A month from today, I will be flying to San Francisco, getting ready for AIDS/LifeCyele 5. Today, I am sitting in front of my laptop, sharing another episode of my “Bicycle Diaries.”
First of all, for those of you who woke up Monday morning, enjoying a cup of coffee (or tea or hot chocolate in my case) and looking for the latest issue of “Bicycle Diaries,” I would like to apology for the delay. Everything is OK, just a minor problem – my camera went out of order half way through my ride on the weekend, so I had to ask a cycling buddy, Aaron, to help take some photos.
Last Saturday, the day after my birthday, I attempted to do my first century ride from Simi Valley to Ojai in Ventura county (well, it turn out to be only 94 miles, although it was 6 miles short, but trust me, it felt like a century ride, very much). I’m not exactly sure about the elevation of the hill that we climbed, but from the google search that I did, it should be around 3200 to 4000 feet.
We started from the Regal Plaza by the 118 freeway, and I rode with Suzann and Aaron. The view of this ride is really nice, very country style, passing farms, ranches, waterfalls, you named it. At one point, I called the mountain in front of us “Brokeback Mountain” or “Cold Mountain” just to relax a little bit.
Lunch stop at Soule Park (mile 46) in Ojai, there were delicious sandwiches and fruits waiting for us, many thanks to Mom & Dad of Team Ventura. Never thought a pbj sandwich could be so delicious, maybe I was just exhausted and way too hungry. After a brief yet nice lunch stop, we all get ready to head back to Simi Valley.
On this ride, we had to climb two major hills, plus other smaller rolling hills, and we had to do all these twice! At mile 73 we started to climb over the “deadly” Ojai Valley with the elevation (believe to be around 3200 to 4000 feet). My legs and mind were not cooperative to each other. Legs started to pedal slower and slower, down to 6.5 mph; sweat went down my sun-screened face and finally ran into my left eye. Oh gosh, It was the most painful thing ever, I could not open my eye and yet I did not want to pull over, I was afraid that once I get off the bike, I will not get back again. As a result, I peddled with one eye open for about a minute. I was so happy when we got up to the top.
At lunch break, we thought 94 miles was just too close to a century ride, as 3 of us would like to see the “100” digits on our odometer, we planned to do some ‘extra miles’ at the end. However, by the time we got back to Simi Valley area, we all knew that ‘enough is enough,’ although we were 6 miles short from a century ride, but we don’t care anymore. It felt like a century ride to us! I set my all time longest ride – 94 miles in 6 hours 40 minutes.
Didn’t ride my bike on Sunday, instead sent the bike to Helen’s for tune up, getting ready for this coming weekend’s Santa Monica-Santa Barbara double centuries ride. If you happened to visit Santa Barbara or will be traveling along the 101 or PCH, feel free to cheer for us, we’re expecting 120 riders for this ride, organized by Shifting Gears. Stay tune for the next episode of “Bicycle Diaries.”