Ventura County
Recumbent Riders


News and Ride Schedule
[Last Updated May 27th]

Ride Schedule:

May is designated by the League of American Bicyclists as National Bike Month. VCRR has been doing its part to celebrate, with several events on our schedule. Both of the regular VCRR Group rides planned for May included potluck lunches at private homes, and I've posted two other public cycling events as well. Since a majority of VCRRians ride trikes, we're upsizing to a six-week-long Trike Month by adding the first two weeks of June.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY PHONE OR EMAIL IF YOU PLAN TO RIDE AND/OR HAVE LUNCH WITH THE GROUP THIS SATURDAY! Our First Saturday VCRR Group Ride in June, this weekend (6/2) will also include a group lunch hosted by Bonnie at her home in the Channel Islands Marina. We'll start the ride from West Channel Park in the Channel Islands Marina, at the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Barracuda Way about a half mile south of Channel Islands Boulevard. The weather should be almost ideal, with temps topping out in the low 70s and a light ocean breeze. Please plan to arrive about 9 AM for a projected ride away around 9:30. Kay and I expect to be there with the usual coffee and morning munchies. The basic route this time will be short tour of the marinas, followed by a ride up the coast with speed-based turnarounds somewhere between Fifth Street and the Ventura Marina. After riding back down Victoria, we'll cross the marina on Channel Islands Boulevard and head for Bonnie's home in the Madalay Bay area, taking the second left from Meridian Avenue onto Kingsbridge Lane. Her address is 2300 Kingsbridge. We'll have salads with cold cut sandwiches for lunch. If you want to add one of your own favorite foodstuffs, please let me know by phone or email. This route will be about 15 to 25 miles, pretty much as flat as practical in SoCal, except for the CI bridge.

Also, don't forget the two popular large scale public rides scheduled for next week as well: COLT in Chatsworth and TaterTOT way up in Idaho. This is a brief listing of preliminary plans for upcoming rides:

  • Saturday, June 2nd: First Saturday VCRR Group Ride & Lunch; Bonnie's Home, Mandalay Bay in Oxnard
  • Sunday, June 10th: Chatsworth Orange Line Tour, Chatsworth
  • Saturday, June 16th: Third Saturday VCRR Group Ride; SUGGESTIONS?
  • 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:

Barb's BunchClick for More Pix 5/19/2018: For our Third Saturday ride this month, we indulged in another (very popular!) potluck lunch and ride at the Poehls' in Simi. Barb treated us to her (very popular!) chicken tortilla soup, with the rest of the trimmings for a great backyard lunch. Only about a dozen folks showed up this time, and after munchies and coffee, we separated into two subgroups, with Barb graciously dawdling around to keep the Pokey Patrol on the path until we met the Faster Folks for the pit stop at Rancho Tapo Park. From there she decided to trust the three of us who chose the flatter route and rode away into the more scenic challenging hills with the other gang. The two routes ranged from 20 to about 30 miles. The two groups met again near the western end of the Simi Arroyo bikepath, as the Pokey Patrol was making its way back. After one last grunt climb up from the arroyo the others turned around and just barely caught up as everyone pedaled back up Erringer Road, getting back to Barb & Bob's for lunch at about the same time. There were no serious issues on the ride, not even a flat tire AFAIK. Most of the pix are from Vince (again), but there is no photographic evidence to confirm rumors of my unplanned, ill-advised and illegal excursion off the bikepath over the side and about hafway down the graveled bank of the arroyo, fairly fortunately foundering on the first row of rocks.

Are We Having Fun Yet?Click for More Pix 5/5/2018: Bicycle Month started for us with a ride and potluck at the Maguires' beach house on Faria Beach. About 20 of us met at Mission Park, with the usual coffee and munchies, and handed off our potluck offerings to Bill before heading west on Main Street to the beachfront bikepath. We rode up the Omer Rains Coastal Bikeway, separating into subgroups, with the faster folks leading the way. We had a little bit of chaos with riders returning for forgotten items or to don warmer clothing for the surprisingly damp and chilly weather. As we rode out onto the old Pacific Coast Highway, we had a brief battle with a cool headwind as the coastal overcast began to blow up and away. But then the sun began working its way through the haze to give us a bright sunny Spring day. Each person or subgroup picked an appropriate turnaround point so that we all arrived for lunch at about the same time, some folks climbing Rincon Hill, while the Pokey Patrol flipped at the Seacliff Fire Station. The ride was between about 25 and 40 miles, with a few short grunt climbs. On the return, everyone popped in for lunch with Bill and Gloria, including a few who had chosen not to ride for whatever reason. We had a great time visiting and sampling all the different foodstuff, before the time came to head back home. The breeze on the beach stayed a little cool, even into midafternoon, and became a nice tailwind for that last eight miles back down to Ventura. Most of the pix (and all of the BUTTSHOTS!) are from Vince this time.

Group ShotClick for More Pix 4/21/2018:Ten of us started this short, easy ride from the northwestern corner of the Seabridge Marina development in Oxnard. There were no newbies this time; even the Catrike Stephen rode has been on previous VCRR rides with a different pilot. We did a looping tour of all the Seabridge and Channel Islands marinas before a pit stop at Oxnard State Beach. After the pit stop we separated a bit with our more eager cyclists extending their route to include an extra 5 miles or so by continuing on up Harbor to Gonzales before the return down Victoria to meet the rest of us for lunch at Pirates. Lunch was a little bit of a disappointment, since they apparently didn't have quite the right kitchen crew that day; our meals were mostly what we'd ordered, but the food came out in twos and threes over a 15-minute period. This venue is a pretty easy, fairly flat ride, 20 to 25 miles, and the weather was virtually perfect. After a bit of pre-ride tire repair, we made it through the rest of the day with no mechanical issues. Those blue skies in the pix by Rolly and me are pretty much as we saw them. Be sure to check out Rolly's video, using the link below.

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.

Other News:

PERSONALIZED VCRR SAFETY FLAGS: Some of you may have noticed the new safety flags that Kay and I had on our trikes for the last few rides, as shown in the ride pix. These flags are sloppy prototypes for a similar attention getter specific to VCRR that some folks have suggested over the last few years. We're still trying to come up with a good design, hoping for a practical flag, printed double-sided on a durable, slightly flexible material (which should have a very long useful life), 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. Once we've finalized a design, 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 probably 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, either by phone or email. 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, CUSTOM VCRR SAFETY FLAGS AND/OR VIDEO FLYOVERS. We are seriously looking for suggestions for VCRR Group Rides for the Summer, 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: