In celebration of the longest day of the year I wanted to go big and change things up a little bit from the normal canyon ride I have been doing lately. So rather than leave from my house I drove to a point somewhere along the route, which allowed me to venture farther into other areas. Gear changes? I was riding my newer shoes, widened using my shoe stretcher, which I covered in a recent blog. I am liking the Pearl Project shoes a lot. I rode with them very loose most of the day as they break in, but the length and heel cup are a great fit.
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I parked at the Sports Park off of Crown Valley Parkway, which offers great access to Arroyo Trabuco. It affords a nice view of the canyon and its contrast with the surrounding areas. The location and preservation of the canyon in stark contrast to the development around it continues to fascinate me.
When riding for a blog I have to balance my activity. Part of me does not want to stop. For anything. Ever. Part of me wants to make a very few, very short stops just to eat then get back on the bike. I digest food better when I stop to do it. I can eat while riding and I do sometimes. But if I want to blog I have to take a moment to look at my surroundings and compose good pics. I am thinking of getting a shoulder strap mount for the camera so I can just snap a pic while moving, but I have not worked that out yet. If I do, I will blog on how I did it.
This is along the trail that parallels O’Neill / Live Oak Canyon road. Some interesting history there, albeit not that old.
This is how bad asses roll in the OC. A professionally printed menacing statement (featuring an emoji) on a customized, clean, late model, low mileage Ford Focus
Speaking of badasses in the OC, Cooks Corner is the cross road for all things on two wheels. There was a couple groups of cyclists as well, but they are always vastly outnumbered by the motorcyclists.
The big feature of the ride was the climb up Santiago Truck Trail, STT. It starts with a short, very steep climb up paved Modjeska Grade Road. Actually the climbing starts at Cook’s Corner. I have been riding lately to keep my heart rate down in the aerobic range based on some training methods I have been reading about. That is supposed to help you burn more fat and train your body to put out more power at lower heart rates. But it takes time and I have not been doing it for long so I cannot speak to how well that training works. But the climb up STT threw that out the window, there was no way to keep a reduced heart rate on such a long steep climb.
The 29 plus did a great job as always, but it met its match an then some on the Luge. I usually do not miss the suspension much on my rigid steed due to the tire width and wheel diameter. But the steepness, length and frequent large drops on the Luge were just too punishing without suspension. And there was definitely room for improvement in my riding technique. One of the things I like about riding a rigid bike is helps you develop your riding skills. Choosing the right line, proper braking, good leaning, etc. are much more important when you lose the squish.
My initial plan was to return by the canyon all the way to my parking spot, which would have meant staying on the dirt. But as I descended the canyon my energy was getting seriously tapped out. If this were a big organized century I would have stopped to recover and pushed through it. One of the things the canyon offers is frequent “bail out” options. I was happy with the ride and how I had connected existing routes to make a new bigger one. So I climbed out of the canyon and finished up on pavement on Antonio Parkway, stopping to rest only briefly for my final food break.
I have yet to do justice to my commute in a blog, which I promised in a previous post. I hope to get some good pics of that as well soon.