Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ok, Ok, Here's the Coolbreeze Report (CoolBreeze 08 Ride Report)

I'll start by apologizing to my rampant fans, who's numbers are in the millions, for not posting the last couple weeks. I will say that I didn't feel like writing I have a few good excuses and that I promise it won't happen again. Moving on... This weekend was the Coolbreeze Century, a favorite among century riders for it's tree shaded climbs and winding descents through some of the central coasts most beautiful areas....

Most of the time when I do a century I leave L.A. the morning of the ride before the crack of dawn, get to the event, do the ride and then drive home. The only two rides I've done this year so far where this hasn't been the case was The Stagecoach Century which was over 200 miles away, and the Death Ride which was almost 500 miles away. But for Coolbreeze this year I decided to do something different. I've been in a celebratory mood lately so I decided to get a hotel room and make a weekend out of this event. I also decided to invite a few good friends up to enjoy the weekend with me.

My weekend stay was at the Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard Ca. I was a little bummed that at first that I wasn't able to get a room at the Marriott in Ventura, but once I realized that the Residence Inn rooms are like little apartments I was stoked. Then when I got there I saw that my room was right next to the pool... score. I ordered a Pizza, hopped in the shower, and got ready for Saturdays ride.

The best thing about staying at a hotel before a ride is the wake up call. I need three alarms to get up in the morning, so between my alarm, my friends alarm and the wake up call I managed to get up about 30 minutes late. I still made it to the event on time, so no harm done. I met up with a few guys from the club, Parker, Greg and another gentleman who's name I don't remember. We rolled out at 6:40 and set a moderate pace up the coast. The Route starts on a bike path, hops onto city streets for a minute, gets back on another bike path and then dumps you onto Highway 1, right on the Coast. So for the first part of your day you're riding up the coast, watching the breakers of the pacific ocean. Not a bad way to start your day. The fun begins though when you cross under the 101, and then hop up on it. That's right, for a portion of the ride you're on the 101 freeway, riding along side traffic that's easily going 80 mph. Parker wasn't so happy about it, but I love riding on the freeway.

Once off the freeway the fun really begins. There's a short climb up Bates road, then over to highway 192. This section of road takes you through the economic heart of the central coast, the fruit farm. The roads through here are lined with avocado and citrus groves. We made our way though the farm land and up into Montecito. Montecito is a section 8 slum haven where actors and T.V. Icon's make their home. The roads point up through Montecito for a while, as the roads go up they become increasingly narrow and winding. There is one section through here that I always remember due to the dry creek bed crossing. Once you hit that you go up for a bit, then it's winding descents and easy rollers through some of the most beautiful tree lined roads in Southern California. You cross over rock lined bridges and wind around hair pin turns that offer up views of the ocean and surrounding hillsides. Then you get up to Goleta.

This is about where the lunch stop is. As we were coming out of Montecito I was passed by a group with a tandem, who happened to be piloted by a couple that I have ridden with often. I caught up with them at the lunch stop, and I left my group and rolled out with them. We made our way though Goleta, to Hope Ranch, through Santa Barbara and then back to SAG 4. As we were coming up San Ysidro road I misunderstood what Tom on the Tandem was saying about stopping and I lost my Tandem group. I've said this once and I'll say it again. If you're fortunate enough to get into a group with a tandem on a century, stick with them, no matter what. I lost my tandem, and my ride turned into a 25 mile time trial, only one that was preceded by a 70 mile road ride. It kind of sucked. I was out by myself for this time, passing groups that were going to slow, but never getting caught by faster riders or catching up to riders that were going even reasonably fast. So let this be a lesson kids... the tandem always dictates when and where you stop.

By the time I got back to Highway 1 I was toast. I rode in with a guy named Greg who owns a bike shop in Simi Valley. He had the best socks on ever, pink "dopers suck" socks that were mid calf... Awesome. When I rolled into the park I had the best thing ever happen. My friends who came up with me drove up from the hotel to see me in. It was great to see this group of friends in particular, since they're not really "cyclists" although they each do a fair amount of riding. I got my patch, said hi to some friends and rolled back to the hotel. It was yet again, a great ride.

In Carpenteria, there is this little bike shop with this sign. Totally appropriate.


Bill Meadows said...

kept looking for you but now it makes sense why i didnt see started too damned early!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics Corry . When we missed that turn by the rest stop and got turned around you guys were gone . We picked it up and started chasing and it was probibly 20 miles before my wife told me that you turned into the rest stop . Maybe we'll see you at Amtrack . Tom & Sue