Adventure: Inland Loop with Santa Ana Winds

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For those of you who don’t know, several times a year we get what is called “Santa Ana Winds.” Instead of the primary wind direction coming from the ocean the current reverses and the wind comes from inland. Now, to be perfectly honest, Santa Ana Winds make everyone slightly crazy. Sometimes a lot crazy. People are on edge, testy and prone to lashing out. The wind coming from inland is DIRTY wind. Smoggy, filled with sand, grit, heavy pollution and intense heat. Most describe it as just “gross.” It’s also one of the worst times to go cycling.

With that in mind I jumped on the Bianchi and attempted a casual 25 miles, but with a new twist. RIDE SLOW. As slow as possible. Normally when I ride I get my heart rate and legs right up the breaking point, back off ten percent, then maintain that as long as possible, but my current health level doesn’t allow for that, so ride slow was new to me.

Twenty-five ticked by, then thirty-five, and I still felt great but decided to shut it down. Now I wait for the fallout. I had my recovery drink. I have oodles of water at hand. I’m in lotus hovering above the ground and a butterfly just landed on my hand. Full disclosure, I’m taking creatine once again, something I haven’t done since college and Keto Force, and on Friday I had two hours of IV treatment which both makes me feel fantastic and makes me realize I’m probably dehydrated most of the time.

Let’s face it people riding a bike is a grand thing. No matter your distance or skill level. Just getting out into the world with the wind in your face, Lyme or no Lyme, is time well spent. Oh, check out the image below. That’s not Utah, that’s the OC. Snow on them there mountains.

Comments 6

  1. Anything that comes from the Valley of the Dirt People/The 909 is usually bad but, Santa Anas are good for one thing and one thing only. Off shores! On a good swell, it makes things damn near perfect.

    Nice loop you rode.

    1. Post

      Classic. Valley of the Dirt People. Anything that’s good for a swell is good for humanity.

  2. “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

    Whenever I read anything about the Santa Ana winds, I feel compelled to quoted Raymond Chandler about such.

    I agree with your assessment of cycling. I used to be a hardcord 35-50 mile cyclist, dashing kit and all. Then kids started coming. And the seat got awfully hard. Now I cycle around the neighborhood on a beater mountain bike with my kids, but the joy is still there. And seeing my five year old balance and ride for the first time last summer felt great.

    1. Post

      GREAT description of the winds. I used to cover the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii every winter, and one year we have INSANE trade winds for two weeks. People literally lost it. Even the normally calm folks walked with danger in their step. My first bike was a yellow Schwinn with a banana seat and streamers. It was my freedom.

  3. From the photo of your bike, Daniel, it looks like you have …. I think it’s called … sunshine. I remember sunshine, vaguely.

    Great quote from Raymond Chandler, Mark.

    My bike has racing tyres and straight handlebars (not sure of the correct terminology) and it’s fast, faster than I can pedal it that’s for sure, but man, that seat is hard! I’m thinking of getting a mountain bike with soft tyres and a soft seat. A slow ride is better than no ride.

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      Yes, that’s all we have. Sun. And wind. And occasional flooding. And mudslides. And sometimes earthquakes. Being comfortable is huge, especially on anything over 50 miles. People who make fun of cycling kit have never been on a bike seat for 8 hours straight.

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