News and Ride Schedule
[Last Updated June 13th]
What Have We Here?
This is the current news and info webpage for an ongoing series of regularly scheduled rides set up by a very loosely structured group of recumbent cycling enthusiasts in the coastal area of Ventura County, California, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. This webpage is usually updated after each ride; in the narratives below, 'I' and 'me' refer to Wayne Leggett, part-time shepherd, cheerleader and web monkey for our group. If you are not familiar with VCRR, you can find basic info here:
If you have any questions or would like any other information beyond what is posted on this website, please send an email to one of the addresses at the bottom of that page.
4/20/13: This Saturday's ride from Ventura to Lake Casitas will likely be our last until the weather cools down again next Autumn. It was HOT – from about 2 miles inland until we were back almost to Foster Park – and the heat made its mark on our group. That photo of me (Wayne) lying flat on the cool shady concrete at our first pit stop was not posed, and things didn't improve until I'd cooled down a bit on the patio of the Marina Coffee Shop at the Lake. We had a pretty typical group at the start, but folks splintered away from the main bunch all along the way. It was good to feel that ocean breeze as we came zipping back down the hill.
CicLAvia, Sunday 4/21: On Sunday eight of us met at Penmar Park in Venice to become part of the 100,000 cyclists riding in this Spring's edition of CicLAvia. The city closed 15 miles of Venice Boulevard from downtown to the beach for this free event, and most of that huge crowd had about as much fun as we did, some almost surely more so. We ate downtown at a ridiculously small hole-in-the-wall serving (real) Mexican food, with no menus, no prices posted and no one who spoke English. Ordering a couple of corn tortillas with beans and rice for Kay proved to be virtually impossible, with the woman behind the counter looking blankly after each repetition of my (actually somewhat less than) rudimentary Spanish, responding with something that didn't sound even remotely similar to what I wanted. Fortunately if incongruously, Terry – who, with his ruddy complexion and golden hair, looks like he just stepped off a Viking raider galley – came up fluently spewing stuff like frijoles, arroz y tortillas, nicely accented at top-speed, and saved poor Kay from a meal that otherwise might well have been moldy cheese, charred goat and habanero peppers. Dawn is still feeling guilty because she suspects she was radically undercharged. The various YouTube videos of the guy riding a 12-foot-tall two-wheeler are well worth the search; try "ciclavia tall bike".
TARTAR3, 4/26-4/28/2013: This third round of the Tour of the American River for Trikes and Recumbents was entirely too similar to our initial outing. It was once again quite toasty for a mid-Spring weekend. It may have helped to have a light breeze blowing through the greenway, but there were no incidents of even semi-serious overheating as we put in our 30 to 45 mile days of riding. On Friday, Wayne Larson (aka Wayne2 or Redbent on BROL) led the early birds on a circuit of Folsom's bikepaths. On Saturday morning, almost three dozen of us rode from our mid-trail meeting point in Rancho Cordova down toward Old Town Sacramento. Some of us wimps shortened the tour by popping over the levee to have lunch at Costco. In Discovery Park Ann played good Samaritan for a woman injured in a bike crash, using her trike as a wheelchair to get her back to her car. She was rewarded by having a chaotic episode with a hard-to-repair flat on her way back to the Red Roof Inn. On Sunday, we had only about half as many riders, losing some to other demands on their time or knees that weren't quite up to another day on the trail. We rode up to Folsom again, with some folks slogging all the way up to Beal's Point, while the Pokey Patrol (with Wayne2 graciously acting as our shepherd) turned around at the Auburn-Folsom Highway bridge. On our way down the southeastern side of the river pedaling back to Gold River, Ann was again singled out for a minor catastrophe when her chain jammed between the crank arm and bottom bracket. I was able to free it only by removing her chainwheel protector, but we were soon back on the trail, and following Wayne on a neat semi-private trail to have lunch on Rubio's patio. The six-mile return from there was almost too quick, as we were already thinking about coming back this Autumn.
5/4/13: Sixteen VCRRians met for this mini-roadtrip to Goleta, and everyone was smiling before, during and after the ride. The Brothers Bee had a tight schedule, and they buzzed away from our somewhat more staid subset, which –a bit atypically – remained pretty much in touch for the whole ride. It was good to see Greg, WayneB and Diane again, maybe especially Wayne, since he guided us efficiently and error-free through the trail closures and revisions caused by new construction on the UCSB campus. Kumquats were ripe and abundant along the (secret) section of our route, and more than a few found their way into our bags and bellies. Lunch at the University Plaza's food court made for a pleasant pause in our pedaling, but all too soon we found ourselves reclimbing Modoc Road and the transition back up to La Cumbre Plaza. I think most folks agree that the only thing wrong with this ride was that it was simply too short; maybe the overabundance of pix from this weekend will help compensate.
5/18/13: As we get into late Spring here on the coast, the days most often begin shrouded in a cool, damp mist, which gives way to sunshine by early afternoon, usually accompanied by brisk winds off the cold Pacific. The worst days this time of year give us the worst of a chilly, soggy outward bound ride trying to see through fogged up eyewear, followed by a gusty return with everyone shedding clothes and reapplying sunscreen. This weekend was very different, in that the weather between Ventura and Seacliff was almsot ideal – no mist at all and only a light tailwind on our way back. Best of all, along the way, we popped into Bill's place at Faria Beach for one of our sort-of-potluck picnics, with most of us hanging out on a broad patio directly overlooking the broad sandy beach as we munched on sausages, salads and soda. Bill's special side patio, seemingly set up expressly for off-street bike and trike parking was a nice touch. There were about 25 of us, with the only new face being Bill's wife Gloria. Nice weather, no problems, no complaints, full tummies... it just doesn't get much better.
6/1/13: June gloom has arrived, pretty much by the book this weekend. In fact, however, the 'gloom' part of that is – at least as far as it applies to cycling, IMHO – a bit of a misnomer. It's really pretty nice to have this kind of cool overcast weather for most of the miles we rode, and we even got a little bit of sunshine before we stopped for lunch. Nineteen of us started from Seabridge, riding up the coast to where the Omer Rains Bikepath ends on a hill overlooking Emma Wood State Beach. Most of us flipped around there and rode back – except for Vince, who felt compelled to zip on up to Carpinteria. After a slight detour to Pirates for lunch, we wrapped up the day with a short cruise along the marina channel that parallels Wooley Road. No problems except for the flat tire Ken found after lunch, and that was quickly repaired. Well, actually... Dawn got a little lost on the return, but hey, what the heck? She's expendable. There's a short (and sloppy) video of the dip on Omer Rains Bikepath posted on the YouTube pages that WayneK set up for our group.
This is a brief listing of some of the upcoming cycling events that may be of interest to our group. Links are provided for more info where applicable.
For our Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride this weekend, June 15th, the plan is to meet in the parking lot of the Museum of Ventura County, near the mission in downtown Ventura (corner of Santa Clara and Junipero), at around 9 AM. The temperature in Ojai is supposed to be as cool as it ever is during the middle of June (high 70s), and this will probably be the last ride up the Ventura River trail for a few months. Kay and I will be out of town, but try to have some fun anyway...
Our favorite VCRR subset – the Santa Clarita Recuments and Tricycles, or SCRAT – almost always ride on the Second and Fourth Saturdays of each month, and they're always happy to welcome other cyclists to join them. The SCRAT guys meet now at about 8:30 AM, and usually ride away about 9:00. Their vast network of Class I trails is a great place to ride, especially during this cooler season of the year, and it's almost always FUN to ride with regulars Ken, JimA, Joe and sometimes Twain and/or Russ. Our (rarely seen lately but) much loved and admired Santa Claritan, Twain (AKA Wayne Two, the other Wayne) maintains a VCRR photo archive in his Flickr web album(s); to view Twain's pix, start at this URL. There is also a series of video clips now posted on YouTube, on 'TheVCRR' channel, at this URL, including a short clip from Omer Rains bikepath and Twain's shots from last week's SCRAT ride.
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FIRST SATURDAY GROUP RIDE IN JULY ARE EAGERLY SOLICITED! If you newbies or folks who haven't ridden with the group for a while need help or more information for getting to any of our rides, please email or phone me. Our home phone number – usually the best way to talk to us – is 805-981-0339. If we're not home you can also try my NEW(!) cell phone: 805-201-5107. If you have any other suggestions for rides, new topics or other contributions, please ping me. For convenience my email link is: