jpmurad

Coast Drive Climb

In Onward on September 5, 2008 at 6:40 am

I rode forty miles last night!  Starting in Huntington Beach, I made my way south down Pacific Coast Highway.  My goal was to reach the long, stretching climb on Newport Coast Drive.  I stashed my bike light and some energy gel in my shirt pockets and set out for the hill.

I paced a guy for a while along the way.  He was wearing a Solvang racing shirt, suggesting he had competed there before.  Alongside South Orange County, Solvang is a Mecca for cyclists in the US.  Evidently many professional riders train there; including international teams.  I raced through Newport Beach with him in my wake.  Although I was trying to pull away, I enjoyed the camaraderie.  I enjoy the shared experience of biking.  He was heading south from Hollywood to Dana Point.  Google suggests that distance is 85 to 90 miles.  I came into the picture toward the end of his long journey.

After the climb, which I endured at two miles per hour faster than last week (average of 10 mph), I could not resist speeding down into Irvine.  I stood on my pedals, arched my back and tucked my torso into the best aerodynamic position I knew.  I was flying; averaging over 30 miles per hour!  I rode home by a different path, fixing my light and swallowing the vanilla-orange gel pack by along Newport Back Bay.  The sun set as I crossed from Costa Mesa into Huntington.

Biking has been a great adventure for me in so many ways.  It started with the friendship and companionship of Ray and the group of riders.  I have come to enjoy the journey, leaving for a ride and with no set path.  I enjoy the athletic challenge, which has gradually been strengthening new muscle groups in my hind quarters.  Mostly, I enjoy escaping the whole traffic debacle.  I play by different rules than cars and alleviate my petty comparisons with other drivers.  I enjoy riding for its own sake.  Like soccer, its an activity I can lose myself in.

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  1. Sounds like a blast. Let’s try to get together sometime for a beach cruiser ride along the boardwalk. Your blog is making me want to renew my efforts towards my own blog.

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