If you ever want to do a flat 64 mile bike ride… might I recommend the Tour of Long Beach. The course starts by the harbor and heads inland, this of course is a very gradual uphill, but not that it was noticeable. It made a 15 mile clockwise loop making its way to El Dorado Park. We rode two laps around the park – not sure why – then back to the beach on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail. At the beach we simply hopped on PCH – Pacific Coast Highway and rode southeast through Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and part of Newport Beach. At Jamboree road we made a loop back to PCH and began the ride back to the start. The return trip did not go inland, it just took PCH back to Long Beach.
I entered this ride with Clay as a training ride for the Sierra to the Sea ride coming up next month- 420 miles in 7 days – Lake Tahoe to San Francisco. Having very little riding in of late I was expecting it to be a long day… It wasn’t…
The weather was cloudy, but we had no rain. There was a SSE wind of 7-8 mph. It was most noticeable on the San Gabriel River. But I drafted Clay, and much of the time Clay was able to draft others. On PCH heading south, the wind was still noticeable, but not quite as bad. Thankfully, I had Clay. He held pace and I drafted close behind him. In this section the riders seemed to be more spread out and there was not much chance for larger group work.
About 3 miles from the turn around we stopped at a support station and refilled water bottles and snacked. Afterwards a larger group gathered and Clay took off and made his way to the front…. I managed to follow.
Once we got turned toward the north, the riding was nice… That headwind became a tail wind. A large group of 20 or so riders was kept together by drafting and red lights. Clay led some, I even led a couple of times… As we got closer and closer to the finish, it seemed the effort and pace increased… Eventually the pack was broken up… but it was fun while it lasted.
In total, the ride was 64.3 miles – the 4th longest ride I have ever done on my road bike… I have actually gone longest on the Elliptigo… The total elevation gain was only 587 feet. My average moving speed was 17.2 mph…. This is a PR for fastest average speed on a long road bike ride!