Sunday, January 30, 2011

Epic Ride Saturday IV - Shady Canyon & Newport Coast (Plus A Sunday Run)

Here's an interesting fact about Irvine - despite consistently enjoying one of the lowest crime rates in the nation for cities over 100,000 residents, when something goes down in Irvine it goes down big.

Consider Larry C Ford for example.  In 2000, this gynecologist turned biological warfare "expert" tried to have his business partner murdered near the Irvine Spectrum.  The subsequent investigation resulted in the FBI raiding his home in Irvine's Woodbury enclave.  Ford managed to kill himself before the Feds showed up, but a search of his home uncovered Anthrax, C4 explosive and assault rifles, along with other bacterial agents like cholera, botulism and typhoid.  It is speculated that Ford had strong business ties with a covert South African biological weapons program, and I'm pretty sure this case was never closed.

So what does this have to do with Saturday's ride through Shady Canyon in Irvine?  Nothing, actually.  When I went looking around for some history on the canyon, I couldn't find anything.  Instead this little gem came up.  So I figured I'd run with it.

Multi-use path in Shady Canyon
That said, Shady Canyon doesn't really need any history to qualify for awesome status.  Instead, you can create your own in the form of an epic ride through the canyon via the multi-use path that crosses it.  When approached from the east you can expect a short but moderate climb into the canyon, followed by undulating terrain until you exit the path near Turtle Ridge about 3 miles later.  You might as well take in the scenery, because you have to take it slow through here - not only is it a popular trail for cyclists, there are always plenty of runners and walkers around too.

Now back on the streets, we rode another 5 miles before we got to the base of Newport Coast Drive.  Newport Cost Drive starts inland and crosses the coastal hills before intersecting with the  Coast Highway.  It's a good ride in either direction - from the coast it's a steep but relatively short climb.  From the other side it's a more moderate grade but probably twice as long.  We rode up from the inland side.  Perhaps because I was feeling a little cocky from last weeks climb through Laguna Canyon, I didn't mentally prepare my legs for the climb.  So I got off to a slow start.  But once I recovered, I caught up to a group and finished it out feeling OK.  Height of land is at the intersection with San Joaquin Hills Road.  If you turn here, the climbing is rewarded with a fast downhill all the way into Newport's Back Bay.

Once back on Coast Highway, the race back to the Huntington Beach pier started (as usual).  Our very own Tri714 from Let's Do This Again gave 5 or 6 of us a long pull, and for about 3 miles we were averaging close to 28 MPH.  Well done Craig, this was one of the best part of the rides.

We rolled up to Main Street for the usual coffee stop, and then Craig and I continued down PCH until our turn-off.

The final tally for the day was 55.8 miles and 1700 feet of climbing.

Finish line - 6 miles ahead.
Today I went out for the last (semi) long run before next week's Surf City Half Marathon.  My plan was to run 8 miles at race pace. I drove down to Sunset Beach so I could run down and back along the beach path.  By the way, the start of today's run is also mile 20 of the Marathon.

The first 4 miles were great, and I was able to hold down a 7:50 per mile pace without any problem.  But at the turn around, the wind kicked up and it started raining.  The best I could manage back was an 8:07 pace.  I finished the run up in just over an hour and I'm feeling good.  The long range forecast for next Sunday is clear and temperate.  So as long as that holds, I think I'll be able to put in a good race.


valen said...

he... those waterfront runs are always a bit treacherous, the wind is gonna be a headwind either on the way in or out.
BTW, just coming from a frech friends' place. Turns out it was crepe day and it is a tradition that people will have a three course crepe meal, thought you'd be interested since you're of the waffle eating fraternity.

Jennifer said...

This all sounds great Patrick. Great job on the hardcore workouts!

Johann said...

Great workouts, well done! You are definitely ready for the half marathon.

Jill said...

28mph on your bike? I think I clocked 15 on my first DU - it was the mountain bike's fault, really!

YOu had an excellent weekend of pure bliss! YAY. Well done, Patrick. You're so ready to Rock and Roll S.C.!!!!

Christi said...

I really love the sound of all your epic rides. I must really get out that way some day!

You are going to kill your 1/2 marathon!

Lauren said...

Hey I know that bridge! (Shady Cyn).

That sure is an epic ride. I didn't know that little history you mentioned, and I've been out in the OC for a long time. Good investigating : )

Laura said...

you are so ready for your race....

KovasP said...

I like the idea of starting at mile 20 of a marathon. Your epic rides are the envy of my neighborhood.

Caroline said...

this makes me wish I lived closer to this area...I am close but not close enough! Wishing you all the best for your half !

Unknown said...

always jealous of the beautiful scenery you guys have to ride around!

Good n Craig for picking everyone up - that is standup right there. I could have used him on Saturday (-:

Lucas R. Tucker said...

I thought it didn't rain there?

Aimee said...

Your ride sounds awesome! Nice job with that and your run! You are going to do awesome in your race!!

Emz said...

Surf City --- YAY! Have you killed anyone off yet so I can take their bib?!


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