Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vacationy post

I realize that the following photographs are probably interesting to nobody but me. But that's what vacations are about ... having a good day and wanting to remember it, so you take your stand-and-grin family photos and post them on your blog.

I hooked up today with three riders from the area, readers of this very blog who offered to not only lend me a (very nice) bicycle for three days, but also took me on a morning tour of the area. The man who lent me his cyclocross bike, Mark, told me he didn't want me to go home and write the usual "IHATELA" visitor news. I have to say, the sprawl of humanity that covers the area freaked me out at first, but I'm really warming up to Southern California. We started in Huntington Beach and headed down the Pacific Coast Highway (I called it the "PCH" and my mom said "That sounds so Californian!"). We rode to Laguna Beach and then up the canyon to Irvine, rolling through some bike-path-laced hills back toward the PCH. Fun, really mellow ride, something short of 50 miles, a little daunting with all of the traffic and two flat tires, but a refreshing and scenic taste of this piece of California. Thanks guys!

We all went to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Their menu is, um ... limited. Sorry guys, I still don't understand the hype. But it was a fun lunch. And a great ride. This is the best aspect of being part of the cycling community - no matter where you are, you have friends.

My two little sisters flew in this morning. Just about the time they came in, every single one of the clouds in the overcast sky had burned off. Just like that. In Juneau, that kind of cloud dissipation takes weeks. I was shocked. We hit up the beach first thing.

Later, we talked them into a group bike ride with the three working bicycles we had dug up, and one that had a wobbly front wheel and off-set (and rusted permanently that way) handlebars. This picture illustrates well what my sisters thought about the bike riding.

Before the midway point of our five-mile ride, the rear brake arm on Sara's Wal-mart mountain bike snapped off and the front pads were so worn they didn't work anyway. We turned around a limped home, with Sara bombing into the grass just to stop, my dad attempting to perfect the skewed steering of the wobbly wonder, my mom pedaling some bike that made loud grinding noises with every turn of the crank, me being yelled at by a passing (not oncoming) cyclist for riding into "his" lane in the 5 mph-max zone as I was trying to help Sara, and the whole time I felt really bad about riding the good bike, which no one wanted to ride because it had drop handlebars. But we laughed about it all the way home. Yes, we tourists are silly.

But that's what it's all about.


  1. Well welcome to SoCal. HB used to be my stomping grounds but up in the desert now, darn shame. Sounds like the guys took you on a nice ride. There are some nice hilly routes further inland in Orange, Anaheim Hills or Whittier. The beach trail can get a little hairy with the Wannabe speed demons. Would usually partake of a little of it near the pier for the "sights" but mostly on PCH for the speed and safety from the idiots. Nearly always better to almost get smacked by a car door then a skateboarder doing ollies while on the strand. Enjoy your stay. Hope you have sunscreen.

  2. In-N-Out Burger is awesome! I wish we had those here in Colorado... Yes, the menu is limited, but they have all you need. :-) What other fast food joint can you watch them cut up actual potatoes and make your fries from scratch??

    Sounds like you're having an awesome trip. I imagine it's gotta be quite the departure from Alaska. Of course, SoCal is quite the departure from just about anywhere, even NorCal. :)

    Now you're making me want to get out to the ocean - it's been too long...

  3. Great to see you're having fun, Jill.

    Thanks for staying in touch with your readers. I'm sure we all appreciate it - I know I do.

    Make the most of it AND hurry home soon!!


  4. Looks like all of you are having fun. Wish we would have done the San Diego trip this year. Great place to "visit".

  5. Enjoyed the recap. Thanks for sharing.

  6. The In-N-Out Burger is cool to me only because of the Big Lebowski. Have you seen the movie? I think it's hilarious.

  7. I am glad to see you are rockin the FatCyclist jersey.

    In-N-Out Burger? Nothing more than fast food grease bombs.

    Being a tourist is awesome. Doing all the tourist things is a blast. You can get tired of it quickly, trying to search for something that makes you feel a bit "local". Glad someone was able to help you out. I guess that is what happens when you are a blog celebrity.

  8. That's so funny. I had a lot of people in California telling me that I had to go to In-N-Out Burger when I was there. I never saw one near where we were staying though.

    Enjoy your vacation!

  9. solo ... lots and lots and lots of SPF 50. I'm still getting fried though, not getting that healthy glow I so desperatly need. Time to put back on the multiple layers I need to protect me from this relentless sun.

  10. "...warming up to Southern California."

    Nice one!

  11. Wow, I'm totally jealous! Make sure to soak up enough sun and surf to last you through the winter!!

  12. Pssst Jill, ya need to have a talk with your sisters on what shoes to wear biking :)

  13. Two rides in one vacation day is not too shabby. :)

  14. Hey, my name is Sara! Your sister must be super cool, ha.

    And, I must say, you're making SoCal sound moderately appealing. Looks like fun. Have a good birthday at Disney Land. Lucky!

  15. I've been to In-N-Out Burger. I had to see what the hype was about. I found absolutely no reason to go back.


Feedback is always appreciated!