she finally gets around to blogging about the Tour de Sugar Shorts. It's true...I'm a lazy blogger and if I don't do it right away, well...chances are that it will never get done.
What started as a hilly training ride at Team Estrogen, ended up as a group twenty six riders strong, with a mix of people from Bike Forums and TE. Having ridden with the Bike Forums folks the week before and now feeling fairly confident that none of them were super freaky axe murderers or stalkers, (well...one of them might be a stalker, but I can't talk about that here) I invited them to join us for our ride on Sunday. I had no idea that the turnout would be so impressive and I was thrilled that so many came, especially those who traveled quite a distance to ride with us!
We met at Bonita Creek Park in Newport Beach and our route traveled up the San Diego Creek Trail to Harvard, where we left the trail and took on the surface streets. We had some great photographers on board and I continue to be amazed by their on the bike skills. Me, I'm good at still shots while people are stuffing their faces at the rest stops. People don't tend to appreciate that, though I can't figure out exactly why?!?!?! Our first stop to regroup came at the top of Jamboree at the Chevron station and it was there that we realized that Extort came through on his promise of bringing a tow rope to help some of the ladies up the hills. We all got quite a laugh out of it, but in the end, no one needed any towing.
From Chevron we set of for our ride on Santiago Canyon Road, with a goal of regrouping at our food stop. Some flats off the bat kept some riders behind, but thinking that I might need the extra time, I took off with another group of riders. Prior to the ride, I had every intention of taking Santiago Canyon Road in my granny gear, as I had when I rode it before. I dropped my chain trying to shift into it when we were coming up Jamboree and not wanting to deal with that through the rolling hills, I decided to just stay in my middle ring throughout that stretch. The weather through the canyon was absolutely amazing. Having come off of a hellish heat wave that seemed like it would never end, we were all overjoyed to find wet pavement and the misty, cool air of the canyon. The twelve mile stretch went by too quickly this time and sooner than expected, I was hitting the final descent and we were on our way to the next regrouping point.
Not terribly hungry, I decided to grab a snack instead of lunch. I headed to Starbucks for the reduced-fat banana chocolate chip coffee cake and a venti coffee light frappucino/no whip. Yum. I love the food stops on rides because it's a great chance for you to talk to people, particularly those who are faster than you and often appear as no more than a blue speck up in the distance while you're riding.
Refueled and finished with our rest stop we took off for the second half of the ride, which took us through virtually traffic free streets of Irvine and to the Shady Ridge bike path. One last climb was ahead of us and as we turned onto Newport Coast Drive and I was ready to get going, I shifted into my granny gear and wouldn't you know it...my chain dropped, yet again. After some help (yes, I know how to get my chain back on, but I didn't want to get my pretty little hands all dirty...lol) from the guys, I was on my way and climbing, climbing, climbing. Reaching the top, we turned onto San Joaquin Hills Drive and the view was absolutely amazing! This was my favorite stretch of the ride, between the fun descent and the views of the ocean, it was perfect! After a short stop at Gelson's to use the ladies room (did you all see that? I do use restrooms when they're available and I don't always pee in public parking lots...only sometimes) and grab some water, we were on our way to the final loop of the ride, Back Bay.
We met up with some of the other riders at the entrance to the Back Bay bike path and set off for the home stretch. I felt amazingly energized at this point, maybe it was the promise of In-N-Out at the end of the ride that was motivating me. I could practically taste the Double Double as I pedaled along. The last loop went by quickly and before we knew it, we were back in the parking lot at Bonita Creek Park, where some of the faster riders were waiting for us. We said our goodbye's to those who were not joining us for the post-ride pig out and then made our way to In-N-Out. Food never tasted so good. I think that is one of my favorite parts of longer rides, the chance to indulge in the post-ride meal. Yum! It was nice to sit and chat with the other riders and it looks like we're all looking forward to the next time. I'll leave you with a little ditty written by one of our riders CJBruin...
There was a ride
On a summer's day
With a start
Around the Newport Bay
Lots of riders
Pedalled the miles away
And ate at In-N-Out
There's a girl
Known as Sugar Shorts
She wears those goofy skorts
Say she's a real good sport
She planned a real fun ride
The riders say "Bran-day...
You're a fine girl
We all owe you a beer
Aren't you proud you didn't need your
Granny Gear?" (Dodododododododo)
As always, I've borrowed, stolen, eh...whatever...I helped myself to pictures posted at Bike Forums and they can be found here.