Ride Reports March 2006
New Year's Day Ride
by Joan Wicks
Five riders came out in the clear 45 degree weather for a pedaling start to the New
Year: Fred and Ann Abeles, Eric Rhodes, John Gorham and Joan Wicks. The ride headed
out Opossumtown Pike to Bethel Road via Ford Road. The first half of the ride was
smooth and uneventful. The group decided that 15-20 miles would be enough and headed
back via Opossumtown Pike.
View pictures from this ride in the Photo Gallery
As we neared Ford Road again, we made the day of a somewhat overweight black furry dog
that managed an escape from her presumably unactive existence. She clearly wasn’t in
shape for this kind of excitement because her pursuit was a bit, well, slow. Meanwhile
as she happily went in pursuit of us, her owner, in slippers, followed yelling "Molly!"
repeatedly. Molly got her big chance in catching us when we came to a complete stop as
an assist to her owner who was continuing in hot pursuit.
Knowing that we had made Molly’s New Year, we continued on our way, but not for long. Eric
flatted. Molly's teeth perhaps??? Not likely, but Molly would like that story. It was not
only Eric's first flat for the New Year, but the first one on the bike he was riding. With
4 people coaching and "helping", Eric got his flat changed in something less than record
time. Clearly he would have changed it much faster had he been alone. Likely as a result
of all the expert help he had received, Eric managed to break the valve (leading Fred to
philosophize that "No good deed goes unpunished"). With a broken valve, Eric decided to
head straight home from there since it was unclear how long that valve would hold, or
maybe his rush to get home was he didn't want to risk having another flat with so much
good advice to be had. The remainder of the ride went uneventfully and we ended with
about 17 miles. All in all a very pleasant start to the New Year!
The Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail
by Glenn Angus
I had the pleasure of riding my bicycle in California over the Christmas/New Year's holiday, as
I was visiting my brother on a long-awaited vacation trip out there. With the weather back east
an abomination to the cyclist [and my having been sick for nearly a month, hence, no riding], I
jumped at the chance to do some riding out there. So, at packing time, I threw in my helmet and
gloves, cycling shorts, and my SPD sandals with the rest of my warm weather clothing, hoping for
a ride once there, even if I had to rent a bicycle.
As the vacation progressed, it became evident that in order to achieve my 2005 distance goal of
beating last year's "highest ever miles in a year", I was running out of time, as I was still
36 miles short, and only two days left in the year. So, it was time to do the deed.
I had heard that the north-to-south rivers out there have been widened into flood control channels,
and that some of them had bike paths on the berm, along the top ridge. I found a bicycle store only
two blocks from my brother's house and inquired of such a trail. I was told that this one, the Santa
Ana River Bicycle Trail, was only about four miles to the east, and that it would run at least fifteen
miles to the Pacific Ocean. YES!!!!
So, I borrowed my brother's fat-tire [yes, with studs] mountain bike, bought and installed two water
bottle cages [and a triangular hex wrench], and then (with my lunch and digital camera in tow) headed
I was concerned about the traffic in such a densely populated area, but my concern was short-lived,
as the traffic in that area I found to be extremely cycle friendly. Most of the roads in Orange
County, especially in the Fullerton/Anaheim area, have designated bike lanes, and the intersections
are quite spacious. At no time did I feel threatened in any way, as if I were in a small Frederick
So, in just 4.5 miles, I was at the entrance to the trail, and off I sped. I had entered the Trail
at mile 16.6, just off Glassell Blvd.
Now, remember, I had not ridden since Dec. 18, and the last time before that, Nov. 11, so I was not
in my normal shape. I was also riding a heavier, but very nice Schwinn mountain bike, with fat,
knobby tires, and with front shock absorbers, so the normal speed of my Giant OCR-1 from home was
simply not going to happen. However, I was not riding for speed, only for the joy of being out in
the air, feeling the wind [now fairly brisk from the SE, and in my face, as I was heading due south],
and seeing a terrain I might not see again in a long time.
The trail was very smooth, and well maintained. Each intersection took the trail underneath, a drop
of about 40-50 feet , and an incline back up to the top of the berm. At many points throughout the
ride, there were parks, golf courses, trees, flowers, and a plethora of waterfowl to enjoy. At three
points along the trail, a wooden bridge carried us over the other side of the river for a few miles,
to be returned later. I was particularly taken with the large [countless] numbers of species of
wading birds which heavily populated the river, including egrets [I saw two species], cranes, and
California White Pelicans.
At one point, at mile 12 or so, the trail took me directly along Anaheim Angels stadium, and The
Pond, where the Mighty Ducks hockey team plays. How exiting to be riding along side of where I
had watched countless Oriole games on TV over the years.
A tiny bit of rainy drizzle had met me at around mile three, but it had dissipated by the time I
got there, and it was dry but cool. As I moved closer to the ocean, the air began to smell of
salt, and the humidity increased. How exciting to smell these things.
After about 22 miles of riding [measured from the highway maps, as I had no computer to use,
and later confirmed by a mapping program on the 'net] I came out, finally, at Pacific Coast
Highway [aka California Route 1], and found myself at the northern boundary of the city of Newport
Beach. So, to the city dock , 2.3 miles to the south, I rode. My entire trek had taken me only
1 hr 41 minutes -- not bad at all, really -- and I was quite happy with that. I am estimating
that I was riding at an average of about 16 mph +/-.
It was still hazy out, as the sun had not yet broken through. While there, I walked my bike
out to the end of the pier, and savored the entire area, a completely delicate sensual awareness
of the moment. Many surfers were out, enjoying the unusually high surf [which had been pounding
CA beaches for the past 2-3 weeks], and I even saw dolphins playing just off the beach.
It was odd, me in my shorts and long sleeved T-shirt, watching the locals in their heavy coats,
chilled in December/January back east, walking about with hands deep in their pockets.
Glenn by the sea
Anyway, after an hour of looking about, and eating my beloved peanut butter sandwiches and my
banana [as well as a couple of oranges], it was time to go home. So, off I went, crossing Balboa
Blvd, and heading north along the coast, cycling the 2.3 miles back to the trail head. As I
crossed the bridge I spotted a California White Pelican on a rock, along with two Cormorants
sunning themselves, and enjoyed the moment, listing one last time to the waves as they broke
on the beach just 100 yards away.
By now, the wind had shifted, and had increased in its intensity, now from the NW, and even
more strongly in my face, so, given my decreased level of conditioning and the still-strange
bicycle, I knew I had a bit of hard work ahead of me. So, off I began.
The miles just flowed by, and before I knew it, I was riding past Angels Stadium and The Pond.
It was short work to the end of the trail. I returned home via a different route, one of equal
length. The return trip took a bit longer, but I stopped and took some photographs along the
way, too, as well as stopping to aid a ten-year old child who had fallen and suffered a bit
of road rash. I got home before 4 PM, having left at 10:30 AM.
I ended up with 44.8 miles for the day. I loved the ride. It was a really good place to go,
especially in such a highly populated urban area. The web site for the Santa Ana River Bicycle
Trail is: http://www.nearfield.com/~dan/sports/bike/river/sa/.
So, the next time you are in Orange County, California in warm weather, and want to spend a
delightful afternoon on your bicycle, please consider this trail. You will not be disappointed.
After finishing this ride I ended up with my highest total of miles ever in a single
year - 8,055.3 miles
Saturday January 15th by Terry Eskuchen
Peggy Parker showed up for the 13 mile C/D bike ride for today. It was cold and
windy, but we were warmly (and fashionably dressed!) and we did the ride! It was
fun getting to know Peggy. We are hoping to do some more rides together. I was
able to add on some miles before and after to round it off to 20 miles.
by Stephen Walter
January: Vicki Crum, Mary and Stephen Walter ventured out heading south despite the grim
weather forecast of high winds and possible rain. One reason we headed south was that
the wind was blowing from the south-west and we hoped that if things got bad we could get
back quicker. Vicki was skeptical because the weather forecast called for a shift of
the winds to the north-west. Well, we made it to Adamstown under reasonable weather
conditions. While there we stopped at the store because I needed a restroom break. We
were only there a few minutes but the weather was degrading quickly. We started up
Mountville towards Ballenger Creek; half way there Vicki noticed Mary's tire getting
Due to the degrading weather, wind and rain, Mary opted to just head home (only
a mile away). Vicki and I ventured on; by the time we made it to the top of the hill
at the corner of Mountville and Ballenger Creek the wind was so strong we could barely
make any headway. At that point we decided it may be wise to just head straight back. We
turned on Ballenger Creek and headed towards Frederick. The wind was still buffeting us
from the side but was slightly to the rear so we were making good progress. The chance
of showers settled into a steady rain, but we made it back to our cars before we were
totally drenched. Vicki had forgotten her booties so her feet were wet and getting
cold so we opted out of having bagels and just headed home. We wound up with 30 miles
and were pretty proud of ourselves for getting in that many.
February: Was it 9 or 10 am? That seemed to be the topic of discussion at the beginning
of the ride. When I arrived two cars were present but no one was there . I had noticed
in the newsletter that on one page it said 9 am and on the other it said 10 am (editor’s
note—oops). I was concerned that the people in the other two cars arrived at nine and
started without me. Fortunately, within five minutes Vicki Crum showed up on her bike.
She had arrived early to get in some extra miles. The temperature was 33 degrees and
the weather forecast was for snow, but it was looking pretty good when the two of us
started out. The third car was a mystery, we thought it might be Bill Smith's car but
he was no where to be found. Vicki called Bill's home and found that indeed he had
left at nine. We tried his cell phone but got no answer. We left a message and
We planned to continue to Thurmont unless it were to begin to
snow. We made it to Thurmont and headed east on Black's Mill Road. Before long we
had this strange mirage that we saw Bill heading towards us; as we got closer we
realized it was Bill. After discussing phone problems we all continued heading
east to the Legore bridge before heading home. Still no sign of snow. We almost
made it back to Frederick before the snow began. While we were having our bagels
the snow really started in earnest and we were glad we stopped when we did. I had
37 miles but Bill and Vicki had more. Not bad for a snow day.
Wednesday Night Lights & Pizza Rides
by Bill Smith
Ride attendees in January and February have included Chris Borkman, John Gantnier,
Bernie Sellers, Bill Preston, Gary Pritchett and Bill Smith. One ride began with
a Frederick News-Post photographer snapping pictures for an article on our ride
in the following Sunday's paper.
Check out the article here.
The warm, dry weather this Winter has allowed us to miss very few night rides, and
there has been a minimum of frozen water bottles.