Springtime in Southern California is a great time to be a cyclist!
With mild weather and greenery all around, it is arguably the most beautiful time of the year to ride a bike.
What’s more, spring generally signals a change in training for most Athletes to include more intensity, much of which comes from group riding.
It is also a convenient time to add big rides to training schedules to build on winter volume and further amplify an Athlete’s fitness ahead of a summer event.
With this in mind and in the spirit of celebrating the dedicated Athletes that make up the BWC family, we put together a Springtime Ride that traversed the roads of the upcoming “Queen Stage” of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
Our group of gladiators crest the climb at the top of the first loop around Crafton Hills, setting an steady tempo! Photo Credit: Gil Ron
For those unfamiliar, the Redlands Bicycle Classic is a world-class event with a 34-year pedigree which has chosen Yucaipa, the home of BWC, as the sight of it’s most challenging stage for the past four-years.
For the Pro Women, the Yucaipa stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic circles four-laps of the Crafton Hills Conservancy, a 14-mile loop with over 1,200’ of climbing and finishes with a massive ascent to Oak Glen via the brutally steep Wildwood Canyon route.
It’s a route that covers more than 7,000’ of climbing in just shy of 75-miles.
This was our chosen route, quite, the “training ride”, if we do say so ourselves, but absolutely fitting for a BWC spring ride!
We are excited to say that what started with a small invite list of current and former BWC Athletes, quickly became a large group as our Athletes invited friends and training partners.
We started the day more than 50-riders strong!
It was a huge turnout for a daunting route.
It was blue-skies and smiles as we headed through what will be the "feed-zone" in the Redlands Bicycle Classic in early May. Photo Credit: Gil Ron
Possibly it was the epic nature of the route that brought out so many, but we think it could have just as easily been the reward of a BWC-sponsored glass of world famous Oak Glen apple cider awaiting finishers at the top of the climb that drew the crowd!
We are happy to report that many of the riders in attendance had never completed 7,000’ of climbing in a single ride before, let alone done it at a blistering pace of just over 4-hours of riding.
With such a large group of riders and a steady pace, it was possible to keep the peloton almost completely intact, as in very little attrition, on the 4-loops around Crafton Hills.
But it was the ascent to Oak Glen via Wildwood Canyon that really challenged every rider in our peloton!
After more than 5,000' of climbing, fatigue set-in and some riders had to ride the climb to Oak Glen at their own pace. Photo Credit: Gil Ron
On the way to the top the group broke apart as riders settled into their own climbing rhythms.
But the greatest testament to the quality of our Athletes is that as the lead group crested the top, the riders “flipped-it” to head back down the hill and ride to the top with buddies and fellow BWC Athletes.
After all our group collected at the top we took a short break at Los Rio Rancho, an iconic Oak Glen location known for apple cider and apple pie.
Our group shared stories, had some laughs, and downed more than two-gallons of locally grown cider before departing back to the start location back in Yucaipa via one of the most enjoyable descents around!
All in all, it was a great ride, with many riders scoring personal best performances in both power and pace along the route.
There were plenty of stories about the days adventure to share once we arrive at Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen. It was tough ride for everyone, but a rewarding one! Photo Credit: Brian McCulloch
It was so much fun that we are already looking forward to planning another group ride for our Athletes, their training partners, and our BWC supporters!
So be sure to stay tuned to our social media channels for updates and future ride opportunities with Big Wheel Coaching.
We want you to come ride and train with us!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, And Have Fun!
Brian & Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching