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Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour

Posted by: on May 30, 2012 | 2 Comments
Pasadena Marathon

Reviewed by:
On May 30, 2012
Last modified:August 14, 2012


First year attending the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour event, a road bike race that I did on my mountain bike with solid results for my first road ride!

I’m a little late in getting this up but it’s been a busy few weeks working on projects and traveling for the Memorial holiday, plus it took a while to get my video completed. Anyway on May 20th we attended the 2012 Pasadena Marathon, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. I signed up for the bike tour while Jenny did the full marathon. They also had a half marathon, 10k, 5k, and kids run. The bike tour was the same course as the full marathon at 26.2 miles.

Unloading the BikeThis was my first bike tour event and it was all road. I felt a bit out-of-place being on my full suspension Trek Fuel Ex 6 mountain bike that is meant for riding the single track dirt trails of the mountain, but now I was surrounded by people with real road bikes and some of them looked like serious riders that could and did haul ass on the course.

I did the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour, an all road ride, on my full suspension Trek Fuel Ex 6 mountain bike.

Never the less I put my best effort into the ride on my trusty mountain bike and held my own throughout the course. The road bikes are definitely faster on the flat areas as they were passing me up, but on the hills climbing up I was able to pass up many of them. I guess all the mountain bike climbing I normally do up at Tapia Canyon has helped me to be strong and steady on climbing up the hills. I had no problems on the hills on the course.

Lots of Road Bikes at the Start LineI managed to do pretty good on the downhill sections too, building up my speed on my hardest gears and passing by some of the riders on the speedy road bikes. Throughout the entire course I don’t think I ever saw another mountain bike in front of me or pass me up, I did see a few that were behind me on the sections where we had a u-turns and you could see people riding the way you just came from. My fastest mile was at mile 12 at a pace of 2:38 and average speed of 22.69 mph, while my slowest was at mile 15 at a pace of 6:26 and average speed of 9.32, an uphill section.

Mile 12 was my fastest at 2:38 with an average speed of 22.69 mph.


This was the first time using my new Motorola MOTOACTV, Jenny had bought for me at the Pasadena Marathon Expo the day before. It’s a little larger than the current generation iPod Nano but loaded with fitness features, mainly GPS tracking. It also has fitness training for running, cycling, and other activities, it’ll pair up with heart rate monitors, bike cadence meters, and pedometers. On top of that is a music player, it’ll sync up to your phone so you can receive text messages and calls through it. At first I wasn’t sure about it, so I used it along with my usual GPS tracking on my Nexus One phone.

The Motorola MOTOACTVTurns out it is accurate and works really well. So far I’ve only used the basic functionality and I’m pleased with it. I would say the only con is that it does not natively export a GPX file from the Website it syncs up to, instead they provide a CSV file. Fortunately after diving into their forums and requesting the ability to export a GPX file another MOTOACTV user had already made his own CSV converter tool into KML format, but then he added GPX format after seeing my request! This is what I needed as I use the GPX file to log my miles and route on my dailymile…I was happy!

GoPro Cam with Chesty Mount

Recently I lost my Contour HD camera by accident, I had left it on the top of my trunk while driving off after mountain biking at Tapia Canyon. I ended up replacing it with the GoPro Hero2 camera. I figured I might as well try the other popular camera and see how it compares. Both are great cameras, but one of the biggest thing that appealed to me with the GoPro camera is the Chesty mount that allows you to mount the camera on your chest. This placement works well for recording my mountain bike videos as you can see my handle bars and arms giving a better perspective of the trails and ride.

GoPro Hero2 Camera with Chesty MountI used the GoPro Hero2 and Chesty mount to record my race through the entire bike tour course. It’s a beautiful course through Pasadena showing off a few historic sections including City Hall, Colorado Street Bridge, and the Rose Bowl. While the video is fairly long, I did some editing to show the whole course by speeding up most of the video sections while slowing down to normal speeds to show off the historic sections along with one nice view of the sun rising through sprinklers on the golf course we rode around. I also noted each mile marker through the race. I hope you enjoy the video.

Video: 2012 Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour Course

Finishing The Bike Tour

Throughout the entire race I powered through without ever stopping and almost never stopped pedaling. I felt really good through most of it except for about the last 4 or 5 miles, by that time my butt was starting to feel sore. When you mountain bike, you’re not sitting on your seat that much, when your riding the road, your always in your seat, so the butt will begin to feel sore after the first hour or so. A little bit standing up and stretching on the bike cured it and allowed me to push through to the finish line. I ended up crossing the finish line and completed the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour in 1:39:54. A pretty good time for my first road race on a mountain bike.

I crossed the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour finish line at 1:39:54.

2012 Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour Map and PerformanceIt was a great ride and I had a lot of fun. The course made the ride even more enjoyable, cruising through the city and residential areas of Pasadena while hitting a few historic sections such as the Colorado Street Bridge and Rose Bowl kept things fresh and exciting. While I would normally prefer to find real mountain biking events with single track trails, I think I’ll be doing the Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour again next year. I won’t be picking up a road bike anytime soon, instead I’ll continue to use my mountain bike. I’ll invest in upgrading to a mid to high-end 29″ mountain bike before I invest into a really good road bike.

2012 Pasadena Marathon Bike Tour MedalAfter the race I went back to the car to get rehydrated and change clothes. I had some time before Jenny would be finishing, so I went over to Andy’s Coffee Shop for some breakfast. Apparently the place was used for filming of an episode of Mad Men, one of our favorite TV shows. It dive of a coffee shop with decent breakfast but nothing that wowed me, still it hit the spot after the ride.

Supporting Jenny

After breakfast, I started to ride the course backwards until I could find Jenny. She was running the full marathon and I wanted to make sure she was doing good and provide her with motivation and support. I eventually caught up with her around mile 21 and she was going strong. The last 5 miles were tough as the hot weather had kicked up into the 80’s making it more challenging for the runners in the final stretch. Jenny had a lot of support from friends and Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatic runners on the course. Even with the heat, Jenny finished strong through the Pasadena Marathon.

Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics group photo at Pasadena Marathon

Video: Jenny on Mile 21 at Pasadena Marathon


Have you participated the Pasadena Marathon or Bike Tour? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading my race report.

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