A fun weekly stomp that can be found each Saturday that traverses the Redlands-Riverside-Corona areas. Essentially it starts out at 7:30am from the Coffee Shop, on the corner of Alabama and Barton, in Redlands. Its located smack dab in the 2nd to last corner of the Redlands crit course used in the Tour. Once underway, the pace is way comfortable. No problem if you are still working down the last of your coffee or still bundled up with all of your warm gear, everyone is in a relaxed, social mode. Traveling predominantly down Barton Road, you eventually find yourself scooting through downtown Riverside, past the Mission Inn and ultimately to the corner of Central and Brockton (otherwise known as your last chance of looking cool and now time to ditch this ride before you have to work). With roughly 20 miles in your legs, you typically will have 5-10 minutes to sit around in this parking lot until the group, which typically can grown from 30 to 70+ riders (depending on time of year), starts to head out. Again, you have a easy gentle climb out of the area for a few miles, and even get to pace down beautiful, tree lined roads (Vicotria) until you make a left on Madison. Its at this point you realize that the rest of this ride is nothing like the first 20+ miles. Everyone is figidity, looking for a good wheel to follow, because in less than a minute it is a hard right onto Dufferin and a flatout drag strip where you can hit speeds of 30mph. The pace tapers as it bends through the a couple of streets and chicanes and finally calms down simply because we almost always hit a red light (thank you!). Hurry up and catch your breath because the group is now warmed up. They blast down the rest of the way, hitting the outskirts of La Sierra Ave. Around this point, the real riders hook a left and make like a bunch of crazed polka dot contenders and blast up a gentle grade (too bad it is done at mach speed) that leaves nothing on the line. A few more short but steep kickers typically finishes off the Freds that were foolish enough to follow. Ultimately, this fast group winds its way back down to Victoria. While all this fun was being had, there typically is another group that bypassed these climbs and made a bee line to get as far ahead as possible down Victoria; I suppose the idea is to be ahead and rest before the fast guys catch back up, though they always get caught and are that much more tired. One way on another, we all manage to make a right onto Indiana and essentially begin the trek back. Sometimes you can catch your breath for a minute (depends on the discretion of the fast guys and whether or not they think that the rest of us have gotten our heart rates up enough). Make a right up McKinley and it is back to climbing rather gentle grades, but at a clip that always seems to be faster than you are wanting to go. The group toughs it out all the way to the last grade and turns right onto Fillmore – though I would call it Feel More because this is where everyone is going for the imaginery prime at the top. It hurts. Then its back onto Victoria where the group plays single file or bunches depending again on the mood. During racing season however, it is head down, hide behind the biggest rider you can find and pray that you are not caught off the back. You end up back at the Central/Brockton Start area, with another 24 miles in the legs, and the knowledge that for the most part, the testosterone measuring is over. The group ultimately finds its way heading back through downtown Riverside and essentially to Redlands, via Barton and can claim just about 65 miles in the legs. I have heard that this ride has been around for years. One guy told me 30+. Not sure, but it is the closest thing you will find in this area to simulate racing speeds.
Redlands Start: 7:30 Coffee Shop, on the corner of Alabama and Barton, in Redlands.
Riverside Start: 8:30 am parking lot on Brockton and Central.
Route: The ride takes you through the Historic Victoria District, out to Home Gardens (Corona East) and back.
Distance: 24 – 65 miles
Intensity: Be prepared to keep an average speed of over 25mph and you must be able to hit speeds well over 30 mph. Many riders use this for race training.
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