Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coast Roller

A few miles west of where I live, the Palos Verdes Peninsula juts out into the Pacific, the closest piece of land to me that rises above about 200 feet. If I want to ride up a hill, this is where I go.

Palos Verdes Drive East offers the highest point on the loop around the peninsula. (You can climb higher, but the summit is a dead end.) The picture above shows Palos Verdes East as it snakes back down toward the water. I ride up the land side and come whizzing down this road at high velocity. Some people make the loop in the other direction, so they huff and chuff up this side of the hill and shoot past me on the other side as I sweat and climb. Me, I like the view I get coming down this side.

Palos Verdes Drive South continues along the south face of the peninsula, the most obvious road in the picture above. The two distinctive points sticking out into the water frame Portuguese Bend, an odd spot where the land is always slipping into the sea, and the road heaving and collapsing under you as you ride. To the left (west) is Abalone Cove. To the right (east) is the cove where Portuguese Canyon reaches the ocean.

This is from the first big curve on the downhill side of Palos Verdes Drive East, looking west toward Portuguese Bend. This weekend we had some overcast, which made for good riding temperatures and occasional scenic views. I can’t say I was thrilled about the wind, but I’ve gone out in worse.

Since February, when I took the aerial shots of the road, wildflower season has come on strong.

Down Palos Verdes Drive East, looking south toward the ocean. My goal last weekend was to make two laps around the peninsula, which meant about 60 miles of riding (when you include getting there and back from Long Beach), with about 2,000 feet of climbing. I was testing my legs to see how they might do on a 100-mile ride, with more climbing than 2,000 feet.

Looking down at the road east, back toward San Pedro. I have taken this road before, but it wasn’t on my route this weekend.

My brother is fond of flowers.

This is what the cliffs look like along Palos Verdes Drive West, which runs up the west-facing side of the peninsula—the scalloped edge in the foreground of the top picture in this post. Just about the entire ride is very scenic, and a nice change of pace from the flat rides along the beach routes I usually ply.


Papa Bradstein said...

Thanks. I sneezed just reading that.

Kangamoo said...

I feel a little out of breath going on that bike ride with you. Good thing I stopped and only went on one loop with you.

It got me in good shape though so I could trek all over the UW campus with your sister and two oldest nieces. Then the older one thought I wanted to go for the stamina thing (we stopped to shop)and somehow Auntie B made it home from Seattle before we did. Her road must have been shorter.

Nice pictures though. Did you go flying?

mrjumbo said...

There are certain techniques you learn for riding on bad pavement or where there is no bridge over a rushing stream.

Depending on how your tires are inflated, this method of riding works better sometimes and sometimes not so well. When you get good at it, you can take better pictures of the road you're on.

Or, if that doesn't work, you can take advantage of a trip somewhere else to get your overhead views.

mrjumbo said...

Oh, and Gesundheit!