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Touroica 2021

Old 09-21-21, 04:24 PM
  #51  
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Great start. Already sorry I didn’t move heaven and earth to join in on this.

I used to ride by 4th and King regularly on my way to my ship when it was docked in the shipyards just across that little bridge. This was pre Pac Bell park or whatever they call it now and things were a little different then.
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Old 09-21-21, 05:16 PM
  #52  
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Say… one of those bikes is not like the others. But I guess disc brakes are faster down Tunitas, so it all balances out.
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Old 09-21-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post

Bici in repose
Which one of you was the water carrier? That looks heavy.
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Old 09-21-21, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BoltBreaker View Post
Say… one of those bikes is not like the others. But I guess disc brakes are faster down Tunitas, so it all balances out.
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Which one of you was the water carrier? That looks heavy.
Same guy. That's what you get for riding CF on a tour with C&V'ers...
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Old 09-22-21, 09:08 AM
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Day 2 - Costanoa Lodge to Asilomar Hotel, Pacific Grove

It was early to bed, early to rise for the Touroici, as we had about 80 miles to cover on our second day. The lodge restaurant doesn't open till 8am, so we decided to do a Cliff bar and water breakfast, with the promise of coffee and second breakfast 10 miles down the road in Davenport. @mgopack42 nearly threw a pump into my spokes after 13 miles were made and Davenport still not in sight. At mile 14 we rolled into this tiny hamlet hugging the Pacific Ocean. To our dismay, the pastry shop was closed, as was the general store. The post office was open, but since we didn't want to eat stamps for breakfast, Bob picked up a few bars on his phone and found a restaurant in Santa Cruz that was definitely open. At mile 25 we rolled in for a long food stop along with copious amounts of coffee.

From Santa Cruz to Monterey there were many turns, no more than a mile or so apart - at least it seemed that way. With 2 GPS units among us we mostly followed the route I'd laid out weeks before. From Santa Cruz through Capitola, Aptos and La Selva Beach we hopped back and forth over Hwy 1, which is a freeway through this section.


Capitola. For 3 days the weather was just like this. Marine layer, low 60's, perfect riding weather

Finally artichoke, strawberry, and brussels sprouts fields opened up all around us. At one point the farm road we were on teed onto Hwy 1, and a bike route detour sign pointed north. Since we were headed south, we huddled and decided to avoid the detour, continuing south. About every 100 yards some large concrete lego blocks eliminated any shoulder to ride on. I made an executive decision and went to the right of them, slowly picking through some packed dirt, then popping back onto the highway shoulder 50 yard down the road. Back and forth we went until we got to a bridge just before the Moss Landing power plant smokestacks. After that the road was clear, but it was getting to be lunchtime, and a Thai restaurant was right there on our right, which sounded damn good. Another harbor pilot by the name of Patrick that James (tour organizer) knew found us to lead us into Monterey and Pacific Grove.


The Beach Boys - pic courtesy of @mgopack42, photographer Patrick

Soon we were on the wonderful bike trail that locals and tourists enjoy on Monterey Bay. Cannery Row, the Monterey Aquarium, and other famous sites were passed. Grillion dollar homes were seen, valuation not because of size or architecture, but due to the scarcity of drop dead views of the Pacific Ocean. Finally we were deposited at the Asilomar Hotel.

Long day, nearly 80 miles, but no big climbs, mostly rollers in and out of Santa Cruz "metro" area.

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Old 09-22-21, 10:47 AM
  #56  
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Day 3 - Pacific Grove to Big Sur

Day two's ride was a long haul. Day three had been scheduled for a mere 32 miles. The ride to Big Sur has some climbing, but nothing too steep. Our harbor pilot from Day 2, Patrick, lives locally, so we're sleeping in, eating breakfast then meet up with him for a local tour of the famous 17 Mile Drive, passing golfers paying big bucks to play on ritzy golf courses. Oh, and he has some ideas for side trips along the way. Typically they would entail a small park down by the ocean, so we'd turn right, drop down, take a look around and some pix, get a docent description of what we were looking at, then turn around and climb back out.


17 Mile Drive along the Del Monte Forest. The weather was like this for 3 days, great for riding, but the pics are a bit muted


Money shot overlooking Bixby Bridge


Regrouping at the top of a hill. The guy on the left was riding with his friends, we played leapfrog with them all day long to Big Sur - pic courtesy of @mgopack42


California Dreamin' - pic courtesy of @mgopack42

Pulling in to the Big Sur River Inn we had a big lunch and rehydrated. Patrick knew the owner, not only is he a professional photographer, he also plays drums in a jazz band, and was scheduled to play there a few weeks later. We were treated well. From there it was a short mile to Ripplewood Resort, some older cabin type accomodations. One of them had a kitchen and living room, which came in handy when we found the restaurant next to it was closed for dinner. Rummaging through the tiny grocery store attached to the resort we were able to come up with tortillas, hamburger, cheese, beans, and some salsa to cook up some dinner. They were the best DIY tacos ever. Perhaps the beer we bought and consumed help us come to that conclusion.

So the 32 mile ride got stretched to 42 with all the side shows Patrick took us on.




At this point I need to do a shout out to @mgopack42. We teased him a bit about the big camera he brought along, as well as being the last up the climbs. I've been stealing some of his pics he shared for this travelogue, and now realize the he was never more than a few minutes behind us, mostly from stopping to take these great pictures! We never really minded waiting for him, touring is about stopping and smelling the roses, not hammering to a destination.
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Old 09-22-21, 11:30 AM
  #57  
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Day 4 - Big Sur to Ragged Point

At the beginning of this tour I thought this would be the hardest section. I warned my fellow Touroici that we'd need extra water and food through this section as there were few places to stop for either. The cool weather made the water not an issue, and we had enough snacks to last us. Oh, and we loaded up on breakfast in Big Sur. Patrick stayed the night in his own cabin, ate with us, then turned around to head home in Monterey. So cool to live so close to Big Sur that you can make a S24O out of it!

The first order of business was the immediate 2 mile, 7% average grade to climb out of the "commercial" area of Big Sur. We were rewarded with a quick stop at Nepenthe, which is about as close to the California vibe as I can think of.


I stole this pic from the restaurant's website rather than post the foggy ones we took.

From there it was a succession of rollers. Sometimes we'd dip down near sea level then climb behind some rocks for awhile, suddenly an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean would pop up. Sometimes the view was surreal, as if from a movie set.



I started a separate thread awhile back titled Ride a Bike, See Stuff. About 20 miles out of Big Sur, in the middle of nowhere we passed this fellow riding in the opposite direction - I think it deserves attention at the other thread as well.


I cropped this pic, he was headed in the other direction and I had seconds to pull out my point and shoot camera
and hope I caught him. No front tire, rear tire was completely flat, and tiny caster wheels on his makeshift trailer.


The restaurant in Lucia burned down 2 months ago, so we couldn't stop there for lunch and pushed on to Gorda to eat. After that we had 2 climbs to go, the first 2 miles of 6%, the second the same pitch but only 1 mile, then a fast downhill to Ragged Point, which was probably too nice (and expensive) for a touring cyclist, but conveniently located. Hot showers and a change of clothes turned us immediately into new men. Beer rehydrated us. As typical, we all went for dessert as well, knowing everything would get burned off the next day. I think the chocolate cake and peanut butter icing some of us had was a day's worth of calories for a sedentary person. Ride to eat, eat to ride, as the saying goes.


mmm, beer!


Selfie at Ragged Point. I usually take a razor on a tour but never use it.

I don't know if it was the cool weather, or the fact that after 4 days of riding you get into a groove, but our "hardest" day didn't seem very grueling. Ridewithgps had two of the climbs at Category 3 and one 4. Maybe switching that small chainring from a 34 to a 28 helped me.


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Old 09-22-21, 12:06 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Which one of you was the water carrier? That looks heavy.
BTW, in my defense, the bike was aluminum, and my greatest fear was getting dehydrated, especially in the less populated / commercial areas of the tour. I overpacked, and what extra differnce would 3 liters of water make? I can gain or lose 6 .6 pounds of body weight in a week!
We had 2 al bikes, 2 steel bikes, and both AL bikes were DB equiped.
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Old 09-22-21, 12:13 PM
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Thanks to Gugie for being the documentatian for this ride, and also the defacto capo! (decapo?)
It was an adventure i may never forget! thanks for lettingn me tag along and meet some cool new friends!
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Old 09-22-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
BTW, in my defense, the bike was aluminum, and my greatest fear was getting dehydrated, especially in the less populated / commercial areas of the tour. I overpacked, and what extra differnce would 3 liters of water make? I can gain or lose 6 .6 pounds of body weight in a week!
We had 2 al bikes, 2 steel bikes, and both AL bikes were DB equiped.
I was actually talking about the cube of water on the post at the end of the picture, but I'm with you on dehydration. I usually can't carry enough water for more than about 20-30 miles on a warm day. @gugie likes to make fun of me for knowing all the potential toilets on a route I've planned, but I also generally try to figure out water refill plans for longer routes too. On my Clunker 100 ride this summer, I had no water bottle cages, but I had three bottles in a front bag and one in my back pocket and still stopped twice to refill them.
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Old 09-22-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post

Selfie at Ragged Point. I usually take a razor on a tour but never use it.
So, when @nlerner said that you had "grown a beard" since he last saw you....
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Old 09-22-21, 04:28 PM
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Day 5 - Ragged Point to Cambria

"In Roman times it was traditional for the citizens of Rome to go out and meet the returning victorious army and join them for their triumphant entry to the city. This will be kind of like that except..." So sayeth my publicist in 2019 as he and @merziac rode out to the Bridge of the Gods on the last day of the Magical Mystery Tour of the PNW. Day 5 was kinda like that.

With Eroica California cancelled, Velo Cambria (new vintage + e-bike shop in Cambria) put together some rides. On Friday the FauxRoica riders planned to start in Cambria, headed up Hwy 1 to Ragged Point, turned around and headed back. Estimated peloton time of arrival in Ragged Point was determined to be 9:30am. With such a short ride and virtually no climbing, we slept in and ate a leisurely breakfast. Just as we were leaving the parking lot bikes started streaming in, and for some reason most knew that we were riding down to Cambria and were looking for us. I saw @mech986, his brother in law from Portland Ben (who I ride with occassional up north), and @bikingshearer among others. Nearly flat with a tailwind, and sun for the first time in 4 days made for a beautiful ride.



The peloton headed south with a tailwind - pic from Mark W.

Just past the Piedras Blancas lighthouse is a parking lot for Elephant Seal Vista Point. The males lounge around for 11 months waiting for the females to come back. Until then they do what males do. The lay around, burp, fart, fight, and sleep a lot.

Elephant seals - Cambria Velo arranged a docent to give us the lowdown on these enormous creatures - pic from Mark W.

I was talking to someone in the parking lot when this guy pulled in.

Saw this pull into the parking lot. I should also post this to the "Ride a bike, see stuff" thread. The answer to your question is "I have no idea." Pic from Mark W.

Finally we saw the signs for Cambria, so we pulled into town to pick up the house keys for our weekend place, and added two members to the gang. @SquireBlack drove down with a car full of beer and groceries, and Dana drove down separately from Alameda in the Bay Area. This filled up all the beds, so the gang was now complete for the weekend.

The gang at the AirBnB. Gugie, Dana, Bob, Andrew and Thor. Mark W took the pic

I wrote the following a couple of years ago on a separate post, different trip. In big brush strokes, it still applies. I've edited it for this trip so you can see that a multi-person, multi-day tour has pretty much the same ethos.

1. If you haven't done anything like his, it helps to be a bit audacious. This was surely the case in the Last Winter Tour of the Willamette Valley Magical Mystery Tour of the PNW in 2019 It helps to include some wily veterans like @nlerner, @crampy and @SquireBlack Bob and myself in the mix to show beginners the ropes. There's an old adage about distance, if you can do 40 miles, you can do 60, if you can do 60, you can do 100, if you can ride back to back 50 mile days, you're ready for a credit card tour at the distance and pace we did. I tend to be in decent shape for a tour, but use the tour as training. As a result, I'm almost always questioning my ability to finish after day 2, but then I get the "3rd day miracle" and start to feel human again.
2. With a larger group like this, it's good to have an even number of riders. It makes hotel accomodations a lot easier, and there's a natural pairing off.
3. Having several days with extra local riders was good for the soul. Knowing nearby BF members was absolutely critical to smoothing over the potentially disasterous situation of a broken pedal missing decaleur. I sent up a BF flare, @Dfrost @davester posted back was texted while we were en route via train from Portland to Seattle and personally delivered, by bicycle a good pair of Crank Brother pedals, all while @Spaghetti Legs was 8 miles high on an airplane. and provided that rare bit. @Andy_K was a savior on both ends of the ride, getting Spaghetti Legs bike from PDX to Seattle, arranging for the DFrost to bring pedals, then riding with us through the Columbia River Gorge, sagging @crampy when his knee was getting balky to the finish line, delivering 2 gallons of cold water on a hot Portland day on the outskirts of town, and finally getting @SquireBlack to his house in time to clean up and attend a concert with his wife. The multiple harbor pilots (@ryansu, @Drillium Dude, @RiddleOfSteel, @scozim, @Wildwood, @Marziac, @SurferRosa, @droppedandlost... @73StellaSX76, @SwimmerMike, Patrick in Monterey, so many that I must be missing someone!) Having a peloton of about 15-20 riders on the way into Cambria felt like the final stage of the TdF with Highway 1 substituting for the Champs-Élysées.
4. If you go through Northbend, Washington, and have never seen Bob Freeman's collection, and you're into C&V...have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil perforamance and walked out thinking, naw, I didn't really see that? Well, that's the feeling after seeing Bob's immaculate collection of bikes. You know you're deep into it when you see a row of 6 Schwinn Paramounts of various vintage lined up on hooks, all perfectly restored, and not think much about it after everything else you've seen. Where have all the vintage Silca pumps gone? Bob has several Homer buckets full of them stashed about. Five of his bikes have wood rims, and he still has a wholesale account with Ghisallo from his 31 years co-owning Elliot Bay with Bill Davidson. Yeah, several Davidson's sprinkled about, including a couple Ti models. If somebody breaks a bone before the ride, heck, even if two people break bones before you start the tour, adapt, improvise, and overcome. You've already used up all of the bad luck. We didn't have any mechnicals, heck, 4 guys 5 days and no flats.
5. Six Four guys who didn't all know each other, we rotated "roomates" every night, and we all got along. We're bike people. We love to ride and work on bikes. We were all "men of a certain age", or older. By Day 3 2 we were often riding in a crisp paceline with full trust of each other. Dinners were swapping stories of the day's ride, planning for the next, deciding on our eating schedule for the next day...a shared, intense experience creates deep bonds.
6. The PNW central California coast contains miles and miles of fantastic, beautiful roads, both paved and unpaved. If you haven't yet, try them sometime! The summer weather isn't sweltering, humid hot like much of the US. A shower now and then won't melt you (it don't rain in California).
7. Life is short. If you'd like to do something like this, plan it, do it. At some point I won't be able to do this anymore, I'd like to take advantage of what I've got now while I can.

Finally a shout out to @Manny66 - sorry for missing out on riding with you! That Friday night me and the gang were eating upstairs at Linn's, I saw you downstairs (that hair!) and we had a quick chat. Somehow the weekend got away from us. Next time amigo!
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Old 09-22-21, 05:58 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
For some time now there's been an on again/off again plan for a small group ride down California Hwy 1 prior to Eroica California. The event organizers may have cancelled the official ride, but Tourica lives on...

5 guys, 5 days on a credit card tour. In order to dejinxify this ride, I'll invoke the standard incantation: Che cosa potrebbe andare storto?


The Funny thing looking at the planned route, is that day 3 almost did me in. even though I was the youngest guy on the tourocia, i was the slowest descender and the slowest climber, so I got to be in the back most of the time, and rode by myself. It sure is nice to have folks waiting ahead for you! the last 10 or 15 miles into Big Sur, all I could think of to keep me moving forward, was "I wonder if i can get a shuttle down to ragged point". I knew that the 4th day entailed 11 climbs, and somewhere around 3600 feet of climbing. I was able to speak to my wife that night or morning, in an uncharacteristic burst of cell coverage, and she encouraged me, simply saying "you can do it honey". That was all I needed to start the day, and then each mile melted away one after another, some much slower and excruciating than others, until we got to Ragged Point. Withouth her encouragement and support, all of the adventures I have been on the last few years would never have happened... I am a very lucky guy!

Here she is this spring ridine with me in Maui
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Old 09-22-21, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42 View Post
The Funny thing looking at the planned route, is that day 3 almost did me in. even though I was the youngest guy on the tourocia, i was the slowest descender and the slowest climber, so I got to be in the back most of the time, and rode by myself. It sure is nice to have folks waiting ahead for you! the last 10 or 15 miles into Big Sur, all I could think of to keep me moving forward, was "I wonder if i can get a shuttle down to ragged point". I knew that the 4th day entailed 11 climbs, and somewhere around 3600 feet of climbing. I was able to speak to my wife that night or morning, in an uncharacteristic burst of cell coverage, and she encouraged me, simply saying "you can do it honey". That was all I needed to start the day, and then each mile melted away one after another, some much slower and excruciating than others, until we got to Ragged Point. Withouth her encouragement and support, all of the adventures I have been on the last few years would never have happened... I am a very lucky guy!
Really the only time I (we?) worried about you was the long time waiting for you on the Tunitas Creek Road descent. Los Banos is pancake flat, so you don't have a lot of experience descending technical downhills, plus doing it on a loaded bike with bags makes handling different. We had no problem waiting for you on the tops of climbs, it gave us time to rest, and it seemed never to be more than just a few minutes. What I didn't know was that you were stopping often to take pictures! I distinctly remember thinking it would be nice to have some of those pix you took, and you did! Great photographer, I'm glad you decided to act as our official Tour Photographer.

And Day 3 got extended 10 miles by Patrick, I would have been happy to skip those myself.
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Old 09-22-21, 08:33 PM
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Great write up and photos Gugie, I’m enjoying following. I drove down Sunday to join the Velo Cambia ride that day. Interesting to finally ride the lower half of the Cypress Mtn descent, but in the uphill direction. It’s a tough one. Central Coast riding certainly has its attractions. Hope we share a ride again some day.
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Old 09-23-21, 10:43 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
@gugie likes to make fun of me for knowing all the potential toilets on a route I've planned...
Perhaps I've made fun of it, but on more than one occassion I've been extremely grateful when I needed more than a tree to water...
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Old 09-23-21, 02:34 PM
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Day 6 - FauxRoica

The Touroica Four made it to Cambria with no broken bones or mechanicals, not even a flat tire.

As the guy on the old TV commercial would say, "but wait, there's more!" Somebody, actually several somebodies decided that even though Eroica California was cancelled just a few weeks ago, vacation time, plane flights and hotel accomodations had been scheduled, and there was an urge to do some C&V riding around the California coast. And several people started to call this "FauxRoica", with various spellings. The new vintage/e-bike shop in Cambria, Velo Cambria organized some rides for Friday-Sunday. The Touroica gang decided to do our own thing.
@SquireBlack is my go to guy for details, so he figured out a route for the Fabulous Four + Two.




That's an easy spin down to Cayucos, where we decided to stop by the Brown Butter Cookie Company, where most of us went for the day old 6 pack. Everyone ate a big cookie before we left. For one of our riders, this turned out to be a mistake...


Cambria to Cayucas, eazy peazy

Turning up Old Creek Road, we climbed up past the reservoir, but instead of turning right on Santa Rita Road, which is part of the normal Eroica route, we kept going. And going. Up and up. At least we were on paved roads. Climbing the Eroica route that goes up the Cypress gravel road meant sometimes losing traction and eliminating the possibility of standing occassionally to rest different muscle groups and stretch one's back. Just before the crossing on Hwy 46 we stopped to regroup.


Right about mile 25. From left to right, Gugie, Thor, Andrew and Bob. Mark W. is taking the picture. We're waiting for the 6th amigo, who lost something from Cayucos somewhere on the climb.



The climb. That last little blip on the right was >15%

After regrouping (less one chocolate chip cookie) we crossed Hwy 46. Almost immediately a swarm of vintage Mini Coopers started passing us, obviously on a club drive. Every time I've been in this area there's been some car or motorcycle club out for a spin, typically vintage. I lost count, but there had to be at least 75 of these cute little buggers that passed us; the drivers and passengers seemed to be having a grand time. They didn't have to pedal up that hill...

Take a look at the elevation profile, above. Look at the last couple of miles. >12% average grade, maxing out at 19. We all made a valiant effort to pedal to the top. Myself, I tried standing and sitting, added the paperboy dance, but about 1/4 up I almost stalled, looked up, and saw that @SquireBlack was off pushing in the distance far above me, so I gave in. I looked back and saw that Thor capitulated right behind me. @mgopack42 and Dana realized a bit earlier than us that this was where we were headed and were using the two foot granny gear. When I arrived at the top I found out that @SquireBlack only pushed for about 100 yards or so, but Bob "Hard Man" Minsky made it to the top without dismounting. Chapeu, Bob! Here we are recovering after the final push.


Gugie and Andrew. I'm actually only mostly dead, Andrew's pretending for the pic.

Another wait to regroup, started down and found The Dropoff:


Not often that I can say that I've stood at the end of the earth and stared down into the abyss.

Ridewithgps tells me that our route was 100% paved. For the upper few miles of road that looked like a WWI battlefield, maybe it averged 51% paved, and the app just rounds the % up. I was so focused on keeping the rubber side down and squeezing on the brakes as hard as I could that I didn't notice where the unpaved section of Cypress tees into Santa Rosa. We came to a cliff that we could look straight down at 20 degree downhill hairpin tour that Eroica California veterans know and dread, reminding us to brake as hard as possible before it. My MAFAC RAID brakes squealed at a pitch not heard before or since on that section. Just yesterday I took the Koolstop tour that @RustyJames graciously set up and was thankful for the efforts they put into making the world's greatest bicycle brake pads.

Eventually the pavement got more consistent, the turns straightened out some, and the descent became less. We were thankful that all made it back in one piece.

9% average descent the first few miles

After the standard hydration recovery protocol we all went to work cooking up a feast of shrimp appetizer and grilled Santa Maria tri-tip with all the fixings, mixed with a few bottles of California red wine purchased locally for the occassion. Happy happy, joy joy!
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Last edited by gugie; 09-23-21 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 09-23-21, 03:05 PM
  #68  
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Great pics and fantastic reporting. Thanks for taking the time to post all of this.
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Old 09-23-21, 03:08 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
The Touroica Four made it to Cambria with no broken bones or mechanicals, not even a flat tire.

As the guy on the old TV commercial would say, "but wait, there's more!" Somebody, actually several somebodies decided that even though Eroica California was cancelled just a few weeks ago, vacation time, plane flights and hotel accomodations had been scheduled, and there was an urge to do some C&V riding around the California coast. And several people started to call this "FauxRoica", with various spellings. The new vintage/e-bike shop in Cambria, Velo Cambria organized some rides for Friday-Sunday. The Touroica gang decided to do our own thing.

@SquireBlack is my go to guy for details, so he figured out a route for the Fabulous Four + Two.




That's an easy spin down to Cayucos, where we decided to stop by the Brown Butter Cookie Company, where most of us went for the day old 6 pack. Everyone ate a big cookie before we left. For one of our riders, this turned out to be a mistake...


Cambria to Cayucas, eazy peazy

Turning up Old Creek Road, we climbed up past the reservoir, but instead of turning right on Santa Rita Road, which is part of the normal Eroica route, we kept going. And going. Up and up. At least we were on paved roads. Climbing the Eroica route that goes up the Cypress gravel road meant sometimes losing traction and eliminating the possibility of standing occassionally to rest different muscle groups and stretch one's back. Just before the crossing on Hwy 46 we stopped to regroup.


Right about mile 25. From left to right, Gugie, Thor, Andrew and Bob. Mark W. is taking the picture. We're waiting for the 6th amigo, who lost something from Cayucos somewhere on the climb.



The climb. That last little blip on the right was >15%

After regrouping (less one chocolate chip cookie) we crossed Hwy 46. Almost immediately a swarm of vintage Mini Coopers started passing us, obviously on a club drive. Every time I've been in this area there's been some car or motorcycle club out for a spin, typically vintage. I lost count, but there had to be at least 75 of these cute little buggers that passed us; the drivers and passengers seemed to be having a grand time. They didn't have to pedal up that hill...

Take a look at the elevation profile, above. Look at the last couple of miles. >12% average grade, maxing out at 19. We all made a valiant effort to pedal to the top. Myself, I tried standing and sitting, added the paperboy dance, but about 1/4 up I almost stalled, looked up, and saw that @SquireBlack was off pushing in the distance far above me, so I gave in. I looked back and saw that Thor capitulated right behind me. @mgopack42 and Dana realized a bit earlier than us that this was where we were headed and were using the two foot granny gear. When I arrived at the top I found out that @SquireBlack only pushed for about 100 yards or so, but Bob "Hard Man" Minsky made it to the top without dismounting. Chapeu, Bob! Here we are recovering after the final push.


Gugie and Andrew. I'm actually only mostly dead, Andrew's pretending for the pic.

Another wait to regroup, started down and found The Dropoff:


Not often that I can say that I've stood at the end of the earth and stared down into the abyss.

Ridewithgps tells me that our route was 100% paved. For the upper few miles of road that looked like a WWI battlefield, maybe it averged 51% paved, and the app just rounds the % up. I was so focused on keeping the rubber side down and squeezing on the brakes as hard as I could that I didn't notice where the unpaved section of Cypress tees into Santa Rosa. We came to a cliff that we could look straight down at 20 degree downhill hairpin tour that Eroica California veterans know and dread, reminding us to brake as hard as possible before it. My MAFAC RAID brakes squealed at a pitch unheard before or since on that section. Just yesterday I took the Koolstop tour that @RustyJames graciously set up and was thankful for the efforts they put into making the world's greatest bicycle brake pads.

Eventually the pavement got more consistent, the turns straightened out some, and the descent became less. We were thankful that all made it back in one piece.

9% average descent the first few miles

After the standard hydration recovery protocol we all went to work cooking up a feast of shrimp appetizer and grilled Santa Maria tri-tip with all the fixings, mixed with a few bottles of California red wine purchased locally for the occassion. Happy happy, joy joy!
all of this points me to starting to do the hicks road climb to get ready for future events...with pesky hills or headwinds
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Old 09-23-21, 04:30 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
So, when @nlerner said that you had "grown a beard" since he last saw you....
One week without shaving is the equivalent of you after one day...
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Old 09-23-21, 05:24 PM
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Well now we know what happens if you don’t take that turn for the Santa Rita climb. Good job men, and women who authorized this to happen.

I find myself looking at Central Coast real estate again …
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Old 09-23-21, 05:34 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Well now we know what happens if you don’t take that turn for the Santa Rita climb. Good job men, and women who authorized this to happen.

I find myself looking at Central Coast real estate again …
Hugh,
I can look after your vacation home for you for FREE for the 50 weeks you arent using it!
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Old 09-23-21, 07:39 PM
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Thats one Epic journey you gentlemen had, Im envious!
I'll invite you to a beer in April Gugie !
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Old 09-23-21, 08:30 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Manny66 View Post
Thats one Epic journey you gentlemen had, Im envious!
I'll invite you to a beer in April Gugie !
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Old 09-24-21, 08:22 AM
  #75  
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Thanks so much for posting the pictures and adventure stories. Nice to be able to live bike trips vicariously while mending from surgery.
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