The Hammerhead GPS computer tracked King’s incredible route and provided her with turn-by-turn … [+]
We’re all hitting the pandemic wall with limited places to go and people to see. So, one cyclist decided to turn an everyday task into a whole adventure. Isabel King rode 163 miles just to get a cup of coffee.
While there are plenty of coffee shops within walking distance of her California home, the former UBS equity trader hopped on her bike in Ocean Park and rode all the way to Ojai, California, for a morning brew.
“The ride to Ojai for a coffee was my friend Roel’s idea,” King told me about the September ride. “I decided to join at 8 pm the night before, and we set out at 5:40 am the next day.”
Incredibly, King and her friends made it to Beacon Coffee in Ojai 80 miles away in time for breakfast. For context, the drive to the same spot is about an hour and a half.
After enjoying their well-earned coffee, the crew headed another four hours back home, making the total time on the bike eight hours. They also covered a whopping 7,679 feet in elevation on the joy ride, tracking the entire adventure on Hammerhead’s new Karoo 2 cycling computer that provides turn-by-turn directions.
“Normally coffee rides are a bit shorter, but it’s 2020 so formerly followed rules or social norms no longer apply,” she captioned a photo on Instagram from the ride.
King enjoying her much-deserved cup of coffee at Beacon Coffee Ojai.
Before 2020, the longest ride King had ever done was 100 miles. But throughout the year, she was able to build a level of fitness that allowed her to say “yes” to impromptu eight-hour adventures.
The Division One soccer star at Columbia has been getting attention during the pandemic raving virtually in a new competitive “game” QoM (Queen of the Mountain). With the virtual QoM competition, cyclists can race each other up “segments” or climbs on hills/mountains aiming for the best times. King completed 1,000 QoMs since COVID hit—often beating out pro cyclists like Katie Donovan.
“When the pandemic hit last year, Strava [a social network for athletes] became one of the main ways we felt connected to our friends in the cycling community,” she said. “And Hammerhead’s live tracking feature makes it feel like a game. The most painful game, but still a game chasing the little crown that continues to move faster and faster up the hill.”
King has been exploring her hometown during the pandemic.
In fact, the 163-mile ride to Ojai wasn’t the only time the UCLA MBA recipient turned an everyday task into an adventure. She also rode 54 miles solo one day for a cup of coffee at a biker-themed eatery in Calabasas called Pedalers Coffee. And King later rode back to Ojai on a longer, more vertical route.
“Cycling through the pandemic has been my way of challenging myself, pushing the limits of what my body can do, but also a means to explore my own backyard,” said King. “Challenging myself and adventure go hand in hand.”
She added, “Having the fitness to ride into the Yosemite Valley and back out, or around Lake Tahoe in 3.5 hours, gives you a sense of freedom in a time where everything else is restricted.”
“Having the Hammerhead adds a sense of security when exploring new routes,” said King. “The map is … [+]
In 2020 King rode for 1,158 hours, over 18,000 miles, and climbed 1,526,893 feet. That averages out to over three hours a day on the bike. And while the occasional long-route coffee rides are bound to happen, the determined cyclist is eager to race in 2021.
“My cycling goals now are more race-focused,” she said. “I’m cautiously optimistic racing will be able to come back safely this year. I am currently signed up for Unbound (a 200-mile gravel race in Kansas) and Belgian Waffle Ride (a 145-mile mixed terrain race in San Diego).”
While I’m a travel writer and certified holistic health coach now, things didn’t exactly start out that way. For almost 10 years I was an entertainment reporter. Yup, my