Category: Bicycle Trips

Puttin’ things in motion

One of my goals this year is to complete some longer rides. A century or two for sure, but hopefully a Brevet Series as well. I’ve already missed the first round of the PCH Randos Brevet series, and I’m not sure that I’ll be ready for the 300k next month. So last night, with the help of my wife Serbrina, I laid out my training schedule for my first century.

I’ve signed up for the Adventure Corps Hells Gate Hundred in Death Valley on April 3rd. So with the help of a training guide I sat down and backtimed my riding for the next 10 weeks. The main goal of this training will be completing the the Hells Gate Hundred, but the added benefit will be setting me up for the second round of Brevets that begin in May. The Brevet Series will take me through October, and will include more than a couple Double Centuries.

So with some careful planning I think I’ll be able to accomplish my long distance goals this year. If I keep on track I’ll be completing centuries as just training rides for Brevet Series.

The tough part was planning it out, but now that it’s done, the only thing left to do is pedal!


Sunday Casseroll Ride

Up early Sunday morning for the group ride. The temp outside is 39 degrees and I’m wondering why I’m doing this. I guess I wasn’t the only one, as only one other rider, Ken, was able to ride. I go inside Starbucks and try to warm up with some tea.

After a brief chat about bikes and such, we take off. Ken suggests doing his Sunland route, which sounds good to me. It sounds like a great loop with a little climbing mixed in. The first part of the route takes us up the Arroyo towards the Rose Bowl. I’m still wearing my full layers at this point. Wool long-sleeve base layer, wool jersey, arm warmers and a jacket. By the time we pass the Rose Bowl I’m overheating and it’s time to shed the jacket. This was a bad call. It wasn’t long before we climb Chevy Chase and begin a 2 mile or so descent. Oh well, now I know.

By the time we get to the bottom my feet are freezing. This was the first time I’ve ever felt that. I managed to get a shot of Ken on his Rambouillet towards the bottom of the hill. This was my view of Ken all day. Not always this close either.

So we finish our loop and get back to South Pasadena. We split up and go our separate ways. As I’m riding home I realize that I’m feeling pretty good, and not ready to head home after all. So I decide to ride out to Arcadia again. Almost the same route as my Saturday ride. Once I get to Arcadia I head south and catch the Rio Hondo Bike Path.

This section of the bike path goes right alongside the runway for El Monte Airport. There’s even a viewing area halfway down the runway.

I took some flying lessons here earlier in the year, so I sat and watched some planes taking off and landing. It’s fun to watch them and think of all the things they are doing in those tense moments. But it made me want to start my lessons again. Better not stay here too long!

Taking Off
Taking Off

Time to get outta here. I need to get home.

By the time I got home I’d logged 55 miles. Here’s the route and the stats.

Alhambra to Arcadia-The Long Way

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The bike and gear are ready for next weekends Brevet, but I’m not so sure that I am. I think I pulled a muscle somewhere in the later part of the ride, and it was bugging me all the next day. I’m not sure if it’s worth pushing it and riding. This week I’ll see how I feel and decide as the ride gets closer.


Saturday Ride

With my first Brevet coming up next week I needed to get out and pedal. I’m still setting up the Casseroll, making adjustments here and there. I’m also refining my gear and fuel intake for longer rides. One of my Christmas gifts was a pair of Ibex Wool Bib shorts. I was anxious try them out and make sure that there were no fit issues. The Brevet will have me riding before sun-up and after sun-down, so I also will need to shed and apply layers as needed. I haven’t installed a bike computer yet, so I mounted my Garmin 60CSx to the stem. The mount is from RAM Mounts. It’s a base that can accept different cradles. So it’s easy to switch to the iPhone if you want. There are some pretty cool iPhone apps for bikes out there. This one is particularly interesting.

So off I go. Just have enough time today for an hour ride. I’ve started carrying the G10 across my shoulder. I have the strap adjusted so that it fits perfectly in one of my jersey pockets. I don’t feel it back there, and I can get the camera out faster. You know, for shots like this!

I only get about 3 miles away when I get a phone call from my wife. She’s going to be at work a little longer, so I get an extra half hour before I need to turn around. So I decide to ride out towards Arcadia. I need to get some Hammer Gel and Helen’s carries it.

Yep, I got a huge bottle of Banana flavored gel and a flask. The Acorn bag holds everything, although the front feels noticeably heavier. They let me top off my water and I’m outta there.

I decided to head up the foothills towards Chantry Flats. Chantry is a climb that I’ve always wanted to do, but never attempted. I think I could do it, but I wasn’t sure if I’d have time today. The road up to the base of the climb is actually the steepest part. I made it to the base of the road and look at the time. Damn. 1:59pm, and I have to turn around at 2pm. Oh well, I’ll have to save the climb for another day.

Looking up the road to Chantry Flats.

This tree was kinda creepy.

So I start the descent to Sierra Madre Blvd, and then climb up to the little village of Sierra Made and then to home. Took a couple more shots along the way. They have some cool signs on the roads up there.

This is where the Rose Parade floats will end on 1st of January. The floats will be put on display for people to come see them up close.

And here are the workers getting the bleachers ready for the Rose Parade. Only a few days left now.

The rest of the ride home is pretty uneventful. I need to make time so no more stops for pics. I couldn’t have timed it better. My wife and I got to our street at the same time. What great planning!

Here’s route and the elevation gain. Check in tomorrow for the Sunday ride.

Saturday Ride

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Topanga Creek Bicycles Shop Ride

Today I rode with the guys from Topanga Creek Bicycles on their weekly shop ride. When I got up to the shop it was only about 45degrees. Pretty cold for us SoCal riders. Luckily they were planning a pretty easy ride. I hadn’t been on the bike for a couple weeks, and with Thanksgiving last week, I felt pretty sluggish. There were only 4 of us. Chris and Eric from the shop, and Danny, the ringer.

We took off from the shop and turned up some singletrack. I’m new to mountain biking so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I made it up most of the climbs, but I lost momentum on one section so I had to walk it. I didn’t get any pics from here. I was working too hard!

From here we rode a short liason of pavement and the rest on fireroads. The wind was blowing on the ridge, so we decided to cut the ride short and head back to the shop. At the shop they lit the wood burning stove and we warmed up with some “Soup” that Chris made. It was very good.

I bought my Fargo from Topanga Creek Bicycles so they wanted some pics of it on the ride. I was happy to oblige, so here’s some shots of me and the Fargo. Thanks to Eric for snapping the pics!

What a poser huh? I didn’t even know he snapped this one. I swear!

Here’s the GPS track and elevation profile from the ride. Click the link below to view it in a larger window.

Topanga Creek Bicycles Loop

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Thanks for a great ride guys. Can’t wait to do it again!