Ventura County
Recumbent Riders


News and Ride Schedule
[Last Updated April 19th]

Ride Schedule:

SPECIAL NOTE FOR ADHD-AFFLICTED READERS: If you're interested in a personalized VCRR unique safety flag, please read the pertinent paragraph below. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming...

This weekend will offer several options for riding with at least some members of our group, but once again Barb has graciously agreed to postpone her popular Tortilla Soup Lunch Ride until next month. Instead, as noted below, you will have the opportunity for a road trip to ride with dozens of other recumbents along the American River between Sacramento and Folsom. As an alternative, on Sunday April 22nd, some folks may opt for a slightly shorter road trip to participate in the CicLAvia Heart of the Foothills between San Dimas and Claremont. Those who prefer a simpler, wimpier local cruise may choose to join us homebodies on Saturday April 21st, meeting at Seabridge Marina around 9AM. This weekend we'll start from the small public lot at the corner of Tradewinds and Viewpoint Drives, just off Wooley Road between Victoria Avenue and Harbor Boulevard; an address that may work for your GPS is 4098 Tradewinds Drive. Kay and I plan to be there with typical morning munchies and coffee, and we should be on the road about 9:30 AM. We'll start with a tour of the Seabridge and Channel Islands marinas, make a pit stop at Oxnard State Beach and probably have lunch at Pirates. The basic route for this venue is a pretty easy, mostly flat ride, less than 20 miles, but more enthusiastic riders may opt to add a few extra miles by riding farther up the beach to Ventura.

Both of the VCRR Group rides planned for next month will include potluck lunches at private homes, and for June some of us will take part in very popular large scale public rides: COLT in Chatsworth and TaterTOT way up in Idaho. This is a brief listing of preliminary plans for upcoming VCRR Group Rides:

  • Saturday, April 21st: Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride, Seabridge Marina, Oxnard
  • Sunday, April 22nd: CicLAvia Heart of the Foothills, San Dimas
  • Saturday & Sunday, April 21/22: Tour of the American River for Trikes and Recumbents, Rancho Cordova
  • Saturday, May 5th: First Saturday VCRR Group Ride and Beach Picnic, The Maguires at Faria Beach
  • Saturday, May 19th: Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride and Tortilla Soup Lunch, The Poehls in Simi Valley
  • Saturday, June 2nd: First Saturday VCRR Group Ride; SUGGESTIONS?
  • Sunday, June 10th: Chatsworth Orange Line Tour, Chatsworth
  • Saturday, June 23rd thru Wednesday, June 27th: TaterTOT, Kellogg ID

PLEASE[!]: If you have a suggestion for group ride for any of the next few months, please share. We're always especially eager to hear from anyone who's been aching to plan, execute and lead the gang on his, her or their favorite venue.

RECUMBENT CYCLES AND SUCH FOR SALE:

We've added this new section and service to our webpage: free listings for recumbent bicycles and tricycles up for sale, trade or wanted, either by or of potential interest to the folks who frequent this website. In its first weeks of operation, this new option may have helped, along with BROL's Classified section and the local Craigslist, to transition more than a dozen trikes and bikes from unwanted clutter to actually used cycles. We're also planning to add a section for cycle parts, accessories and clothing. If you'd like to post here and/or if you need help putting any cycles gathering dust in your storage areas, please ping me by email or by phone for the info you'll need to get your ad into the mix. CAVEAT AND RED-FACED ADMISSION: I have been procrastinating a bit to post new additions; more later... maybe better?

FSTW

Recent History:

VinceClick for More Pix 4/7/2018: This weekend's VCRR Group Ride was a road trip to ride the western half of the San Fernando Valley. About a dozen folks showed up for this rain delayed ride, splitting into two groups so that the slower and faster riders would arrive at our lunch stop around the same time. After the usual coffee and morning munchies, we started from the parking lot of the Balboa Tennis Center. Vince led the more energetic group on a 5-mile loop around the Sepulveda Basin, while I rode with the Pokey Patrol on the basic loop up (in a very literal sense) White Oak Avenue, through the CSUN campus, then along Reseda to Rinaldi. The Faster Folks got to the Souplantation a little ahead of us, but we socialized before the much more pleasant downhill return, zooming down the western end of Rinaldi and Brown's Barranca. Unfortunately, once we reached the Orange Line bikepath, our troubles began with goathead thorns. Barb and I both had big stickers that we managed to pluck from tires before they punctured, but Stephen and Dawn weren't quite so lucky. In the heat of early afternoon we battled the usual tire repairs and finally got on the trail again. Stephen opted to take a break just before we made the turn at the southwestern corner of our route and wait for Deena to pick him up with their truck. However, he tripped in the parking lot, banging his head and acquiring a big gash over his eyebrow. Deena returned to keep him company while Dawn, Kay and I met Vince on our somewhat faster paced dash back to Balboa. Astonishingly, both of Dawn's front tires were flat as we loaded her trike, and Barb reported a post-ride flat as well. We zipped over to pick up Stephen for a visit to the Las Robles ER, where he was thoroughly scanned and evaluated, then stitched back together by a cosmetic surgeon who was conveniently accessible in the hospital on a lovely Spring weekend. Stephen's damage was mostly the cut and typical effects of a relatively non-critical concussion. The photo is posted at Stephen's insistence, despite Deena's and my reluctance. Any reports circulating about my having used indelicate language in reference to goathead thorns are strictly unfounded rumors.

I posted two GPS routing files for this venue: one for the Faster Folks in TCX (Garmin routing) format, and the other for the Pokey Patrol in GPX (basic or Magellan Cyclo) format with the optional river detour.

Wayne & KayClick for More Pix 3/31/2018: Motivated by the rained out cancellations of the first two VCRR Group Rides this month plus the 3-week gap before our First Saturday Ride in April, we took advantage of the lovely Spring weather forecast for a Fifth Saturday VCRR Road Trip and Group Ride at Santa Clarita. About 15 of us participated at some point, including newby Chuck. Some folks called this 'The Lightning Ride' – because there were five of the SWBs born in Lompoc, definitely not because of the speed. After the usual coffee and munchies (some homemade by Q) we started from Valencia Heritage Park up the hill on Newhall Ranch Road. Guided by Chicago on a surprise route, we looped through the industrial park, crossed the river on the Lost Boys Bridge and made our first pit stop at McD's on McBean. From there we did the usual loop out to Golden Valley Road and back along Soledad Canyon. Our leader took us down Newhall Creek to some unfamiliar, but very well chosen, paseos before the lunch stop at the Westfield Valencia Shopping Center food court. This route had a bit of climbing, and was about 25 miles long. All the pix are from Rolly, before he blew out a tire.

Cruisin' RiverparkClick for More Pix 3/17/2018: Our Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride, on St. Patrick's Day, was a lowkey celebration of Ireland's legendary serpent suppresser. We started from our home in northeastern Oxnard, and after the usual coffee and morning munchies we finally got on the road around 9:50. Fourteen of rode about a 23-mile loop north to RiverPark and east Ventura. Newbies for this weekend were Melinda and Lance (riding a unicycle all the way – very competently!) The ride went very well with no mechanical issues; there were a couple of difficult road crossings through moderately heavy traffic. After the turnaround at Thille Park we zoomed down Johnson Drive to return home and gobble some Gaelic goodies, including Irish Stew, Shepherd's Pie and Soda Bread. Five more folks joined us for the backyard picnic, and one of them even brought along some highly appropriate Guiness beverages. For the curious, on our website there is a GPS track for the ride route in GPX format. Pix were shot by Alan and me.

Peloton on WooleyClick for More Pix 2/17/2018: We met in the parking lot for Mission Park in downtown Ventura and started up the Ventura River Trail after coffee and morning munchies. As most of you know, this ride is uphill going out with a mostly fast and easy downhill return, between 25 and 35 miles. About 20 of us made an appearance for this return to one of our most popular ride venues. After the traditional pit stop at Foster Park, the group began to string out. The riders who climb much faster than the Pokey Patrol continued on into Ojai to have lunch at the Ojai Cafe Emporium. The slower group turned around a bit earlier, at the junction of CA-150 west, and indulged in $5 foot-long specials at the Subway sandwich shop. Stephen had a bit of battery trouble that we patched up during the lunch stop. After lunch everyone happily zoomed back down the hill to the start area. However, I discovered that I had tried to stretch the mileage on my well-worn Marathons about seven miles too far. The green liner had been showing on both front tires for months, and the left one blew out as we approached Foster Park, loud enough to alarm the guys riding with me. Fortunately, I had included a Kevlar beaded folding tire as a precaution, and we were back on the trail with a short delay. Weather was great, cool enough for long sleeves and pants, but sunny with only a slight headwind as we came back into Ventura.

2/3/2018: For our First Saturday VCRR Group Ride of February we met at Pitts Ranch Park in Camarillo. We had 15 riders, including Bonnie's friend Kathy as the day's newby, as well as Vince, returning from a year's convalescence. No one opted for the long ride to Sycamore Canyon Beach, but the group separated a bit as some folks wanted a quick return or easier ride in preparation for other demands of the day. Most of us rode the 'straw man' Pokey Patrol route, turning left up the Calleguas Creek bikepath, climbing up into the Mission Oaks heights, and looping around the Village at the Commons before continuing on to the CSUCI food court. Others chose to avoid the climb and met us back on the creek bikepath, and a few folks chose to drive down to meet the rest of us for lunch. The weather was virtually perfect, the route was in great shape, and we didn't have any serious mechanical issues. This route is a bit over 20 miles long, with one fairly serious ascent in the first few miles, followed by two fast downhills, which (unfortunately) end with hard braking for turns. We probably won't have any photos from this ride, but temporarily at least, we have retained the GPS-related info for it. See the paragraph below for more info.

Other News:

PERSONALIZED VCRR SAFETY FLAGS: Some of you probably noticed the new safety flags that Kay and I had on our trikes for the San Fernando Valley ride; they're shown in one of the ride pix. This design was a sloppy prototype for a similar flag specific to VCRR that some folks have suggested over the last few years. These prototypes are quite a bit too large and their two-ply, single-side printed mesh is too stiff for use on a trike, so they will become stationary pennants for some venues. The current (and possibly very close to final) design we're suggesting for cycle mounted flags is on our website: http://www.vcrr.org/pix/vcrrflagsample.jpg. It would be printed double-sided on a 9-ounce flexible vinyl mesh material (which should have a very long useful life), sized as shown, with a sleeve for attaching to a standard 1/4" or 6mm fiberglass pole, hemmed with a binding and including optional fluttering ribbons with or without reflective stripes. We have a source for the basic flags, and will probably order a batch of ten within the next few weeks. Each of those ten flags can be individually personalized with pretty much any photo that's been published on our VCRR website over the last five years or so. Materials for a flag will cost less than ten dollars; if Kay and I attach (sew on) the sleeving, edge binding and ribbons, the cost for each finished flag will be about $25, and there will be no guarantee of impeccable workmanship. [PLEASE NOTE: No slave or child labor will be employed in production.] So-o-o... if you're interested in getting one of these flags, please ping us over the next week or so, either by phone or email. Please let us know if you want a specific photo image or our generic choice on your flag, and whether you want raw materials only or a finished flag.

GPS – FUNCTION OR FUN?: I've been setting up some GPS-based aides (or entertainment) for some of our VCRR group rides recently. Even if you have no interest in riding with a GPS unit for routing, I'd suggest that even one of the simple units which have only 'bread crumb mapping' or none at all may be an appealing alternative to a wheel-driven speedometer/odometer. It can be a very pleasant way to avoid the annoyances of cable routing or wireless connectivity that doesn't work well, especially on a tadpole. Virtually all cycling GPSs will record the course (path) as you ride and allow you to transfer it to your PC for post-ride viewing and/or statistics (distance, speed, elevations). I wholeheartedly recommend using Google Earth's flyover for a dynamic (video) look at where you've been; I've posted a sample screen capture video of a flyover for the Pokey Patrol route from Pitts Ranch Park to CSUCI on YouTube. You can also use recorded tracks to interact with one of the internet sites like RideWithGPS, GPSies or MapMyRide.

RIDE VIDEOS AND OTHER PIX: Rolly has posted videos from several recent VCRR Group Rides for public viewing on YouTube at this link. We are expecting to post more videos over the next few months, and, of course, your feedback is eagerly solicited. There is also a series of older video clips posted on YouTube, on 'TheVCRR' channel, at this URL. There is a VCRR photo archive on Flickr; to view it, start at this URL. Vincent has posted some of our ride pix to the Recumbent Trikes Group on Facebook (one of several).

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T FORGET!: COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE EAGERLY[!] SOLICITED FOR OUR REGULAR GROUP RIDES THOUGHOUT 2018, AS WELL AS FEEDBACK FOR THIS WEBSITE, RIDE NOTICES, PHOTOS, RIDE VIDEOS, ROUTE SHEETS, MAPS AND VIDEO FLYOVERS. We are seriously looking for fairly immediate suggestions for the next few VCRR Group Rides, either in person, by phone or email. We will continue sending email notices a few days before each upcoming ride, at least for the next couple of months. Please let me know if you want to make any changes to our email list.

If you newbies or folks who haven't ridden with the group for a while need help or more information for getting to any of our rides, please email or phone me. Our home phone number – usually the best way to talk to us – is 805-981-0339. If we're not home you can also try my cell phone: 805-201-5107. Text messages will not work on our home phone, and are seriously discouraged for the cell phone. Don't even think about Facebook or Twitter! For convenience my email link is: