Thursday, July 31, 2008

Orange to Dana Point Ride

Finally decided to test my legs and my mtn bike with an extended ride. The original plan was to commute from my place in Orange to San Clemente and camp with my church friends at San Clemente State Beach.

Things started off great in the morale department. I had gotten less than 6 hours of sleep that night and worked a full day, but I was pretty excited about the trip. As soon as I got home, I put all of my gear together and started riding in the 85 degree weather. Although it was hot, the ride was pretty smooth. I decided to take a route through the Aliso Creek Trail, just to check it out. On the way to the trail, I stopped at Lake Forest to get two churros for a dollar and fill up on water. This trail took me out to Alicia Parkway, where I sort of got lost because the trail wasn’t on my map. Fortunately I found two other people bicycling and asked them for directions toward PCH. They told me to take Alicia Pkwy. From there I got onto La Paz and made a turn on to Crown Valley Pkwy, which took me to Dana Point. I road down PCH for a little bit, knowing I had about 7-10 more miles to go. At that point it was 8pm, getting dark, and I was pretty exhausted. In the end I sucked up my pride, made a call and got picked up from Dana Point. All in all, it was a pretty memorable ride — I had never ridden 30 miles on my own. I had averaged about 10 mph through this hilly route for a good three hours. Here are a few good things I learned:

  1. It is probably not a good idea to commute or do a long ride with knobby mountain bike tires. I could tell that I was losing a lot of speed because of these tires.
  2. Don’t ride too late: I left my place at 5pm thinking I’d get there by 7 something. I actually got to my 3 quarter point by 8pm.
  3. Don’t fill up on too much ice. Although the ice in my hydration pack was pretty money, a good chunk of it never melted. When I was at El Pollo Loco, I went pretty loco on the ice.
  4. Starbucks is a good place to stop at, especially if you need someone to pick you up.
  5. Taking the Aliso Creek Trail was cool, but I didn’t have adequate maps for that route, so it was easy for me to get lost and lose more time.

Here is a map of the route I took:

View Larger Map

No comments: