Last night I got a call from a buddy who was looking to ride this morning. It only took a second to confirm that the schedule was open to go. The target was a local fire road, part fun, part scouting mission for an up coming longer ride.
Things at the coast were cool and foggy, but a few miles inland the thick fog was just a memory. The dirt starts about 8 miles from my door, and you can keep going up for another 9 miles or so. With the recent rains I was worried it might be a bit muddy, but things were just green, with the road dry. Conditions were pretty good on the first 4 miles or so that we went up, before enjoying the ride back down.
I have a small group getting together for a no-host ride on the morning of May 5th to ride a bit bigger loop that includes this section. The group started as the Southern California Rivendell Appreciation Society, But is open to anybody really who is like-minded and not afraid to ride “road” bikes on the dirt. Here is a map of the proposed route:
This is a fun mixed terrain ride through the hills of Ventura and Ojai. The ride is a paved mixed use (mostly Bike) trail to sulphur mtn., then dirt fire road climb. Note, the fire road is the climb. This is the lions share of the climbing, it is beautiful, but I am thankful at times for the gears, usually 32:28 is enough, but it keeps me honest, and I have been known to use the granny if the bike of choice for the day has one.
The road quality is mixed at the top of the mtn for a bit, then there is a very nice paved/long/fast as you want decent. I was able to get the vents on a helmet to hum here once. A few flatish miles to another fun decent into Lower Ojai. Mixed gentle hills over to lake Casitas, a decent but short climb up from the lake, and then gentle downhills home.
I have been asked in the past if this would be a good single speed ride, personally I am thankful for the gears in this area of California. I have ridden everything from Exiwolf to 32mm passellas here, and 32-42 mm anything seems to make for a really fun day.
As always this is a comfortably quick ride, with the no man left behind group ride ethos. There will be plenty of time to stop for breaks. Bring plenty of water for the climb, at least three bottles, and I would recommend a snack of sorts. There are a couple of good places to stop for a lunch in Ojai that will not weigh you down too bad for the last leg home. It would be good to get things going by 9:30, earlier would be better if we can swing it, last time I think the tail end of the group made it back by 2:30 or so. Saturday traffic will be easier on those of you making the trek up from down south. Also, Ventura and our surrounding cities like Ojai and Santa Barbara can make for good times if you have the rest of the family in tow for the weekend, just saying, it may help sweeten the pot to get up here for the ride.
I know quite a few of my readers are local, and I may have even seen you once or more out on the road. Consider this an open invitation, if you think you have the legs for the climb and can keep up with a 10-15 mile an hour average pace, drop me a line and let me know if you want to come along.