2018 Amgen Tour of California May 13-19 Includes Ventura to Santa Barbara Stage May 14

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Cycling fans can begin plotting their roadside viewing points along the 2018 Amgen Tour of California route.

The 13th edition of America's premier cycling stage race will cover 645 miles of roadways, highways and coastlines during seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento May 13-19.

Three of the sport's greatest are confirmed to race this year: Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Team KATUSHA ALPECIN) and "King of California" Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), cycling's first three-time consecutive World Champion, who also holds the California race record for most stage wins (16).

Sagan, who recently won his 2018 season opener, will come into the Amgen Tour of California defending his seventh California Green Jersey for dominating the race's overall Sprint competition.

The Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM, showcasing the world's best women cyclists, will run concurrently May 17-19, covering upward of 187 miles over three stages.

Presented by Visit California, a visual overview of the men's and women's courses is viewable at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/2018-route-overview.

With seven new courses between them, the annual professional cycling events are the only U.S. races on the UCI WorldTour calendar and attract some of the most renowned cyclists and teams in the world. The Amgen Tour of California is designed to cover a variety of terrain, allowing different types of specialists among the field of the world's greatest cyclists to shine throughout the week. 2018 will mark the third time the race will run south to north.

Signed apparel from these all-star sprinters, along with other past Amgen Tour of California favorites, are available through an Amgen Tour of California online auction benefiting American Red Cross Disaster Relief in light of the devastation brought on by wildfires and mudslides throughout the state. Race fans - and California fans - will be able bid on exclusive items from merchandise to behind-the-scenes race experiences to help people affected by disasters. 100 percent of the proceeds from the Amgen Tour of California auction organized by STAPLES Center Foundation support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. More details soon at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

With parts of the state still impacted by wildfires and subsequent mudslides, affected portions of the route will be inspected up until race time, and race routes are subject to change to ensure fan and rider safety.

STAGE 1 PRESENTED BY AMGEN'S BREAKAWAY FROM CANCER®
SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018
LONG BEACH CIRCUIT RACE
83 miles / 133 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Field Sprint

The 7-mile circuit will start and finish on Shoreline Drive near Shoreline Village and the Long Beach Convention Center. The 11 laps of the circuit will utilize portions of Shoreline Drive, Ocean Blvd. and Pine Avenue. Several Long Beach neighborhoods will get a ring-side seat as the peloton races through Bixby Park and Bluff Park, as well as Retro Row and Downtown.

STAGE 2 PRESENTED BY LEXUS
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018
VENTURA TO GIBRALTAR ROAD (Santa Barbara)
96.3 miles / 155 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Select group of 2-3 riders

Gibraltar Road has been the most requested mountaintop finish since the race began. After the mountain road was paved and therefore able to be contested in the 2016 race, it became an instant fan favorite.

The City of Ventura warmly welcomed the race in 2016 as the peloton bid a quick hello passing through to Gibraltar. This year, Ventura will host its first stage - the start of the "Queen Stage" just a few feet from the Pacific Ocean near the Ventura Pier. Will the riders be relaxing and taking in the sun at the start? Probably not. Most will be thinking about the coming assault of Gibraltar Road.

After a neutral parade route through downtown Ventura, the race will head through Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ojai. The riders will climb out of Santa Paula to the first of three King of the Mountain climbs (KOMs) on the day. The 96.3-mile stage has 7,700' of elevation gain, with the journey to the top of Gibraltar featuring a 3,100' climb over the final eight miles of the stage.

As with any of the race stages, routes are subject to change due road damage. With the recent fires and flooding in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, there will likely be changes to a section of the Stage 2 route that passes through Camarillo and Montecito as several bridges are being assessed for repair or replacement.

STAGE 3 PRESENTED BY LEXUS
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018
KING CITY TO LAGUNA SECA RECREATION AREA (MONTEREY COUNTY)
122.4 miles / 197 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Mass sprint of 15-20 riders

STAGE 4 PRESENTED BY TAG Heuer
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
SAN JOSE/MORGAN HILL INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL
21.6 miles / 34.7 kilometers

STAGE 5 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018
STOCKTON TO ELK GROVE
109.4 miles / 176 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Field Sprint

STAGE 6 PRESENTED BY VISIT CALIFORNIA
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018
FOLSOM TO SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
122 miles / 196.5 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Mass Sprint of 10-15 riders

STAGE 7 PRESENTED BY AMGEN'S BREAKAWAY FROM HEART DISEASE
SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018
SACRAMENTO
90.7 miles / 146 kilometers
Expected Outcome: Field Sprint

Easter Egg Hunts and Other Fun Easter Activities Around Ventura County

Here at Conejo Valley Guide we have a special place in our heart for Easter fun! The bunnies of the Conejo Valley and surrounding Ventura County areas are planning ahead to make this Easter memorable.

We have the Germans to thank for the Easter Bunny concept, which came about in the 1500s. Hares and bunnies are signs of fertility and eggs signify rebirth. The Germans brought Easter traditions to America and it wasn't until after the Civil War that Easter became widely celebrated. Now we celebrate by gorging ourselves on candy!

Easter Sunday 2018 is April 1st! (April Fool's Day! No kidding!) Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. As a result, Easter Sunday ranges from March 22nd to April 25th

Upcoming 5K, 10K and Other Ventura County Area Running and Fitness Events

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Start training for upcoming 5K, 10K, half marathon and other Ventura County running and fitness events! We've made it easy for you to find a local race by tracking local events right here. So go on, get moving, lace up those shoes and start training! CLICK HERE for local running groups and clubs.  Training for a marathon? Check out 26.2 Training Tips for Your First Marathon!

CONEJO JOE'S TRAINING BLOG

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For great running shoes from local businesses that know a lot about them, try the following:

Future Track Running Shoe Store (30125 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills)

Mile 26 Sports (1450 E. Thompson Boulevard, Ventura)

Road Runner Sports (1714 Newbury Road, Newbury Park)

Foot Pursuit Run Shop (4324 Cochran Street, Simi Valley)

Inside Track Running Shoe Store (2437 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura)

Fleet Feet Sports (982 South Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village) (Opened in April 2016)

Ventura County Area Daily Deals, Coupons and Other Bargain Hunting Websites

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Launched in November 2008, Groupon popularized the deal-a-day concept for daily discounted "coupons" or gift certificates good for deals at local retailers and service providers, such as spa treatments, classes, restaurants, massages, tanning salons, haircuts, offering 50% to as much as 90% off retail price.

There are now hundreds of daily deal sites around the world. Locally here in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County, ConejoDeals.com was the first site to launch a daily deal program, back in April 2010.

Below are websites and apps that offer daily deals, anytime deals and/or good old fashioned coupons in the Ventura County area*:

ConejoDeals.com - Daily deals centered in the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas.

Travelzoo.com - Offers a variety of discounted packages for restaurants, activities and getaways in the Central Coast and San Fernando Valley areas.

Conejo Valley Corridor - Offers a discount card fundraising program that benefits local schools and non-profits while offering everyday discounts at numerous local area businesses.

Groupon Ventura County - Groupon started this VC daily deal site in October 2010.

LivingSocial.com Ventura County - Came to Ventura County in April 2011.

Restaurant.com - Offers an array of discount gift certificates at local restaurants. Worth checking out. Do be aware of minimum purchase requirements when you buy.

MOGL.com - Sign up and receive 7 to 10% cash back when you dine at a number of local restaurants, including (as of Feb 2018) Tony's NY Pizza Newbury Park, Greco's NY Pizzeria T.O., Karma Indian Cuisine T.O., Petra Mediterranean Cuisine T.O., Pacific Fresh Grill T.O., Zin Bistro WLV, Money Pancho Camarillo, D'Amore's Pizza Camarillo, Basil & Mint Camarillo, Johnny Rockets Camarillo, Numero Uno Agoura, Atlas Simi Valley, Golden Tiger Simi, Subzero Ice Cream Simi and others.

LocalFlavor.com offers a number of deals in the Ventura County area.

Sweet Deals Ventura County offers a number of special deals at Ventura County businesses.

MoneyMailer.com - Offers printable coupons for hundreds of local businesses as well as a mobile app. Type in your zip code and look for coupons when you need them.

LocalSaver.com - Printable coupons for local restaurants, retailers and service providers.

CouponsAndMoreVentura.com - Printable coupons for businesses in the Ventura area.

CouponsAndMoreOxnard.com - Printable coupons for businesses in the Oxnard area.

* Note that this list is current as of February 2018 but is subject to change at any time. Feel free to CONTACT US with any notable changes.

The Annex at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard Features Eateries and Boutiques

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If you haven't already checked it out, The Annex, located within The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard, is worth a visit.

This 16,000 square foot is home to a dozen micro shops, artisan boutiques and craft food and beverage eateries. Tenants as of February 2018 include the following:

  • Bottle & Pint - Featuring craft beers from around the world (first location opened in early 2015 in Newbury Park)
  • Scratch Sandwich Counter
  • Love Pho Cafe
  • Seoul Sausage Company
  • Gasolina - Spanish tapas and wine eatery
  • Pancake - serving Dutch pancakes of numerous varieties
  • PokeCeviche - serving Hawaiian Poke and Latin American Ceviche bowls
  • Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters - 2nd location! (started in Newbury Park in 2015).
  • Taqueria El Tapatio Mexican Grill (opening soon)
  • The Blend Superfood Bar - serving acai bowls, smoothies and juices
  • CherryHills Market - premium hand-crafted home goods
  • Sueño Jewelry Studio - handmade and custom jewelry

The Collection at RiverPark has become quite an incredible destination within Ventura County in recent years, with so many great eateries all in one place as well as The Container Store, a fantastic Whole Foods Market, REI, Target store, movie theaters, Levity Live Comedy Club and more. Quite impressive what they have done over there off the 101, Oxnard Boulevard exit. thecollectionrp.com

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Daylight Saving Time is Back Again on the 2nd Sunday of March

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Daylight Saving** Time is coming back again! Yes, this will take place on Sunday, March 11, 2018. When the clock strikes 2 a.m. that morning, you will lose one hour of beauty sleep. Daylight Saving Time begins in most of the U.S. on the 2nd Sunday of March.

So try to get to bed early that night or you may feel grumpy on Monday! Especially when you realize it feels a lot darker that morning. But the good thing is, it'll be a lot lighter out at dinnertime!

** Contrary to what many of us think, it is called Daylight Saving Time, not Savings Time. Make sure to correct anyone who says it wrong if you really want to get on their nerves. But the reality of it is that we're not saving any daylight, we're just shifting it around.

MY VENTING SESSION ON DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME :>

Farmers' Markets and Farm Fresh Produce Around Ventura County

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Looking for fresh produce in Ventura County? "Lettuce" help you! There are over a dozen farmers' markets in and around Ventura County each week, not to mention another dozen or so stores and Community Supported Agriculture programs that sell organic produce.

Times, dates and places subject to change. Let us know of any updates!

FARMERS' MARKETS (In "day of the week" order)

VENTURA: Wednesdays 9 am to 1 pm at Pacific View Mall in front of Red Robin. Call 805.529.6266. vccfarmersmarkets.com/ventura

OXNARD: Thursdays 9 am to 2 pm at Plaza Park, 5th and C Streets. Call 805.247.0197. www.oxnardfarmersmarket.com

THOUSAND OAKS: Thursdays 1:30 pm to 6 pm at the The Oaks Mall east parking lot. Produce, flowers, food and more! vccfarmersmarkets.com/thousand-oaks 

VENTURA: Thursdays 3 pm to 7 pm at Ventura Community Park, 901 South Kimball Road Visit theharvestgathering.vpweb.com or www.facebook.com/EastandWestVenturaFarmersMarket for more information. Open rain or shine.

OXNARD: Thursdays 4 pm to 8 pm at The Collection at RiverPark thecollectionrp.com/connect/news/detail/133/farmers-market-thursdays

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SIMI VALLEY: Fridays 11 am to 3:30 pm at Simi Valley Civic Center Plaza, 2757 Tapo Canyon Rd., next to TGI Friday's. www.coastalpacific.info/simi_valley.php or 805.643.6458 

VENTURA: Saturdays 8:30 am to noon at corner of Palm and Santa Clara Streets. Call 805.529.6266 or visit vccfarmersmarkets.com/ventura

CAMARILLO: Saturdays 8 am to noon 2220 Ventura Boulevard camarillofarmersmarket.com. Proceeds benefit Camarillo Hospice. Call 805.386.3584.

CALABASAS: Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm in Old Town Calabasas on Calabasas Road west of El Canon Avenue (across from Sagebrush Cantina). Call 818.591.8161.

VENTURA: Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road is the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace. Fresh produce, nursery plants, flowers and more offered. www.venturacollege.edu/departments/administrative/foundation/marketplace

WESTLAKE VILLAGE: Sundays 10 am to 2 pm at 2797 Agoura Road (Village Glen). Call 818.591.8161. www.facebook.com/WestlakeVillageFM

OJAI: Sundays 9 am to 1 pm at 300 E. Matilija Street year-round, rain or shine. Produce, flowers and gourmet food. Call 805.698.5555. www.ojaicertifiedfarmersmarket.com.

OXNARD/CHANNEL ISLANDS HARBORSundays 10 am to 2 pm at 2805 South Harbor Boulevard year-round. Call 805.643.6458.

MALIBU: Sundays 10 am to 3 pm at Malibu Library Parking Lot, 23555 Civic Center Way. www.malibufarmersmarket.net

LOCAL STORES WITH FRESH PRODUCE:

Underwood Family Farms Market at 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark has farm fresh produce, pickled items, honey, nuts, juices, dried beans, farm fresh eggs and fresh cut flowers. Moorpark location is usually closed from late December through February. Open 9am to 6pm March to November and weekends in December (5pm after DST). Call 805.529.3690.

Underwood Family Farms Market at 5696 E. Los Angeles Avenue in Somis is open every day year-round 9am to 6pm (5pm after DST) with the exception of some holidays. Call 805.386.4660.

Underwood Family Farms Market in Moorpark.

Underwood Family Farms Market in Moorpark.

McGrath Family Farm at 505 North Wood Road, Camarillo is open March through December 9am to pm and offers organic fruits, flowers and vegetables.  Freeway convenient off the Central Avenue offramp of the 101. Call 805.983.0333.

Lassen's Natural Foods, with locations in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura and Simi Valley, has offered fresh produce since 1971.

Sprouts Farmers Market sells local farm fresh produce as well as a full range of other grocery items, with local area locations at:

Whole Foods Market organic fresh produce and a full range of grocery items, with local locations in Thousand Oaks (740 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks) 805.777.4730 and Oxnard at The Collection (650 Town Center Drive) 805.751.4300

Green Acres Farm Market (2918 Los Angeles Avenue, Simi Valley) opened in 1968 and offers farm fresh produce, meat, fine wines and gourmet groceries. Call 805.526.1312.

A & F Country Market is at 4550 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura. From Thousand Oaks, take Victoria offramp from 101 south to Olivas Park and make a right. Store is on your left. Nice stop on your way to/from the Olivas Adobe and Ventura Harbor Village. 805.644.5470.

The Berry Best stand at 3030 Dodge Road (at Pleasant Valley Road, just east of Rice Avenue) is strawberry, fruit and vegetable stand. Call 805.271.4490.

Francisco's Fruits is located at 1782 E. Telegraph Road in Fillmore. Fruits, nuts, snacks, and more. Great place to buy citrus! www.facebook.com/FranciscosFruit 805.524.4616

Lil Red Barn is located at 100 S. Victoria Avenue in Oxnard, with seasonable produce like strawberries, avocados, vegetables and more. 805.382.0799

CSA (COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE) AND LOCAL DELIVERY PROGRAMS

Join the Farm! CSA delivers farm-fresh organic produce to your home. located at 4710 E. Hueneme Road, Oxnard. Call 805.246.1070.

Farmer and the Cook (339 W. El Roblar, Ojai) has a CSA with weekly organic produce pickups. Call 805.640.9608.

Rio Gozo Farm (1651 S. Rice Road, Ojai) has a CSA with weekly organic produce pickups. Call 805.272.8170.

Local Harvest Delivery is based in Santa Barbara and delivers harvest boxes to homes as far as Ventura and Ojai.

Deardorff Family Farms in Oxnard's CSA is called "Fresh Picks by Deardorff Organics."  Call 805.487.7801 x122 or visit www.deardorfffamilyfarms.com/fp

Hello Harvest local delivery service has been serving Ventura County since 2010. Visit their site or call 805.551.3454 for more information.

Abundant Harvest Organics offers local delivery service and several produce pickup sites in the Conejo Valley and Ventura county. Visit www.abundantharvestorganics.com.

The Camarillo Health Care District has partnered with Food Share to distribute a variety of free produce items on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 11am to 1pm. Supplies are limited.

Farmers' Market Websites:

Farm Bureau of Ventura County: www.farmbureauvc.com/consumers.html

California-Grown Certified Farmers Markets: www.cafarmersmarkets.com

Ventura County Certified Farmers Markets: www.vccfarmersmarkets.com

Coastal Pacific Farmers Markets: coastalpacificfm.com

Retired Farmers' Markets:

NEWBURY PARK: Fridays 2pm to 7pm (The Village at Dos Vientos Ranch). www.facebook.com/goldenstatecertifiedfm Announced on 12/9/13 that market is closed.

SIMI VALLEY: The Simi Valley Town Center Market was discontinued effective 11/26/14 after running for a year and a half.

AGOURA HILLS: Sundays 9 am to 2 pm at 5835 Kanan Road (Agoura's Famous Deli parking lot) closed 6/28/15.

CAMARILLO: Wednesdays 3-7pm Pleasant Valley Certified Farmers' Market at the Camarillo Community Center parking lot closed 9/30/15.

NEWBURY PARK: Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm at the Newbury Park Library parking lot (Borchard Road and Michael Drive)  www.facebook.com/newburyparkfarmersmarket is closed Feb 2017