Sunday, July 26, 2009

169 Miles. Oak Park to San Diego. Done.

You can't tell but these waves are 8+ feet!

Mike and I had lately been discussing a two day ride to San Diego. He has done it once and said that it was pretty awesome! So when Kristen said that she needed to head down there to do some got me thinking...
A one day ride? Could I do it? How would I map it out? Yep..I'm gonna go for it! I stopped by the shop on the way home from work and picked up a few supplies and the butterflies were swarming in the stomach already. I also washed the bike and overhauled the drive train. (thanks for the help Chuey! I owe you a Frappaccino.) Then it was on to home to spend some time with the pups and have some dinner. The plan was to start at 5:30am. I was a little worried that I would not be able to fall asleep I was so excited/nervous. I bagged up all my food and prepared my bottles then laid down with the pups.

5:05am came and I was up! After a little breakfast I took the dogs for a walk then got dressed. I felt pretty weighed down with all my food, sunscreen, electrolytes, and other necessities. It was just getting light out and I needed to wear some arm-warmers as it was pretty cool. I rode out of town and I was pretty worried about how my legs were feeling! Friday morning I had ridden with Fast Friday and a few of the Chain Gang. With that being a race ride, I gave a lot! I pushed on over Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon hoping the legs would come around. I knew that if I was going to make it all the way to San Diego, I was going to keep a careful eye on my pace.

I hit Malibu and was amazed by the huge waves. I stopped for a moment and snapped a couple of pics. It's been awhile since I've seen such great surf and i knew that I was in for a treat all the way down the coast. I even saw one guy shoot the Malibu pier! It was insane! I was quickly off and trying to keep the heart rate in the 130's. I bit after mile after mile and made my way into Santa Monica and Venice. My directions were starting to look a little "catty wonkus", as they sent me to a dead end! I kept on pedaling and soon rolled into El Segundo. I left my wallet in El Segundo! Great song!

Santa Monica Pier

Chain Gang..Party Time!

If you look close enough you can see the planes!

Next I was passing Los Angeles International Airport and trying to find the right street to turn on! I followed my map but that took me about 2 miles out of my way and I turned around and rode back! Once on the right road I found myself spinning a pretty good cadence. Manhattan Beach was nice and luckily still early enough where there was not too much traffic. Next was Hermosa Beach and then Redondo Beach. It was time for a bottle refill and a "nature" break! I'm pretty glad that I found a place to do this in Redondo Beach because I next rode through Torrance and Long Beach. One word, S-K-E-T-C-H-Y! I was definitely the only Lycra clad guy on the road for about 15 miles! I already needed another bathroom break so I stopped at a bike shop. A quick application of sunscreen and I was off! Get me the heck out of this town!

Bicycles and colonics! What a pair!

I pushed pretty hard and made it to Seal Beach where I stopped at the next bike shop that I saw. Bottle refill and another nature break. This shop had tons of really cool fixed gear bikes and parts. They must do a pretty good track bike business being close to Carson Velodrome. Next was the never ending stretch of Huntington Beach! It was truly beautiful and there were a zillion people! I found it very int resting that it seemed as if ALL the people of Orange County take EZ-UP tents to the beach with them?! Strange. I made it to the Huntington pier and there was some action sports event going on. It was a pretty large X-Games like set-up with ramps, surf, exhibitors and all. I think that everyone in the state of California was was crazy! That stretch of beach was miles and miles long and I hooked up with a couple different groups of riders.

Surf City Hunnington Beach

I rolled into Newport Beach next and was feeling pretty darned good! It was definitely warmer than I expected being beach side but not too bad. Another bottle refill and off I went! I'll go through my nutrition plan at the end of this post but I carried three bottles for the ride. 1 with water, 1 with electrolyte mix, and one with Hammer Perpetuem.

Fashion Island Newport Beach

I paired up with a rider after a bit of back and forth with him. We talked about the HUGE waves and how we were both stoked to be out on our bikes! I finally dropped off his pace and slowed. Next was Emerald Bay. There was a huge set-up for some big triathlon that was supposed to be going on, but they had cancelled it because the waves were to big for the swim! I almost stopped for some free goodies but I was in a spot o bother and knew stopping would be a bad idea. I think I was about 73 miles in at this point!

Next was Laguna Beach and the little seaside city was pretty awesome. So many food places that I passed smelled WAY too good! My liquid food, though it was working, has nothing on the aroma of fresh Mexican food! Traffic was a little hairy riding through town but I made it unscathed!

Dana Point then Capistrano Beach and San Clemente! SO amazing watching surfers charge the big waves as I rod along the highway. The miles clicked off and I made it through my rough spot. I couldn't find my next turn, so I asked a guy on a bike and he pointed out the entrance to the road. He was very concerned that I was going to ride the whole 17 miles to Oceanside! I thanked him for the directions and assured him that I would make it! :) I hit Old Highway 101 and the famous Trestles beach break. It was about this point where I saw the legend Johnny O'Mara. Then it was onto Camp Pendelton property where signs to watch for Marine Vehicles were all over the place.

Bike path forever in Dana Point

This is where my directions failed me again and I was at a loss for where to go. Then I saw a rider ride up the 5 Freeway on ramp. I reluctantly followed but figured it was OK when I rode past a CHP without incident. I rode about 4.5 miles before the freeway rest stop and as soon as I pulled off I heard it...tick, tick, pshhhhh. Flat tire! Thank God it happened as I pulled off of the freeway. A tire change and a phone call to my beautiful wife and I was back onto the freeway praying for no more flats! I had no more tubes! I rode the next 5 miles on the freeway at about 22 mph. and finally rolled into Oceanside!

This was a ghost bike memorial on Old Highway 101 at Trestles Beach

Up to this point I had done better than expected physically.For my nutrition plan for the day my food was Hammer Perpetuem as I shared earlier. For my body weight the suggested serving is 3+scoops per hour mixed with water. I like to run two hours worth per 24 oz. bottle. Lately on 3+ hour rides I have used 1.5 scoops per hour and has worked well. With the length of this ride I decided to do 2 scoops per hour. I should have stuck with the 1.5. It is really easy for me to eat this way. With a two hour bottle I take a drink every 15 minutes. Easy-peasy! With the stronger mix I had a few instances where I was hurting in the tummy. As I've learned I just skip a drink when hurting and I usually come back around quickly. Rolling into Oceanside I was feeling it! Knowing I had 2+ hours left I slowly entered a mentally dark place.

I found a bike shop along the highway and stopped in for a couple tubes. With the flat I was now worried about getting another. Back on the road again I pedalled my way out of the funk and started to fly high and quick again! Next I entered Carlsbad which was beautiful then on to a really cool looking town called Leucadia. This beach town seemed to stretch on forever but was pretty neat looking with lots of historical looking buildings that were very well kept. I had hooked on to the wheel of a triathlete and pushed myself a little harder than I had been. I think we were averaging about 24 mph over about 12 miles. He turned off as I dropped down a superfast descent (I hit 57 mph!) toward Del Mar beach. This beach was PACKED with people as all the others and the waves were still HUGE!

Then I saw it! THe start of the Torrey Pines Climb! I was a little worried as I couldn't see the top! I hit the bottom picked a pace and pushed myself up it! It was actually a great climb. Long, steady, long...did I mention long? Once to the top I was a pretty flat roll by the golf course then another superfast descent down Genessee ave. You know the thing about decents? They usually mean another climb is looming! I crossed back over the 5 freeway and was for a moment stoked that I was in Northern San Diego! I still had a distance to go...but I had made it! Yet, there was some unknown major pain to come!

Torrey Pines Climb in such a spot off bother I took the picture sideways!

As I passed Scripps Hospital then UC San Diego I made my way into University City. I would drop down a high speed descent only to encounter another huge climb! After about two of these I stopped halfway up one to take my last emergency gel and 4 Endurolyte capsules! I started back up and pedalled away! I was getting texts from Kristen every 10 minutes as she knew I was close. She and her cousin were concerned and I was determined to finish!

You can make ot a bit of my stats if you look hard enough!

Finally I made it to my next turn and was stoked that the road pointed back down towards the water. My directions soon took me down another dead end street and I was starting to enter that dark place again! I found my way back to the right road and kept pushing. Another 20 minutes and I found myself at another dead end! I called Kristen and asked her cousin Lizzy where I was. Good news! I was two blocks away! Bad news, It was 2 blocks of straight up San Francisco style hilly streets! I pushed like Alberto covering a Schleck brother attack up the Ventoux in the queen stage of this years tour and then heard the most awesome thing of the wife and her cousin CHEERING ME IN! It was SO AWESOME! As I pulled up they were clapping and screaming and had a huge glass of ice cold water waiting for me! Thank you ladies!

The view out of Lizzy's apartment window in Old Town

This was epic! I feel like everything came together better than it ever has for me. Another fear I had is that I would wake up the next ay sick. In the past, most large cycling efforts would attack my low immune system and leave me with a cold or sore throat. Not this time! 2 days post ride and I feel like a million bucks! I cannot thank Dr. Lisa Wong enough! She has taken my horrible immune system that has twice left me with Epstein Barr Virus, and strengthened it to handle this kind of abuse! Thank you! I can't wait to do something like this again! Where will my next adventure take me? I would like to try a multi-day ride with each day over 100 miles?! We will see? Hope you guys enjoyed the write up and few pictures!

Ride stats:
Miles: 169.25
Ride Time: 10 Hours 23 Minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Average Speed: 16.3 mph
Max Speed 57.2 mph
Calories burnt: 12,820
Average Heart Rate: 136 bpm
Max heart Rate: 165 bpm
Average Cadence: 79 RPM
Total Climbing: 5588 ft.
Total Descent: 6398 ft.

Breakfast: Egg McMuffin!

5, 2 Hour bottles of Hammer Perpetuem
3 Bottles of Hammer Heed Mild Melon Electrolyte mix
4 Bottles with 1 each Camelback Elixer tablet Verry Berry Flavor (electrolyte mix) (I alternated the Elixer and Heed)
2 Rasberry Hammer Gels (I used these in the last two hours of the ride)
8 Hammer Endurolyte Capsules (these were also used in the last two hours to scare off any cramps!)
10 plain water filled bottles

Dinner when ride was over: 2 of the most amazing fish tacos ever! I also consume another 50-60 ounces of water post ride.

Keep climbing...

Please pray for Elden Nelson and family as things have started to drastically change.
Susan we will be praying for you!

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