Left to right, Joe, Lonnie, Roland, ?, ?, Bob, ?

Our good group of riders for much of the day at this years Grand Tour, on June 23, 2018.

My good friend Joe and I at the start of this years 60th annual Grand Tour Double Century. Joe has ridden with me for about half of my double centuries, this one being my 50th! The start venue has changed for this year which is likely a sign of the times as traffic, congestion and uncooperative local agencies continue to push cycling events out of their jurisdictions.

Much of this years route remains the same from previous years events but adapted for a new start location in Port Hueneme. The ride started with a 40 mile loop around the Oxnard plain before returning to the first rest stop at the start/finish location.

Rest stop #1 in Port Hueneme.

Heading away from the coast and into the sunshine we had a couple more rest stops on our way to lunch. Even though we had some stronger riders in the group we kept our pace moderate to keep the group together.

Rest Stop #2 at Peach Hill Park in Moorpark

The winds had been light all morning but started to pick up at mid-day. Fortunately it was an onshore breeze as we turned inland heading to the lunch stop in Ojai. It also started to heat up from the high 60’s on the coast to mid 80’s inland.

Kristina and Joe at the lunch stop in Ojai, mile 115.

As we left our lunch stop and headed back towards the coast, our friendly tailwinds became nuisance headwinds. With our group of riders still intact we were able to overcome the burden without too much difficulty.

The rest stop at Rincon, mile 140.

Once we were back at the coast we headed west to our next stop at Rincon Beach Park. This beach is known for it’s world class surfing but we would have to take a pass on the waves this time.

After Rincon we headed east along the coast towards the finish in Port Hueneme. In Ventura we lost about half of our group of riders who wanted an additional food stop, but the rest of us were like horses headed to the barn and we just kept going. There was one more stop and some additional miles to do before we arrived at the finish a little before 8 pm. We arrived in the daylight with an overall time of 14 hrs and 38 minutes. Thanks Joe for your support on helping me get this 50th California Triple Crown Double Century under my belt!