I've been telling myself for years that someday I will ride through Topanga Canyon. Well, today was the day. I had no really good reason to think that I could take a three-mile hill after not doing any serious training in months, but seeing as I'm leaving tomorrow for one full month away from Los Angeles and my preferred modes of transportation, I thought I'd go out with a bang.
I didn't pick Topanga Canyon arbitrarily. My partner and I had a big brunch date with my family (niece included!). The idea behing the brunch was to substitute for the big-meal bonding which normally occurs during Thanksgiving. I won't be in the U.S. for that holiday, so today was the day. For our brunch location, I selected Inn of the Seventh Ray, an awesome natural foods restaurant in the heart of Topanga Canyon. Forgetting about the intense elevation climb into Topanga, I proposed the idea of a bike trip to my partner. Her response was an enthusiastic yes. (For the record, she thought the ride up Topanga was only a few blocks.)
So we braved the cars of Santa Monica and PCH to make it to one of the most challenging climbs I've done in LA County. It was awesome and beautiful, but am I ever out of shape! Plus, I managed to get a flat rear tire. My partner commented that I am accident prone since the last time I rode up PCH I blew a tube. Whatever. This time I changed the tube all on my own (awesome!) and thoroughly enjoyed the sights of riding at full speed down the three-mile hill. It's always much rewarding to do the majority of the climbing effort during the first half of any ride longer than 10 miles.
Total distance: 27 miles
Total elevation gain: 750 feet
Sharpest elevation increase: 500 feet in one mile
Total calories burned: 1100
For the sake of keeping this blog consistent, I'll try to blog about the city life in Rio (where public transportation is much more widely used) while I am there. Otherwise, have a wonderful holiday!