Great Day for a Train Ride

Well, we did it, we even got Markus to the train station at 7:15am. Once again the Surfliner was on time and very easy to board. The conductor pointed out two cars with bike racks which made it slightly easier than las time when we just put them in an empty baggage car. Fantastic ocean views on the trip north, we discussed the exercises the Marines were doing and got to see parts of the coastline the train passes that you don’t get to see from a car.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, clear blue sky, bright warm sun and just a little breeze. I’m not going to go into lyrical detail about the sublime weather and streets of smooth glass free bliss. You get the point, yes you should have been with us. We mad a stop at Revo Cycles Espresso & Bicycles to refill our bottles and get a pick up from some good espresso.Nice place next time you’re in Dana Point check it out.

The breeze picked up a little more when we got to San Clemente but it was tail wind and we sailed through the state park in a double line with Markus and Bobby pulling the entire way at about 24 to 25 mph with little effort. I sat in and was practically whisked along with no expenditure of energy. I know for some of you that is not a really fast pace but we were just out for a good long ride not measuring ourselves against each other or anyone else.

We made it through Camp Pendleton with one flat tire. @bikecrave Jeff Bean flatted just before we got to Edson Range recruit area. @distractionmgmt and I went back but he needed little assistance and was soon back on the road dropping us and chasing the others who had gapped us. Now I know how Jan Ulrich felt when he did the ‘honorable thing’ and waited for Lance he crashed only to be dropped as soon as Lance caught back on.

Into the Oceanside Harbor for water and snacks and then straight down the coast to Java Depot for coffee and conversation. Some of the guys Bobby, Glen and Markus decided to pick it up and measure off from Encinitas to Solana Beach but that is not unusual at the end of a long ride. We all gathered for coffee except Jeff Rowe who had pealed off in La Costa to head for home since he was the only one to have ridden his bike to the train station in the morning.

Once again this crew of riders had provided me and each other with another terrific day in the saddle on another seemingly flawless southern California day. Check out my photos here and Markus has many photos of his So Cal rides and some video here and here.

Join us next time, and please invite an old slow climber to keep me company in the Lanterne Rouge position.


Co-Captain Ben Wojcik




Tour de Cure Kick Off Party

WOW! I was blown away by the turnout for the pre-party training ride. During the briefing it appeared there were 30 riders in the parking lot, but as we rolled it became apparent the number was closer to 50.

The weather couldn’t have been better, OK, maybe it could have been just a few degrees warmer. In light of the cyclone approaching Northern Australia and the ‘killer’ storm fore-casted for most of the country it seems petty to complain that it was sixty-eight degrees and it would have been nicer if it were seventy.

So we rode through Pacific Beach to the La Jolla Cove, stopped for a water, food and nature break before returning on a more coastal but slightly hillier route to Phil’s BBQ.

The party was already going with the ADA and KPRI giving away some great door prizes when I returned with the broom-wagon. The atmosphere was electric, the bar was open and soon the food was served. Can’t ever complain about the food served at Phil’s it is after all a San Diego landmark. A short program ensued with Kaitlin sharing her moving diabetes story and more swag given away including a 30″ Sony 3-D TV with a home theater system and tickets to the Eric Clapton show.

Again this was the best Kick-Off party in my three-year relationship with the Tour de Cure.

Additionally;  six riders signed up for Team Red including a couple who are already giving me a run for my fundraising dollar.  I will attribute this increase in membership to the snazzy jerseys that Raelynn and I were wearing on the training ride. Probably more her than I but I’ll still claim some responsibility for recruitment.

I have added a new set to Flickr!, so check them out.

Training Ride & Kick-Off Party

Most of you will know all ready I am on the volunteer committee for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in San Diego. The actual event is May 7th 2011 and this year is the 20th anniversary. I do many things in my capacity as a volunteer but one of my primary objectives is to increase awareness for the event and increase ridership resulting in more money raised to find a cure and defeat diabetes. My personal connection is through family members living with Type II diabetes and my own pre-diabetic diagnosis last year.

If you are interested in following my efforts on behalf of the Tour de Cure you may follow me on Facebook asSanDiegoTdC, on my Tour de Cure Team Site or on twitter as @SanDiegoTdC.

As for this weeks event SDVeloSocial (me) will be riding in the Tour de Cure training ride prior to the Kick-off Party starting and ending at Phil’s BBQ on Sport’s Arena Blvd. The ride will be 25 miles and no one will be left behind. After the ride it will be time to party with free Phil’s eats, a live broadcast by 102.1 KPRI, and lots of great give-aways.

Registration will be reduced, and if you do not have a family or corporate team already you can join Team Red and reap all the benefits. Once again the Team Red site is here. Click

If you plan on attending please RSVP to the event is FREE but we need to have a rough estimate of attendees in order to provide enough food for everyone.

Don’t forget to RSVP

Summer Riding in January

Wow, if you live in San Diego you had a wonderful summer day today.

We hit the road around 9:30 and changed our route from heading into the inland hills to going coastal. Eric Bowen@fittecheric, and I were joined by first time SDVeloSocial rider Bobby Griffith, @bobbygriffith. Get to know this guy, he is one of the most interesting guys I have had the chance to meet in some time. He is a former local who has been in Texas, but hasn’t gone to the dark side, so don’t hold that against him. I’m not going to tell you about the things I found most interesting about him, you’ll have to ride with him yourself.

We started at Ryan Bros Coffee in San Marcos, SD Velo Social coffee HQ. Like I said, it was already warm and we made a great decision to head to the coast. Palomar Airport Rd to El Camino Real and then headed west on Canon. Here I played a little trick on them by turning up  Hemingway Dr. This is a little route that Glen Mako@Rideescapade, showed me, if you haven’t had the pleasure of climbing this give it a try. Bobby did it on a 23T, I don’t know how. After checking out the view from the top we dropped back down to the lagoon and then headed up the hill and on toward the coast.

This is where our decision to go coastal instead of inland paid off because when we crossed under I5 the temperature dropped 10 to 15 degrees.  We clipped up the coast to Cafe Elysa for coffee and talk. We met some cyclists there who called themselves Turtles, can not find any info on them but gave them myTour de Cure card and invited them to the Kick Off Party at Phil’s BBQ on Jan. 29th.

Carlsbad bluffs. 

After that we set off for home by riding south on the PCH to La Costa Ave.  where Eric took the pull and we flew inland taking another cyclist with us. After that it was no rest for me. Up hill on El Camino Real to Poinsettia, to Melrose where we turned south up that climb and then across Rancho Santa Fe and into San Elijo Hills. The coup de grace was of course climbing through the village and over the hill back into San Marcos. Bobby proved he is of the same character as all of those riding with SD Velo Social by riding the hills at his own pace and then waiting for me to arrive with the Lanterne Rouge.

All in all I had a great ride, good company, fantastic weather and a challenging route to keep me humble.

My Data: Click

Bobby’s Data: Click

Join us next Saturday Jan 22nd for the SD Velo Half-Century

Palomar Mountain New Year’s Day 1-1-11

Ok, I somehow held on and finished the climb. I enjoyed the holidays far too much to take on Palomar on New Year’s Day but will probably be doing it again in a month or so.

Todd, @gman92069 was kind enough to ride at my snail’s pace and keep me going forward. Thank you my good friend I may have taken another thirty minutes without you. Thank you.

Glen, @rideescapade, and Jeff, @bikecrave, and Joel, @joelprice, were out of sight by the time I had gone 2.5 miles from the casino parking lot. Thank goodness we were on a social pace or I wouldn’t have held on for a single mile. What can I say about three guys who sat at Mother’s and waited for me and then acted as though I was only just a little behind. I did see the breakfast dishes my friends and Mother’s isn’t exactly fast food. Thank you for waiting and making me feel like I belong in your peloton. You are very gracious and I can not thank you enough for all the times you have waited and eased the pace to keep me with the group. Thank you!

Joel, Jeff and I headed out to the observatory while Glen and Todd headed back down south grade for home. That almost turned out to be the best decision of their lives. We were forced to turn back from the mission to the observatory because of icy roads. Skinny tires do surprisingly poorly on black ice. As we picked our way back up to Mother’s, crossing from side to side to avoid the ice, we decided to stop for some snow pictures. When we were just about to get moving a pickup truck, coming up the hill toward us, lost traction and began fish tailing. It careened across the road about three times before stopping 50 feet down hill facing us. Two girls in the truck looked frozen in shock. We joked about how bad it could have been, wiped off the mountain because of some fool driving too fast for conditions.

We came through unharmed but reminded how fragile we are compared to the other road users.

Anyway, I’ve posted some pictures on the right just click to go to the flickr photo.

My ride data is here. Click

Join us for the next San Diego Velo Social ride. We will be having some good ones coming up, riders visiting from the east coast, mid-west and europe in the next couple of months.

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