|Description: 20 miles, including 2-10%, 5-mile climb
|Time: 6:30 AM
Street and San Vicente Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
|The Skinny: This ride begins with a short warm-up
around the Brentwood Country Club. After taking a right back
onto San Vicente, the group then heads north on Burlingame,
across Sunset Boulevard and down to Mandeville Canyon. The
initial pitch of Mandeville is reasonable, maybe 2%, but the
pace is usually fast (18-20 mph). After the first mile-1/2,
the road rises slighty, to about 4%, to the "white fence"
which signals the approximate half-way mark of the climb.
The grade is fairly steady until about 1-mile to go, when
it grades up to about 6% until finishing up a [painful] 10%,
200-meter wall to the top. Depending on your effort level
up the climb, you may have to concentrate on holding down
your breakfast as the ride regroups and recovers for several
minutes. Slower riders can catch the ride on its return down
the canyon. At that point, ride leaders may decide to either
continue on to do an Amalfi loop in Pacific Palisades (see
the Riviera ride) or head up
Chalon Road to tackle the [tortuous 12-15%] Arbutus/Banyon/Cordelia
adjoining climbs. Beverages at Peet's
in Brentwood (San Vicente and Gorham) afterward.
|Danger!: There are many blind driveways on Mandeville.
Stay to the right of the road on both the climb and descent
of Mandeville. The road is prone to heavy residential construction
traffic and more of those caffeine-fueled, cell-phone yammering,
|Tips for New Riders: Take the pace as easy or as
hard as you feel like. Often, this ride goes off as a "team
time trial" at the bottom, slowly burning off rider after
rider until someone makes it to the top. You may not want
to (or be able to) go that fast. Stay alert in order to catch
the group coming back down the canyon , check for traffic
and straggling riders, make a SAFE u-turn and jump on.
Cyclists must take responsibility for their
own safety and constantly be aware of all risk factors.
Being “in the right” is of no value if you have been hit
by a car. Mandeville is an excellent place for a training
ride, but the point of riding Mandeville is to work on your
climbing. It is simply too dangerous
to race downhill. There is an increasing amount of traffic,
workers unfamiliar with the road and, people rushing to
get to work - and there are many hidden driveways. Save
your downhill racing for weekend riding in the Santa Monica
- NEVER ride more than double file, and when a car is
trying to pass, SINGLE UP!! and move as far right as safely
- On the descent, control your speed so that you have
reaction-time. TRANSLATION: SLOW DOWN!
- On the descent, ALWAYS ride SINGLE FILE.
- STOP at Stop Signs – including Chalon Road . It is dangerous
not to stop, and the residents know that. And you can
get a very expensive ticket!
- USE EXTRA CAUTION if the view of the road ahead is obstructed
- for example, by a parked truck.
- LOOK AHEAD for cars pulling out of driveways, and watch
for any signs of motion near hidden driveways.
- USE HAND SIGNALS to indicate your intentions to turn
left or right. They don't know if you don't tell them.
- BE VISIBLE. In the early light, use a rear red blinking
light and a front headlight. That's the only way that
a driver can SEE you.
- If you see a driver do something dangerous and/or idiotic,
get the license plate number and report it to Jeffrey
- If you are truly harassed, endangered or threatened
by a driver, get the license plate number and report it
to the police as well as to Jeffrey Courion. And that's
enough! Yelling and cursing never
And be aware that if a driver sees you
do something dangerous and/or idiotic, they
will report it.
La Grange members can do their part - -
most of all by riding properly. We must show respect
to get respect, and as the “elite” cyclists we
consider ourselves to be, we must set an example for other
Besides riding safely and legally, we can
use courtesy to build a better relationship with the residents.
You can smile and say “hi” to joggers, dog walkers and construction
workers. And if a driver is working to pass, you can acknowledge
the presence of the car, which will make the driver feel
more secure when it is safe to pass. And you can
thank a particularly patient and courteous driver with a
wave or a verbal “thank you”.