Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Still Hate PCH

I'm not sure what it is about the rides that I call, but my rides are the most unpopular rides ever. I'm unsure if it's the names (hammer-rama, sufferfest) or the distances (100+...usually) or the fact that I have complex routes with large amounts of elevation gain. Whatever the cause, this ride was no different only this time some people did show up. I sent out probably 400 e-mails for this ride and and two people showed up, one who didn't even get the e-mail...

Todays ride was to be a trip over Mulholland, to the beach, up PCH to Latigo, and then back through the Valley. It ended up being just that, minus Latigo, plus Topanga and Old Topanga and the Secret slopes. The mileage for me was just under 100. Leo from Bicycle John's and Chris from PAA came a long, making the ride much more bearable. being out on the road for 6 hours alone can result in one talking to oneself, so it was nice having actual real people to talk to.

The weather was great and the riding was awesome. I felt really strong the whole time and was even able to bang out an extra 2500 ft. of climbing after 80 miles. I even met Tony Cruz, that was awesome.

One of the e-mails I received regarding this ride was from my friend Vontz, who said "sounds like a great ride, but I'm retired from riding on PCH" My initial thought was "eh...whatever" but when we got onto PCH my mind changed. I don't know why people do this, but even when there are three lanes people still felt it necessary to pass us close enough that we could feel it. I don't know about you all, but that shit pisses me off. Seriously, WHY do people insist on driving like that? This is what made me change my mind about riding up to Latigo. I'd be the only one of the group going that way, and I just didn't feel safe after being breezed by 4 or 5 different minivans and SUVs. I decided at that point to go up Topanga with Leo and Chris. Chris brought up a really good point about motorists. When you ride a bike, you're not thinking so much about where you're going, but more about where you are. Your caught up in the environment, you're paying attention to the route, so on and so on. Drivers are different. Most drivers are thinking about where they're going. They're thinking about that next turn, the destination. So drivers aren't paying attention the way that cyclists are. So when they go to make that turn, they've already made it in their head. I thought about what he said, and I agree.

It sucks that on such a common cycling route, that drivers give almost zero regard for cyclist. Infact, there were two cyclist who were killed a while back on PCH in a hit and run accident. When cornered about the issue, the city of Malibu said they weren't going to add bike lanes because they didn't want to attract more cyclists to the route. It boggles my mind that in California, and in Malibu of all places people would have THAT attitude. Let's continue to put cyclists at risk, lets continue to marginalize this group of people even though we have such a HUGE cycling community here. It's just ridiculous. Just being on the road made me want to fight people.

Without the drama that is PCH the ride was pretty sweet. All the climbing that we did was awesome and then doing repeats on the secret slopes was pretty great, making me feel really confident.

Here's the route:

No comments: