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I’ve been camping.

Sunday, we got up pack the car and headed to church! Then we headed to Ventura for a couple of days camping at McGrath State Beach. I had never been there, but I recommend it. It is not too far, has decent restrooms and showers, campgrounds with enough separation to provide a little privacy and a bit too long of a walk to actually get to the beach. It is on Harbor Blvd between Oxnard and Ventura on the coastal bike route, so you can ride in either direction as well.

My wife and daughter went with me, as well as Christian (HDR web guy) and a retired couple – with a huge motorhome – Larry and Lindy.  On Sunday, after setting up camp, Christian and I headed off for my tour de block miles. We rode south east to Channel Islands Harbor and back – about 12 miles. On Monday Cheryl, Christian and I started with a long walk to and on the beach – 2 miles.  Later, Cheryl and I donned the tandem and cruised every twist and turn of the campground – about 2.5 miles.  After lunch all 5 of us got on our bikes and headed towards Ventura.  Now Larry and Lindy are not athletic. So, I knew we would all be going at a very leisurely pace. They did pretty well for a few miles, but then the road got narrow and crazy…. We had to stop and wait a few times. Finally I spotted a bike path on the beach itself and we got on it. When we reached the Ventura pier – almost 5 miles from camp. Larry and Lindy decided to take a break and await our return. I was hoping to ride all the way to a campground north of Ventura called Emma Woods, but I did not know exactly how far it was. At the north end of Ventura the path turned inland along a river. We crossed over some railroad tracks. Then disaster struck. Annie was riding my Schwinn and I had an extra tube in its box strapped on the back. The tube came out of the box and got caught in the rear derailleur. Fortunately, I had packed some tools and I had Christian! Christian took the derailleur apart to extricate the tube and then put it back together. One of the derailleur wheels was not whole, but the bike seemed to work anyway.  Cheryl decided that we had now gone far enough so we turned around.

Larry and Lindy met us. They had continued away from camp rather than waiting for our return. As we continued back to camp we discovered that the beach bike path and residential bike routes would take us within a mile of the camp. The riding was much nicer. Breaks, however became much more frequent as Lindy ran out of steam. Finally, the told us to go ahead without them. At this point we were on a very slight incline, so I asked her if she knew how to use her gears. She said no, so I got off to show her. It was then I discovered that her rear derailleur did not work! Now wonder she was tired! The ride would have been far for her in the first place but to have to fight a head wind and occasional hills in high gear must have trashed her quads! Oh well, all we had to do at this point was that last mile, I convinced her that it really was only that far and she hung in there to the finish!

Later, Cheryl, Christian and I added another pretty good walk!  So, no running on Sunday or Monday. But we got in some nice walks and a couple of rides!

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July 2010


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