This weekend was all about training for the GranFondo! The VeloViets started out on Friday with a SART ride ending with the Kodiak hill climb! The Rapha Team, Rock Racing Team, Donovan, Ngoc, Karen, Phong V, John, and I represented the VeloViets. We had some of KyAnh's cousins and friends as well in James, Phil, Mimi, and Minh.
Photo - SART Riders
Then about 50 to 60 riders came out this last Sunday, as this is the weekend before the OC GF epic ride. Again we also had a bunch of guests, as well as VeloViets who have been MIA. VeloViets Fixie Girl and Billy P came out of hiding and brought their "A" game to this ride!
We had all "die-hard" ladies on this ride. There were VeloViets Fixie Girl, Karen, and Nancy, but also Thu, Trang, and Mimi too. These gals are tougher than some of our guys! Read on...
So many cars on at MSP and so many new faces. There were 3 guys in the 3T uniform whose names I failed to catch. KyAnh's cousins Phil, Mimi, and Thu. There was Dan K, the world-class surfer and Luke The Beast's friend and also Billy's brother-in-law, and a few others. I think about 50 riders here at MSP.
So on Bushard, guess what? Flat! RR An picked up a large nail on this rear tire. Rock Racers, Dan, Toan, and I waited for An. Cap't had to turn back home due to a family emergency.
Man we started off this ride with a hard chase after the flat repair! Everyone was rotating and we rolled at 22-23 mph into a head wind! Dan was strong, and help pull the pack. Made it to PCH.
On the stop, folks were admiring BaoAnh's new 13.5 lbs toy. Gorgeous!
Photo - The New Time Machine
Photo - BaoAnh Trying Out His New Toy
On PCH, we picked up BigH, FedEx, and even more guests. I think about another 7-10 riders. Way way way big on PCH and we must have been half a block long!
The A1 boys went to work and gapped. Of course the A2 Team sacrificed and help pace the Newbies ;-) Surprisingly the Newbies held at a pace of 22-24 mph on PCH. Tough crowd!
The hills on Jamboree did NOT broke apart the pack like usual. There were gaps, but riders in the back chased back on along University. EVERYONE arrived at the CircleK at about the same time. Folks were PUMPED as the very large VeloViet group rolled in together. Great feelings of camaraderie!
Photo - The Ladies at CircleK Stop
Then the short but freakingly steep Saddleback climb! Not everyone made it to the top! Here is a photo of those who did!
Photo - The Group That Conquered the Saddleback Mountain
Mimi and Thu, the 2 guest ladies, were pumped! You can see the excitement in their eyes in their conquest! The gals said they have been riding for 10 months, but I don't think they have EVER been challenged like this before. KyAnh have been secretly grooming and training them for this introduction to the VeloViets. I must say he has done a great job on these ladies!
The ride back was tough! First off, 6 of us were caught at a red light, Toan, Phil, Mimi, Thu, Kiet, and I. Toan and I were pacing at 20-22 mph on Back Bay and PCH and everyone was handing tough. On SART, we were caught by Anh Minh, Rock Racers, and a few others and Phil took off with them. Down to 5 riders.
I was in the front motoring at 20-21 mph on SART, while Toan was monitoring the back to make sure no one was dropped. Realized folks that we already did over 55 miles so this was a hard pace. I remember constantly looking back to make sure the girls were okay, and seeing Thu, who was behind me, fiercely concentrating and sweating buckets. Behind her, Mimi was gritting her teeth, pumping her legs to just hanging on to Thu. I remember thinking these 2 were tough!
Back to MSP, I congratulated Phil, Thu, and Mimi. There gals were extremely tired but was so happy with their accomplishments. They thank me and Toan for escorting them back safely.
I think the team is ready for the OC GranFondo. The 2 Road Captains for that century, Keith and Toan, are ready. Okay here comes the VeloViets! Do come up and say hi to us if you see us there!