Cyclocross and More!
5k Rund, Dirt Duathlon
Bike Packing / Grave Ride Adventure
The holidays are almost here, winter rain and cold are to arrive by next weekend, and SoCal Cross has arranged for several inexpensive camp share sites in the rolling hills north of Ventura and west of Ojai. Altogether, the Crossitas weekend is a great opportunity for a short bikepacking-centered escape and an opportunity to mingle with a community of fun-loving cyclocross racers and fellow cyclists at Lake Casitas Recreation Area. The weather is going to be perfect–both days are likely to be sunny and in the low 60s. You can come for the racing and camping, though the real attraction might be an opportunity to ride Sulphur Mountain Road, one of the must-do Southern California gravel rides.
The Lake Casitas area is an inviting blend of wilderness and laid-back tourist destinations, all accessible by AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner trains from the San Diego, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara areas (four trains daily from the south, two daily from the north) and a short bike ride along the Ventura River Rail Trail. The lake is surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest and privately-owned wildlands, making an inviting rustic, lakeside camping setting. The charming town of Ojai, with coffee bars and delightful restaurants, is only 7 miles away—and most of those miles can be ridden on the active transportation-only Ojai Valley Trial, one of California’s best known rail trails.
Sulphur Mountain Holiday Gravel Bike Adventure
A centerpiece of the Crossitas weekend is a Sunday morning ride Sulphur Mountain Road (you can safely stash you camping gear at the races while you go on this adventure). This gravel road, running along a ridge overlooking the Ojai Valley on the north and the Ventura County coast on the south, meanders through thousands of acres of oak woodlands, well removed from urban life. The Sulphur Mountain Holiday Gravel Bike Adventure is approximately 40 miles of riding with about 3,500 feet elevation gain. Expect about one-third dirt and the rest pavement along quiet country roads (Sulphur Mountain Road itself is gated on both ends, which means no vehicles for miles) and rail trails. There will be one re-supply check point with water and snacks. The town of Ojai is a great place to take break for lunch at any of the local eateries along Ojai Avenue, leaving plenty of time to ride back to the Lake for awards and packing up before the trip home.