Date: Sunday, August 8, 2010

Route: 228K from Carlsbad to Sunset Beach, and return

Saturday was the San Diego Randonneurs 300K Brevet from Old Town to Sunset Beach and back. Molly and I had to miss the event because we did the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon. On our way up to Camp Pendleton we saw a group of about 4 randos taking the I-5 past Camp Pendleton, and a single rando taking the route through Camp Pendleton.

Following the Triathlon I rode my bike home, getting an extra 48 miles in. It was a great ride. I felt great, and was able to bring the power up pretty high when I wanted to. This was a great indicator to me that my muscular endurance and fitness were doing well since I had just finished a race but could ride hard. I looked for randos on the way, but I must’ve been a little bit ahead of them. I thought of swinging by the 300K finish, but if I was ahead of everyone, Greg Olmstead might not have been there yet to visit with. So I pushed on home taking the 56 bike path from La Jolla to Black Mountain Road instead of swinging through Old Town.

I had done the 300K last year with Drew Peterson, and was looking forward to doing it again. One cool thing about randonneuring is permanent routes, which you can schedule to do at your own convenience. Molly and I decided to do the Sunset Beach Safari Permanent, which is mostly the same route as the 300K, but a little bit shorter. It starts and finishes in Carlsbad instead of Old Town. This was my third time doing this route, and Molly’s second.

The first Sunset Beach Safari I did was on September 1, 2008. This was with a bunch of randos and some riders for Ramona Fun Riders. I rode my single speed that day, and did it the day after doing the Rollers to Bonsall 201K permanent. I finished in 9:18 on tired legs. I love the feel of the single speed for some reason. Maybe it’s the steel frame, or relying on a wide range of cadence, but it feels great.

The second time I rode the tandem with Molly, on February 15, 2010, and our finish time was 9:18. That’s crazy! I didn’t notice until now that the time was exactly the same. I remember the first time I rode I started falling apart on the return in Dana Point, so I stopped and had some pizza and soda near Golden Lantern. The second time I was falling apart in San Clemente, but refueled at 7-11 and flew through Camp Pendleton (nearly killing Molly). Molly recalls getting through the last few miles in Carlsbad to be extremely bad for her. It was her longest ride at that point, and her third permanent.

This time Molly and I discussed riding the tandem versus riding solo. We decided to ride solo, and finished in 10:08. Longer, but we took the entire ride easy with a couple extra stops to eat. We also stopped and visited George Vargas at Bike Religion (which we had done in February as well). We both started the ride feeling very tired, but ended the ride feeling great without any melt downs! Molly and I are both experiencing the benefit of doing more frequent long rides. Focusing on getting 100-200 miles in over each weekend has really improved our tolerance for the distance. Molly was flying up the rolling hills along the coast. She has only been riding for two years now. Her long rides used to be 20 miles, and she hated the smallest of hills. I keep telling her that she has to learn to love hills. I don’t think that she’s there yet, but she seems to enjoy passing me up hills.

The ride was great, but the traffic had some bad points. We just took it extremely easy and slow when it was crowded. I couldn’t believe how many rude drivers we saw. During some of the permanents we do that head east we’ll only experience polite drivers, but the beach traffic seems to attract a lot of people that hate cyclists.

The brevet calendar is over for the year for San Diego Randonneurs, but Molly and I are planning on doing the PCH Randoneurs 400K on September 11. This ride starts at the Amtrak Station in Simi Valley, and ends at the Amtrak Station in Solana Beach. We will be taking the Amtrak and our bikes up the night before on the Amtrak, and then ride down. This will be our first 400K, but think it’s a good step with PBP only a year away. Here is a short description of the 400K from : This is a fun and very interesting ride. Starting at the Amtrak Station in Simi Valley, we will run out to Balcom Canyon Road and go over “the easy way” to a quick pit stop in Fillmore. From Fillmore we will head west to the beach at Ventura and will hug the coast from Surfers Point all the way down to Solana Beach.