January 5, 2007: The Lobitos Triangle


After more than a month of weenie-ing out because of the cold weather, the wind, and general malaise -- including at least three separate occasions when I was completely suited up and standing next to the bike in the garage doorway ready to go, but couldn't quite pull the trigger and ended up not going for the ride -- I finally got my 2004 Airborne Zeppelin ("the Blade") out of dry dock for some much needed road work.

The Blade Lobitos Triangle
The Blade

The route? For my first road ride in a while, the logical choice was the Lobitos Triangle. It's not really a triangle, more like a succession of concentric rhomboids with maybe a parallelogram and a couple of isosceles thrown in for good measure. Whatever its geometric layout, the Lobitos Triangle is a great route because it can function as either a nice entry-level spinner or a challenging training ride. Some good flats to work on tempo, some mild climbing to remember what pain feels like, and some ferocious downhills to get those technical juices flowing.

The Lobitos Triangle:

From the EG, bust down the coastal bike path to Filbert and out Grove to Highway 1. Down 1 for seven or eight miles to Tunitas Creek Road. Up Tunitas to Lobitos Creek Road. Cut back and around on Lobitos to Verde. Verde to Higgins Purissima Road which wraps all the way back up into Purissima Canyon before reversing course and dropping back down to Highway 1. Spin down Main Street HMB to the bikepath that burrows under Highway 1, cut back to Kelly and then west on Kelly back to the coastal bike path and on back to the EG.

Other than the aforementioned malaise, today's biggest challenge was the wind, which as blowing in icy gusts of up to 40 mph. I'm pretty wobbly on road bike anyway, so I was very concerned about some of the descents and even some of the exposed flats when I knew I'd be getting hit with an awkward crosswind. And of course, because the wind almost always blows out of the west-northwest, I knew I would be struggling upwind on the way home.

Turned out not to be that bad. Dreading the Arctic blasts, I bundled up with like six layers on my trunk and was quite comfortable the entire ride. In fact, though the wind was mostly dealing out icy daggers, but every once in a while I could distinctly feel a zephyrric wisp or two brush across my arms and face. Just a tease, but enough to lift my spirits. I needed that to happen because, as mentioned, I've been getting a little soft with regard to mental toughness vis-a-vis cold temperatures and wind.

All this, just to get out the door

The gusting wind didn't rattle my ride too much either. There were only a couple of brief instances where the wind wobbled me to the point where I had to slow down. That's victory for me.

Blowing down Highway 1 with a 20-mph wind at my back was a nice lift too. Yeah, I know it was wind assisted, but I was able to hammer down to Tunitas Road, 20 km, in about 38 minutes. Not bad for the first road ride of the new season. We'll see if we can pare that down to about 30 minutes by April.

It was another amazing day with clear blue skies and a vintage CA sunset. California Dreamin' on such a winter's day indeed. OK, so I'm a little out of shape, but my taint ain't hurting and I'm not dead tired, so them's good signs.

Speaking of the sunset. So, I'm busting home along the coastal bikepath and I see that the sun has just started to dip down below the horizon. Quite picturesque, so I stopped to get a nice silhouette shot of my bike leaning against a bench in front of the setting sun. But I've got my gloves on and the camera is in a zippered pocket and the pocket is blocked by my CamelBack strap and yadda, yadda, it's taking me 45 seconds to get the camera out. This has me a bit flustered because out of the corner of my eye, I can see the setting moving quickly below the horizon.

Finally, I get the camera out and I'm fumbling with the Power button, when a bystander comes up and asks if I want him to take my picture. I didn't, but flustered by the gloves, zipper, Power button, and rapidly descending sun, I said, "uh, OK." Mistake.

Then I had to hand the camera to him and give him a quick tutorial. He takes a couple of steps back and then starts telling me how the light is a little weird and he might not get the sun and how do you zoom. So I'm telling him how to zoom but he's getting confused and next thing I know he's saying, "oh, I thing I've got it messed up now." Grrrr.

At this point, I can literally feel the sun disappearing behind me. Cursing a blue streak internally for being so stupid as to get involved with some well-intentioned but ultimately consternating civilian, I start to walk over to him, but, of course, halfway over he says that he's got it, so I walk back to the bench. Then he starts in with the flash -- is it on, did it go off, did I want it. Barely able to contain myself, I told him whatever he could was fine, just take the shot!

Cannonball sunset
Just take the shot!

He finally did get a shot off (see above). It was marginal at best, and totally not what I wanted. Who wants to see my ugly mug? I was hoping for some artsy-fartsy silhouette job. Oh well. Fucking good intentions.

Got back to the homestead in the heavy dusk, and in relatively decent time. Good work for a week day, but it's time to start lengthening out the rides and pushing some heavy tempo to get ready for the early-season CCCX and Sea Otter races, which put a premium on pace and overall speed rather than technical bike handling.

Yeah, I'll get right on that. Just as soon as football season ends.


Dist: 56.79 km Time: 2:13:35 Avg: 25.9  Max: 55.5 Wgt: 165.5

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