Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keepin It Interesting on the Bike

I have many, many miles ahead of me this year on the bike, and I'm determined to make the "B" in SBR my strength yet again (I have a little sumthin sumthin going on to help keep motivation levels high in that task - stay tuned). Right now is the time to make that happen. It can be tough though -- looking at your bike computer knowing what you're capable of and then... seeing reality. Patience, though. Being that it's so early into the season, we all probably get frustrated with riding skillzzz at one point (same goes for swim and run, as well). You just have to put your head down and put in the time. Build the base. Consistent riding is key, especially the long rides. What helps for those longer days is switching up the routine and not do the same old loops or out-and-backs (or even trainer). Personally, if we have the time, like on a Sunday, it's time for an adventure on the bike. This month it's been rides in Central California, San Diego.... maybe Mt. Baldy next?!

Wine country sunset.

Paso Robles
Over New Year's weekend, like last year, we took a trip up to Paso Robles for some training in a fresh environment, followed by a little vino and delicious food (fyi: there's a good selection of fresh / farm-to-plate / organic-style restaurants in the area). This year in Paso it was a million times colder than we remembered, though! Hell, "extreme" cold has been the case lately in SoCal in general - literally record lows in the 20s and low 30s. Ouch.

Benefits of training in wine country....Stock up
on treats for home that keep on giving!
Last year in Paso I will admit: I was fatigued beyond belief and had a bit of a "breakdown" with training that led me to take a couple days off completely. I do not like starting Day One of a new year with a day off especially in an area with great places to ride, but it was in my best interest. I say that, because this year, 2013, I was not going to let that happen!

And I didn't. This year our workouts in Paso were solid. Highlights included the 14.4-mile run on New Year's Eve to put me at just over1,000 miles of running for the year. (In a year that included 2 months of no running and a 70.3 focus, I was happy with that stat.)

Mile 40... duh duh duhhhh... Nasty Grade awaits!

The other highlight: On New Year's Day we took the short drive north to the Wildflower course and rode that bad boy. The ride was especially tough due to my lack of bike fitness and the cold, but I'd like to think that when I'm in shape and it's warmer out that the course actually is not that bad. There are more flat portions than I expected. It's just that last part that is the hardest, from Nasty Grade on. The hills seem a little relentless all the way back to transition. But nothing is "so insane;" the grades and lengths of climbs are comparable to stuff we get around here in SoCal.

More Paso pics at the end of the post!

San Diego
Typical as of late.
Our next bike adventure took place this past weekend, where we yet again braved The Coldest Winter in SoCal History, riding from Orange County to San Diego -- La Jolla specifically, actually the Whole Foods in La Jolla to be even more specific (lunch!!!!). I had to finish with a nice climb up Torrey Pines, right?!

Despite what you may think, it was not our goal just to ride to Whole Foods down therea. (In fact, after visiting the LJ one I can say for sure that I like my WF's in OC better, especially the Newport Beach one, sorry.) After WF we got back on the bikes (yes, I was frozen at that point after sitting around in wet, sweaty bike clothes and with the temps still being quite low) and we rode another 6-8 miles inland to Green Flash Brewery -- our true reason for riding down! I actually don't really drink that much beer, but I do enjoying sampling different kinds of beers. It's fun and interesting. Plus having a boyfriend who is, I guess you can say, a beer connoisseur, makes it more fun because I've learned about all the different kinds of beers and their tastes, etc. Long gone are the days of PBR and Bud Light at college parties ;)

Work hard, play hard. Green Flash Brewery.
From Green Flash we knew we would be hungry again so the next part of the plan was getting more food from Pizza Port Solana Beach, where we could also conveniently hop on the train and head back home while chowing down.... Perfect! Too bad the train schedule was messed up due to construction and we had to take a bus to Oceanside and then a train back. It was pretty fun, though, especially when we rushed to make it on the bus literally with 2 minutes before it departed -- living dangerously haha.

On the ride home we met another couple who had ridden their bikes down from LA. They were troopers, but I was not envious of their situation: John and I rode with backpacks that had a change of dry clothes, so by that time we were nice and cozy. The couple we met, however, was still in cycling gear and looked freezing. I also felt bad about having a couple delicious-smelling pizzas -- I'm sure they were hungry. We all got to chatting and they were both in awe of our well-thought-out plan for the day haha. We at least offered them pizza and beer... he took a beer.
His & hers Pizza Port for the ride home? No brainer!
And a brew, shhh...

Yup, so that's a little glimpse into what's been going on. No need to mention the rest of what's going on because it's been pretty routine (well, except for the fermenting project). Routine is good in my opinion because that means sh*t is getting done. But routine is not as glamorous as the fun, little adventures so I'll spare ya the details.

I guess the biggest point in writing this blog is to say that the "stats" of those adventure rides don't even compare with my best performances on the bike, but the fun I had and the memories I made in the process make them pretty epic rides and way worth the while.

Question: where has your bike taken you lately? And where do you plan on going in your training? Share with me!!!


More from Paso Robles:
One cold-ass mofo day on the bike. #wuss

All class in Paso.

Delicious meal from Artisan. Fraaashhh

Funky wineries with fun names. Fyi: Keep your glass from Cypher!

Nope, this ain't home!

Adventures in Thai food. Build-your-own spinach wraps. Hm.

Goats like to be on top.


  1. Most of my riding in local in Orange County but I like the idea of taking a little trip to go biking.