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




Dual Post – Palomar Mountain Two Ways & Torrey in the Mist

Palomar Mountain Two Ways

On February 5th 2011, World Nutella Day BTW, Bike Crave hosted a tweet-up ride to do two of the main grades of Palomar Mountain. From all accounts it was a rousing success! They has eight riders; @bikecrave, @cyclefilm, @rideescapade, @aviattorr, @VeloTutor, @gman92069, @distractionMgmt and visiting from his cave in the Mountains @cyclepath55.

What a group, never been glad to be at a memorial before this day; way too fast for me. They met at Rincon Casino as usual and then climbed South Grade, at this point some went to the observatory and then descended South Grade making it Palomar Mountain 1 way. I would definitely have been with this group. The others descended East Grade and then turned back up the same way. Big drop back down South Grade, apparently the switchbacks are not sufficiently sharp enough nor steep enough for Markus to need brakes. He told me today that Palomar was a no brake descent, huh??

Photos of the Palomar Two Ways here: Click

Torrey in the Mist

Bike Crave scheduled a recovery ride for the day after the Palomar Two Ways, I thought it was perfect since I didn’t ride Palomar I would be fresh and they would be tired and sore; in other words, about even. Here is how Jeff described it in the Twtvite:

Targeted 9 a.m. roll-out from Caffe Positano in Rancho Santa Fe. Take in some lovely rollers of RSF before heading            over to the coast and checking the surf along 101. Soft pedaling after a solid day on Palomar Mountain. Approx 3              hours in the saddle for this Sunday excursion.

You will notice words like “soft pedaling” thrown in there but I can’t recall ever actually doing any soft pedaling.

Another great turn out; @bikecrave, @cyclefilm, @rideescapade, @VeloTutor, @distractionMgmt, @fittecheric and @oneonfire -Tony DiLorenzo an amazing rider who’s fitness is remarkable. We met in the lovely village of Rancho Santa Fe at Caffe Positano. Another great little local coffee spot, bring cash or head down the street to the ATM cause they don’t take debit cards as Eric and I found out on our first trip and Bobby Griffith found out today.

As soon as we started I knew that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. With Jeff Rowe along and the turn up three witches I knew we were headed for  the dreaded Zumaque. Half a mile at 9.5% average gradient, not pleasant for a Clydesdale like me.

Then we had a nice cruise back to the coast. We stopped on Manchester Ave for water and food after meeting James Stout and losing Jeff Rowe to family time. Here Jeff Bean let us know that we had been too frisky and that meant we would have to ride Torrey Pines inside. He also said we would paceline it south but I tried to disrupt that as much as possible so I would have some strength left to do the climb. I was not effective!

We stopped at the bottom of Torrey to fill bottles and empty bladders. What isn’t that somewhat poetic?? Anyway Jeff decided our relationship was at the partially open door peeing stage so I told him that I felt that it would then be OK for me to openly break wind. We’re progressing nicely toward swapping bibs.

What can I say, I climbed the inside faster than last time at a higher wattage and lower heart rate. They still had to wait for me at the top. Markus was on his way back with oxygen but I met him only a hundred yards of so from the top. I bombed down Torrey like always but this time Jeff sprinted after my attack and held my wheel all the way down. That is our favorite part of the ride.

We headed down 56 and up El Camino and then back out San Dieguito and eventually back up to the village for coffee and talk.

I couldn’t have thought of a better way or better people to kick-off Super Sunday with. Thanks guys!


Photos of Torrey in the Mist: Click

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