Matthew O’Neill Memorial ride

This event was held to honor our friend and fellow cyclist Matthew, whose life was ended far too early in October of this year while on a ride. A gathering of friends and acquaintances turned out to ride one of Matt’s favorite local rides, in his honor. Local news article on the tragedy here.

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Over 20 riders showed for this Sunday event along with several of Matt’s family members. With the spectacular weather forecast it is surprising that there weren’t more. Perhaps a competing local event can be blamed for stealing a few riders.

Riding with the "A" group, outbound.

Riding with the “A” group, outbound.

After we started I found myself riding with the lead group, not my usual position. But, I was feeling good and would ride with them as long as I could. The group ride lasted for about 25 miles until we turned near Point Mugu where soon after a cross-wind blew our group apart.

An early control at Somis Market. Can you say Burritos?

An early control at Somis Market. Can you say Burritos?

The lead group came back together at the Somis Market control, but just before we left the next bunch of riders came in, including the Twitchells, the Klines and several others. Its always good to see old friends on a ride!

Headed to Santa Barbara on old PCH.

Headed to Santa Barbara on old PCH.

After Somis Market the route passed back by the start/finish location where I took the opportunity offload some clothing and add some food. We then passed thru Old Town Ventura before heading out along the coast on the old highway. Coming into Carpinteria I spotted a hot dog stand that I stop at occasionally, the Surf Dog. It is conveniently located and much better than gas station twirly dogs.

Just after the turnaround at Lazy Acres Market. Hi Terry!

Just after the turnaround at Lazy Acres Market. Hi Terry!

The far end of the ride took us to the control at Lazy Acres Market in Santa Barbara. It’s kind of an over priced trendy mini-market but they had good chicken soup! A cup of soup, an energy drink and an apple, $10. We rode Cabrillo Blvd along the beach thru Santa Barbara each way.

Cruising the new bike path alongside US 101. Awesome

Cruising the new bike path alongside US 101. Awesome

The route back to Ventura had two main highlights, the new bike path alongside 101 from Carpinteria, and a tailwind! I appreciated both and the return trip was most enjoyable. I arrived back at the start/finish after about 9 and a half hours of fun in the sun. Temps for much of the day were in the low 70’s with some thin high clouds. All in all it was a fabulous winter day for a ride!

Thanks to Linda and Larry Bott for hosting this event at their home. Your hospitality, your support for the sport and also you beer is appreciated!

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