Click here to watch a short video of today's ride.
At 53 years old, the LA Wheelmens' Grand Tour is the "Grand Daddy" of all Double Centuries. They offer five different routes; the Double Metric Century, the Lowland Double, the Highland Double, the Triple Century and the Quadruple Century.
The Lowland covers 200 miles with 5200' of elevation gain. Regardless of the minimal amount of climbing, you would still need to cover the distance; 200 miles is still 200 miles. There is a very generous time limit of 24 hours with six checkpoints (CP).
The start/finish takes place at the Webster School in Malibu. The route takes us north on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to Port Hueneme and Oxnard, inland to Camarillo and Moorpark, back towards the coast at San Buenventura (Ventura), inland again to Casitas Springs, Oak View and Ojai, then back to the coast at Rincon Point before heading south along PCH back to Malibu. We ride through Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
We check out from the school at 5:15 AM, temp is 59F. We head out to Civic Center Dr and Malibu Canyon Rd to PCH. We stay on PCH for the next 25.7 miles; there are several climbs out to Central Malibu before reaching the flats along the coast. The coastal fog is keeping the temps at a low and provides us with a bit of mist. I like to take in that very distinctive "salt in the air" smell of the ocean. It really wakes you up!
At 6:15 AM, there are already a lot of surfers taking their spots along the beach and in the water. We also ride with Steve Sawyer, a SoCal GPC member whom we've met before on a previous Grand Tour.
We get back on Tierra Rejada to Los Angeles Ave and Somis Rd. Once again, the terrain is flat with more agricultural land. Watch out for the dangerous set of diagonal RR tracks on Los Angeles; dangerous only because you need to take the proper line to cross and at the same time watch for the onslaught of traffic coming from behind you.
We continue on Foothill Rd to Poli, Cedar and Kellogg St. The warmth of the sun is short lived, it's overcast and cool again as we head near the coast. We ride through a very cute neighborhood of well kept homes with manicured lawns and gardens.
We drop down to Ventura Ave and continue for the next 4.8 miles out of town through an industrial area. There are oil fields, orchards, a Pepsi plant, a steel plant and nurseries. The terrain here is flat. The sun is back!
We merge into Hwy 33 and continue on for the next 2.2 miles. Be cautious of the high amount of traffic here! The climb up Hwy 33 takes us to Creek Rd.
We stay on Creek Rd for the next 5.5 miles. It's great to finally get on a quiet road with minimal traffic. The terrain here is flat with a slight downhill.
We make our way out of town through a series of quick turns on Grand Ave, Signal St, Aliso St to Bristol Rd. We continue on Palomar Rd to Chico and Cuyama Rds and cross Hwy 33 to El Roblar Rd. We then take La Luna to Hwy 150 and cross over the bridge to Burnham Rd.
We're now back on Ventura Ave heading south. We go through town on Stanley Ave, Olive St and Main St. We are heading for the bike path through Emma Wood State Beach.
We hop on the bike path and head north. We get some great ocean views.
At the end of the bike path, we continue on Old Highway for the next flat 7.6 miles. After passing under the freeway, we follow a path that leads us onto the entrance to Hwy 101. We head north on Hwy 101 for the next 3.4 miles and take the Ojai/Lake Casistas exit.
We reach CP#5 at Rincon Point at 4:12 PM, mile 138. This rest stop is known for having Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I opt to have another standard favorite; a chicken cup o' noodles.
We take the ramp back onto Hwy 101 and head south for the next 5.1 miles. Traffic is fast moving and we have to be on high alert. It's alarming to see cyclists riding 3 abreast on this stretch of road.
We exit Hwy 101 at the Seacliff exit and return along the Old Highway. The smell of the salty ocean air is refreshing and the sounds of the waves crashing against the shoreline is quite the experience! We hop back on the bike path and make our way through Ventura.
We take South Garden St to Thompson and Figuero St. We stay on Harbor Blvd for 8.7 miles and cross over the Channel Bridge to Channel Island Blvd. We continue on Ventura Rd to Park Ave. We couldn't make the turn on Park Rd due to the high volume of traffic so we had to go around the block and cut through a park to reach the last check point.
It's now only 35 miles back to the finish. We return via Naval Air Rd and Hueneme Rd back to Las Posas Rd. We take the ramp back onto PCH and savor the tailwinds for the next 25.7 miles. The ocean views are spectacular! The final run along the coast is just fabulous!
There are several climbs back on PCH into Malibu. The last little climb takes us to our turn at Malibu Canyon Rd. We manage to finish before dark! We arrive at the Webster School at 8:20 PM.
Elevation: 5418 feet
Avg Speed: 16.2 mph
Saddle Time: 12:35
Total Time : 15:05
Avg Climb: 2%
Max Climb: 10%