Come ride with the San Clemente Renegades every sunday morning!
Where: San Clemente Cyclery, 2801 S El Camino Real, San Clemente When: 8:45 am every Sunday What: 50 miles round trip with varied terrain. Who: Everyone is welcome. Helmets are required. Why: Because not every day is a race.
The real scoop: The ride departs SC Cyclery about 8:45 (sometimes a hair later) and we are generally back by 11:20. The ride goes South to Christianitos Rd where we begin the warm up. The pace is civil and because this is an out and back 5 mile warm up, riders who show up late usually join in as the group makes the turn around before the guard shack.
The ride then heads South through Trestles and past San Onofre nuclear power plant. The pace is steady but usually at a casual talking pace. Occasionally it can be a bit brisk but generally someone will slow it down if it starts to get to fast. Through the State Park we ride two up with the leaders dropping off every 30-60 seconds. If you have never ridden in a group or are unsure of how this works, stay towards the back and watch. You can always ask someone for help. We try to point out rocks, people, cars, etc... but always keep your eyes open as the State Park can be quite crowded at times.
There is a gate at trail six on the left hand side that we single file through. This is not an opportunity for your well planned attack. We try to sit up here as the last people through the gate have to chase pretty hard to get back on. Steady pace down the hill and through the tunnel under the freeway. Watch out for oncoming riders and the loose sand in the corner. The pace picks up pretty quickly down the runway to Las Pulgas Rd. Don't worry about getting dropped as we regroup and wait at the parking lot for those that stop for a "natural". There is usually a group that turns around at this point if you are pressed for time need a few less miles.
We enter the base at the Las Pulgas gate. Helmets are required as is a valid ID or drivers license. Please remember the riding on the base is a privilege and not a right so please act as such. We head down the hill and turn right onto Stuart Mesa Rd. The pace begins to pick up towards the first jump hill and will continue to accelerate past the obstacle course. Attacks usually are not encouraged as the pace will be hard enough. If you feel the need you can always take a longer pull into the wind. The pack generally breaks up a bit over the 2nd jump hill, through blow up bend and the run into the "bus stop sprint" This is the bus stop just before the mini mart.
After the sprint everyone heads down the Duck Pond hill and turns left onto the climb. This is an out and back climb with a regroup at the top so feel free to ride it as you see fit. There will always be someone looking for KOM points! Those that do the big climb regroup at the power lines on the top of the 3rd hill. This is the KOM line BTW.
We ride easy back to the top of the Duck Pond hill and regroup again so that people can get water at the market. On the way back it is a steady rotation all the way to Las Pulgas. Unsure of what or how a rotation works? Just sit back and watch and stay out of the wind. If you feel comfortable enough to pull through just keep your pace steady and keep your ears open (someone will yell at you if you are doing something wrong - don't take it personal though). We regroup again at Las Pulgas so that any stragglers can get back on. If you are a straggler just tuck into the back and stay out of the wind and you will be fine. There is always next week to hit the front. Watch and learn beats dropped and bitter anytime.
Rotation is the name of the game up to the Park and remember attacking at the gates is a no no. Steady and fast through the park and then it starts setting up for the sprint. After we leave the park it is 2 miles until the stop light after the overpass. If you are new to the ride or not used to the sprint you can always opt out. It can be a bit cheeky at times so when in doubt, sit it out. Since it is a fun ride and there is no prize money the sprint means very little (yeah right). We then cool down on the way back to the shop. Please be aware and very careful at the crosswalk at the top of Trestles. Cars will sometimes stop but not always. Do not take chances as a bike is no match for a car.
After the ride we hang out at the shop for a bit, then some riders will head home, out to breakfast or for the true Renegades, off to the clubhouse. The clubhouse is Big Helyns and is just South of SC Cyclery on El Camino Real. Feel free to join the group for a cold drink and a post ride debrief (it's fun). They have no issues with lycra and they are a sponsor as well!
If you want even more detail follow the link below. John included some tips below the link.