Under-trained, over-weight and ill prepared. It should be a good day for a 200!

Photo op on the descent of Couser Canyon

Photo op on the descent of Couser Canyon

January is the month of early season rides and getting back into shape for the year of cycling to come. This is the month that I usually go to Arizona or California to ride, but this year I chose California and the Rainbow 200 km brevet in San Diego. I did this ride in 2011 and remembered enjoying it very much so I thought it deserved another go. Once again, I would not be disappointed with the event.

What I love about this region is the great turnout they always have for early season events! I counted over 60 riders departing on the ride but there were only 50 or so registered riders showing up in the results. Maybe there were a few hangers-on tagging along with their buddies. This is a hard ride to do a fast time on for two reasons; first it is pretty hilly with about 6000 plus feet of climbing in the route. It is mostly rollers with no really big climbs but they do keep coming, with ome steep section thrown in for good measure. Secondly, this route travels through the San Diego suburbs, which feature a lot of traffic lights. I didn’t even try to count but it was probably in the hundreds! Hey, welcome to southern California.

1991 Sancineto, the "Holy Grail" bike.

1991 Sancineto, the “Holy Grail” bike.

For this ride, I brought out one of my favorite rides, my Sancineto road bike. This bike probably fits me better than almost any bike I own (which is a considerable number). It is very light, lively and is a great ride. With Campy 2 x 9 drive and a VO compact crank-set, it can climb just about anything. The Brooks saddle and 25c tires give it a great ride and the Campy brakes are scary good! I love this bike for a fair weather 200 km distance. It’s only shortcoming is the lack of places to stow extra gear, it is simply not a good porteur!

Overall, it was a good day on the bike, the weather reached the upper 80’s, winds were light, company was good and SD randos does a great job of supporting their events. The holiday weekend probably did add some extra traffic during the event but hey, it was a great day to be out on the bike in SoCal! I can’t fault others for wanting to be out there as well.

Riding with Jack and Kathy on the Coast.

Riding with Jack and Kathy on the Coast.

I rode with the Twitchell’s and their tandem for much of the day and finished the ride with them. We rode the last 40 miles down the coast together in the setting sun. We did finish the ride in the daylight, but just. Once the sun sets on the coast it can get dark very fast! Our ride time was 10 hours, 11 minutes, which is just a couple of minutes longer than the last time I rode this. If nothing else, I am consistent!

I enjoy riding here for another reason though, I always see people that I have ridden with before! Whether it is riders on the event or people staffing the controls, it is great to see old friends again! Thanks SD Randos for putting on another great event!