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  1. #1
    no more nellie
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    Lighthouse Hilly Century Ride Report (get a snack, it's long...)

    I drove up to SLO at 3pm yesterday, arriving at 7:30pm (not bad considering there was some traffic out of LA and in SB area on the 101). I met my buddy, Bryan, in downtown SLO where we had a bite to eat and a little vino. I got to bed by 10:00pm (forgot my toothbrush and had some drama finding a store selling one in Atascadero where I stayed at Motel 6 - but still got to bed at reasonable hour). I got up at 5am this morning, a little tired (go figure).

    When I arrived at the registration area at Cuesta College, I glanced around thinking maybe I would see Scootcore, but there was the usual sea of helmets and spandex – how can one possibly recognize another? (We should all buy flare guns and shoot them at registration so that we can find each other!) Bryan and another buddy, Kristen, whom I was thrilled was joining as well, arrived at check-in, and Bryan immediately asked me if I would be up for the "hilly" century. Mind you, I didn't check this ride out at all since this was pretty much last minute and I figured I was truly “along for the ride” (literally and figuratively). So, what “hilly” meant, I wasn’t sure but I’ll go along with anything and then curse under my breath later. I agreed.

    We took off later than we had planned at apprx. 7:30am. A rider named Scott joined us from the starting line. He told us that Lighthouse was his first century. He was very excited and enthusiastic – reminding me of myself back when I did my first century. Well, okay, I’m still like that but not as much as I was. It was nice having him along and our “group” was well-matched. From the get-go it was pretty chilly (arm warmers, knee warmers, base layer and vest for this girl!) and it never did warm up throughout the day. It was, as expected this time of year up north, overcast and drizzly in the morning. We rode 12 miles on HWY 1 getting warmed up for our first climb of the day. After turning right and heading up into the hills, we were greeted with a small incline (nothing to write home about), but then a short distance following we hit HWY 46. Before I describe the excruciatingly slow ascent up this canyon – let me just say, it was so beautiful up in those hills, I couldn’t believe it. In the overcast, slight fog, the hills glowed gold with patches of bright green and dark green trees. Oh, and cows! We saw little calves being groomed by their mothers and big steer grazing. That was fabulous! But the climb…well…see…in case I haven’t mentioned it on here before, I don’t climb so well. I’ll climb anything but really like a goat…slow, eeking out each pedal stroke even in my granny on the steepest part! I was told the grade was between 12-14%, but I swear it was at least 14, if not more! Several riders without triples were walking their bikes and I could barely pass them on mine! In the meantime, Bryan and Kristen were up the hill getting massages…oh, okay…refilling their water bottles at the conveniently placed rest stop (SLOBC did a really nice job with SAG support and stops). Regardless, they were ahead and waiting…something I hate to do to other riders (I have to get faster on the hills!)

    After that climb, there were a few rollers and lovely vista spotted roads before we landed on HWY 1 again and rode along the ocean. Trouble was, the direction we were headed meant awful headwind. That was pretty sapping of energy and we all tried to draft. Scott and Bryan tried pulling me for a while, but after about two miles, I kept dropping back. I felt so fatigued (one of those days, I guess). Bryan almost got wiped out by a rider who foolishly passed him on the right and ran out of shoulder. I screamed at Bryan, “Rider on the Right!!!” but he couldn’t hear me over the wind. Luckily, Bryan is a skilled rider and was able to glide effortlessly to the left to allow the rider to pass without killing himself or Bryan. Then Bryan hammered past him a bit miffed (can’t blame him) and then I hammered by him, got eye contact (really I did as I lost my favorite pair of cycling sunglasses on the road earlier!) and yelled, “What you just did was extremely dangerous and could have gotten all of us injured or killed!” The guy said nothing. But after a good 12 miles to the rest stop (at which the volunteers dressed up as pirates and made pirate jokes – very nice touch!), the offending rider came up to both Bryan and me and apologized. He really meant it and seemed truly contrite. I told him, “no harm no foul” and dropped it. I was just grateful no one was hurt.

    After this stop we were off with tail winds, yippee!! Bryan wanted to stop and see the elephant seals (Brandy, I didn’t pet them, but I did say hi to them – they are so cute in that very large seal kind of way). We stopped for 10 mins., oohed and ahhed, and were off again. Lunch was a good 15 miles away, and I was hungry when we arrived. Usual food choices (except they did offer broccoli salad which I love and tons of olives!) After lunch, no drama to report, just a very sore bum (and I mean from climbing – I dug into those glutes).

    At the last stop for the day, Scott, who had gotten ahead of us at this point, had already arrived. He approached me and said that his friend was there. I looked over, and low and behold, it was Scootcore (Bill) and his friend Byron. I recognized Bill from his Avatar and walked over to introduce myself. Very nice guy and I realize how useful this new SO Cal regional section is – it’s fun to meet cyclists at rides with whom you’ve already established a rapport. We all talked awhile and then took off to finish the ride (Bill, Byron and Scott arrived before we did). Our total ride time was around 6 hours, 15 minutes - which, of course, does not reflect breaks, lunch and the “seal” stop.

    Phew! Are any of you still reading? Regardless, I would definitely recommend this ride - gorgeous scenery, well-organized and just a downright nice vibe. I could do without the winds, but like Mick says, “you can’t always get what you want….”

  2. #2
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good time. Nice report. Sorry to hear about losing your sunglasses. We'll miss you tomorrow, but it sounds like you made a good choice and had a nice adventure.
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  3. #3
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by jschen
    Glad you had a good time. Nice report. Sorry to hear about losing your sunglasses. We'll miss you tomorrow, but it sounds like you made a good choice and had a nice adventure.
    Jason, that is so nice Thank you. And thanks for putting yourself through the torture of reading the whole thing (did you have a snack, at least?)

    Seriously, I wish I could come down there tomorrow. I'm happiest (and the most fun, alive and engaged) when on my bike with a great group of people (BFers for sure!). Instead, I'll be recouping and cleaning my pigsty apartment that, if I don't, the health department is going to come condemn! The most riding I'll be doing is a recovery ride at Griffith Park tomorrow afternoon solo (boring!).

    You guys have fun, be safe, and I want to hear all about it!

  4. #4
    okay, maybe... tprevost's Avatar
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    Hey there!

    What a great report M.E.! Thank you for sharing your adventure! I actually signed up to do this ride w/Brandy but then when she got 'sidetracked', I sold my spot 'cause I didn't want to go by myself! I'm glad to hear it was a great day for you!

    Trac'

  5. #5
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by tprevost
    Hey there!

    What a great report M.E.! Thank you for sharing your adventure! I actually signed up to do this ride w/Brandy but then when she got 'sidetracked', I sold my spot 'cause I didn't want to go by myself! I'm glad to hear it was a great day for you!

    Trac'
    Hi Trac, thank you. well, you will never not have a partner to ride with up there with again! I'm going to post this next year as a group ride, too, as I think it would be fun (even if we do have to stay in Motel 6-kening!) Are you riding Poway tomorrow?

  6. #6
    riding once again jschen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    And thanks for putting yourself through the torture of reading the whole thing (did you have a snack, at least?)
    Don't be silly. No snack. It was an entertaining and enjoyable read.

    And for the record, yes, I'm completely sober.
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  7. #7
    ... Brandy's Avatar
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    Great report m.e. You described Highway 46 perfectly! I'm glad that you had a great ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great ride. I do like riding around those parts.

  9. #9
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Dang Mary it's long. I just got home from a family gathering so I'll read your report tomorrow...
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  10. #10
    okay, maybe... tprevost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Hi Trac, thank you. well, you will never not have a partner to ride with up there with again! I'm going to post this next year as a group ride, too, as I think it would be fun (even if we do have to stay in Motel 6-kening!) Are you riding Poway tomorrow?

    nope, DH begged me not to since I'm leaving tomorrow for 4 days (he just doesn't want to deal w/the kids that extra day )

    I did my longer ride Friday and will ride around lake elsinore today...

    t~

    ps. a BF contingent for next year sounds GREAT to me!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Very nice report, M.E. Did you have some Ollalberry pie? Did they have the chocolate fondue?

  12. #12
    Member of Team Wheaties! octico's Avatar
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    Congrats! I like the report, BF should make you the official writer
    Last edited by octico; 10-01-06 at 09:56 AM.
    "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
    Sir Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    great report M.E. I enjoyed reading that. I hope to join you all there next year.

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    That was a fun read M.E.! I'm glad you all had a wonderful ride up there...
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  15. #15
    ... Brandy's Avatar
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    I would definitely be up for doing this next year.

  16. #16
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john
    Very nice report, M.E. Did you have some Ollalberry pie? Did they have the chocolate fondue?
    No Ollaberry pie or fondue (man, I missed out!). But these sweet elderly ladies at the lunch stop had made homemade cobbler. It looked so good, but usually on long rides, I get "carbed out" - I went for a turkey/roast beef sandwich (one small piece of bread), broccoli salad, a little pasta salad (with that salty Italian dressing on it) and at least 30 olives. I swallowed that down with hot cocoa - kind of like fondue, I guess.

  17. #17
    no more nellie
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    Thank you, fellow BFers - that was my very first ride report (and I was actually trying not to be long-winded!) We definitely should get this up and running next year as a group ride. The only caveat is that due to distance, you almost need to stay two nights. Driving back after the ride yesterday sucked.

    Now, I'd love to hear Scootcore's report!

  18. #18
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Thank you, fellow BFers - that was my very first ride report (and I was actually trying not to be long-winded!) We definitely should get this up and running next year as a group ride. The only caveat is that due to distance, you almost need to stay two nights. Driving back after the ride yesterday sucked.

    Now, I'd love to hear Scootcore's report!
    So, Emmy, 'er I mean M.E. where is your recovery ride today?

  19. #19
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    So, Emmy, 'er I mean M.E. where is your recovery ride today?
    Hey Jim I'm thinking the Griffith Park bike path around 3:30 or 4pm. Nothing taxing at all. My legs are shot. I've done 3 weekends in a row with long rides - good climbs and substantial headwinds - as well as working out during the week regularly (some speed drills too). My legs aren't sore but my entire body is fatigued. I feel kind of hungover (I only had 2 beers last night) and lethargic. Anyway, if you'd like to join me....

  20. #20
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Hey Jim I'm thinking the Griffith Park bike path around 3:30 or 4pm. Nothing taxing at all. My legs are shot. I've done 3 weekends in a row with long rides - good climbs and substantial headwinds - as well as working out during the week regularly (some speed drills too). My legs aren't sore but my entire body is fatigued. I feel kind of hungover (I only had 2 beers last night) and lethargic. Anyway, if you'd like to join me....
    p.m. sent

  21. #21
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    ME..
    Sounds great...
    I know that area really well and 46 going east is brutal...how did you get back to hywy 1 from the top of 46? Back down the same way?

  22. #22
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    ME..
    Sounds great...
    I know that area really well and 46 going east is brutal...how did you get back to hywy 1 from the top of 46? Back down the same way?
    Well, they took us up Old Creek Road to get to HWY 46 (we rode about 8 miles on this road). Once on 46, we rode about 12 miles, but not all of it was climbing, of course. The steepest part couldn't have been more than a mile or so, but it was one frickin tough mile! 46 just dumped us back on HWY 1 - perhaps it's a loop thingy?

  23. #23
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merider1
    Well, they took us up Old Creek Road to get to HWY 46 (we rode about 8 miles on this road). Once on 46, we rode about 12 miles, but not all of it was climbing, of course. The steepest part couldn't have been more than a mile or so, but it was one frickin tough mile! 46 just dumped us back on HWY 1 - perhaps it's a loop thingy?
    So you we going towards the ocean on 46 then...that is the great downhill...my buddy and I keep talking about riding 46 from 101 to 1 then into Cambria..but maybe its a bit harder than we think....
    I will have to look these up on mapquest or something...

  24. #24
    Embracing the fredness herbm's Avatar
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    Ok...ME...
    I looked that up on routeslips...
    I see you turned at Cayucos...so that means 46 west...bummer...I think I know the part of 46 you are talking about...I guess I need way more work before I attempt that one...but that drop from the top of 46 down to 1 must have been awesome...then I guess you turned right and went up that hill to cambria....

    oh yeah...thanks for the great report!!
    h

  25. #25
    no more nellie
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbm
    So you we going towards the ocean on 46 then...that is the great downhill...my buddy and I keep talking about riding 46 from 101 to 1 then into Cambria..but maybe its a bit harder than we think....
    I will have to look these up on mapquest or something...
    Maybe I'm confusing things? But trust me, coming up the 46 the way we went down it after our climb would not be hard at all. In fact, ater we reached the top of 46, it was mostly rollers and not a direct descent. So, I think you and I speaketh of the same hellish hill! I'm talking steep, really steep and curvy going up. Not that I'm complaining. I actually dug it. It's just my ongoing saga (and shoulder-violin serenade) about my climbing ability. And perhaps on another day, it wouldn't have been as hard (last week, Latigo wasn't hard at all, and I never went below 6 mph on that climb - yesterday, I got down as low as 4 mph, almost 3! Any lower, and I would have fallen over still clipped in! )

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