Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunset Beach Safari 228K Permanent

It's February and that means another brevet! Problem is, it's the Corona 300K and with all the time off I had over the fall, I wasn't too confident in riding that distance along with the 8000' or so of climbing. One of my goals last year was to work on the RUSA R-12 award. Since I had a 3 month gap, I needed to start over. I decided to ride the Sunset Beach Safari Permanent which starts in La Costa, ends up in Sunset Beach then returns. A permanent is like a brevet but can be ridden at anytime of the year with permission of the route owner.

I got started around 7 AM departing La Costa.

View of a lagoon, can't remember exactly where I was but somewhere on Coast Highway. Coast Highway takes me through Carlsbad and Oceanside. Once through Oceanside, there's an option to ride through Camp Pendleton or take the 5 freeway.

I decided to take the freeway!

Look mom! I'm finally playing on the freeway!

Riding the freeway isn't all that bad. It's very noisy and the shoulder is littered with all kinds of junk just wanting to puncture my tires. What's cool is semi surfing. If there's enough large trucks spaced just right and I have the Surly at just the right speed, I can use the bow wave of the truck to push up the speed!

One requirement of riding the 5 is that riders have to exit the freeway into the rest area. This is for safety as the on-ramp from the rest area is blind looking into the shoulder. It's not a bad thing to exit, good place to top off my bottles.

Surly taking a break.

After departing the rest area, it's about 4 miles until the Las Pulgas exit. Bikes must exit here.

Then quickly get on Old Highway 101 northbound. It's nice to be off the freeway. There are plenty of other riders out too, just not in this photo.

Pretty soon I'm riding past the San Onofre Nuclear Powerplant. It appears to be leaking something and I can feel a warm sensation. Oh well, I'm sure it's nothing...

Very nice paved road passing the plant.

Heading into San Clemente, then making my way north towards Dana Pt.

Dana Point State Beach
Uphill into Laguna Niguel. Laguna Beach is always jammed with traffic and this ride was no exception. Made a quick water stop at a local grocery store then started threading my way through Laguna Beach. Once north of Laguna Beach the road opens up nicely with a set of rollers but wide bike lanes.

Before I know it, I'm just a few miles south of Newport Beach. From here on to Sunset Beach, it's all a headwind! Plenty of traffic from time to time but not bad.

I happened upon this sports car at the Newport Beach Ferrari dealership. Yes, it's a Ferrari. The only thing I could read on the sticker was the price: $339,000. I didn't see any factory rebates or trade in allowance. It did say "DO NOT TOUCH" in very big letters across the top of the sticker. I didn't note what model it was so I emailed the dealership. No response so far.
Entering Huntington Beach

Making my way through Huntington Beach.

For some reason riding from Huntington Beach to Sunset Beach takes a long time. After 5 hours of riding, I arrive at my turn-around point, 7-11 16919 Pacific Coast Highway. I didn't stay very long, watered up and had some chocolate milk.

Southbound beach shot.

Backside of Laguna Beach -- getting ready for more traffic.

The southbound trip was uneventful through Dana Point & San Clemente. By this time of the evening, there are fewer riders out as well. Making my way down Old 101, I'm back on the 5 S. Problem this time was a CHP had someone pulled over. They were blocking the entire shoulder and I had no chance of "merging" into the slow lane of the freeway was just not an option. I was ready just to come to a stop and wait it out. As I approached, the car moved down off the shoulder, I rode past the officer, and he promptly stopped behind the car. I just kept riding on.

Once back in north Oceanside, I had to stop again for some food. I was really starting to tank and I still had 13 miles to go, but it seemed much further than that. Downed a cinnamon bun and I was off. Riding near the Oceanside Pier, the sun was beginning to set.

It's tough living out here...

While stopped, I donned my night riding gear. I was in very familiar territory but there was going to be some traffic as the night evolved. I had about an hour left of riding. I ride down Coast Highway for about 7 miles and make the left turn on La Costa Avenue. The temperature was dropping rapidly but I didn't have far to ride to the randovan. Soon enough, I was done!

This was my first, longest, and completed permanent! Here are the stats:

Miles: 141
Overall Time: 11:06
Ride Time: 9:06
Average Speed: 15.5 MPH
Average Temp: 72 degrees
Calories burned: ~7000
Number of Ferraris: 4 (not including the dealership)
Number of Lamborghinis: 2
Number of 1963 Jensen Healys: 1
Number of Mercedes: Who cares.
Number of Audis: See Mercedes
Number of BMWs: See Audis
Number of Surlys: 1

Planning my next permanent on March 5th. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Yes, the SurlyRando is now on Facebook! You have to send me a friend request, my Facebook account is all private.

No, this blog will not be shut down. It'll still be used for regular ride reports you've loved. I'm going to use Facebook for real-time ride updates including photos as I'm out on a brevet, permanent, or training ride. I'll continue on with twitter, but it's limited, and I think Facebook updates provides a better reader experience during a ride, with the blog going into greater depth post ride.