Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Mad Dogs and Englishmen go to the beach

Filed under: — stan @ 8:07 pm

Route map

Noel Coward said “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun“. and I guess that includes me now, too. Today we all went to Orange County for the day. Cathy was going out for her birthday lunch with her sister. Lucinda was going to spend the afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa. So I brought my bike along to go for a ride. I figured it was bound to be cooler there, near the coast.

When we got there, it was in fact cooler. It was only about 100, rather than the 105 or so in Pasadena. Yup, that helped a lot. But my plan was to ride down to the beach at Dana Point. I figured it would probably be cooler there.

The first part of the ride felt like standing in front of a 15,000,000-watt blow dryer. The heat was searing my eyeballs. I stopped off for a picture at the Federal Building in Laguna Niguel, aka “The Ziggurat”. I went to a bike race there back in 1978. I watched, but didn’t ride, since there was no race for my category that day. But I remembered the building, so I wanted to see it again.

As I got closer to the beach, I could feel a difference as I crested each hill. It got, well, less hot. But it was still hot when I got close enough to see the ocean. It wasn’t until I got on Pacific Coast Highway that it actually started to feel cool.

I stopped at the park by the beach to refill my water bottle. I rode along the beach for a few miles. It was still hot by beach standards, but it felt good. I saw the southbound Amtrak Surfliner go by right before I turned around to head back.

When I turned to head home, I realized that I’d been having a tail wind all the way down there, but it wasn’t bad. It was a cool headwind, so it felt good. I headed back up into Dana Point, stopped at a liquor store to buy a bottle of orange juice, and then I turned north and headed up the hill away from the beach.

It got hot again as soon as I was out of sight of the beach. Then I got a flat. I was alone, so I had to fix the tire and take the picture myself.

The rest of the ride back was pretty uneventful. South Orange County is in many ways a bicycle paradise. Most of the major roads have bike lanes, and the drivers are generally pretty well-mannered. But Orange County is also Master-Planned and Sanitized for Your Protection. This is the part that I don’t care for. But there are aspects of it that are funny. Costco has its own traffic light and street sign.

By the time I got up to Irvine, I was out of water and looking for somewhere to get something more to drink. Then I noticed my bike making a weird noise. I looked and saw that I’d lost one of my front brake pads. I took this as a sign that it was time to stop. So I turned and headed straight for home. I found another liquor store and bought a quart-bottle of Gatorade and chugged it. Then I finished the ride.

It was a fun time, even with the seared eyeballs.

40 miles.

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