Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Palm Springs Weekend

56 miles from Palm Desert to Palm Springs, north to Dillon Road and back via 1000 Palms and Washington. Temp in the 60's, winds mild-perfect riding day. The following day the winds were howling 10-30 MPH with gusts up to 40 MPH. Ask the golfers at the Bob Hope Classic.Palms along Ramon with San Jacinto in the background. Tyler's the best burgers in Palm Springs.Garnet Ave along Interstate-10, heading toward Windy Ridge.
Riding along the Windmill Farm, a passing train, snow capped mountains, tee time at 12:30-Desert Willow. Nice. . .
Great downhill along 1000 Palms Canyon, but I had to stop for a Kodak moment.
Visited the Leonardo da Vinci ExperienceWhat's so funny?

Blessed by "The Virgin of The Rocks"
The da Vinci BicyleThe Donna CycleVisiting the Palm Springs Air Museum

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Stagecoach Century-Brr

Sunrise in Ocotillo (population ?300) is over 80 miles east of San Diego along Interstate 8. It is truly in the middle of nowhere. The sun never came out till after noon, and the temperature was between 36 and 44. Even with 4 top layers, two gloves, and neoprene shoe covers, it was freezing-no thanks to Global Warming?

The Stagecoach Century travels along the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849. Also called County Route S2, it is the Imperial exit off Interstate 8 in Ocotillo and heads north to California Hwy 78 near Julian.

Google Earth view of the ride-not a house or road in sight.

The elevation map is symmetrical because this ride is "out and back" along the same road. The first half is a steady uphill climb to 2600 feet. The return is mostly downhill with two hill-climbs. The ride back was into a headwind so the downhill required some work. The return leg took me 30 minutes less than the outgoing uphill leg.

"Scenic, this ride is not"-as Yoda would say.

Typical view during the beginning of the ride is a long, lonely, uphill road, surrounded by rocks, sand, and shrub.

Google Earth view of "The Wall" seems tamer than it really is. After climbing for 30 miles, this 13% grade 300 feet climb took everything out of me. At about mile 37 (3 hours) I hit the Bonk -"a term used by cyclists, to describe a condition when the athlete suddenly loses energy and fatigue sets in, usually caused when glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted, resulting in a major performance drop, dizziness, nausea, and sometimes hallucinations." I recovered by sucking down 3 glucose gels, drinking all the liquids I had left, and slowing my heart rate down to the 130's.

After climbing for 3 hours in the cold, and having no breakfast, I almost climbed into the Sag Wagon-"A car or truck that picks up or otherwise assists riders who have had to stop riding, either due to fatigue, injury, or mechanical failure."

A welcomed site-the Pleasant Valley Community Center. Lunch stop at the half way point where hot chili and sandwiches were served. There was a line at the heaters to thaw out frozen toes.
As scenic as it gets along this ride-the sun finally out and a little bit of green.

Snow in San Diego at 3000 feet-Brr. I was glad to survive my first 100 mile ride. It took me 7 hours:17 minutes of ride time with 1 hour of total rest time. Average speed 13.4 MPH.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Palos Verdes Circuit

The best hill workout in the South Bay area is around the Palos Verdes Penninsula. I had to pause along the ride to take some pictures. It's the middle of winter and the sun was out, 73 degrees-thanks to Global Warming?Profile of the ride. The climb up Palos Verdes Dr East is a 775 vertical over 4.5 miles with a few switchbacks to rest a little. The ride down the other side is a thrill, negotiating the switchbacks at 20-30 MPH.
A view North of Flat Point with Santa Monica Bay in the background.View South toward Palos Verdes PointThe Point Vincente Lighthouse with Catalina Island in the background.Another option for a good hillclimb is up Hawthorne. Abalone Cove and Long Point along Palos Verdes Drive South.
The Wayfarers Chapel was built in 1951, designed by Lloyd Wright, and is a Swedenborgian Church. It's a must see while driving around PV.
Portuguese Bend where the land and road is constantly shifting.Trump National Golf Course. Does it look like the course is sliding into the ocean?
View East toward the Port of Los Angeles and the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
Gotta vist King's while in the South Bay. Fried noodles with Spam combo-includes rice, potato salad, and, of course, Kings Hawaiian sweet bread. Nice carbo load.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

Attacked by another dog!!!

I was on my first ride for 2007 along the Huntington bike path enjoying the sunset over Catalina Island. Below the Seacliff Bluff there is a dog beach and many dog owners walk their dogs along the bluff. I slowed down since up ahead a clueless lady was standing in the middle of the path with two dogs that looked like large rats on long legs. I made my move to the left lane of the path when one of the dogs decided to attack my bike. I heard a spat as my front tire ran over the dog's leg and as its retractable "leash" entangled my drive chain, I went skidding across the pavement.

All the people who witnessed the accident attended to the yelping dog, while not a one helped to scrape my body off the asphalt. . . don't you love PETA? Anyway, the lady had to rush her dog to the vet and I rode home with a free dermabrasion on the right side of my body and a broken thumb.

By the way, for all you PETOB supporters (People for the Ethical Treatment Of Bicycles :), my bike survived with only a few road scars. So starts 2007.

For 2007 I've "souped" up my bike a little:
New Carbon Fiber Handlebar - thank you Donna - These are so comfortable to ride with. The flat surfaces give your hands more support and more riding positions, besides looking great. Luckily I wrapped the top curve with silicon tape which protected the bar when I crashed.
New tires - thank you Jimbo - These Kendas are a lot thinner, faster, and harder (good combination?) than the Continentals that I used for the San Fran to LA ride. I logged over 2,600 miles on those tires without a single flat! Notice how worn the tire is. So far the Kendas have run over one small dog without a flat. Sorry PETA fans!