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Old 10-15-07, 01:01 AM   #1
aprilm
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SoCal PV ride report

I normally post in Foo, so I'll put this here.

South Bay Fun Ride - Pics

Oh, where do I start? The ride started off with 30 or so people--my biggest group ride yet, other than the Corporate Cycling Challenge with its literally thousands of riders. Everybody today was so friendly and welcoming, probably more so than they are in Omaha.

We started off on a bike path that went along the ocean (gorgeous... don't see much of that in Omaha ). We regrouped at a restroom, and I decided I should probably use it. As I was crossing the bike path, I didn't even think to look to make sure nobody was coming. We just don't have these heavily-trafficked paths in Omaha. So I didn't see a cyclist coming at me until he was practically on top of me. Oops. I saw some hand signals I've never seen. Like the one for slowing/stopping is to put your hand on your back. In Omaha, they normally put their hand to the side and kinda motion front to back. Weird.

At the end of the bike path trip, we went up an incline, and I stood in the saddle for the whole thing (okay, so it was only like a block long, but still ). I'm the kind of rider that normally just powers up a hill in the saddle, so I was oddly proud that I stood up for so long. After that, we rode up a fairly steep hill, maybe a half a mile long... or longer... not sure. I thought that was the beginning of the climbing. Hahaha... not even close. Anyway, I felt I was doing really well so far.

We went a little farther on the road. I still can't get over how many cyclists there are. In Omaha, it's like, "Hey look! A cyclist!" Pretty rare to see one on the roads, and our "bike paths" (I use that term very loosely) are just the shoulders of the roads, which aren't kept clean like the ones here. So, again, we started up a climb, and I thought once again that this was the beginning of the climbing. Still not even close. Dammit. I was having fun though!

We regrouped at the top of that hill, and went through some really nice neighborhoods. We stopped at the 7-11 and I choked down a banana and some Gatorade. Luwin1026 had a blue slurpee and turned his tongue blue. Yes, I made fun of him. I can't help it. Hope I didn't embarrass him.

Now it was on to the real climbing. About five miles of rollers, including some sketchy roads with jarring bumps. And lots of traffic, but at least they're accustomed to seeing cyclists on the road. Most people were pretty forgiving, and let us blow through stop signs. In Omaha, you're lucky if they give you a second thought... actually, most people speed up to stop signs to try to beat you so they don't have to wait.

So after the rollers came the PV climb. I don't know the stats for sure, but if I remember right, it's about 5-8% for 2 or 3 miles. Jason and a few others chased after some other riders at the beginning of the climb, and I rode with ME for the majority of it--thanks, Mary! She’s an awesome person to ride with. Every word that comes out of her mouth is positive and encouraging. We rode up PV at around 7-8 MPH. After getting up part of the PV climb, we regrouped at the start of Ganado Rd. At that point, I was pretty tired from the longest climb I’d ever done, so I immediately said "HELL NO" or something for the Ganado climb.

April: I'm out for Ganado.
Jason: Well, we can just ride to the bottom of the hill so you can at least see it.
Mary: And you know, you can always just try it out and see, and if you can't make it, no big deal.
April: (Hashing it out through her brain.) So, what if I can't make it? Do I turn around and come back?
Everybody: (As everybody looks around at each other.) Hm... [encouraging, huh?]
April: Well, I'll just try it and see.

So, we rode down Ganado, turned a corner, and I nearly fell off my bike after seeing what was in store. I think my exact words were, "Oh good God." I followed Mary's technique in tacking, and it actually helped quite a bit, but I was still struggling like crazy. Thanks to Jason's bike and the magic fairy dust he must have sprinkled on it, I made it up. And damn was I proud!

After picture taking, we went up the rest of Ganado, including a part that got even steeper. Finally made it to the top (woohoo!)... but we still had MORE climbing to do!!! Not much more, and Ganado made the rest of the climbing pale in comparison, but my legs were pretty shot by that time. A little more climbing, and we made it to the top.

Of course after an hour or whatever of climbing, the descent took about 2.3 seconds. The cornering got a little tricky, and I actually had to watch the posted speed limit signs to make sure I slowed down enough around the turns. Can't say that's ever happened in Omaha. I was starting to get pretty tired by this time, especially since I was having issues relaxing in the descent. We stopped at a Starbucks/Subway, and I choked down some peanuts and a cookie. I just can’t eat during a ride--I feel like I'm going to puke!

The rest of the ride (from what I can remember) was pretty uneventful. We rode what I consider to be a relatively busy road. Lots of stop signs/stop lights, which was probably good for me considering I was really starting to run out of energy. We got back on the bike path for a few more miles, and finally back to the cars!

All in all, this was probably the most fun I've had on a group ride. It'll be hard to go back to Omaha, but hopefully this will give me a little more of an edge and not get dropped so often on the hills. Hopefully.

Thanks to Joy (Happytime) for organizing this ride. And thanks to ME and Jason for riding with me, and everybody else for showing up!!!

Last edited by aprilm; 10-15-07 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 10-15-07, 01:55 AM   #2
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Great ride report! Sounds like you had a blast!

you should come out to Colorado and ride. We'll take it easy on you, honest!

hmm... let's see... Mt Evans, Devil's Gulch, Flagstaff, Peak to Peak, Stove Prairie, Boulder Canyon, S. St. Vrain Canyon... did I miss any?
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Old 10-15-07, 07:50 AM   #3
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Luwin1026 had a blue slurpee and turned his tongue blue. Yes, I made fun of him. I can't help it. Hope I didn't embarrass him.


No embarassment here - a colored tongue in exchange for an ice cold, fluffy Slurpee with a side of brainfreeze is always worth it.

You rocked out there - great job!
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Old 10-15-07, 07:58 AM   #4
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Sounds like a fun day!
Thanks for the report.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:13 AM   #5
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Wish I could have been there. Glad you're having fun out in SoCal.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:11 AM   #6
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Old 10-15-07, 09:20 AM   #7
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April did great! I dragged her out on a quick ride Saturday, just to make sure she was comfortable on the bike. At the first incline, I told her to lead the way and set a comfortable pace, and I knew right away that she could hold her own on the climbs. But yesterday, she was climbing even better than on Saturday. I was really impressed.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:24 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys... I really wish I lived closer to SoCal!
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Old 10-15-07, 09:25 AM   #9
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Very nice. Where's all the pics?

edit: Nevermind!
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Old 10-15-07, 09:27 AM   #10
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Thanks, guys... I really wish I lived closer to SoCal!
You will have to try Western NC next. We have a few hills too. No ocean though.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:44 AM   #11
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Dang, I over slept!
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Old 10-15-07, 09:50 AM   #12
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Sounds like a good time was had by all, despite the Climb O' Death.

You should definitely blow off your return flight and spend some more time here.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:56 AM   #13
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Great pics and ride report April! Sounds like a blast. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:28 AM   #14
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April, I posted your pics in the Ladies thread, lovely. You were so wonderful to have out as our guest rider. You are welcome anytime and you kicked major booty. I'm glad I didn't start a thread as your report was wonderful. Thank you for the compliments, but you make it easy to be positive and I knew you could climb Ganado.

And everyone, she beat me up it easily!

to you, darling, and you come back soon, ya hear!

As for the rest of you Foosters, who's next????
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Old 10-17-07, 07:28 AM   #15
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<snip>
I saw some hand signals I've never seen. Like the one for slowing/stopping is to put your hand on your back. In Omaha, they normally put their hand to the side and kinda motion front to back. Weird.
<snip>
The hand at the small of the back is certainly not universally accepted as "stop". I don't know how that started. To further complicate matters, there are other groups that use that signal to indicate they are pulling off from the front of a paceline. I use the left hand down the side for stop and the elbow twitch to indicate pulling from off the top of a line. I guess it just depends on the group.

Nice meeting you April, come back soon.
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Old 10-17-07, 08:25 AM   #16
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To further complicate matters, there are other groups that use that signal to indicate they are pulling off from the front of a paceline.
That's just plain weird.

It should take as little indication as possible to show that you're getting off the front-- in some groups even an elbow flick is too much. If you're riding smooth and straight, then all it takes is a quick look to the side to make sure it's clear and then you move over a few inches and the next person comes through.
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Old 10-17-07, 08:35 AM   #17
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That's just plain weird.

It should take as little indication as possible to show that you're getting off the front-- in some groups even an elbow flick is too much. If you're riding smooth and straight, then all it takes is a quick look to the side to make sure it's clear and then you move over a few inches and the next person comes through.
I totally agree!! However the group I rode with flicked, no one even looked back. This was 20 years ago and I just complied. However, I don't do the hand at the back for anything, Oh I take that back, that signal means I am getting something from my back pocket.
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