Ventura County
Recumbent Riders


News and Ride Schedule
[Last Updated February 14th]

Ride Schedule:

Welcome to the second episode of what was intended as Fast Folks February! This month we planned two rides that were primarily structured to appeal to you recumbent cyclists who prefer fairly simple 'direct' routes with a minimal probability for members of the group getting hopefully lost or confused. We'll try again for our next ride, this Saturday February 17th, to compensate for climbing speed differentials by suggesting varying turnaround points on this out-and-back route, hopefully timed so that our traditional Pokey Patrol people can reconnect to the somewhat speedier cyclists for lunch and maybe a pit stop. We'll meet in the parking lot for Mission Park in downtown Ventura, arriving at 9 AM for a 9:30 departure after coffee and morning munchies. The parking lot is located between Main and Santa Clara Streets, between Ventura Avenue and Figueroa Street; try 200 E Main Street for your GPS. CAVEAT: This starting venue may not have access to public restrooms, so please plan ahead.

As you may well remember, this ride is uphill going out with a mostly fast and easy downhill return, and will probably be between 25 and 35 miles; you are very likely to use your small chainring at some point(s). After the traditional pit stop at Foster Park, the group will almost surely begin to string out with wide separations, as the Pokey Patrol grinds its way up that long climb after the pit stop. As always, the choice for a lunch stop will be negotiated by the folks who actually show up. HEADS UP: Our most common lunch stop in Ojai has changed from Eggs 'n Potatoes to Home Kitchen, with higher pricing but about the same food quality and service. In order to get most of the group back together for lunch, this weekend we will probably plan to meet at the fast food strip just south of the CA-150 turnoff to Carpinteria. The riders who climb much faster than the Pokeys should plan to continue on through Ojai to turn around at the eastern end of the bikepath or a bit further on, then maybe collect some of the slower folks still on their way up, before pulling into the lunch stop. There are several fast food options in this area, but the most likely favorite will be the $5 foot-long specials at the Subway sandwich shop. After lunch everyone will zoom back down the hill to the start area.

Our current preliminary plans for March are to have three rides on the odd Saturdays, beginning with a return to ride a loop from Balboa Park up to Chatsworth, then a repeat of Barb's Tortilla Soup trek along the foothills and arroyo of Simi Valley, and finishing up with another visit to cruise the Class I trails of the Santa Clarita Valley. Stay tuned...

This is a brief listing of preliminary plans for upcoming VCRR Group Rides:

  • Saturday, February 17th: Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride: Ventura to Ojai
  • Saturday, March 3rd: First Saturday VCRR Group Ride: San Fernando Valley?
  • Saturday, March 17th: Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride: Simi Valley?
  • Saturday, March 31st: Fifth Saturday VCRR Group Ride: Santa Clarita?

PLEASE[!]: If you have a suggestion for any of our next few rides, 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:

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 fried 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.

Peloton on WooleyClick for More Pix 1/20/2018: This weekend we rode from West Channel Park in the Channel Islands Marina, taking a partial tour of the marinas, then riding up the coast and the Arundell Barranca bikepath to have lunch at the Main Street Restaurant in Ventura. The day started out pretty chilly and gusty, but it warmed up fairly quickly to almost perfect riding weather. As usual we had about a dozen folks in the group with no newbies, and happily we had no mechanical or navigational issues. After lunch we experienced the much-too-brief thrill of zooming down Seaward, then moseyed through the Pierpont and back down Harbor on our return to the CI Marina. This route is about 25 miles, pretty much as flat as practical in SoCal.

RollingClick for More Pix 1/6/2018: The group met at Vineyard Park near The Collection in northwestern Oxnard. Gale and Jim2 joined us from the American River area, and it was great to have Pete and Linda riding with us again. In all this weekend's group totaled 17. After the usual coffee and munchies, we rode around the Riverpark area, then down Ventura Road and across the river on the freeway bridge bikepath. I picked up a rear flat on the climb up to Barranca Vista Park, where Pete discovered a problem with his chain idler that took a bit of time to repair. Thankfully, those problems were the first the group had experienced in weeks. We rode up the bikepath and eastward to Chumash Park for another brief pitstop, then back to the west along the bikepath beside CA-126 to meet Stephen, along with prodigal RVers Ann and Alan for our lunch stop at Gateway Plaza. After lunch we returned along Ralston, flew down Johnson and back through The Collection. This route is about 20 miles, with a couple of shallow climbs.

Rolling...Click for More Pix 12/30/2017: This weekend we made an all-too-rare road trip to ride the extensive network of Class I bicycle trails in the Santa Clarita Valley. About a dozen of us met at Valencia Heritage Park to socialize and/or indulge in coffee and morning munchies. We started the ride up the eastern bank of San Francisquito Canyon, then detoured to visit Chicago's home on the other side of the canyon. On the second climb we continued up to cruise one of my favorite downhill slaloms; I made (only) two wrong turns, and we finally made it to our pit stop at Bridgeport Park. We rode eastward along the Santa Clara River to Golden Valley Road and then back west beside Soledad Canyon Road to our lunch stop at Stonefire Grill. After lunch some of the group decided to shortcut back to Heritage Park, and didn't have any trouble at all persuading the rest of us to join them. This route has some moderate climbs (around 900 feet total), some short and steep, some a bit longer, and is about 23 miles long. Huffing and puffing up one of those ascents, I was somehow motivated to dredge up my (latent, of late) propensity to pen piddly poesy; resulting in this thread on BentRider OnLine, linked to the newest addition to our Poetry on Wheels webpages. As usual lately the pix were shot by Rolly.

Cantwell's ClosedClick for More Pix 12/2/2017: For our First Saturday VCRR Group Ride this month, we returned to a favorite venue that we haven't visited for awhile. However, to avoid the construction chaos at Carpinteria Creek and Casitas Pass Road, a dozen of us met at a new starting area: El Carro Park. The only newby was Michael's upgrade of his Porsche Boxster to a newer model Cayman coupe. Rolly set a high standard for enthusiasm by riding his trike up from Oxnard and back. He's added a video with excerpts of his 90-mile round trip to his YouTube page, accessible at the link below. The rest of the group was a bit less energetic, only riding up to Santa Barbara and back, about 20 to 25 miles. This route does, however, include a few short uphill grunts. We all thoroughly enjoyed the great weather and fantastic ocean views along the way. We separated into two subgroups going out, with the faster folks riding up to Stearns Wharf, while the Pokey Patrol peons flipped around at East Beach. Since we had noticed that one of our favorite lunch stops, Cantwell's Deli in Summerland, seems to have gone out of business recently, our choice for lunch on our return was pretty much unanimously for a detour down to Pizza Man Dan's in Carpinteria to enjoy their lunch special.

Leaving Enos LaneClick for More Pix TWeRKY TROT 2017:This year's TWeRKY TROT ride was markedly different from past years. The area surrounding the westernmost 7 miles of the trail historically could have been pretty accurately termed 'open dirt fields partially covered with dry brown brush', but this year it was unmistakably 'the Lower Kern River'. Water was flowing in the main river channel and noisily pouring out through the network of dams and distribution canals. Settling ponds were filled to the brim and well populated by thousands of water birds – huge white pelicans with wingspans of 6 to 8 feet, a variety of ducks, beaucoup coots, small sandpiper-like peepers and herons. On Friday morning the group rode to the west end of the bike path (Enos Lane) and popped into Panera's for lunch on our return at River Walk. The newbies for that day were George's nieces and nephew, ranging in age from 18 months to almost 18 years. On Saturday morning, with a mostly new group, most of us rode back out to the west, while Bob and Barb added some miles by going east before returning to meet us near the Enos Lane turnaround. This time most of the group opted to add a 4-mile detour to Golden Corral for lunch on the return.

Other News:

GPS – FUNCTION OR FUN?: As noted above I've set up some GPS-based aides (or entertainment) for the Pokey Patrol alternative of last weekend's ride. For anyone who wants to see the route data for his GPS, there are two route files on this website: for Garmin Edge in TCX format or for Magellan Cyclo in GPX format. FWIW: I've been experimenting with a Magellan Cyclo315 GPS that may appeal to anyone who's been tempted to try a cycling GPS with an overlay map of roads and bikepaths. This unit can use a GPX route file (like the one linked above) for guidance, creating its own waypoints from the base map. It's bright enough for sunlight viewing and is compatible with later twist-lock Garmin mounts. Battery life seems to be adequate for a day ride, even at full display brightness. Maybe best of all the Cyclo315 should be available for purchase between $50 and $100; check out eBay and/or Amazon.

Even if you have no interest in riding with a GPS unit for routing, I'd also like to 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 screen capture video of the flyover for this weekend's Pokey Patrol route 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: