Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carlsbad to San Clemente in Flirtees!

Just got back from another glorious vacation in California. My fiancĂ© has the good sense to live there so I am down often, but this is the first time I've worked in a road ride.

Mainly this is due to my hatred of flying with bikes. So I was super glad to find Synaptic Cycle's Joe Bartoe who rented me a wonderful carbon steed for less than I would have paid to bring my bike on the plane one way.

The bike was a "Liscio" by American company Volagi, which is apparently the only one to include disc brakes as a standard feature on their road bikes. I was skeptical but won over in the end. I would almost say this bike was even better than having my own with me.

Here are the other big wins of my experience with Synaptic:
  • The bike was fitted against measurements from my road bike emailed in advance so it arrived ready to ride
  • It was delivered and picked up by the super affable Joe
  • It came with full Ultegra, and the saddle and pedals of my choice

Top marks for Synaptic Cycles, and I am sure I will be in touch again soon. 

So with my borrowed bicycle, Gerhard and I set out for his first "real" bike ride (i.e. I made him stop to buy bottle cages and H2O receptacles at the local REI before we set off). We went from his place near La Costa Ave all the way to Pedro's in San Clemente where we gobbled down ten tacos and a lot of pop before turning back for a glorious tailwind push home.

All told, we conquered about 115km together, and it was wonderful!! Highlights of the ride included:
  • Carlsbad Boulevard closed to cars for a triathalon course (which was nearly finished and didn't have any racers left on it) giving us a very large cycling lane for our personal use
  • The old highway 101 now closed to cars through Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, but is still open to bikes, making it the biggest rec path I have ever seen
  • Unusual road signs like "Tank Xing" as we rode through range after range *yikes* 
  • The sweet sweet taste of tacos to shut down a full-body bonk
  • A very welcome tailwind all the way home
  • The chance to show off my new Flirtees Kit (Thanks Casey!) [Find Flirtees on Twitter and Facebook]
  • The part where we were finally finished. ;) 
Now that I'm back in Toronto where it's hotter than Cairo, riding bikes seems less fun. In fact, anything but sitting motionless in my air-conditioned office seems less fun. Til the heat wave breaks, guess I'll continue California dreamin'.

Photos by Gerhard Gross