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Old 05-02-05, 05:11 PM   #1
recycler
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Crossed CA in 3 days

Was asked by my son to accompany him and a buddy on a three day ride from San Diego to Arizona. At 72 years of age, I was a bit hesitant to try this, but decided that I could quit if it got too tough for me.

We started at Ocean Beach (San Diego near Sea World) and spent the first night at 3600 feet above seal leval in Pine Valley, CA - about 51 miles and 4000 feet of climb.

Next day was a joy with a huge downhill into the Imperial Valley. Stayed in Brawley, CA, after peddling across desert and farm fields in cross winds and tail winds. Drank copious amounts of Gator Aid. Did about 92 miles.

Last day was a desert ride to the border with a stint through the Imperial Dunes - spectacular Lawrence of Arabia country, but on bikes instead of camels. Must admit that last 25 miles I was a "wheel sucker", running low on body fuel.

Despite all the water and Gator Aid consumed, I lost an inch of waistline and 8 pounds. I really can't afford either, being on the slim side. But, it was a lifetime experience, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. My son and his best friend were a joy to be with and we had lots of laughs along the way.
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Old 05-02-05, 05:47 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had a really nice ride. Great.
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Old 05-02-05, 05:49 PM   #3
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Was asked by my son to accompany him and a buddy on a three day ride from San Diego to Arizona. At 72 years of age, I was a bit hesitant to try this, but decided that I could quit if it got too tough for me.
Great report!

Very familiar country to me. Used to live in Pine Valley, mom was born in Imperial Valley and grandpa was one of the original settlers of Holtville. Lived in San Diego and frequently went to OB/PB/La Jolla. My dad taught in Sunset View Elementary on Point Loma.

How did you go from Pine Valley/Jacumba to Imperial Valley?

Only routes I know are Mountain Springs Grade (I-8) and CA 78 through Julian.

Help me out here.

Did you go on the freeway? That would be SOME ride down Mtn Springs Grade - Wow!
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Old 05-02-05, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Great report!

Very familiar country to me. Used to live in Pine Valley, mom was born in Imperial Valley and grandpa was one of the original settlers of Holtville. Lived in San Diego and frequently went to OB/PB/La Jolla. My dad taught in Sunset View Elementary on Point Loma.

How did you go from Pine Valley/Jacumba to Imperial Valley?

Only routes I know are Mountain Springs Grade (I-8) and CA 78 through Julian.

Help me out here.

Did you go on the freeway? That would be SOME ride down Mtn Springs Grade - Wow!

They are the only routes I know of... I toured to Texas from San Diego some 20 years ago and the only way through the mountains then was on the interstate. Don't think the area has built up much since then.

Sounds like he had a great ride...
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Old 05-02-05, 06:03 PM   #5
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After some ups and downs on Old Hwy 80, we were directed on the Hwy 8 for the downgrade and it was a blast! Got back off at the bottom and went via Ocatillo to Brawley. One bad stretch of pavement immediately east of Ocatillo through Plaster City to Seely- just old cradked asphalt - loosened all our fillings. After that it was a breeze into Brawley. Actually the road improved after Plaster City. I guess all the truck traffic with wall board required more maintenance.
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Old 05-02-05, 06:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by recycler
After some ups and downs on Old Hwy 80, we were directed on the Hwy 8 for the downgrade and it was a blast! Got back off at the bottom and went via Ocatillo to Brawley. One bad stretch of pavement immediately east of Ocatillo through Plaster City to Seely- just old cradked asphalt - loosened all our fillings. After that it was a breeze into Brawley. Actually the road improved after Plaster City. I guess all the truck traffic with wall board required more maintenance.
Yeaou! Some downgrade. About 4,000 feet in just a few miles.

I can't tell you how many times my car has boiled over coming UP mtn springs grade!

They still have the signs to "Turn off your air conditioner" posted for cars, and barrels of water along the way on the grade. I remember it before it was an interstate.
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Old 05-02-05, 08:43 PM   #7
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Recycler you are an inspiration to all of 50+ wheelsuckers!! Terrific job!! I suspect your son has gained some memories from the trip that he will never forget. Just made a note to do something similar with my son one day!!
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Old 05-03-05, 11:00 AM   #8
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Thanks for the post! I just turned 60, and I'm feeling fine, but I admit I've been speculating about how much longer I can keep doing the things I like to do. Good to see there's hope for a few more years....
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Old 05-03-05, 11:16 AM   #9
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I'll count my blessings if I'm in shape to do that type of run in my 70's. Kudos!
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Old 05-03-05, 06:55 PM   #10
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Just keep doing the things you want to be doing!!! That's the key. Your overall health and well-being is so tied into that.

After a bit of a layoff (weather, travel, etc - they are never voluntary) recently, on return from a quick bike ride, I told my wife: "I feel so great! Totally renewed." She knows how much I need physical activity to feel right. But she wasn't all that thrilled when I was training for duathlon age group competition plus all of the actual races took a big slice of time. So, that's now in the past. Balance is important, I guess.
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Old 05-04-05, 04:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycler

Despite all the water and Gator Aid consumed, I lost an inch of waistline and 8 pounds. I really can't afford either, being on the slim side. But, it was a lifetime experience, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. My son and his best friend were a joy to be with and we had lots of laughs along the way.
Congragulations-- A ride like that would challenge most of us so thanks for the inspiration.

Hate to say it but for a ride like this, you have to prepare. Of course fitness and bike checking come into it, but for the long 1 day ride that I am planning, I carbo load for 2 weeks before the event, every meal will be pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc. I will generaly put on about 7lbs in those 2 weeks, and I will need it. Doesn't help after about 6 hours riding though, as if the carbs lost have not been replaced, body energy starts to disappear at the sight of the next hill. We eat right the way through the ride and water is taken at 1 litre every hour as a minimum. The extra weight has normally gone by the end of the 12 hour ride, but I wish I could lose that 1" on the waist line.
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