Coastal bliss on a bike…

Locals only. That sums up the vibe on Highway 101 today in San Diegoland.

From Del Mar to Carlsbad, the coastline was pretty quiet (save a few Harleys). Workers in Encinitas installed a grandstand for tomorrow’s Holiday Parade. Will Santa be wearing board shorts and carry a Hansen longboard? Hope it’s not too warm if he’s plans to pull on full red suit and white beard.

Training data: Got 60 in with smallish 2,500 feet of rollers. Would have made it to San Clemente and back. But while I was reducing my aerobic capacity to that of a gnat these past few weeks it seems someone moved San Clemente 20 or so miles farther north. Need better legs. Lungs. Hands. Shoulders. Snacks. Go Juice. 

Before heading out, configured my bride’s new iPod Touch 8GB, engraved and loaded with great stuff, including new John Legend. Quality counts.  Tomorrow: tree, lights, candy canes and Nate King Cole. The dogs will be meserized, the girls will get cozy.

Hope things are great where you are.

From the bluff at Del Mar's Seagrove Park checking the surf

From the bluff at Del Mar's Seagrove Park checking the surf

 

Hot air balloons over Carmel Valley coming in for landing

Hot air balloons over Carmel Valley coming in for landing

Climbing for fun…

Thanksgiving doesn’t come without a price.

7% grades feel like 10% both ways. Slower up. Faster down. 

But, hey, when it’s this nice outside, I almost feel like firing up another pot of mashed potatoes to keep a nice winter coat going.

Well, maybe not.

Here are two windows into a December San Diego afternoon, climbing to Ramona, California, then descending. This is the same route (Scripps Poway Parkway to Highway 67) where Santa Ana winds pushed me over 50 mph a few weeks ago. Today, just 70ish and slight breeze.

Apologies for the photo quality. Taken with 2MP iPhone camera. 

Tomorrow, it’s dawn patrol to San Clemente and back. The route is among  the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the state. Bonus: Camp Pendleton, where you might see a few Marines, tanks and helicopters.

 

At the base of the climb. Nice wide roadway with bike lane

At the base of the climb. Nice wide roadway with bike lane

 

And down the hill we go. Sign says watch brakes

And down the hill we go. Pacific Ocean off in distance, sun dipping

Gray, gray, gray piano

Step outside, skies turn dark. Thankfully no rain. Knee warmers this time. No idea of mileage. Rode Specialized Roubaix sans computer. Casual pi-an-o tempo. Need to make a decision soon about Climb to Kaiser. Base miles on weekends need must go up to be ready for June (no firm date set yet). Just over 150 the weekend before last, but I’m nowhere close to decent riding form. Two pictures with BlackBerry.

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Bike path heading west toward Del Mar. Pi-an-o.

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Sunset looking southwest toward Golden Triangle.

Amazing airborne images of San Diego

Most late afternoons we can see the hot air balloons in the sky to the west toward the ocean. Here’s a link to a very strong shooter who has posted some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen of San Diego from the air. The sunsets are spectacular. The bar has been set high. Bravo! I wanted to post one image (no commercial use here) just so you can see the colors against black background.

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photo: ms4jah on flickr