Saturday, May 11, 2013

ATOC Day -1

Another gorgeous day in the Santa Monica mountains and time to relax and smell the Cactii
Cactii in bloom at the top of Piuma Rd
As the race proper looms large on the horizon, the boys were happy enough to roll for 30 mins on the promise of a coffee shop that can make coffee more to what we are accustomed to.  Upon entering Calabasos, we were charmed with the quaint old western type architecture, that hails back to times when it was nothing more than a stagecoach pit stop.
Peddler's Fork was our target and it did not disappoint.  Only having opened a couple of weeks ago, the stunning 1 foot beams of oak that make up the building with lots of glass make for a perfect setting to relax over a great coffee.  Masi's, Colnago's, Eddy Mercxk's bikes grace the walls.  Air pump, water and bike racks complete with locks are in the "bike" parking area.

Some classic bikes adorn the walls, it's almost a shame they aren't available to ride.
 We met some lovely locals, one lady, Canadian born, but lived in Sydney and met her husband there, struck up a conversation after hearing the order for a "flat white" coffee.
Another couple, Lyn and Brian, were very interested to hear about our adventure, where we were from, and how big are the insects in Australia.  Very funny!
It was such a chilled morning, we all agreed the only option was just to roll back to the hotel for lunch, but my legs still wanted more, or perhaps it was just the idea of setting off on my own to find another climb, so with a few directions from Malcolm, I veered off and set to summitting Piuma Rd.  Another stunning ascent with views to take your breath away.  Again it never really got over 10%, smooth roads, sweeping corners and some very impressive properties with a 10 minute descent back down the mountain to widen the grin.

The view East from near the summit

Looking West to Malibu
 From there it was rolling bergs all the way along Mulholland Highway to the hotel.  Another beautiful ride.  Tomorrow it's time to leave this beautiful area and head south to ready for the start on Sunday.  Last night we met Janice Burns our Sojeuner for all of next week.  This amazing New Yorker has worked as a professional for many of the pro teams and has even been to TDU!  She said she would move to Adelaide in a heartbeat! She also had a very interesting perspective on the whole Lance saga from one who was very close to the workings, so we are very lucky to be setup with her looking after us for the week.
That's it for now
Keep Riding

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