Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bicycle Diaries II - Sunny Century

Not April Fool, just the spirit of Easter Bunny!

Beautiful Saturday in Ventura! For the second year in a row, I participated in the Paul Hulse/Positive Pedalers Century which started from Valencia and traveled north to Ventura. Yes, with less than 5 hours of sleep, I drove more than 80 miles for this century ride, but it was well worth-it. Paul Hulse was one of the creators of the original California AIDS Ride (CAR), which changed its name to AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) 6 years ago. He passes away few years ago.

This ride was organized by Positive Pedalers, Team Ventura and the Chain Gang. Compared with last year’s heavy rain morning, this year’s 80+’F weather was perfect. I attempted for my first century ride last year at this ride, but only did 50 miles because the organizer canceled the century option due to weather and road conditions. This year, with all the training I’ve been doing and experience gained over the year, I was so looking forward to complete my Ventura-Century-Mission.

More than 170 riders showed up for this ride, with 120+ registered for the century option, including my cycling buddy Suzann. I saw some old faces and many more new faces. Evelyn, Pat and Michael were among riders that I know from ALC 5. Some of my Tour de San Gabriel regular riders were there too, including Chuck, Debra, Susan, Robin and Kristen who were attempting for their first century ride. I was as excited as they were.

From Valencia we traveled north to Piru for our first stop. Kathie, Virginia, Ron and Michael from Different Spokes hosted the pit stop. It was so nice to see them at the Piru RR Station Park. We then continued our journey to Fillmore and then Ventura. Traveling on highway 126 allowed us to ‘fly’ with the traffic, but also kind of dangerous especially when huge trucks passed by, felt like we were being ‘blow away.’

Our lunch stop at mile 51 was set up at Marina Park in Ventura by Positive Pedalers. Every rider was greeted by our fabulous Ginger who dressed in pink. Her dress was made from bubble wrapper, how creative! The fog came in while we were enjoying delicious subway sandwiches at the park.

We headed back to Valencia almost the same way we came from. Biking through some citrus and vegetable farms was another eye-opening experience. Suzann and I finished shortly after 4 p.m., it took us 6 hours and 15 minutes for this 102.5 miles ride. Suzann had to leave right the way because she had a party waiting for her. I relaxed at the parking lot with some other riders, waiting and cheering for riders who came to the finish line. Inspiring TRL Tony Z and Rebecca J rode in with Susan and Kristen shortly after 6 pm. This year’s ride was a total success!

I’m so proud for all the newbies who completed their first century ride. Congratulation to Chuck, Debra, Susan, Robin and Kristen. Later on we went to Black Angus for our “Victory Dinner.” I got home shortly after 8 pm.

I didn’t ride on Sunday. However, I did a 16-mile ride around the Rose Bowl and did the double-hills on Friday by myself. I also attend 3 spinning classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Total mileage for the week: 118.5 miles. Way to go! (I’m 35 miles away from my 4000 miles mark! I’ve ridden 801.8 miles since January 1st.)

Next Saturday (4/7), Brian and I will be leading a 70-mile ride from Azusa to Seal Beach along the San Gabriel River bike path. No traffic and no stop sign, should be a fun ride, just hope the weather will be nice, all tailwind! If you would like to join us, email me for more information.

Great turn out and a total success!

At the starting point, Suzann, Evelyn, Pat and Michael

Come get some food and water and rest...

Suzann and I at the first stop. Easter will be our "anniversary"... no we're not dating, our riding-buddy anniversary

First stop at Piru RR Staion Park. Kathie, Virginia, Michael, Ron and... friend of DS

Yes, she's riding in this unique small-wheels bike and she rocks!

Finally got to the lunch stop at Marina Park

Ginger welcoming riders to the half way lunch stop in her pink dress made of bubble wrapper. (Chuck is in the blue jersey)

Delicious lunch waiting for hungry riders

You're not supposed to eat junk food... but after riding 50 miles, you can eat anything you want

Which one is yours? Can I sail with you?

Beautiful scene at the Marina Park in Ventura

Still looking good after first 50 miles

Dragon resting by the marina

No, those 2 are not ALC bikes. We're lucky to have full support team that carries our luggage

Go Debra!

Robin smiling for her 1st century ride

The last contigent rode in to the finishing line

Woohoo... you made it, congratulation! Susan, Tony, Kristen, Rebecca

Victory Dinner @ Black Angus. Susan, Robin, me, Debra and Kristen

The official Sweep Vehicle

Happy Easter! No bunny, No candies!

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