Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dart Populaire

I rode my first Dart Populaire last Sunday. This is one third of a Fleche so it's 120km and you have eight hours to complete it. Other than that it has all the weird Fleche rules. It was hosted by the San Diego Randonneurs. There was only one team and it consisted of...

Kerin Huber
David Danovsky
Hector Maytorena
Keith Olsen

We started in Dana Point and rode along the coast towards Torrey Pines, then mercifully headed inland. Hector originally planned to finish at the top of a gratuitous climb called Mt Helix. I said "screw that" and he changed the end to a brewhouse.

The first control was at the southmost Angelos in Oceanside where I had a pineapple sculpin beer and a breakfast burrito the size of my head. Fortunately the pineapple dominated and you could hardly taste the sculpin at all. We lounged around here for quite a while but eventually had to move on.

Heading down the coast with a tailwind and a strong wind we made much better time than you are supposed to on a team event. I was pleased to ride on the Hwy 56 bike path, which the San Diegan riders user frequently, but I had never experienced. It's always nice to discover a new bike path. We also had to climb up a road called "Montezuma". I still haven't found a hill called "Montezuma" that I liked. For some reason I'm always going the wrong way.

We were soon at our next control which was a Shell gas station. We didn't really do much here because we had an enforced control (25km within the last two hours) within a few miles.

The 25km-to-go control was at a Carls Jr. I had DNFed at my 600k the prior weekend because of a nutritional error (too much protein and fat, not enough good carbs) so I was focused on eating carbs today. I was carrying two Trader Joe's scones which really hit the spot. I think I'll be using Perpetuum, Endurolytes, and scones on Willie's 400k in two weeks.

We covered the last 25km in 90 minutes to arrive at BJ's brewhouse at 4:30pm.

It was crazy busy so David got all our bikes into the back of his F250 which reminded me of Willie except not quite so "homemade". He drove us through nasty traffic back to the start of the ride and we all ate at Habit burger. Damn that's a good burger, especially after 80 miles of riding. Sorry, I was too hungry to get a photo of it.

Weather was great, route was great, good riding buddies - nice day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Of Helmets and Wigs

I just finished reading a lengthy and interesting article in the Guardian newspaper online at It's well worth the read and the plug at the end for the book makes me want to buy it.

But the funniest part was the professor who measured how close drivers got while he was
1) Not wearing a helmet
2) Wearing a helmet
3) Wearing a woman's wig

It seems drivers give you wider berth if you're not wearing a helmet, perhaps because you look like you don't know what you're doing and might be less predictable. They give you an even wider berth if they think you're a woman (same reason?). It seems to me the safest headgear is a woman's wig that conceals a bike helmet.

Where can I get a reflective vest that says "POLICE: CAMERA CYCLIST"?

Monday, March 20, 2017

600k staff ride

Amber and I rode the Orange 600k staff ride last weekend but I flamed out at mile 170. It was a nutritional error compounded by sickness. We ended up with 210 miles and at least we succeeded in confirming that Amber will be able to ride the Million Meters of Milk ride in July. Her new 32mm tires relieved the pain in she had been experiencing in her wrists.

One thing I noticed is that the repeated sections of the route between the bike path and the hotel confused my GPS system. I have broken the route down into the three 200k loops that can be started individually each time you leave the hotel.

300k riders can continue to use the existing gps file

400k riders can use

600k riders can use

Note the gps files posted on the website are still valid - just not as convenient.

At this time there are no detours, road closures, road works, control closures or anything affecting the route. Of course we all know that CalTrans can and will close roads with absolutely no warning at all.

I want to remind you there will be no day-of-the-ride registration. I will post my room number on this Google group Friday evening as soon as I get to the hotel. Please come see me before 9pm to register and/or get your brevet cards. Please be sure to bring your applications, signed waivers, and cue sheets with you. I will have spares but not enough for everyone.

I will be in the hotel parking lot at the far end from the road at 4:30am to hand out brevet cards to riders who didn't get them on Friday. There will be a bike and reflective gear check.

If you didn't pre-register and couldn't get to me on Friday I will be able to register you after the other riders have started.

I will have water available in the room and pizza and soda from lunch onward. I will also make a trip to the Korean bakery because I know you guys like that stuff.

I hope you all have the same weather we did - it was perfect. Your long-range weather forecast is superb.

PS. Mark pointed out a discrepancy in the location of control #4. I will accept receipts from Shoreline Village OR Termino/Ocean.