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California Cogal

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Come climb with me!

On Saturday I rolled out solo in my Flandrian Best to meditate upon the V. I’d been troubled of late by turmoil among the Velominati…What color socks? Warmers or tights? Helmet or no? Not to mention the lingering melancholy brought on by the realization that the Keeper’s Classic would roll out without me, chained as I am to the yoke of wage slavery. So it was with a heavy heart that I hit the bottom of the driveway and began turning the pedals.  As I toiled up the first climb from my house, the clouds of despair began to lift and the natural rhythms of the ride began to lift my spirits. How lucky I am to ride roads like this right from my door, miles and miles of twisty, two-lane, lightly trafficked tarmac, with my choice of routes! Rolling? Climbs? Flats?  Got ’em all.

The day was brisk, just 10 degrees, and my newest acquisitions, the silver and orange Carnac Helios shoes I’ve now dubbed “Orange Sunshine” for their psychedelic splendor and mood elevating qualities flashed beneath my knees in a peppery cadence, perfectly accenting the new Witte Bibs and V-Gilet.  As I sped along, pondering various epic combos to present to you all as a Cogal, considering all the possibilities, I came to a comforting realization:  We can ride the roads I’m privileged to ride every day! No need to worry about impressing anyone!  So that’s what we’re going to do. Ride my favorite roads.  With that, I’m pleased to present for your consideration the first California Cogal.

Day One: 114 km, 1663 m climbing

Date: March 3, 2012

Categorization: VV

This is the best of Santa Barbara roads, including an ascent of legendary Gibraltar Road, then across the top of the mountains, descending the equally famous Old San Marcos Pass. Ride starts and ends at  Handlebar Coffee Roasters. Rollout at 9-0-V.  Lunch / dinner and beverages after.

Route and location details on the Cogal Event Page.

Day 2: 111 km, 952 m climbing

Date: March 4, 2012

Categorization: Casually Deliberate

We head over the hills we climbed yesterday for 111 rolling km’s through Santa Barbara’s incomparable wine country, including the last few km of the ToC Solvang TT (sadly not in the parcours for 2012).  Rollout is 9-0-V again, from the Bulldog Cafe in Solvang. Lunch and beverages after at Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez.

Route and location details on the Cogal Event Page.

While I hope many of you will be able to do both days, please feel free to do one or the other should time be a limiting factor.  Temps can be anything from 5-25 this time of year, so come prepared. See you all in March!

Slideshow:
Fullscreen:

Attendees of Cogals may order Cogal V-Pints, emblazoned with the name of their Cogal. These are intended only for Cogal attendees and are shipped to the organizer for pick-up at the event.
The V-Pint will be shipped to the Cogal organizer. Shipping charges are $8.00 USD for US domestic orders, $12.00 USD international.

// Cogals

  1. @pakrat
    Mmmm Daddy!

    I’m going to reconnoiter it Sunday, now that the Cogal is official I need to get some training in!

  2. @Nate
    Chapeau!

  3. God damn it, I want to talk about your shoes! CARNAC! CARNAC! CARNAC! They don’t suck? They are some crazy looking bitches that match the kit. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong Specialized tree and need to go back to Carnacville. Where the hell did you find those? I thought the French Carnac factory had dried up and blown away.I’ve ridden many years on Carnacs and gave up on them, but these are just weird enough to peak my interest.
    Tell me more.
    Chapeau by the way on the Cogal. It looks great, I think you need to write up the beer drinking more, SB must be lousy with good watering holes.

  4. @BrianG
    I’m actually in Truckee.

    I wish I could hit Markleeville, unfortunately I am already scheduled for something non-cycling related. Sunday, over the summit to Cisco Grove and back at least.

  5. It’s winter over there and the weather looks like that!
    It’s summer where I am and the weather looks like scat!

  6. @Gianni
    Finally!

    Thanks Gianni- I found them on eBay after Googling “orange cycling shoes”. I had a pair of Carnacs in the early 90’s, and as I recall they were pretty good, so I figured it was worth a $150 gamble. Guess what? They are actually damn good! Not as well made as my Sidis, but the sole is 100% cf, the footbed is really nice, and the buckle is the best design I’ve seen in a while. Given that I tend to have a lot of foot issues (only on the bike, numbness, tingling, etc.) they’re wonders. I think the Carnac mark has been revived in the past few years, and while these were almost certainly made in Asia (the box didn’t say where), quality is quite acceptable. Check eBay, and go a half size smaller than your Sidi size (not sure about Spesh).

    I give them two big toes up!

  7. @Gareth
    We’ve had a spate of nice weather, I’m taking advantage while it lasts.

  8. @sgt
    So important to enjoy it while it lasts. I went out last week at 13c and loved it, went out today at -3c and froze my chumleys off!
    Love those shoes, I may have to have a look at some of those. I have some similar looking efforts made by Polaris, but they’re damned uncomfortable and given that I too suffer with foot issues, have been replaced by some specialized ones. The Spesh shoes are black and dull looking though, I need me some new disco slippers!

  9. @sgt
    Looks divine

    Roads look a bit like the yumminess I had in Gran Canaria recently – same latitude I think – you are blessed

    at least the Spanish had the good sense to blow their economy on tarmac-ing the back roads before they ran out of dough! Still get a climbone thinking about it

    Took me 2 hours to climb this 1100m – I imagine Bertie will have been ripping up it in about 45 minutes or less

    Enjoy the Cogal!

  10. @Dr C

    That’s stunning but it certainly wouldn’t have been paid for by Spanish taxes, more likely a Euro handout.

  11. @Chris
    Not our problem now dude – price of Belgian Ale in Sterling, just got a little cheaper I suspect!

  12. Since I also live in town- no reason I shouldnt join you.. may only make one day as it is the missus bday that weekend. and yeah, needs to get some training in if its going to be day 1. oof

  13. @thedago
    Excellent! I rode the Gibraltar loop today. Super fun! Mark your calendars boys and girls!

  14. Bummer…I’ll be Five and Diming at the Merco Stage Race. Similar experience I am sure, except slightly more pain and a lot less booze, and more flagrant Rules violations. I hope I can get my tan lines sharp by then.

  15. @thedago
    PS Rule #11

  16. Here’s a couple of pics from the top of La Cumbre Peak yesterday. All this and more can be yours…

    Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

  17. @sgt
    Isn’t that just what it is all about

  18. @sgt

    @Gianni
    Finally!
    Thanks Gianni- I found them on eBay after Googling “orange cycling shoes”. I had a pair of Carnacs in the early 90″²s, and as I recall they were pretty good, so I figured it was worth a $150 gamble. Guess what? They are actually damn good! Not as well made as my Sidis, but the sole is 100% cf, the footbed is really nice, and the buckle is the best design I’ve seen in a while. Given that I tend to have a lot of foot issues (only on the bike, numbness, tingling, etc.) they’re wonders. I think the Carnac mark has been revived in the past few years, and while these were almost certainly made in Asia (the box didn’t say where), quality is quite acceptable. Check eBay, and go a half size smaller than your Sidi size (not sure about Spesh).
    I give them two big toes up!

    I have to say, those shoes look incredible. How wide is your foot? I’ve had an issue with wide shoes in the past – I’ve got skinny little flippers for feet. And I do love my White Ladies so…but my, my, that is a tempting little ditty.

  19. @sgt

    @Gareth
    We’ve had a spate of nice weather, I’m taking advantage while it lasts.

    We actually have snow and ice on the ground here…in fact, I nearly died walking the dogs. Guess I’ll be pulling the trainer out for the first time this year…

    Sarge…I have to say, the VMH and I are looking askance at eachother, thinking we may make a trip down there to check this out for the Cogal. These rides look incredible. And a Stage Cogal! It’s genius!

  20. @Nate

    @mcsqueak
    You think the mile markers are bad. In France on major cycling climbs the km markers also tell you the average gradient for the next kilometer. After 12+ km of climbing you are better off not knowing that the next km averages, say, 9%.

    Yes, and in the Pyrenees, the flies can travel at 12km/hr, meaning their dual purpose is to piss you of as well as remind you that you’re not climbing well for your weight. Seeing those markers with the gradients (on the Aspet, the markers tell you 17% most of the time) is not helpful…

  21. This one is definitely closer to home than the Portland Cogal. I will put very serious consideration into joining y’all on this one. I could definitely do with more miles and elevation prior to Climb to Kaiser.

  22. Pleased to report negotiations conducted, aided by the arrival this evening of a certain prize shop apron. I am in for one of these; further meditation to be conducted on which one.

  23. Gosh darn it Sgt!! I am working that weekend and leave right after the weekend for Colorado. Bah!! I havn’t done that route in SB but I have ridden around Solvang. People you are in for a great weekend and great views and countryside. So many good places to eat and imbibe. Decent affordable places to stay both in SB and Solvang too. I wonder if I can get off the weekend…..

  24. @frank, @sgt
    What’s the lead time for the V-Pint order, assuming I am eligible if I only do one of the days?

  25. @frank
    I’m not known for wide feet, but I do find that I need Mega-Width in Sidi’s, so there you go. They run large… I ordered 44.5’s (my Sidi size) and I could’ve gone with 44’s. Like I say, they were a bit of a flyer at $150USD on eBay. If you can find ’em for around that price they might be worth it for vanity’s sake…

    @frank
    No ice here my friends, tho it has been dropping to about 2-3 overnight, highs are in the 10-15 range this week. Do it!

    I can post hotel recommendations if needed. (The Lemon Tree Inn is nearby, clean and reasonable. Ask for the Alpha Dog Special (kidding, google “Nicholas Markowitz” if you don’t get the reference).

    @paolo
    Rule #11

    @Nate
    Not sure, but my V-Pint and Symbol Pack orders are going in right after I hit “Submit Post”…

  26. @frank
    PS Alaska / Horizon non-stops SBA from SEA

  27. @sgt
    How far is it from say Buellton or Santa Maria to the start in SB? Leaning toward the VV-event Saturday and thinking I’ll boom down in the Rule #25-mobile the night before and get reasonably close but save the last leg of the drive for the morning of.

  28. @sgt
    Rule #11 does not come in to it I’m afraid. Work is work. The same reason you will miss the Keepers Tour. It’s my schedule…someone has to keep the wheels of (the oil) industry turning even on the weekends…sigh…

    I might try for a switch but people are loathe to give up their weekends. And sick days are for skiing…that’s in the Skiing Rules..a whole other web site.

  29. @paolo
    I feel your pain, amico mio. Still hope you can make it.

    @Nate
    Santa Maria’s about an hour away, Solvang’s about 35-40 minutes. If you stay in Solvang you’ll be perfectly positioned for Day 2, but it may be a long drive after Day 1 and dinner, I’d suggest staying in SB Saturday nite if you’re planning on riding both days, which of course you are, right?

  30. @sgt

    It’s a long shot but since you said that so nicely I am honestly going to try my very best. Hope you make a little ride sheet for the first day, I’m pretty sure that if I make it I will get spit out the back on that climb.

    Both days look really fun and I know for a fact that both Towns are great places to go.

  31. @sgt
    Can’t swing both days, but I’ll keep this info in mind.

  32. This is the big weekend, boys and girls! We’ve got a bit of Rule #9 today, but the weekend forecast looks to be cracking! Unfortunately I spent this weekend in violation of Rule #11, so I’m hoping to still have some form. Will be trying to sneak an easy ride or two in this week. Hope to see a bunch of you in Santa Barbara this weekend!

  33. @sgt
    COGAL! COGAL!
    I’m booked for Saturday, looks like the weather will be gorgeous. Put on fresh bar tape yesterday, just need to figure out what wheels to bring.

  34. @Nate
    Bring the climbing wheels. And bring me a pair while you’re at it.

    Anybody else COGAL’ing this weekend?

  35. @sgt
    What I’m really trying to figure is to bring the tubulars or the clinchers. Weight is about the same. Leaning tubulars as they are just nicer especially downhill. How are the descents? That’s where the difference is. On the other hand when riding with a group there’s more margin for error with clinchers.

    Hope others of you are coming out for the rides. Otherwise I will be forced to conclude that our state suffers from a severe V-deficit.

  36. @Nate
    Vuelta jersey?

  37. @snoov
    New season, @Noyst is leading the 2012 comp so I guess he gets the VSP jersey now and I’ve reverted to the Vuelta winner icon.

  38. @sgt
    All the best with the cogal. Look forward to the ride reports!

  39. Sadly I have to work this weekend. No getting around it…..

  40. @Nate
    The big descent is from the top of Painted Cave, about -1000m over 16km, with a couple of pretty steep sections. Road condition is good for the most part, there are a couple of rough sections along the ridgeline. I’m on clinchers, but go with whatever floats your boat.

  41. @sgt
    How twisty?

  42. @Nate
    Very.

  43. @Nate
    I see, I was expecting you to have it all season until the new winner.

  44. @snoov
    Let frank know! I wouldn’t refuse it.

  45. @sgt
    Tubulars it must be then.

  46. @Nate
    cannot believe my pain will continue all year – seeing you in your ill-gotten Vuelta jersey. Your final rest day swap in of the winner whose name escapes everyone was shameful.

  47. Great roads here, don’t miss out

  48. if i can get out of the house in time i will be meeting you up at the bulldog- all depends on the toddlers schedule.

  49. @thedago
    Sounds like it may just be us chickens. Wanna ride local instead? I have to admit I’m pretty pasted after today.

  50. @sgt Is there a ride report in the upcoming future?

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