Now that I’m limiting my travel to one out of state event/month, and the weather is warming up, I’m investigating some of the local challenges I might have skipped last year.

After participating as a one-day rider for Ride2Recovery Texas, I was eager to ride with them again.

So, up early and out to the west valley, and what do I find at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station?

Cyclists! Lots of first responders, from the sight of all the Sheriff’s and Firefighter jerseys. Many triathletes, from the look of the time trial bars.

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And loads of female cyclists,

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some with girlier bikes than mine!
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The heat wave that had struck LA that week was abating, but it was warm when we rolled out after the UCLA ROTC color guard did their thing and we listened to the national anthem over loudspeakers. Temperatures would roll up into the 90s as the day progressed.

I’d glanced at the route map, and I knew we had hills, but I didn’t know we’d be doing the legendary rock store climb. http://bikinginla.com/tag/rock-store-climb/
http://bikethecoast.eventmediainc.com/rides-that-rock-10-top-cycling-climbs-in-southern-california/

Of course, every climb is followed by a descent, and the downhill was hair-raising. Can’t wait to see the Amgen Tour of California riders on the same course!

At the bottom, instead of looping, we headed out toward the coast, and it was heating up. The course was well-marked, but I doubted myself until I got to the 2nd rest stop at CSU Channel Islands. From there, it was a hop through the strawberry fields of Camarillo to PCH, where I caught a tailwind and enjoyed the breeze while contemplating the last climb.

I’d been told Mulholland Highway would take about an hour, and it wasn’t bad until the very end. Check and… not that bad. I give full credit to the Skratch Labs Hyper Hydration Mix and extra credit to the Clif Blocks 3x sodium Margarita flavor. Some other riders who were taking a break in the shade cheered me on near the end, and it really made a difference. It doesn’t matter if the Garmin says you’re only doing 7mph. When someone says, “you’re killing it!” you kill it. You ride faster. You feel stronger.

The last rest stop was the first rest stop. I knew I’d have to do the horrible descent a second time, and only hoped that familiarity would help. Not so much, no. (Full details in the Strava link)

But I arrived, got my medal, and there was still food left. Many riders DNFd due to the heat, but proper gear, training, and nutrition saw me through the heat and hills. A good day on a great course for an excellent cause!

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