The Grand Tour

Another day, another Double ! Today was the Grand Tour organized by the Los Angeles Wheelmen. Caltech's crew: Christophe (fast and strong), Kerin (good climbing), Ofer (starting fast... ending slow) and Pierre (weak and slow).

After riding it last year as my first century, this time I chose to ride the double in its highland version (more climbing than the lowland). I didn't register in time, and didn't want to pay the 20$ late fees... so I didn't register at all and rode it brevet-style: since I hadn't paid, I didn't take any of the food or water supplied at the checkpoints, and bought everything along the route: a burger here, a bottle of soda there... actually some people were envious of my prosciutto sandwich. "No way I'm selling that to you", I explained.

With all those stops I completed the ride in 15 hours 40 min, and my computer recorded 11,000 ft of elevation gain on 198 miles. The ride in the mountains was pretty nice with a few tough climbs. The part along the Pacific Coast highway was quite bad with plenty of traffic.

The route sheet is detailled, this is nice
The basic route for the lowland riders
Cloudy morning on the Pacific Coast Highway
We reach Point Mugu Naval Air Base
First checkpoint in Port Hueneme
Cool to see Debbie on a bike. She rides a nice Rivendell.
Potrero road, things become nasty...
argh ! 13-14% grade for one mile here.
Second checkpoint in the Santa Monica mountains
I stop at Carl's Junior for food supplies
Nothing as good as fries on a long bike ride
Third checkpoint, Ofer is there !
Going down on Grimes Canyon road
I stop to take some oranges from the grove
Mile 102, Steckel Park. I am starving...
... so let's unpack the burger.
Hard to miss the top of the climb...
A bit later, Ojai.
Going along lake Casitas at mile 130
Today's flowers (and palm trees) for Chihiro
My secret energy supply: a prosciutto sandwich
Heading home at mile 140
On the right, Channel Island (national park)
In&Out !! No matter what, I HAVE to stop
The sun comes out as I reach Oxnard's port.
Again, Point Mugu Naval Air Base.
With Ofer, after 198 miles.