Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bicycle Diaries - Mothers' Day Special

Happy (belated) Mothers’ Day! Good news – finally I made my full century ride, 102.7 miles to be exact; bad news – we got lost in OC. It was the most adventures ride I ever had, I named it “Mothers’ Day Special – Tour de LA – Lost in OC” ride.

The weather on Sunday was gorgeous, about 20 rides showed up for the “Almost a century tour of two rivers” ride. We met at the San Gabriel River trail in Irwindale and I was really looking forward to this mostly flat, yet long distance ride.

None of my cycling buddies came to this ride, so I decided to make some new friends, rode with Lee, Tim, Tai and some others. One of the TRL, Katie didn’t show up, so we only had Brian as our sole TRL, which was fine since everyone has been training for months and pretty much can take care of each others.

The first 30 miles of the ride was nice, until we reached Anaheim and looked for Wilshire Ave., and couldn’t find it. That’s right, it was off the map and the TRL were not aware of that. I was told all TRLs should know the route, either he or she planned it or did the route before, but it was not in this case.

Luckily we stayed together (right, we get lost together, too, but it was weird, everyone rode at different speed and was kind of falling apart from each other, but some how get back together when looking for the right way to go) and tried to figure out what to do, how to get to our destination. I stopped at a hair salon and asked a lady, she was very helpful, yet the direction she gave wasn’t clear enough. Finally we had to get help from the police!

While we were happy to find the Santa Ana River Trail and rode on it for a couple miles, there was a construction near the Angels Station, so we had to detour (again). None of us really familiar with OC and we asked from direction from the police for the 2nd time. After getting back to the trail, we had to deal with strong headwind before reaching Huntington Beach at mile 56.

After a very long and unexpected ride, we stopped at a small burger place along PCH. We were hungry, exhausted, tired, and thirsty, you named it. The chicken sandwich that I had was SO good. I wish to take a nap after that, ha ha.

We continued our ride on PCH, but due to some rode construction, we had to use the detour bike route along the beach (yes, another detour). Then we continue on the San Gabriel River Trail that runs along the I-605. When we get close to the Whittier Narrows dam, once again, we were lost in the middle of no way. After making several calls we finally get to the right direction heading back to the parking lot where we started. The fun part of this ride was not complete without a final call from the park rangers.

Yes, by the time we got back to the parking lot, it was ten pass six, as soon as we got to the car, we heard a park ranger spoke over a speaker “the park will be closed in 2 minutes.” Wow, we almost missed it, wonder what would happened if we didn’t make it back to the parking lot on time, would they hold our cars and we would have to ride home?

For some riders, it wasn’t so pleasure as they had to deal with knee pains and soreness, some were piss off. Overall this was a nice ride with lots of unexpected detours. I did pretty well at the end and was happy to finally get my actual century ride, I was so happy to see the 100 digit on my odometer.

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