|Welcome to Villa Park|
We rode the Villa Park loop. The route is actually more of a lollipop than a loop, in that we head inland, do a loop around the city of Villa Park, and then head back home the way we came in.
It's hard to call Villa Park a city. It only has about 6000 residents, and is virtually all residential. Unlike most of Orange County, the streets are not laid out in a grid pattern, so it feels a bit older and a lot more rural than the rest of the area.
It's also hilly, with a minor range of the Santa Ana Mountains called the Peralta Hills running right through the middle. For us, that meant there where two significant climbs waiting.
But first we had to get there. As usual, I met TRI714 and we rode over to Worthy Park. The group left the park at 7:30 AM, headed south down 17th Street to PCH, and took a left. Over the next few miles, we picked up a bunch more of the club riders that live on the south side of town. Before we turned north on to the Santa Ana River trail, there where about 25 of us.
About 30 miles into the ride, we hit the first climb. Meats Avenue runs in a northeasterly direction and for about 1.25 miles the climb is at a steady 6% grade with a few short sections where the grade hits 11 or 12%. No one is shocked more than I am about this, but I absolutely nailed this one. I was passing a few of the guys that I'm always behind. I had no problems whatsoever, and when we crested I found myself leading a charge of about 5-6 other riders down the other side.
|Imperial Ave - Looks innocent from space|
Once we got to the top, I asked Fernando, who's bike cockpit resembles the cockpit of an Airbus A330 (not really, but he's definitely the resident gadget guy in the club), what the grade of the climb was. I wasn't surprised to hear that it had an average grade of 10% with a half mile stretch of 12% in the middle. That was definitely one of the toughest climbs I've done in awhile, maybe even ever.
|Underneath the HB Pier|
Length: 66.7 Miles
Moving Time: 3:40
Climbing: 2095 Feet
Average Speed: 18.2 MPH