Category: Organized Rides

01

Ojai Valley Double Metric Century


So, being a masochist and all, I decided to sign up for the longest, toughest ride in the Ojai Valley last weekend. This ride is organized by a couple of the local Boy Scout Troops..and, they did an excellent job of providing support!

Starting out in Libbey Park in Ojai, I realized it was still too early in the morning. I don’t wake up this early. I don’t enjoy waking up this early. In fact, I didn’t even know 5AM existed. Some more sleep would have been quite welcome. Sad to say, sleep was not on the agenda. Ok, ok..enough whining about sleep. The initial climbing on this ride definitely woke me up.

A few miles after departing from the park (and going through some gorgeous residential neighborhoods), we started the ascent up the 33. Initially, we were tormented by heavy fog and general dreariness..but, about halfway up, we broke out of the fog and into sunshine..

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

What a beautiful climb! Another thousand or fifteen hundred feet and we reached the turnaround point (elevation 3600 ft or so):

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

Of course, part of me wanted to continue up:

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

Doesn’t get much better than that for scenic climbing. Oh well, some day I will do the full 33 climb. The descent back down was great – aside from some rock debris in certain sections, this was a fun, high speed, sweeping descent for almost 15 miles. 30-40mph for almost all of it! After finishing the descent, we headed west to tackle Casitas Pass, stopping briefly for some nutrition at a ranger station rest stop. While resting there, I ran into one of the premier riders for this ride:

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

If only I were so fast :p

Beyond that, we climbed Casitas Pass and got some nice views of the lake:

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

Pretty easy ascent after having done the 33. Beautiful though, despite the fog. Completing that, we headed out to Montecito and had some gorgeous riding out there (was getting tired and mostly stopped taking photos at this point..sorry!). After meandering through Montecito, we headed back towards the coast and then back along 192 before hitting 150 and taking it to the 101. The section along the 101 was actually not that bad. 4 or 5 miles for that section, and there seemed to be a tailwind, so I was able to maintain 22-25 mph for that entire stretch. Cars passing at 65+mph is not the most pleasant, but there is a huge shoulder so it isn’t too bad. And the ocean scenery on the right is not so bad either!

About 77 miles in, you exited at the turnoff for 1 South. This then brought you along some incredibly cute coastal villages (wish I had pictures of them!) before getting into Ventura proper. And, finally, after putting up with a rather bumpy bike path for most of this stretch, we hit the lunch stop. A sandwich loaded with mayo, meat and mustard never tasted so good. As there were few riders doing the full double metric, we were rather late to the lunch stop…but no worries, food was still there. And a few nice bikes as well:

From 2009-05-30 – Ojai Valley Double Metric Century

And yes, still foggy here. After experiencing some nice coastal Ventura neighborhoods, then some auto malls (one that was blasting horrible 80s music and doing a tent sale bbq), we started to head inland and finally got some more sun. This section was definitely interesting (it paralleled the 126 basically), and really gave you a feel for the farming roots of the area. Tons of farms and orchards along the way. Mostly flat, but some rolling hills. Again, I was getting tired so I didn’t get to take enough pictures. Sad.

The next rest stop was quite awesome. Set against the beautiful train station in Santa Paula, Boy Scout volunteers handed out never-ending supplies of popsicles (and vitamin water, pretzels, etc) for those hurting (and we were all hurting a bit at this point). Taking a good rest here, I knew 20 more miles were ahead of me (and some climbing too). My legs were begging to retire at this point, but there was no way I could quit now. So, yes, power on I did, up to 1600 ft for the saddle of 150 before the final descent back into Ojai. And there were more popsicles to be had on this ascent. Twice, in fact. And, those popsicles were probably the best popsicles I have ever had. I’m sure it had nothing to do with having ridden 120 miles already. No, definitely not.

126 miles. The final mileage. 10,000+ calories burned according to the Garmin. 9,000 ft climbed. And a huge bowl of McConnell’s ice cream to devour at the finish. Life is good.

Pictures from the ride are here.

Oh, and the official map for the double metric (click View Full for a nice, big version of the map):

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