Riding the Canyons

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I was thinking about riding the Mike Nosco ride on the drive back last night from LA and am still surprised about how enjoyable it can be riding up and down the canyons from the coast highway near Malibu. It seems like LA is just so congested and crowded, but climbing Deer Creek, Mulholland and Latigo, I’m pretty sure that not one car passed me the on any of the three climbs. And this was on a Sunday, late morning. Don’t get me wrong, it was a special circumstance with so my cyclists “hogging” the roads. And on some of the climbs, especially Latigo, there were a ton of motorcycle guys, in leathers, out for their weekend rides. But, considering how the area is surrounded by millions of people, it really is nearly abandoned. (Strava file info.)

It really is like this just about anywhere I’ve ever been. No matter the city, there is always a place to ride. Well, maybe not London. And Sao Paulo Brazil wasn’t too conducive for training either. But here in the US, no matter how big a city is, there are always rides, which is awesome.

And this is one of the big attractions of the sport for me. Being able to see different places at a speed that I can absorb it. Cycling is just the right speed. Running is too slow and the distances aren’t nearly large enough. And driving in a car, you are too removed from the surroundings when you are in an urban environment.

There were so many riders yesterday that I actually didn’t even catch up with a lot of friends that I saw or heard were there, but never ran into. I ended up riding a fair amount of the ride on my own. At the top of Mulholland, I had been climbing with the front group and we stopped at the rest area. My ex team-mate, Thurlow Rogers was a bit behind and just rode right by the rest stop. I wanted to talk to him, so I gulped a Coke down and took off chasing him. I thought he was only a minute or two ahead. But I chased all the way down to the coast, miles along the PCH and finally when I got to Latigo, I came to the conclusion that Thurlow must be somewhere else, because he couldn’t have been going that hard. I never saw him again the whole day.

I’ve never much into the group touring type rides, but this ride is different. I don’t really understand Grand Fondos. I don’t know if they are races or touring events? But I know this ride isn’t a Grand Fonda. It’s just a bunch of guys going out and riding with friends to help out friends.

I didn't realize how many people were there until I saw this photo this morning.

I didn’t realize how many people were there until I saw this photo this morning.

Map of the course.

Map of the course.

I rode the first half with a smallish group that included Dave Zabriskie.  I didn't catch the name of the rider in the brown.  He was strong.  I really liked his clothing.  I'd never seen brown shorts before and they looked great.  He told me they were locally made.  Maybe someone can leave a comment about where exactly they come from.

I rode the first half with a smallish group that included Dave Zabriskie. I didn’t catch the name of the rider in the brown. He was strong. I really liked his clothing. I’d never seen brown shorts before and they looked great. He told me they were locally made. Maybe someone can leave a comment about where exactly they come from.

I did get a chase to talk with Wayne Stetina for a while after.

I did get a chase to talk with Wayne Stetina for a while after.

Here I am with Roy's wife, Debbie.

Here I am with Roy’s wife, Debbie.

I guess there was a special award for the fastest Strava time up Mulholland.  I didn't know anything about it, but the plaque was pretty cool.

I guess there was a special award for the fastest Strava time up Mulholland. I didn’t know anything about it, but the plaque was pretty cool.

11 thoughts on “Riding the Canyons

  1. Bill K

    I’m not a fan of Fondo’s either. To me, they seem like “Pretend” races, for people who are afraid to pin a number on, and put their ego on the line…….But that’s just me. (a big jerk)
    If I want to do a long ride with hundreds of strangers, I’ll just do a century, and pay $20-$25.
    .

     
  2. Jason

    Steve- I have several pieces of Brandt-Sorenson clothing. It is exceptional and Nick, the proprietor is a pleasure to work with. It falls in line price wise with the higher end brands such as Assos and Rapha, but having owned them all , it is by far the nicest. I have a muscular build and off of the shelf clothing, jerseys in particular, do not fit me well. Nick has a custom sizing option with the clothing that allows for a perfect tailored fit.

     
  3. Touriste-Routier

    Mass Start
    Escort Vehicles
    Challenging Course
    KOM Competition
    Not a race in the USAC/UCI sense
    Food & Entertainment
    Production Value

    Sounds like a Fondo to me.

     
  4. gibbs

    a nice suprise to see my old stomping grounds (I am in charlotte now) on your blog…good times and great rides in and around the Santa Monica’s

     
  5. Fergie

    Grand Fondo- Same thought here. Don’t get it.
    I agree with you too Bill K. Ego covered: If you finish in the front, can brag about it, if not..well..just riding a Grand Fondo.. 🙂
    So if it’s not a race, how can USAC award a National Champ Jersey?…that just rubs me.

     
  6. mark

    Gran Fondo’s are serious business for some, and a very lucrative schedule in some countries. Last years 45-49 age group winner (an American) at the Gran Fondo New York got popped for EPO. Dr Michele Ferrari was recently photographed “training” some of Italy’s top Gran Fondo riders. Once you stick some cash (or its equivalent in press, fame, Strava KOM opportunity, ect) at the finish line, even charity rides get competative.

     
  7. RIder Jim

    Nice to see Dave Zabriske out there! Anyone tried he and his wife’s product called Dz Nuts Chamois cream? looks like a high end product, but I typically just use lotion.

     

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