This was a very well supported ride. However, a couple of the turns were not too clearly marked--especially the ones where you're flying down hill at 25mph and you were supposed to turn. I got lost twice. Lunch was great and the idea of giving medals to 1st Time Century riders was particularly sweet. I'll do it again next year.
Overall an enjoyable ride. I did the hammerhead century. The weather was great. The volunteers at the stops were great! The ride through Santa Paula was nice. However, the ride on the 101 was brutal. The relentless headwinds... ugh.
The ride was overall good but it was not well-marked especially the beginning. Royce is spot-on with his comment--it was easy to miss the turns in the beginnning when you were going down a hill. Riders don't like to slow down at every turn to see if that is where the route goes. And the piece of paper was useless with all the written instructions. Who has time to read that? Even if I read it, I wouldn't know where to go. Suggest you put signs on the side of the road similar to those signs telling just how much was left on the Casitas Pass climb. Those are easier to spot. Also, the arrows were confusing because there were older arrows from some other century on the road, too. Disagree with suggestion to remove 101 section. It was fine. I really enjoyed riding on old PCH. And seeing all the agriculture in Ventura. I would do this ride again, but hope the route is more clearly marked. Oh, also there were long stretches with no indicators. Made me nervous.
My second year and it gets better. Volunteers everywhere were great! No turn markings at. LUNA. Patagonia seems to begun shut down early and kind of makes you feel uncomfortable trying to get a sandwich down. Mechanic from Performance at carp ha stop was great. Boy Scouts great!!!
I did the Double Metric Plus... I missed the markers twice, I agree with AlyshaW, the markers should have more warning. I cycled most of it solo so with keeping eyes on the road, lights, stop signs, car and looking for markers and holding the map... I just missed a couple and rode an extra 8 miles (perhaps I missed the signs because I was #666 LOL). Other then that, everything was fantastic. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to have a great experience.
I also would like to get some of the pictures that were taken during the ride. The food at the stops were good especially the banana w/peanut butter and who can resist oreo cookie w/peanut butter. New addiction. The people working at the stations were all so friendly and nice and supportive. Great job everyone!
See you next year. Roxy aka Dana Pt Devil
Met so nice people... wish I had gotten numbers or friended on facebook
An awesome event. Yes, there was some confusion at some of the turns due to markings either not there or not clear but everything else was GREAT! The 101 section need to stay since that way you get all elements of a ride, the beauty of the moutains, country type roads, highway, bike path and the ocean. I thought it was really cool how we were greated at the end with bells clanging and greeting yells. Thanks for the effort as I participated last year for the first time and looked forward to this year and now next year.
I rode the metric century as my re-entry into cycling after several years and to train and prepare for a ride in Italy in September. I have been riding locally in the Redondo Beach area including some hills in PV (Campesina and Del Monte but not the big one). I liked the ride best between the start and Carpenteria. I skipped the 10 mile loop out from Carpenteria and back. And sagged from Patagonia. Altogether I rode 47 miles, perfect for me right now. I was really uncomfortable riding on the 101 especially because the bike path was right next to the traffic lane and there was yet another expanse of concrete (a parking strip) to the right of the bike path. Would the traffic believe I was really supposed to ride next to them when there was more space to my right? I hear that a bond measure has passed that would fund building the bike path separate from the freeway and I will celebrate the day, month, year, that happens. I loved that I could take my time and sag out when I needed to. The weather was great except for headwinds. I liked the climbs. Altogether a good ride for a beginner like me. It made me realize I need a new (or used) up-to-date road bike - I was riding a steel frame touring bike - and it really slowed me down.
Wonderful event. I did the double metric
very challenging. Loved Rose Valley. It was great that it was a relatively small event (i am used to 5000 )the volunteers were amazing, friendly and helpful.
I will definitely make this a regular ride.
Great, enthusiastic volunteers, but the organization was certainly sub-par.
I did the Hammerhead, and the first 25 miles of the century were some of the most gorgeous I've seen anywhere. But inexplicably, the route goes down to the ocean. It's the OJAI VALLEY century. It's stunning country. Why not stay there? So we head down to the coast, and we get put on the 101 with trucks speeding past us at 80 MPHs. I literally feared for my life. Then, when we finally got off, the road hugging the coastline was a disaster. Saw several people flatting in the gravely, pockmarked "pavement". Then, we had to go through some residential and ugly industrial/commercial to get back to ... BEAUTIFUL Ojai Valley. Stay there!
Some other problems: 1) no on-the-bike fueling items at rest stops, like gels. Every other century I've done the last three years have them. My century fueling strategy requires on-the-bike grazing. Couldn't do it because no packaged foods were available.
2) To whoever lays down the course markers -- the arrows go BEFORE the intersection, not after. Seriously, 9/10th of route markers were AFTER the intersection. It was so bad, we crossed intersections looking in every direction to make sure we weren't missing a turn. Now keep the arrows after the intersection -- those are good "peace of mind" reminders that we're on the right track. But you have to have arrows before.
And in some places, the sticker arrows had peeled off. It was clear that organizers had painted markers in previous years. A couple of times, it was those old markers that helped me find the right path. Stick with paint if you can.
3) What's the point of the rider number on the bike? Damn thing was flapping all over the place and even chaffing my leg. I finally tore it off. For that matter, why the bib numbers? This wasn't a race. Many centuries these days give you a wristband so you can prove you belong at rest stops. No flapping in the wind or whatnot.
4) No hand sanitizer at port-a-potties. That's probably the fault of the sanitation company, but if you're not going to provide hand-washing stations, at least offer hand sanitizer.
5) The portions of the post-race BBQ was pitiful. I've just burned 4,000 calories. I've PAID extra for the food (which most centuries include with the registration fee), and you can't give me a healthy helping? I left the school STILL starved. And I'm a small 140 lb guy.
6) Not a complaint, per se, but wondering what people do with those stupid patches many (if not most) centuries include with their registration packets. Are you supposed to sew those on to your jean jackets? I wish centuries would save the cash spent on those patches and spend it on stuff that actually matters.
The fifth year in a row and feels just like going to that favorite place away from the chaos and confusion. Great refreshment stops, helpful signs (arrows) on the roads, friendly staff, etc. A great decision by staff to have the event at the end of spring, beginning of summer to maximize daylight hours; especially for families with the little ones. I would agree that a tad more road arrows or signs on those sharp turns would be helpful for the "speed" zones. The printed directions are good for those who prefer that type of navigation or miss a turn and need to back track.
Fun course! However, the La Luna turn was unmarked and it's a major turn. It's overall not a very well marked course, which kind of ruins the flow. It's a drag to constantly check the ride sheet, watch for vehicular traffic, watch the surrounding rider traffic, etc. Personally, I really loathed the 101 section. Getting nearly blown over several times by the huge, speeding big rigs passing by really sucked. I've ridden other stretches of the 101, and was not nearly as stressed out as I was on this ride. Despite this, I really enjoyed the rest of the course.
More signs, rather than just the arrows, would have helped us (we missed a couple of turns). I agree with AlyshaW about the long stretches with no signs or arrows. Some "you're doing fine" signs would have been welcome. 150 is a beautiful road, but no shoulders in many places makes it pretty dangerous. And 101 - what can you say, it's a pain. I chose to ride all the way to the right rather than in the bike lane right next to the cars. The pavement over there is awful but I prefer a rough ride over getting hit by someone texting or yelling at their kids. Support was awesome (THANK YOU SCOUTS!!) and the lunch was great. I'll probably do it again.
Overall, very enjoyable ride. Happy to be a part of it. The volunteers were all happy, helpful and smile inspiring people! Thank you all! I agree with the others about the lack of markings and starting in the Ventura area, the markings were "after" numerous intersections. Also, I learned to always bring your own hydration powder, heed / cytomax etc. Watered down Gatorade is NOT sufficient performance hydration.