|Starting in Pasadena|
We have had terrible Santa Ana winds for the past two weeks - so strong that Amber and I had to abandon last week's ride. Fortunately the wind was fairly calm, and the prevailing northerly winds had returned for our ride. On the other hand it was bitterly cold (for California) so I had the opportunity to try out some of my new cold weather gear. I had new silk undergloves, a long-sleeved woolen RUSA jersey that I had only worn once before, and a new Showers Pass jacket.
When we started the ride it was about 46F. We rode tempo around Pasadena before heading east to the San Gabriel river trail. Charlie was unable to hold our pace and dropped off. It turns out he was not feeling well and was unable to complete the ride within the allotted time. David Nakai started late and caught us after an hour or so, then quickly rode off the front because he needed to finish before we were likely to.
Once we got onto the San Gabriel bike path, around mile 30, the temperature dropped even lower - bottoming out at around 36F. Fortunately as we approached the coast, it rose back up to around 41F and stayed there for the rest of the ride. Even with four layers of clothes, standing around at the controls was very cold, so several times I left before others were ready so I could warm up a little.
At Seal Beach, the McDonalds had closed early so we rode on the the Harbor House Cafe which is open 24 hours. This is good to know. The service there was pretty chaotic, but they got the job done eventually. We spent an hour here in total but at least we were well fed when we left.
We rode south with a tailwind in one or two groups, coming together and splitting as people felt stronger or weaker. Riding through Laguna Beach at two in the morning is much better than during the day. Hardly any parked cars, traffic, or pedestrians. Dana Point was quiet and we stopped at the penultimate control at the Arco to use the rest room and get water.
I showed Mark Tagawa the bike path through San Clemente which is slightly shorter and has less climbing than the bike route or PCH but because it's hard packed dirt, it is slightly slower. As we finished climbing out we saw the group that had stayed on PCH pass about 30 seconds ahead of us so I chased to get back on. Mark didn't even know the bike path existed and he said it was cool. When it's not packed with pedestrians, it is a lot more fun.
I was with the lead group of five as we approached Las Pulgas Road but I had to stop to eat some GoCubes and ended up about 1/4 mile behind them. I think they stopped at the rest area off the I5 because I saw them go in but I got to the Oceanside Amtrak before them.
My total ride time was 10:03 and the whole group, except Charlie, rolled in within another twelve minutes at 05:15. We were lucky enough to catch the 05:42 Metrolink to Los Angeles and Terri and Kerin were kind enough to show me how to buy a Gold Line ticket (and pay for it) back to Pasadena. It turns out it's not enough to buy a ticket. You buy the physical, reusable ticket and then have to load a virtual ticket onto it, and scan it as you enter. Too much for my sleep addled brain to figure out.
|Ending in Oceanside|