Sunday, October 22, 2017

Four Rivers 200k on a perfect day

Greg and Stacey Kline, Martins, Amber, and I rode my Four Rivers 200k permanent yesterday. I decided to use the event to test my Electronic Proof of Passage as RUSA has now officially sanctioned this for permanents.

We started at 7:30am and rode into a cool, still morning. As we were using EPP we rode straight past the first control, my cell phone app detecting that we were there, and rode on to Seal Beach. Unfortunately The Crema is closed for refurbishing so we went to the Hangout which turned out to be slow but the food was wonderful. Martins had to turn around before Seal Beach so he missed out on a great breakfast.

The wind was gentle, even near the beach and there was some light overcast that burned off as we headed inland to El Monte. Pretty soon we were cruising on the San Gabriel bike path under clear skies with temps in the mid-70s. Absolutely fantastic.

We were still pretty stuffed from The Hangout so we grabbed some nuts and water and headed on back on the Rio Hondo trail. Unbelievably we had almost no headwind as we headed back to Long Beach. This is very unusual.

We rode through at least two wedding parties as we worked our way through Seaport Village and headed to Chronic Tacos at Belmont pier. Once again, because we passed through the control point on the way to Chronic Tacos, we got credit for the control but we ate where we wanted. Amber had never been to Chronic Tacos before and she liked it. I got the veggie burrito with added carnitas which was about the size of a small toddler. I couldn't finish it even though I had ridden sixty miles since my last real meal.

Heading back to Yorba Linda I was trying to finish before it got dark so I put my head down and pulled Amber at 20mph for the last six miles. Even so, We rode the last mile in the dark. No problem, my new Edelux II front light did a great job. Greg and Stacey rolled up eight minutes later.

I could not have asked for better weather and the food, route, and company were all icing on the cake.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Back bay with kayaking

Amber and I rode my Back Bay route on Sunday with an hour of kayaking at the Newport Aquatic Center. It was very windy with choppy water which made the kayaking even more interesting than usual. We ate at the Champagne Bakery in Irvine. They have a new baguette cutting machine that cuts them into 1/2" slices. Fresh sliced baguette, butter, jam, and a decadent desert. Fabulous.

To paraphrase a Norwegian cross-country skier: "I'd rather be cycling and thinking of God, than in church and thinking about cycling"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Anaheim to Oceanside 125k permanent

Amber and I rode my Anaheim to Oceanside 125k permanent yesterday. It was a beautiful day and we had a great ride. Cook's Corner was quiet and we got in and out in only 30 minutes. The descent on Alisal Creek bike path was excellent as usual but we were surprised by a 10mph headwind which is unusual.

Kaylana coffee has stopped selling their Caramel sea-salt iced coffee so I got a large caramel infused iced-coffee. Bloody expensive but lovely. I was getting brain freeze and we were short on time so I poured most of it into my water bottle and topped it up with water. That worked very well.

We normally take the bike route south from San Clemente but I noticed the beach path at the San Clemente Amtrak station is open to bicycles so we decided to give that a try. There's a lot of sand on it so it was hard work but our 28 and 32 mm tires handled it well. It's just over three miles long and very picturesque. It brought us out to an unfamiliar road which we climbed up and we found ourselves back at the end of the usual bike route. It isn't any faster or any easier that the bike route, but it's more fun and safer.

The climb from Calafia state beach to San Clemente Inn at the south end has less climbing than either PCH or the bike route but it's concentrated into a short distance. If any of my routes go through this section, I will allow riders to use this "shortcut".

Taking the beach path from San Clemente Amtrak station to San Clemente Inn
Beach path has lots of sand but it's fine for 28mm tires
We got to Oceanside with 40 minutes to spare before the train so we ate quickly at Angelo's and got to the station five minutes before the trail did. We actually got seats this time, first time in the last three trips.

A couple of weeks ago I rode my Four Rivers 200k permanent with Greg and Stacy Kline and I was admiring their saddle bags. Greg told me they are Acorn bags which are made locally. The manufacturer (a husband and wife team) cannot keep them in stock. I subscribed to their email list and received a notification that they would be restocking in early September.

I managed to order a medium saddle bag, then realized it would make a great gift for Amber's 30th birthday. I tried to order another one for me the next day, but they had already sold out. I will have to wait for the November release to get mine.

I gave her the bag before this ride and she installed it on her bike. It's a really nice bag, and their website is awesomely professional.

Acorn bag