Santa Ynez to Redlands

Monday Morning Mical, Trish Max and I headed out for a spin in Santa Ynez. We rode a section of the tour of California in Reverse and as we descended down a quiet road through vineyards you could see the names of Basso and a few others still chalked onto the pavement.

Road spin in Santa Ynez

After the ride we headed towards LA to drop Mical off near the airport as we headed on towards the Beach and then Redlands. We kinds forgot our directions and didn’t have a map so we ended up in downtown LA in a small neighbourhood where Hispanics yelled out “White power” as we drove by in the Rocky Truck. Time to find out where we need to go. We eventually found our way out, dropped Mical off and Headed out to Huntington Beach, but catching all the rough sections of LA on our way there. California is crazy. There are some grotesquely ugly industry areas just miles from great beaches and dilapidated neighbourhoods a block away from clean wealthy ones.

Huntigton Beach LA

We made it to the beach by 5:30 and Mike and Max tried out the Salt water. Trish and I enjoyed burying our feet in the sand watching tons of surfers out on the water. It wasn’t exactly swimming weather for me yet. After that we went restaurant hunting. Having the team truck and trailer, parking was a bit hard to find, but we saw a bike shop and thought they might be willing to accommodate us for an hour. So we pulled up as an employee was putting out the Trash. Mike said, “Hey Max talk to them”. Max rolls down the window and leans out, “Hey” “Pro racers” .... and the rest of us burst out laughing. Poor Max still has to endure us repeating the story over and over again. I roll down my window and ask if we can use their parking for a bit and they’re all game.

So we find ourselves at this little Mexican place where you order at the Bar. A wicked plate of mixed meats fajitas (steak, chicken and roast beef) and 4 beers cost only 14.95! The food was wicked, the music early 90’s and the surrounds funky with over 50 TV’s, disco lighting and tons of paraphenalia.

At around 10 we rolled into Redlands. We are staying with an awesome family there. Their home dates back to 1888 and has been furnished to match the times. The family has hosted teams and riders for over 10 years for the Redlands classic and are Trish’s “Californian Parents”.

My wicked accommodations at Perfect Day Ranch where we have been eating Fresh Avocados and Lemons from the trees.

On Tuesday we did over 3hrs on the road tracing some of the Routes from the Redlands classic including a nice climb up to 1500 m and a tour of the crit race which has 8 corners, is mostly flat and looks really fun to race. Wednesday we did a preride of the Fontana course. It’s in better shape than last year. The climbs are more sandy, but the descents way less sketchy. We’ll see how a couple hundred laps by riders make it deteriorate by Saturday’s XC race though. The temperatures are warm and the smog is hovering around us at all times, but my time in Redlands has been peaceful and rejuvenating and I’m really hoping to get that top 5 finish I know I’ve got in me this weekend.