Saturday, March 7, 2009

Work and Play in Sunny CA!

My ride for the week.

On Wednesday this week, I travelled out to sunny California for a week of work and a weekend of fun. I am extremely fortunate that my client contact that I am meeting with and another engineer who works for my client are big into cycling. I am even more fortunate that one of them had an extra 54 cm bike that he fitted for me to ride.

Bonelli Park
So . . . Thursday post work, we went for our first spin around Bonelli Park. There is a loop around the big reservoir at the center of Bonelli that is close to 7 miles and includes a mix of flats and small climbs and a slightly larger loop (about 9 miles) that includes a pretty good climb and yes, my favorite (NOT), a twisty fast descent. Apparently, there is a fairly popular triathlon in this park. Raymond, Emmanuel and I rode 2 small loops and one big loop and had a great 22-23 mile post work ride.
Friday, post work, I switched hotels and relocated to Pasadena for the weekend. Bart was supposed to join me, but unfortunately, the flu struck hard early Thursday morning and he was too sick to travel. So, I enjoyed a little bit of alone time and ordered a girly movie, The Women, to go with my yummy in-room service salmon. The seafood out here this week has been really outstanding!
This morning, Raymond, Emmanuel, Emmanuel's wife, one of their friends Ray and I rode 60 miles on the LA river and Rio Hondo river trails into and back out of Long Beach. The morning started off a little chilly (in the low 50s) but quickly climbed in temperature so that I ended the ride in shorts and a long sleeved cycling shirt. The paths were fantastic - wide (so you could in most parts ride over 20 mph), flat and right through the city. Along the way, we passed a ton of horse stables and parks. The "river" isn't much of a river in most places, more of a concrete canyon, but still, the ride was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I was blessed not to have to ride in the cold or on the trainer.

Here is the group in downtown Long Beach around the midway point.

With the Queen Mary in the background.

The prize of the ride was the leisurely pace along the beach and the fish tacos we had for lunch at Wahoo's. They were amazing and just what the doctor ordered to get us back to the start.

I had only one mishap of the day and added a war wound to my new bike helmet and seat when I toppled over towards the end of the ride. Unfamiliar with the territory, I rounded a 180 turn to face a short but extremely steep incline from the path up to the road. I missed the advice to switch my gearing and couldn't clip out fast enough or downshift from the big gear I had been riding the flats in. So. . . down I went. I'd like to call it graceful, but I doubt it was. Escaped with just a few bruises but thankfully no road rash.

My hotel window view.

Tonight, I plan to explore the shops and restaurants of Old Town Pasadena. I could get used to living in CA. Its amazing to be so close to the ocean, yet look out my hotel window and see the mountains in the very close distance. There are tons of outdoor activities, fantastic restaurants, beautiful parks and gardens and an outstanding fine arts, theater and music community.

I'm off to explore.


SusieQ said...

Wow - your trip sounds fantastic! Glad to hear the wipe-out wasn't a bad one...

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Beautiful pictures - and sounds like an incredible ride. So glad you were able to fit in some awesome training while in CA!

Take care of the boo boos!