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NorCal rides for an intermediate rider

Old 07-19-12, 10:10 PM
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Tycho Brahe 
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NorCal rides for an intermediate rider

Got into road biking about 3 months ago. Been getting stronger and stronger each day, but I am obviously still far from an expert. Longest ride I did was a month and a half ago: 45 miles with an elevation gain of 3000 feet and I lost it at the end (which was up a hill). Most rides I do are 15-20 miles (1500-2300ft) with no issues.

My friends are doing the Santa Cruz Mountain ride next week (100k) and I do not think I would be able to do it. Looking for an easier ride to do, but nothing too simple. Perhaps 100k over less hills. I live in Monterey, and I am open to anywhere within 2 hours. Noticed some interesting rides around San Luis Obispo, but it would be difficult to convince riding friends to get a hotel room since it is not quite that close.
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Old 07-22-12, 05:12 PM
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Definitely no need to drive to SLO to go riding. Lots of great rides around you around Monterey and Carmel Valley. A few to begin with here: https://www.vcmonterey.org/joomla15/i...d=14&Itemid=31

You can also poke around Strava to find more routes in your area. Good luck!
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Old 07-23-12, 10:54 AM
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Thank ROJA. I should have been more specific: I am looking for a long organized ride, not simply a local group ride. Start times, rest stops, closed roads, the whole nine yards. The SLO ride is 62m/2500ft, which I should easily be able to do. Sadly, there are no organized rides open to the public in Monterey County, perhaps the only county in California not to have one!
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Old 07-23-12, 11:09 AM
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Closed roads? Good luck finding those. My $.02: Get on the bike everyday you possibly can, even if it is for 30 minutes of casual pedaling. What you are looking for is a good foundation built up over time, rather than a few strenuous efforts. Do not measure your progress by climbing abilities alone, some strong riders have body types that just don't fight gravity all that well.
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Old 07-23-12, 12:17 PM
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You should definitely ride the Twilight ride at Laguna Seca for fun and for training. It's so close to you and such a cool/fun event. Sometimes they set up mini races but it's all for fun.
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Old 07-23-12, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
Closed roads? Good luck finding those.
I must be lucky because I have found at least 9 rides that are occurring in September and October. Most are on the penisula (Tour De Menlo, Palo Alto Gran Fondo, etc...) and a few up in Napa/Sonoma. Thinking about doing the Tour De Fuzz and making a weekend out of it in Sonoma. https://www.tourdefuzz.org/index.html

Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
My $.02: Get on the bike everyday you possibly can, even if it is for 30 minutes of casual pedaling. What you are looking for is a good foundation built up over time, rather than a few strenuous efforts. Do not measure your progress by climbing abilities alone, some strong riders have body types that just don't fight gravity all that well.
I might not be an expert, but I am beyond casual pedaling. My commute to work alone is almost 30 minutes. On my ride back home I do some bonus 400 feet hills just for the extra kick.

I am looking for long rides that do not have large elevation climbs. SMMC has 8000 feet of elevation of 100K. I probably can do it, but since I have never came close, I do not want to chance it. Did 30 miles/2100ft on one ride this weekend with plenty of energy left although I did most of my climbs early. 100K with 4k elevation would be a good start.

Laguna Seca is too short and too flat. I ride by there a few times a week.
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Old 07-23-12, 01:49 PM
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Closed roads? Lots of closed, paved roads on the old Fort Ord base. Lots of climbing, too.
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Old 07-24-12, 11:31 AM
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Have you actually ridden on the track? Up the corkscrew?
Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
Laguna Seca is too short and too flat. I ride by there a few times a week.
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Old 09-20-12, 02:48 PM
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^ I did the Laguna Seca twilight ride once last year, it was super fun. And it's definitely not even close to flat. You ride it counter-clockwise just like it's raced in cars, so you go DOWN the corkscrew (I used to race touring cars and have about 100 laps that way under my belt at Laguna Seca... so it was a trip to come back and do it on a road bike). There's a long climb up to the corkscrew, and a long climb up the main straight too. Neither is super steep, but when you're pushing hard they are taxing. I got in about 10 laps on the bike pushing hard, and was done for. Would definitely do it again -- except it's about a 3 hour drive each way for me to get there.

If you want to join up with a great organized ride, check out the Konocti Challenge, coming up in a couple weekends: https://www.konoctichallenge.com -- I'll be doing the 100km, and there's a shorter 40 mile option if you want to start of with something you know you can finish.

Last edited by cali_axela; 09-20-12 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 09-24-12, 09:28 PM
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Two things come to mind for me. First is pacing, riding within your ability. Second is eating and hydrating on the bike. If you do those two things you will be amazed at how far you can ride. If your longest ride is 45 miles Id bet you could ride 60 comfortably. Pacing, pacing, pacing. I was off the bike for two years and my first ride back was 32 miles and 3500ft of climbing. Needless to say I took my time, ate and drank well. I can make an hour ride brutally hard as well, faster and harder. Pacing is huge and riding with others is not always the best way to pace.
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Old 10-05-12, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for keeping this thread alive. Unfortunately, I never had the time to travel to any of the rides in California. Is Monterey the only county not to have a ride? There seem to be so many in California.

I will be doing the Surf City AIDS Ride in Santa Cruz this Sunday: https://www.scapsite.org/ride.php

Will be doing 60 miles and I still haven't done anything close. Luckily it is relatively flat. In the past week I have done 52 miles with 8470ft of elevation climb over 4 days (getting some good Strava numbers in the process).

Originally Posted by cali_axela View Post
^ I did the Laguna Seca twilight ride once last year, it was super fun. And it's definitely not even close to flat. You ride it counter-clockwise just like it's raced in cars, so you go DOWN the corkscrew (I used to race touring cars and have about 100 laps that way under my belt at Laguna Seca... so it was a trip to come back and do it on a road bike). There's a long climb up to the corkscrew, and a long climb up the main straight too. Neither is super steep, but when you're pushing hard they are taxing. I got in about 10 laps on the bike pushing hard, and was done for. Would definitely do it again -- except it's about a 3 hour drive each way for me to get there.

If you want to join up with a great organized ride, check out the Konocti Challenge, coming up in a couple weekends: https://www.konoctichallenge.com -- I'll be doing the 100km, and there's a shorter 40 mile option if you want to start of with something you know you can finish.
I realize that Laguna Seca is nice, but it doesn't nothing for my goal of doing a long ride. I bike by Laguna Seca a few times a week. I go up and down the side road. Will it entertain me for 40+ miles? No it won't. And besides, I want to go UP the corkscrew, not down. Going down is easier, climbing is not.
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Old 10-05-12, 05:42 PM
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Yeah, I definitely wasn't suggesting the Laguna Seca ride as a replacement for the longer rides, just another fun option to mix things up. That Santa Cruz ride looks nice, let us know how it goes!
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