Tri to be different
So this past Saturday, my good friend Brian Stockbrugger (Multi Ironman Finisher and friend responsible for putting this damn triathlon bug in my system) took me on a ride through San Onofre, Camp Pendleton, and into Oceanside to check out part of the 70.3 course coming up next month. We started off at the Christianitos Rd. exit (just north of the San Onofre Nuclear Powerplant ), rode south along Old PCH past the nuclear power plant and San Onofre State Beach/Camp Ground till we finally reached the Camp Pendleton guard shack at Las Pulgas Rd. Once on the base, we rode Stuart Mesa Rd to the south end of the base and into Oceanside Harbor.
After spending 15 minutes or so scoping out Oceanside Harbor, we headed back the same way we came. The goal was to do 60 miles of riding and then do a 30 min brick run on a trail that leads into the nearby campground. When we got back to the truck and noticed that we were under 50 miles, so we decided to do some Christianitos Rd. hill repeats to cover the rest of the mileage. Two minutes into our hill repeats, I hear the dreaded “psssssssssss” sound of a rear wheel puncture. #$@%!!! I guess it was a good thing I was climbing the hill and not doing 40 mph when this happened.
Note to self: If it’s been a while since changing a flat or if you’ve never done it at all, watch a youtube video on flat repairs and reacquaint yourself with it. Even better….practice doing it in your garage so you’re not stuck waiting for a support vehicle on race day or any day for that matter.
This 5 minute flat repair turned into 15-20 minutes on the side of the road trying to get the tire to seat properly on the rim without pinching the tube. Good learning experience, but UGH…. it’s tough to get the legs going again after being off the bike that long!!!
If you plan to do this ride, there’s a few things that are worth noting.
1. There’s a few areas along old PCH that aren’t the smoothest of roads, so make sure your rear water bottles aren’t creeping out on you and turn into projectiles.
2. There’s one section where you have to get on a dirt trail and go through a short tunnel. There’s only about 100 yards or so over the dirt, mud, and scattered rocks, unfortunately there’s no way around it so just be careful riding over that stuff on your road/tri bike.
3. Bring your Drivers License with you to get on base. And don’t show up till after 8AM, I heard that they won’t let you in before 8.
4. Be familiar with changing a flat tire!!! You should know this regardless.
All my long rides until now have incorporated some sort of round trip through Santiago Canyon, so it was a nice change of pace to ride in areas where there wasn’t a lot of climbing. Although the ride this past Saturday was pretty mellow in comparison to Santiago Canyon, I know that part of the Oceanside 70.3 bike course will include some of the hillier (and much windier) parts of the base that civilians can’t enjoy till race day. The lack of cars and stop lights along the route made this ride extremely enjoyable and peaceful.
Hit me up if you have questions about the ride. I would love to hear about other long routes that people take in the OC. Anybody ever ride the Santa Ana River Trail and have suggestions on where to start?