Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Winter Solstice 200 km brevet

Friday 21st was the winter solstice and Kerin hosted her annual 200k brevet.

Twelve riders met at Pasadena's Sierra Madre Gold Line station at 7pm. The weather prediction was perfect with no rain, favorable winds, and temperatures in the 50's. Many riders decorated their bikes with tinsel and Christmas lights. I was just glad to be there.

Start of ride

After a tour of the lights of Pasadena we hit the San Gabriel bike path and flew to the beach with a strong group and a tail wind. My rwgps says we took 1h35m to cover 30 miles. It seemed faster in the dark. We passed through several bands of fog on the way to the beach - some of it very thick.

At Huntington Beach I rode on the beach path for safety but the fog was quite thick. One hundred yards inland on PCH, where the rest of the group was riding, there was almost no fog at all; so I moved over and rode with everyone else. Weird how fog works sometimes.

The second control is at the Harbor House which is a 24 hour restaurant with decent food and a great atmosphere. It always takes a while to get a large group through there - this year it took over an hour - but it's a great control for this kind of ride.

Harbor House at one a.m.

The control at Dana Point was closed with a sign saying "back in 15 minutes" - rando's dilemma - do you wait or push on? I pushed on, relying on the pro-bar in my top tube bag. If I had known I would miss the train by 30 seconds I would have waited.

It's 3:15 am and they "say" they'll be back by 3:30. 
We continued on the usual route down the coast staying more-or-less as a group. I split off at San Clemente to ride the beach path while the others went up PCH. After San Clemente I caught up with the lead group and we went through San Onofre state park and then onto the shoulder of the I5 for the last ten miles or so. The freeway shoulder is the only bad part of the route.

I got to Oceanside desperate to use the rest room and by the time I got out I missed the 5:37 train by about 30 seconds so I had to wait for the 7:00 instead. Ate at the terrible Burger King but at least I got to chat with Jeff and Lori Arita who are planning to ride PBP next year. I really hope it goes well for them.

My ankle felt sore at the end of the ride, but I knew it would. I probably set the healing process back a month but I really wanted to do this ride :-)

Total riding time was 8:43 (14.5 mph average) which wasn't bad considering it was dark and there was a lot of fog.

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