get much less painful than that!

Heading out to El Monte I had a nice tailwind which I knew I would pay for on the way back. I had ice-cream at the control because I deserved it! Sure enough I had a head wind all the way back to the coast - it reminded me of Willie's Wrightwood brevet.

At the Long Beach marina I went to Twisters and Coffee and had a hand made garlic pretzel and a pina colada smoothie. Oh Yes!

Heading south on the nice new beach path I saw a cool electronic sign just before Belmont pier that told me I was the 1109th cyclist to pass it that day. I have always wondered how many cyclists use bike paths - I'd like to see more of those signs. It would be great to be able to justify the cost of bike paths by showing how many people use them each day.

Once I reached Huntington Beach I turned inland and picked up a very welcome tailwind all the way back to Yorba Linda. My time was a very average 10;05 but this was still an hour longer than I normally ride this route in.

I've been talking to Michele Brougher recently and her group up in Minnesota is planning a unique 1200k for 2018. It's a point to point but the start and the end are separated by a ferry ride. The route is fairly flat and the couple of bits I looked at in detail look lovely. Hmm - maybe I have one more 1200 in me. I'm thinking take Amtrak to Chicago, drive to the end of the ride, take the ferry to the start, do the ride, drive back to Chicago and Amtrak back to Los Angeles. The idea of a 43 hour Amtrak ride after a 1200k sounds pretty good to me.