Just two weeks since my last double at Solvang, I was back down south again for another. The weather was infinitely better, mostly clear sunny skies with a bit cold start in the morning. This was a new ride for me and I hadn't been in this area before, so I didn't know exactly what to expect. Turns out it is a awesome area to ride in! The ride started in land at Agoura Hills, with the first part of the ride descending down to the sea to Malibu.
It was a scenic ride down Highway 1 for about 10 miles before heading back up in the hills at Malibu. As the climb start the group of riders started to break apart, I decided not to be to aggressive and fell in to the middle of the pack. The route climbed up until Mulholland Highway, the road that give the race it's name. It is a great road that rolls through the hills by the coast.
After weaving throughout the hills the course lead me back down to the coast on Highway 1 again heading north. After a seven miles north on Hwy 1 we turned inland which is where the route would stay for next 75 miles or so. We had a short but steep climb to tackle before the lunch stop but not too bad. At around mile 90 we had lunch and continued through the towns, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Moorpark, one street looks like the next so this became repetitive quickly, even though it was only 15 miles. Out of the towns, there was a bit of climb before a great decent into what I can only describe as a Labyrinth of Orange Trees. Having gotten through the maze there was of course a very steep hill gating the exit.
This picture (above) is from the top of the climb, which must reached at least 20% grade at it's toughest point. From here though it was all downhill and flat back out to Highway 1, for a couple more big climbs up in the Malibu hills.
Nearly at the top of the final climb and it was starting to get dark. It had been a painful climb and my legs were feeling it, but I only had a couple more miles before the final rest stop and decent. The final decent was steep and the daylight had faded I was now relying on my bike headlight to show the way. After the big decent there was a small climb back into Agoura Hills where the race started. There is something about city streets and possibly just because it was the end of the race, but the last five miles seemed a longer than the first. I was very glad to get back that the hotel and rest and feast :-)
A perfect day for a ride, a little windy at times but a great temperature, no rain and awesome scenery.