Amber and I stayed at the Best Western in Simi Valley and we both felt the extra cost over the Motel 6 was well worth it, especially as the ride's 7am start time allowed us to enjoy a nice pre-ride breakfast at the hotel.
We had 34 riders registered and even though we had a few no-shows, a large group rolled out on a cool, calm, and dry Saturday morning. After warming up a little on the rollers of Tierra Rejada we enjoyed a gentle downhill to the coast on Santa Rosa, trying to avoid the rumble strip as best we could.
This 200k only has one receipt control but it has seven info controls. Perhaps it should have been named "Infopalooza". I managed to get to the receipt control in Carpenteria at mile 57 by digesting my enormous complementary breakfast supplemented with a ProBar. As the info control stops were quick, we made excellent time. Greg even managed to route us onto two bike paths I'd never been on before - I thought I knew them all.
In Ventura the nature of the route confused both Amber's and my navigation systems (rwgps) which suddenly though we were on the south bound portion of the route. It wasn't until a mile or so later, when I saw the ocean, that I realized what had happened and turned around. From that point until Carpenteria my gps thought I was south bound and gave me the wrong cues. Fortunately I knew how to get to Carpenteria.
Heading back south we had a gentle tail wind and the info controls made it seem like a scavenger hunt. Greg had made the info control questions multiple choice which is an excellent idea - one I shall copy. For longer rides, it's understandable that riders will be fuzzy with exhaustion and sleep deprivation so I think having multiple choices will really help them understand and answer the question correctly. Unfortunately, his first two info control questions concerned the cash price of regular gas at gas stations. Both of them had raised their prices in the 24 hours since Greg had checked them!
It was clear we would have a 30mph headwind while climbing the 11 miles of Santa Rosa Road, but it turned out the real problem was the strong crosswind while we were on PCH. Sure enough, especially in the vicinity of Point Mugu, the cliffs and Mugu Rock concentrated and diverted the wind so that it was strong enough to cause a sandstorm across PCH and forced us to stop and wait as a particularly violent gust went by.
It was actually a relief to get onto Santa Rosa Road so that the wind was in our teeth, at least I wasn't worried about being blown off my bike. When we got to Camarillo we stopped at the Chevron and ate the massive cookies we had bought in Carpenteria and refilled with a little Gatorade. The wind was fairly calm at the gas station and I thought, perhaps, we had seen the worst of it. But no, as we left the shelter, the wind came back and we crawled up Santa Rosa at 10 mph.
When we turned onto Moorpark Rd, we still had a head wind. Go figure! Finally we turned onto Tierra Rejada and had two miles of well-earned tailwind. We finished with a 10:22 ride time so the wind cost us about an hour. Like I said to Amber "If all the rides were easy ..... that would be great!"
Greg was making pizza and it was good - the four cheese was one of the best I'd ever eaten. We shot the breeze (pun intended) for 45 minutes then headed back to our cars for the drive home.
This was my first ride with my new helmet mount. I purchased a small headlight during a flash sale on Amazon for a mere $15 and was very please with it, although it's not as good as my $80 Cygolite. Still, it would make a great helmet light but it doesn't come with a helmet mount. So I decided to foray into 3D printing. I downloaded some free CAD software from Design Spark and designed a mount so I could attach this light to my existing Cygolite helmet mount. Then a friend, who owns a 3D printer, printed it for me. After a couple of iterations I had the mount shown below.
See you later.