Today the temperature was a mild 70 degrees. It was perfect for riding my bike. I envisioned going to Malibu, but I only got as far as Agoura Hills, almost Malibu. I took my usual route down Burbank, around El Camino Real Charter High School and then a left on Valley Circle to Mulholland. Riding through Old Town Calabasas is always pretty. Up two hills passed Bob Smith Car Dealership and then a right on Mureau and then it was all downhill. I am really gaining confidence on the downhills. When I first got my bike, I really had to adjust to the speed and ease of it. In the beginning days I was a bit hesitant, even scared sometimes, but now I can really ride with the wind. When I got to the base of Mureau, I went left on Las Virgenes. I usually turn back and head home, but today I wanted to keep going. I rode Las Virgenes to Agoura Road and then I rode all the way to Liberty Canyon. It was a great feeling. The roads were wide and so were the bike paths. It is such a relief when there is plenty of room for cars and bikes on the road. I wanted to go to Malibu, but I have to make sure that however far I go, I have enough energy and stamina to make it back. So for today I made it as far as Agoura Hills. I guess Malibu was a little too ambitious.
On the way back I stopped at the Calabasas Pet Park. It’s a cemetery for animals and I have 4 cats buried there. There are some famous animals buried there too, like the lion for MGM. And Hollywood people bury their animals there too. It can be a very sad place because when you lose an animal it is like someone cuts a piece of your heart out. But then it can be a very comforting place since everyone that goes there knows what you are going through. Everyone there is loving and kind because they have all loved and cared for animals. They have a water cooler in the office and I stopped there purposely to refill my bottle, but the office was closed. I knocked several times, but no one answered. How was I going to make it home without water? I went around to the back and the door was open. Someone had to still be there, so I yelled, “Hey! Hey!” And then a guy came out. I didn’t recognize him. I told him that I was riding my bike and that I needed some water. He was kind enough to fill up my water bottle and then we started talking. He really loved my bike and then he pointed to his bike, so he is a cyclist too. He told me of another bike path nearby that I wasn’t familiar with. The next time I go riding I am going to check it out. His name was Jim and he told me that if I ever wanted to sell my bike to let him know. I don’t plan on selling my bike for a long time! I left the pet park and headed home.
When I got home I couldn’t wait to check my phone. Shannon told me about this really cool app – Strava. It charts my progress. I turned it on before I left Woodland Hills and it kept track of my speed, my miles and my elevation. I think I got really good numbers: My average speed was 8.2. I rode 23.6 miles. My elevation gain was 1,601 ft. I love this app. It even has a little map that shows exactly where I rode. It is the coolest thing.
I really want to work on my stamina. I am okay with going long distances, it’s just the uphill climbs that are the challenge. A lot of times, cyclists pass me up, but it just gives me motivation because if they can get up the hill, so can I.