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Improving

14 Apr

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This graphic from Pinterest/Pro Bike Roma caught my eye this morning.

As someone participating in the #30daysofbiking challenge (all except for day 1, April 1st – because I forgot – April fool on me!) for another year, and understanding how it serves to kick into high gear my biking season, I can only imagine how much my fitness, well-being, biking prowess, etc., would improve if my “season” ran 365 days!

As I was setting my goals for 2015 late last year, I thought about committing to riding every day but wimped out. Even when just considering the times when I’m away, with no bike available, I knew it was highly unlikely I could ride every single day. I wish I’d said “so what”. Even if I was successful only 90% or 75% of the time I would be way ahead of where I am now.

Which leads me to think, suppose I just continue my April #30daysofbiking challenge to May, and maybe June or God help me through December?! I know I wouldn’t ride every single day, things come up, but how about a year when I rode more days than not?

Sounds like a good year.

Ride Every Day.

30 Days of Biking: Days 25-30

1 May

We returned home from California yesterday. My body is here, but my heart and head are still there. Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula to be exact, where we spent the last few days after our bike tour ended. We rented bikes for the days we were in Pacific Grove, just basic hybrid type bikes to get those daily rides in for 30daysofbiking and to tool around the area and see the sights. Words can’t describe the breathtaking beauty, maybe some of my shots can.

I’ll write a brief summary of my rides of April 25-30th and then I’ll do a separate blog for our Central Coast California Tour. Just one post instead of my typical blogs of each day. Thanks for following along! – Susan


Day 25 – 30 Days of Biking:

The reason I quit blogging about the tour from Day 25 on, was dinner the evening of “Day 24”. We had dinner at a nice restaurant in Santa Ynez that served Mexican food – and I got food poisoning! Of course with food poisoning you don’t know there’s a problem until many hours later.

Day 25 started out great. Our ride was a loop around Santa Ynez through Happy Canyon and an optional climb of “The Fig”. The Fig is Mount Figueroa, a legendary climb in Santa Barbara county. I hadn’t decided whether I was going to do the climb or not, I would decide at the base, depending on how I felt. Although I wasn’t sick yet, I didn’t feel great and made the very wise decision to not attempt it. I did ride 1 1/2 miles of the road that takes you to the base of the climb and even it was steep. Beautiful too.

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The Garmin pic shows how steep it was. I haven’t downloaded all the Garmin information but I recall in that 1.6 miles I climbed around 475 feet.

The plan on Day 25 was to ride back through Happy Canyon (love that name) and Santa Ynez and Los Olivos past Neverland Ranch (yep) and to wait for the two riders and support van to come down the descent of The Fig. I made it to that point, but was so dizzy and nauseous that I did something I’ve never done – I got into the support van and quit. I’ve never quit a ride, but I couldn’t go on. Once I got back to the Santa Ynez Inn it went downhill from there. If you’re had food poisoning, you know. If you haven’t you don’t want to know. I was able to get Phenergan from my local Doc which helped a lot. We missed our final dinner with our “tour-horts” which we were both disappointed about.

35 miles for the day.

CA Central Coast Day 5 – Santa Ynez Loop – Details


Day 26 – 30 Days of Biking:

Against my husband’s better judgment I rode the next morning. SmileIt was an out and back ride from the Santa Ynez Inn to Topanga State Park. It was a fairly easy 21 miles but it took all I had to do it. We said goodbye to our tour-horts, picked up a rental car and headed to Pacific Grove driving on Highway 1 through Big Sur. In many people’s minds, the prettiest drive in California – and what I saw of it was breathtaking – but mostly I slept. It took a full day and 12 hours more of sleep before I felt decent.

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21 miles for the day.

CA Central Coast Day 6 – Santa Ynez to Topanga SP – Details


Day 27 – 30 Days of Biking:

We picked up our rental bikes, a 7 speed Breezer from Adventures by the Sea in the morning and rode north along the beach on paved bike trail. We rode through Monterey all the way to Marina on the Monterey Coastal Trail. The trail is wonderful, wide and well-maintained – and surrounded by endless beauty. Can you imagine being able to bike there regularly?

It was cold and cloudy so we stopped at a Starbucks for coffee before heading back. The sights were beautiful, so many interesting and beautiful plants and wildlife all within sight of the Pacific. Gorgeous – and I’ll tell you these pictures don’t begin to do it justice.

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26.2 miles for the day.

California – Pacific Grove to Marina – Details


Day 28 – 30 Days of Biking:

On today’s ride we rode the trail along the coastline, but this time heading south. We also rode the infamous 17 mile drive to Pebble Beach, henceforth known as the 17 mile ride to Pebble Beach.

When I think of our 11 day trip, the first place I go is here. We saw and biked mile after beautiful mile in California. All so pretty that it probably isn’t fair to pick one place over another, but for me this was the best. It’s gorgeous anyway as you ride along the coast on the Monterey Peninsula, watching and hearing the waves, birds, sea otters, but add to that the fact that it was spring and there were miles of gorgeous pink, purple, yellow, peach flowers – it’s enough to take your breath away and forever make you long to see it all again and ride it.

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28 miles for the day.

CA – Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach – Details


Day 29 – 30 Days of Biking:

After the beauty we saw on the ride the day before, we headed right back to the same area. Because of time constraints we couldn’t ride the Pebble Beach *ride* but we did ride to the entrance. This was the first sunny morning we had and the water was a brilliant blue. We rode 12 miles in total and tried to take in and savor all that was around us.

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Day 30 – 30 Days of Biking

I managed to ride every single day in April. Some days were tricky – like the day I was in San Jose with no bike so test rode a Virtue mixtee to get a ride in. Several of the days were rainy and cold, but I learned I can ride in the rain and even enjoy it. Obviously the days in California were the best but I believe I enjoyed something about every ride. I learned too that it’s easy or at least possible to ride most every day.

Today’s ride was a 5 mile ride through our neighborhood.

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Miles for the month of April:

30 Days of Biking – Day 24

24 Apr

Today was one of those days on the bike that perfectly captured what I love about riding a bike.

The ride started in a light drizzle and fog. Temperatures stayed cool even after the sun chased the fog and dampness away. We rode from Santa Maria thru the cycling town of Solvang before taking us to Santa Ynez, our home for the next two nights.

Typing on my android tablet is too tedious to write much but a few thoughts and memories:

Riding alongside field after field of beautiful crops of lettuce, cauliflower and bright red strawberries.

The speed of the farm workers working in the fields, literally running to pick.

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The strong scents of strawberries, cilantro, licorice.

The remoteness and quiet beauty of Foxen Canyon road.

Lunch at Zaca Mesa winery

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The steep little climb right after lunch/wine tasting

Climbing "the wall", a very steep little climb and recognizing I can climb even when the grade is steep, I just have to be willing to suffer.

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The thrill of the twisty descent into Ballard Canyon.

Great conversation and coffee with my fellow tour riders and guide at the infamous Bulldog Cafe

And finally the luxurious Santa Ynez Inn

Stats: 48 miles, 2398 ft. of ascent, 1985 ft. descent

CA Central Coast Day 4 Santa Maria to Santa Ynez – Details

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30 Days of Biking – Day 23

23 Apr

Today’s route took us along mostly rural roads through vineyards and farms as we made our way from Avila Beach to Santa Maria. The ride was similar in mileage and in ascent but vastly different in experience. We had far less traffic along today’s route and far more bucolic scenery. Always a winner for me.

Mileage: 48.6 mi
Ascent: 1800 ft

CA Central Coast – Day 3 Avila Beach to Santa Maria – Details

Scenes from today’s ride:

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.loveofbikes.com.