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July 25, 2003

A Tale of 2 Cycling Holidays

A Daughter Retraces the Route of Her Father:

In 1953 Roy Jenkin and Gordon Newberry decided to pedal their bikes around France, Switzerland, and Germany on a jolly summer adventure.

Roy wrote a Journal of the trip and the pair took alot of glorious black and white photos of the places they visited.

It is a story about the people they met, and the places they camped ( yes, camped) each night. It is a story about food, animals, accidents, and the kindnesses of strangers in nations full of people still recovering from the horrors of war 6 years previous.

This is an emotional tale, told wonderfully by a young man out to expore the greater world he lived in.

50 years later his daughter, Nina, decides to honor her Father's memory by, with a companion, taking the journey herself.

Using a modern bike, and color film, and communicating thru the wonders of the Internet and e-mail, she is sharing her journey with the world.

Voyage, Voyage is a site of many parts, including a WEBLOG.

In addition to an introduction there are, among other things, a link to the pages and photos of her Father's journey, a link to her weblog detailing the current trip, a link to her pictures and postcards and notes on the current trip, and a link to an ongoing message board where readers can share their thoughts as they follow along with Nina on her incredible adventure, and read comments from Nina her self from whatever Internet cafe or access she is writing from.

I have spent a wonderful couple of hours this morning reading this site and highly recommend it to road cyclists, and Tour enthusiasts of all levels.

July 25, 2003 in Blogging Cyclists | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 05, 2003

Tour de France

Welcome to the Official Site of Tour de France 2003 coverage....

By THE CYCLING DUDE, that is.:-)

The big news as the race, and it IS a race, and NOT a leisurely TOUR of the French countryside, is that 4 time winner LANCE ARMSTRONG has come forward and announced that HE realizes how much he has missed over the last 4 years by not taking the time to take his time and smell the flowers, see the sights, get a few pictures, taste the food and wine, and hang out and gab with the natives.

In a pre-race press conference before the event got underway Lance shocked his teammates, the assembled press corp, and all of France, by saying that he was going to just mosey along at a leisurely 15 miles an hour and enjoy the beautiful French countryside and all it has to offer.

Then he adjusted his backpack and Camelback Mule full of water, and set out on his journey.

A spokesman for his teammates, when asked by reporters if this was a joke, had this to say:

"On a practice sprint, earlier in the week, Lance took a header while trying to dodge a heardsman and his flock crossing the road. He seemed okay at the time, but some of his teammates observed him, afterwards, spending much time on the internet visiting an American website with safe cycling links, and lengthy essays on the joys of leisurely 66 mile bike rides in the Malibu area Mountains, and 20 mile rides along the beaches. They realize, now, that maybe he should have seen a Doctor, and spent the last few days getting lots of rest."

President Bush, when asked, had this to say:

"Bicycling is good for your health, and so is taking the time to smell the flowers. Didn't Lance have health problems a few years ago?

I don't drink anymore, but the French make good food, like fries and stuff and, despite our recent political differences, I don't have any problems with French food.

Lance is a good ambassador for American values, and I hope he wins the race."

Go Lance!! :-)

July 5, 2003 in Bicycling Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2003

SNEAKY'S FIGURE 8

Exploring The Upper Newport Back Bay and San Diego Creek in May, 2003.

Location: Newport Beach and Irvine, Ca.

Directions to Ride Start:

Various freeways lead south from LA County, Riverside County, and North Orange County to connect with the 55 Frwy. to Costa Mesa, and the 405 frwy comes north as well for anyone traveling from South Orange County.

The 55 becomes Newport Blvd. at 19th Street.

Turn left at 19th. 19th becomes Dover at Irvine Ave.

Turn left at Castaways Lane and take an immediate right into Castaways Park, or a left into Bob Henry Park.

By bus, folks can connect with OCTA 43, south on HARBOR BLVD., anywhere from Brea to Costa Mesa, and transfer to OCTA 55 at Harbor and Wilson, heading south. The 55 stops at Dover & Castaways Lane.

Alternatively folks coming from along the coast, from Long Beach to San Clemente, can take OCTA 1 to Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, and connect with OCTA 55 there.


Castaways is open 6am-11pm.

THE ROUTE:

1. Start at the south end of Castaways Parking Lot.
2. Climb path and turn right, then left, to reach plaque.
3. Continue along trail to Westcliff and Dover. (aprox. 1.02miles)
4. Cross the street at crosswalk to continue south (left) on Dover.
5. Left at Pacific Coast Highway. (1.74m)
6. Left at Jamboree Rd. (2.78m)
7. Left at Back Bay Rd. (2.98m)
8. Info Kiosk, parking lot, and porto potty. (4.4m)
9. Left at East Bluff Dr. (6.35m)
10. Stop at Jamboree and cross on crosswalk to near corner on your left. (6.64m)
11. Proceed on pavement, turn left onto Bike Path and under Jamboree bridge onto the San Diego Creek Bike Trail. (6.82m)
12. Stay left on the path. (9.38m)
13. Colonel Bill Barker Marine Corp Memorial Park. (11.18m)
14. Lake Rd. crossing (Del Taco and Mobil Station). (13.04m)
15. Right at Jeffrey Rd. (13.78m)
16. Becomes University Dr. at the 405 frwy. overpass.
17. Campus Dr. entrance to San Diego Creek Bike Trail. (17.75m)
18. Jamboree Rd. overpass. (19.18m)
19. Follow sidewalk north to corner, and make 2 quick lefts back onto Bike Trail leading to north shore of the Back Bay.
20. Stay left on trail to entrance of Interpretive Center. (20.65m)
21. Cross entrance and continue on trail, south next to Irvine Ave., to Santiago. (21.78m)
22. Cross Irvine, at cross walk, and continue south on Irvine Ave.

( Food stops available at Westcliff Dr. and Irvine Ave. area.)

23. Left at Westcliff Dr. (23.03m)
24. Right on Dover.
25. Left on Castaways for return to parking lot.

Aproximate ride distance is 23.75 miles, and while mostly flat and easy, there are a few brief hilly spots for a change of pace.

THE RIDE:

Castaway's Park, overlooking Newport Bay, has something of a history to it dating back to 1870 when one Capt. Samuel S. Dunnels, and the good ship Vaquero entered Newport Bay for the first time.

The park land itself was granted to the city of Newport Beach and dedicated as a park in 1998 ( Bob Henry park developed on the site of the shooting death of a Newport Beach Police Officer, and named in his honor).

I entered the park from the south end of the parking lot and, after a short climb, turned right and left to a plaque on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Bay.

From this point I was treated to a great view of the Newport Bay, almost to the ocean (on a clear, fogless, day you can see much further).

As I continued along the cliff and behind a row of houses the view was of the Ecological Preserve, and of Fashion Island Shopping Center in the distance.

One thing I noticed at the park are signs stating that Coastal Bluff Revegitation is in progress so don't jump the fence to get a look down the cliff side.

Once out of the park I headed down Dover to PCH, then over to Jamboree and Back Bay Dr..

As I rode along PCH, over the Bay Bridge, I got a close-up of the Bay, and the steamboat that is a Nautical Museum (free admission), on the right.

At the bottom of jamboree, a left put me on the Back Bay Dr., and the first thing I notice is the entrance to Newport Dunes Resort and the Back Bay Cafe.

The real fun begins at Back Bay and Shellmaker where I enter the Newport Bay Ecological Preserve (open 7am-sunset), and the road becomes 2 lanes (1 for eastbound traffic, and 1 bike lane going west).

I am heading east and, only later realize the full extent of the bike path around the Bay.

A quarter mile in I begin to notice the utter quiet, except for birds, and the uninterrupted eastward view of the wetlands. According to the info kiosks along the way the birds include Light-footed Clapper Rails, Least Terns, and various Sparrows, and Ducks.

(Oh, and the rabbits, and squirrels are like some humans in that they flat out refuse to stop, look, and listen when crossing the road, so be very careful out here folks!)

I passed a Porto Potty, so if you need a pitstop there is one. :-)

Climbing out of the Bay I hung a left on East Bluff and made my way to the continuation of the bike path on the NW corner of Jamboree.

The Back Bay (Newport Bay) is considered an environmental assett to the local community and is one of the largest Coastal Wetlands in California. Restoration began in 1985 and the effort to maintain the natural beauty of Upper Newport Bay continues to this day.

After carefully crossing the street at Jamboree, to reach the bike path, I go down it and hang a left to go down what seemed to be a bike path heading further inland.

This turned out to be the San Diego Creek Bike Trail, and it led me on a nice, flat ride past business, recreational, and residential areas of Irvine for miles all the way past Mickleson, the 405, and Main, to Jeffrey Rd.

One thing obvious to me by this point was that not only the Back Bay, but the Creek as well, were very popular with cyclists, walkers, and joggers of all types.

The first leg of the creek ride has lots of vegitation in the creek and the last leg has the creek turned into something of a grassy greenbelt.

Bathrooms and water can be found at Barker Memorial Park, in Irvine, and a little further on there will be a Del Taco for munchies.

From the Del Taco I have to contune along the path by crossing several streets along the way to Jeffrey.

As I pass over the 405, and Jeffrey becomes University the road climbs upward into the hills before leveling off to wind its way past William R. Mason Regional Park (more bike and hiking paths!), and UC Irvine to Jamboree.

Upon reaching UC Irvine, at University and Campus, I get back on to the Creek Bike Trail and return to Jamboree and the Bay.

I take a seat on the bridge wall, gaze out at the bay for a few minutes and realize I'd just done a nice, relatively easy loop that was almost complete.

I followed the sidewalk a short distance north and turned onto a bike path that heads along the north shore of the bay.

The path passes the Nature Preserve Interpretive Center (10-4pm, tues.-sat.), and then parallels Irvine Ave. before I have to leave it and rejoin traffic on Irvine.

At Westcliff and Irvine, (and west on 17th) there are plenty of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner before heading on Westcliff, and Dover back to Castaways Park.

July 2, 2003 in Riding Orange County | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 01, 2003

What REALTORS Read

....When Not Perusing True Home Confessions Magazine

So, there is this quartet of Orange County Realtors with several websites, and one of them is relatively new, and quite popular.

Grow-A-Brain wants its readers to increase their knowledge by visiting eclectic sites on the internet.

So they have categorized what they consider "the most interesting places to visit on the internet."

In their own words:

"They may represent no specific philosophy or coherent worldview, but you will find many of them to be fascinating, enlightening and intelligent... Some of course are just stupid..."

So, quess who is listed among the 1st 15 sites in Blogs from Orange County, Ca.? :-)

Word is that at least 1 of these nice folks finds THE CYCLING DUDE interesting.:-)

I am honored, and hope that the writing, here, gives readers who stop by, from this site, a good accounting of what life is like in this neck of the woods, and of the opportunities for cycling to be found here, and around other parts of the United States as well, as this place continues to grow and evolve.

July 1, 2003 in The Well Read Cyclist | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack