March 7th Solana Beach 400k

This route makes extensive use of bike paths and provides the rider with some of the best riding Southern California has available. It is truly a cultural experience where you can observe the variations in the beach communities from Ventura to Solana Beach. You will pass by the Bel Air Bay Club as well as the gritty areas of San Pedro, one of the largest ports in the world, and one of a kind Venice Beach. For those of you not getting enough exercise on this ride, you can stop off at Muscle Beach and check if Arnold is pumping iron in disguise. You might even rub elbows with someone famous at the control in Malibu. Who knows…

This is a point to point route. The route starts at the Simi Valley Train Station and finishes at a hotel as close as possible to the Solana Beach Train Station. The Pacific SurfLiner has spots for six (6) bikes that must be reserved in advance. So some might take the train to Simi for the start and others might take the train back from the finish. Others might want to drive to Solana Beach on Friday and drop your car at the parking lot at the train station and then take the train to the start. That way you can finish the ride, sleep in the hotel, and then drive home. You can check the Amtrak website for information regarding taking bicycles on the train as well as timetables, etc. Metrolink is available on Friday but does not run on the weekends in Ventura County.

While you may look at the route profile, noticing the 7,590 feet of climbing and 8,510 feet of descent, and anticipate a personal best time for a 400k – put that out of your mind. Some of the bike paths have barriers (I can only guess to keep bikes from actually using the paths??) that will cause some tandem/recumbent/velo riders to dismount and carry their bikes over/through them and others will have sections so full of beach going walkers you will be forced to get off your bike and walk too. You might also have to avoid people juggling flaming chainsaws or something equally ridiculous. Oh, did I mention that in some sections the bike paths have a speed limit enforced by bicycle riding cops (with flashing red lights and the whole bit…) that will give you a ticket for exceeding the speed limit? These are real tickets that will cost you real money. Represent your fellow Randonneurs well by following the law and obeying the speed limits.

On March7 Sunrise will be at 06:18 and Sunset at 17:58. Front & rear lights, reflective leg bands & reflective vests are required for all riders. Please check out the RUSA rules on reflective gear.

March 8 is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. The Ride Clock will remain on Pacific Standard Time until the end of the event.

Assume it will be quite cool in the early morning and at night. Fog is always a potential so bring gloves, arm warmers and a jacket or be prepared to be cold and damp!

Route finding will be a challenge with all the bike paths that are not necessarily well marked. I strongly encourage you to review the route in advance on Ride with GPS in the Satellite view to help you familiarize yourself with the route. Pay particular attention to the sections from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach with special attention to where you exit the path when nearing the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The other area to study is where you will be traveling through Long Beach / Shoreline Village. Many of you will be going through here in the dark. Getting lost here will waste a lot of time and getting on the adjoining roads is not an option due to the high traffic, narrow roads and belligerent drivers. Do your homework and be safe.

Food & drinks: Coffee and donuts at the start and a mix of microwaveable or whatever we can make/keep in a hotel room at finish. We will try and feed you well but we can’t bring the Pizza Oven to the Holiday Inn Express, Solana Beach where we will finish.

Start Location: Simi Valley Amtrak/Metrolink Station, 5050 Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Finish Location:  Holiday Inn Express, 621 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA (888.897.0084)

To register for this event please complete the registration form and waiver and make sure to add yourself to the registered rider list so we can make sure to have food/drinks for everyone. Bring your completed registration form and a check made out to Channel Islands Bicycle Club or cash for the appropriate fee so we can get you on your way quickly.

SAG / Support: This is a typical Randonneur event where you are required to be self-sufficient. However, SAG will be available on call to those who have a cell phone. Given the length of the course it may be some time before we can get to you, so be prepared with sufficient warm clothing/emergency blankets/food/water, etc. so you are comfortable and safe until we can reach you. As always in an emergency call 911.

Ride Organizer: Greg Jones (gsjco@pacbell.net)

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