Search This Blog

Monday, August 1, 2011

Keeping it fresh

I am trying to keep the miles fresh on the bike. Although we live in a great place to cycle with many routes and roads to choose from, it can get a little redundant at times.
That is,if you let it. I don't want to be that guy that does the same miles and loops, week after week,month after month. 
Dur to the coastal wind directions it is usually best to head South first which usually ends up heading East before turning back. This usually gives you some type of tailwind for the ride home and hopefully some reprieve to your body.
For the last 4 weeks I have found myself heading more North first venturing on some roads I had not ridden in many years or in some cases not at all. 
I have been hitting up a popular walkers/runners spot in Signal Hill via Long Beach called Hilltop park. It is not a long climb but epic steep. It is more of a dragons back, in a sense that when you think you have made it to the top there is a 15 yard leveling section and then you go up again. It tends to continue veering to the right and or left depending on which side you are coming up. It never really goes into switchbacks but it also never gives much of a rest until you hit the top.
This was a couple of shots I took while pedaling.
You get a pretty good view of the city below.

Ultimately there is a park at the top.
From here you swing right and head back down to street level again. I have no idea of the exact climb %, but if I was to make a good educated guess I would say it peeks at 15+ %. Granted that is not for long, but it is enough to get you out of the saddle and stand. Twice this ride while sitting, I pulled my front wheel off the ground into a momentary wheelie. Will just call it steep.
From here I headed further North to the foothills of Palos Verdes. There is some epic climbs for distance in these hills/mountains as well. I looped at the base and headed back though. PV will be saved for a weekend very soon, more time would be needed.
Making my way back down to the coast to head south again was a challenge due to commuting through a heavily trafficked port of Long Beach/San Pedro. But it was cool to see new scenes and views. I snapped a shot in Long Beach of the old and the new together.
In all it wasn't really a long ride, falling under 46 miles. But with the climbing involved it was super effective. With July over we are winding down the bike racing season pretty much this month. I didn't have a huge volume July with just under 500 miles and only racing 3 times. And although I felt pretty strong for most of the month I only yielded o.k. results with a 4th,6th and my 9th place post vacation race. 
August should see 6 races in total if I can stay healthy and real life doesn't get in the way too much.   

Lastly, I got to watch my son receive his yellow belt in Pa Kau Karate in less than 6 weeks he joined, embraced and trained to the point of them wanting to test him. At only 4'-6" he can front kick to my chin without grimace or hesitation. I know, I know proud father, blah, blah blah ! But I am amazed at his progression. Although I look like a ragged 45 year old beach bum, this was the best picture I had.
Train hard,train smart, be active.


  1. One of these days. I look forward to September 12th, when I can do whatever I want for 2-3 months. How do you ride up to Signal Hill?

  2. Awesome ride and congrats to your son! I too have been changing up my routes lately. Nothing as scenic or challenging as what you have there but I like it. I relate exploring new roads to riding like I did when I was a kid. Just head out of the garage and ride ..... somewhere, anywhere.

  3. P - many ways to go. I chose westminster/2nd to Studebaker, then Anahiem blvd via backside of LBSU to some street I can't remember the name of. At this point I just see the hill looming off in the distance and head for it. You do have to choose a little cautiously though. That can be some seedy surrounding neighborhoods.

    TRI4- it just becomes a time issue, of not being able to venture off too far. Trying to keep all the rides around 2-4 hours max.

  4. great header pic and fantastic post pics
    that climb sounds awesome

    WTG on the yellow belt high five that!


  5. Heck yeah, proud father. You should be. :)

  6. Love. The. Last. Photo.


  7. Looks like some great riding! :)

    Congrats to the son... he kicks butt! :)