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  1. #1
    Tubular oldie
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    Visit SoCal + organized century ride

    Hi folks,
    My brother lives in Costa Mesa, while I am in Charlottesville, VA (near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mtns). Thus, we don't get to do much together any more and both have kids, but he has been riding, off and on, for a number of years on a quality bike (Felt). So I thought I might come out next year to do an organized century in So Cal with him, giving him a good target to train for (and he is a professional athlete - sailor - thus knows training!). I've been doing a bit of searching, looking for a decent ride, one that is challenging (e.g., a decent amount of climbing) but not totally outrageous (though some on my list below look to be pretty hard; thus are labeled "hard"). I've included my list below, and am wondering if y'all might point out nice rides that I have overlooked.
    Both of us are in our early 40's, I am a former racer who now does the organized rides here in the Appalachian Mtns, my favorite being the Mountain Mama (13k of climbing, finishing with the front group in just a bit over 5 hours)...
    Cheers,
    Michael

    Tour of Palm Springs - Feb. 12, 2011, www.tourdepalmsprings.com
    (included because my brother had heard of it)

    Gran Fondo San Diego - 2nd wk'end of March, granfondosandiego.com

    Mulholland Challenge - Apr. 9, 2011, hard
    http://www.planetultra.com/MulChallenge/index.htm ;

    Tour of California ride - mid-April, www.breakawayride.com

    Breathless Agony Ride, 1st wk'end in May, Redlands, hard
    www.cyclingpros.com/onyx.htm

    Heartbreak 100 - May 28, 2011, Frazier Park (N side of Los Padres NF), hard
    http://www.planetultra.com/HB100/index.html

    Palomar Challenge - mid-June, out-and-back 100km
    http://www.julianactive.com/Palomar%20challenge.htm ;

    Tour of Poway - 1st weekend of Oct (Oct. 3, 2010), www.tourdepoway.com

    King Ridge Gran Fondo (Levi Leipheimer) - 2nd wk'end of Oct., Santa Rosa
    www.levisgranfondo.com

    SLO Gran Fondo (Columbia-HTC) - 3rd wk'end of Oct, (Oct. 23, 2010)
    www.slogranfondo.com
    http://www.highroadsports.com/news/5...SLO-Gran-Fondo

    Santa Barbara Century - Oct. 23, 2010 ; Gibraltar Rd climb
    santabarbaracentury.org

    Gran Fondo LA - 3rd wk'end of Oct (Oct. 24, 2010), granfondousa.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Breathless Agony, Mulholland and Heartbreak Hundred are all probably in the "outrageous" category. While it sounds like you would be fully capable of it, it sounds like maybe your brother wouldn't.

    Santa Barbara Century is new for this year and will be challenging (9k of climbing), but not quite as crazy as the previous 3. The route this course takes is excellent and you'll get lots of great views from the mountains surrounding SB.

    Also, if you don't mind going a bit further north, the Wildflower Century is one of my favorite organized rides - gorgeous countryside on lightly trafficked country roads.
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  3. #3
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    Cruising the Conejo. It's our local club ride.. the century has a bit over 6000'.

    http://www.cvcbike.org/?page_id=35
    [insert clever quote here]

  4. #4
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I'm curious, why an organized one? I'd save the money and make my own. I've had lots of fun on my rides, only once did I go on anything close to an organized one, and even that one was just with a small group.
    Finally riding again after my accident in Dec 2011.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Yes, make your own with a small group so that your brother may ride with others close to his fitness level.

    Its nice that you are brothers, but if you're not close and one brother is the "older brother" who has to feel like he needs to show "little brother" what to do or how its done, then its not that good.

    Maybe with a small group, all you need is a support SUV with lots of refreshments.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    With input from others, I concocted this graph. It may help you to decide. (Be aware: some events listed are not in SoCal. Ask for details.)

    Attached Images Attached Images

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    BTW, I rode Levi's King Ridge Gran Fondo last year. I'd put it at one of the harder Cat. 2 rides, almost Cat 1. (The climbs are very steep and extended.)

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  8. #8
    Tubular oldie
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    Thank y'all very much for the suggestions - "Cruisin' the Conejo" may fit the bill nicely for the spring, or Santa Barbara in the fall.

    As for why do an organized ride? Vastly simplifies the logistics, given some family circumstances which I'll not go into. Also gives a very firm target date - no wiggle room...

    We will to get him out on some climbs, to see how he does on those (he packs a lot more muscle than I). Hopefully he can do that in the company of the local group with which he rides...

  9. #9
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I will second Cruisin the Conejo - the ride is well organized, the route challenging and scenary lovely (sag stops are first class!!!! Love the boy scouts helping out!). The Creston Wildflower is actually my favorite ride but its very very very difficult to get in. The number of riders are limited.

    Another ride to consider is the Cool Breeze which starts in Ventura and rides out past Santa Barbara and back. It can be challenging but the route can be modified. There are a few good climbs that can be challenging but if I can do them, anyone can. It's not that easy (as the chart alludes to). I just finished the ride (this past August) and my GSP said 4200'.

    If you want a funky, but interesting and challenging ride - look at the Kern Wheelmen's Spooktacular in October. I do the 90 miler but either century is a real challenge.

    Another beautiful ride, but hard to get in, is the SLOBC's Lighthouse Century. Same group does the Wildflower. If visiting CA who can ask for more beautiful views and scenary. And in the Fall I love the Fall Sierra Century out of Mammoth. Come stay a week, get acclimated (ride starts at 8500 and goes up to 10000 ft) and then finish the week with a gorgeous, but challenging ride.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 09-13-10 at 09:16 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    The Creston Wildflower is actually my favorite ride but its very very very difficult to get in. The number of riders are limited.
    This is true - I meant to mention that. If you do decide on Wildflower, here is the site for the ride. Signup for next year is on January 2nd, so mark it on your calendar.
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  11. #11
    Senior Member rallison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elvezia View Post
    As for why do an organized ride? Vastly simplifies the logistics, given some family circumstances which I'll not go into. Also gives a very firm target date - no wiggle room...
    I agree with this. An organized ride is a great way to set a target date and ride and be financially committed to carrying through. The atmosphere is different too - it is usually fun to have hundreds of other riders out on the road at the same time.

    Also, the Creston Wildflower has the best lunch stop ever - excellent sandwich bar, amazing salads, huge strawberries and incredible cookies. Almost too good, actually, since you still have 40 miles of riding afterwards.
    ToughAscent.com - My Rides: http://www.toughascent.com/blog/

  12. #12
    Not so fast now..... Dizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    With input from others, I concocted this graph. It may help you to decide. (Be aware: some events listed are not in SoCal. Ask for details.)


    Where are the Cat 5 and 6 rides??

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