My Favorite Summer Ride

The sun peaks in around 530AM.  No wind.  No fog.  I’m definitely riding today, no more doubt in the whether.  I pull up YouTube and drift off to Spanish Giro dreams for another hour.

It had been a busy week, and I didn’t want any pressure of meeting up.  I just wanted to roll out and follow the inspirations of the day.

Now I have 5 minutes to ride 2 miles to catch the Mach 5 group heading up the coast.  It feels so balmy and thick and warm.  Expansive blue is everywhere.  Down Pico, hard right on PCH and they’re they are… I spin up and say howdy boys.

We take turns on the front of a short double echelon and catch up on our lives.  Life’s good.  Wonderful.

At Main Beach they go up the canyon and I press on northward.

Just past Chrystal Cove a group of riders clogs the bike lane waiting on a red light.  Green.  My momentum moves me through.  It’s the Irvine crew, laying down the miles for LoToJa.  “I heard you got in Todd.”  I did, and I haven’t paid… too scared to commit to a 204 miles bike race.

They’re committed.

Some started at 5am.  Family men.  Getting it done before the kids are up.  Committed.

They keep rolling north, I turn up Newport Coast.

Riding up Newport Coast on a day like today is heavenly.  The electric blue sea grows, it’s 17 minutes to the very top.  Not hard.  Not easy.  Invigorating.  The view up top is forever:  to the east are the mountains the pros racing Tour of California will play in today, north down town LA, south San Diego.  I’m king of my mountain for a few moments.

It’s 822AM.

Can I make it Back Bay and up the bike trail in 20 minutes?

I think so.  Down.  Fast.

830AM, MacArthur and San Joaquin.  No way i’ll make it.  Turn right on MacArthur.  Ride. Fast.

Up the bike trail.  Off the bike trail.  Left turn.

848AM Crane my head over the wall peering, hoping the Food Park ride hasn’t left.

They’re gone.

Right on Main.  I see a group.  It’s small, I haul right past them… too small to be Food Park, I think.

Ride. Faster.

I see riders looking for a group.  Slowly it dawns on me, “that was Food Park.”  It’s a small group today because many people are spectating at Tour of California and the rest are resting for The Belgian Waffle Ride.  So I slow, and wait with a local pro triathlete.  He’s young and salivating to slay me and everybody else.

We latch on to Food Park and it’s the usual full-gas parade through Irvine.  At the lights I catch up with Bonifast, Rigo, and say hi to the rest of my pals.  More gasolina through Leisure World – oxymoron of cycling.  And full flame throwers up El Toro.  Down the canyon we steamroll until Big Hoops cuts across yet another wheel and almost takes us all out – selfishness at it’s best, but hey he won “the sprint.”

After about an hour of hitting it pretty hard I peal off and head home.  South.  Beautiful blue to my right and mountains to my left.

Josh and Jeff are riding slow enough for me to catch.  Resting up for BWR fellas? Oh yeah!  We sneak through the alleys of Laguna Beach.  Talk about BWR, and LotoJa.  These guys are tough nuts.  They stay home, I keep heading home.

Zach catches up to me.  Hey man, HUNKR was hard!  You did it?  Yes, it was harder than I planned on… can’t wait to do another.  Awesome.  Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing dates soon.

We chat all the way to Kaylani’s.

He rides south.

I stop.

It’s sunny. Warm.  Big Blue’s breeze is just right.


(It’s no secret… today was awesome!)