Monday, January 17, 2011

Epic Saturday Ride II - Santiago Canyon

Santiago Canyon
I woke up Saturday expecting to go out and do a three and a half hour ride, which would have ended up being about 55-60 miles with just enough climbing to keep things interesting.  I didn't want to kill myself because I had a long run on the schedule for Sunday  I also wanted to be home by noon.  And this is exactly what the OC Velo "B" ride for the day was meant to be.

But sometimes, things don't work out as planned.  The group always starts the rides together.  However, when we got to the split point, hardly anyone wanted to go "B".  And to be honest, I had changed my mind too.  Because the "A" ride was headed through Santiago Canyon.

Santiago Canyon runs through the western foothills of The Santa Ana mountains in west central Orange County.  The road is extremely popular with "bikers" of all types - both motorcyclists and cyclists.  We entered the canyon from the north end in Tustin, where the road decisively starts climbing and stays that way for 4 miles and a 1400 foot elevation gain.

Once we reached the crest, the canyon itself is another 10 miles of rolling road, which adds another 1100 feet to the climbing tally.  I, of course, managed to flat about a 1/4 mile into this section.  So while switching out tubes I fell about 10 minutes behind the rest of the group.  And though it would have been nice to ride with some people, riding the canyon alone didn't exactly suck.  It's beautiful in there.

I spent the time working my way through the canyon thinking about my relationship with climbing.  I'm a slow climber - and this probably comes down to 80% ability and 20% to the beta blocker I take.  And climbing hurts - a lot.  But I DO like it, really.  If I put my head into a place where rhythm comes first and speed is secondary, it's a really enjoyable experience.

Cooks Corner
The ride through the canyon ends at Cooks Corner, which is essentially a fork in the road in the city of Lake Forest.  But at this fork sits quite possibly the most legit biker bar in the area.  As far as I know the bar is simply called "Cooks Corner".  On any given weekend day, the lot will be filled with motorcycles.  But on the far left, chances are there is also an assemblage of cyclists filling water bottles and taking a break.  (Mostly) beefy dudes in denim mixing with (mostly) skinny dudes in lycra...who would have thought that would work?

By this point, we had about 25 miles left in the ride.  And since we were essentially headed back to the beach, logic dictates that the trip back would be mostly downhill, right?  Wrong.  there was one more climb ahead.

Ridgeline Road
Introducing Ridgeline Road in Lake Forest.  The climb is not long - just under a half mile, but it's steep with the grade hitting 20% in some sections.  The climb is also unnecessary in that there is a much more civilized route to the road junction we needed to get to.  But we climbed it anyway (because that's what we do), with me out of the saddle the entire time swearing my head off.

By the time we regrouped again, I was pretty spent.  The speedsters took off towards home and a smaller group of us (including TRI714 and Nan from T-Mat Pro) enjoyed a moderate ride back through Irvine and Newport Beach.  There was the usual coffee stop at the pier and then home.

The final stats for the day:  Just under 75 miles and just under 2600 feet of climbing.  Funny, it felt like we climbed more than that....

Ride Slip

17 comments:

TRI714 said...

way better explanation of what went down. I cant believe you took pictures. I wish I would have. I had every intention to, it just never seemed to work out. Great fun out there.

valen said...

it is always trouble when you see the purple tones in the mapmyride elevations, he he he.
20% sounds nutz

Kate said...

Great ride! Sounds like a beautiful area to ride, too. Around here, the scenery is pretty much corn.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Outstanding write-up Patrick, sounds like a decent ride that got better. Never seen a ride slip, how is that created?

Caratunk Girl said...

That sounds like a fantastic ride - holy climbing!! Like Kovas, I have not seen a ride slip before...I get what it is, but where does it come from?? I picture your bike having this little computer that spits it out... ha ha

It doesn't, right?

Chris K said...

Man, even that post would get me thinking about becoming a, what are you called? A biker, bike rider, bicyclist? As long as I didn't have to ride with Kovas.

Raegun said...

This sounds like such a great ride - makes me want to make the switch from mountain to road bike this spring. Well....maybe. We'll see...

mackenzie said...

you make me want to live in california.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

That is one scary looking graph. I was chuckling picturing the bikers and the cyclists -- do very different groups pretty much enjoying the same thing!

Kristin said...

wow! Nice ride! Makes me want to go somewhere sunny quick! Trainer rides are starting to make me batty!

Big Clyde said...

It would have trashed me, but it sounds like a beautiful ride. Next time, take a picture of the bikers and the cyclists together...I agree with Jeff, two groups with a similar vibe.

Tortuga_Runner said...

Hard core, sounds awesome. Maybe next year I'll make it down south for a ride, I've got a ways to go before I could handle that.

Glenn Jones said...

Wow. That's pretty hard core!

Luke said...

Almsot every time you post something like this I am convinced mroe and more that i need to move to OC.

Tough Chik said...

This is one of my favorite rides! I do it about twice a month. Mine is a bit shorter at around 45 - 50 miles, 3000 ft of climbing. Maybe I will see you out there sometime!

Jason said...

Nothing other than WOW! What an incredible ride and again with your words you make me feel like I'm there with you but without the quad burning/hill climbing.

Kate said...

There! I am your 194th follower. Better than 193, eh?

You're going to get to 200 way before me. Not fair!

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