OK, today's route was a tester: lots of miles and lots of elevation gain - a stretch for a group that purports to be a recreational club. But hey, rules are meant to be broken, limits surpassed, and boxes ridden outside of. The Plan A team riders were Les and me, and the Plan B riders were Mary Ann and Maurice. Both groups got to do some nice backcountry riding and benefitted from the benevolence of the weather gods. Excellent cycling conditions! We should all give thanks for living in San Diego.
Plan A left Valle Verde Park at 8AM and made steady progess through Escondido and Valley Center to arrive at the Stage Stop Market in Rincon Junction around 10:10. After a rest stop and text messages, we determined that Plan B riders, who left from Santa Ysabel at 9:00am, had already reached Lake Henshaw. And they had climbed up Mesa Grande Road! We were motivated to make the long climb up to the south Grade Road as swiftly as possible, so as not to appear to be too slug-like, but encountered road work on the highway as we climbed up. Lots of little, tar-covered, grains of gravel were everywhere and sticking to our wheels. We had to stop twice to clean them off. Grrrrr.
In the end we met Plan B on the road just about a mile from the appointed meeting place at the La Jolla Indian Reservation Trading Post store. At that point, we got to work on riding into a little bit of headwind that had risen up. But it wasn't too bad, and after a quick stop at Lake Henshaw we continued on to Santa Ysabel, where Plan B had their cars waiting and Plan A visited Don's Market to fuel up for the final push home.
What can I say about the trip to Ramona? Tailwind, Downhill, Fast,Fast,Fast!! We made a brief stop in town and then got to enjoy the pleasures of Highland Valley Road withs its twisting descents!
Next week we'll be doing the group-choice ACHD Ride: 8AM @ VV Park!
Another great day for cycling - the weather was about as perfect as it could be. Can it really be January? Those windy, cold, wet, stormy winter days seem to have been switched off. Not to worry though, if you enjoy blustery days and interesting weather - it'll be back again - there's still a lot of winter left. And for the doomsday enthusiasts, check out this article: California Superstorm (Hoax? Maybe - let's ask the Aussies if its possible to flood an area the size of Texas.)
Oh, yeah: today's ride. Well, for some reason we were missing some of the usual suspects and the group was made up of Liz, Mary Ann, and me. We all were a bit over-dressed and before reaching Harmony Grove had begun to de-layer. The ride through Harmony Grove/Elfin Forest was great. Everything is so green out there right now, the streams are flowing, and you couldn't ask for better road.
The coffee stop was at the delightful Caffe Positano and as always it provided the energy for the last few rollers back to VV Park.
OK, if you missed this one, there is a way to make up for lost miles on next week's ride. Our Gran Fondo is back again, this time on a mega-circut...
Great Northeastern Loop
Date: Tuesday January 25, 2011
Time: 8:00 am
Travel around part of the Clevland National Forest, passing through Valley Center, Rincon, Lake Henshaw area, Santa Ysabel, and Ramona.
You can do it!
Sure... we planned to do the San Pasqual Drop-Off route and enjoy the hair-raising descent out of Ramona, with its 1,000 feet of elevation loss, but... The Plan got changed. Instead, our route was out to Ramona and Back.
Why would we give up that E-Ticket drop-off ride? Well, the group was small: Sam, Liz, and me. And Liz had Time Constraints (Dang, that work stuff.) And Sam, having already ridden out from Ramona, was not inclined to do another full loop on a road that provokes his disfavor (I'll say it for you, Sam: "Ack! Ack! Ack!") BTW: Kudos, Sammy - you braved the frigid early morning temps, rode solo down the Poway Grade, and overcame Century-Dead Legs and a case of strep to join us. That's Dedication to Cycling, folks!
So, anyway, we went out on Scripps Poway Parkway, over Mount Woodson, and around the south side of town before heading back. But not before making our coffee stop at KD Doughnuts! Coffee... pastry... Mega Millions Lotto tickets... Yes, they have it all at KD's.
We made a slight change to the return route and instead of going back on SPP, we hit the Poway Grade instead. Hey, we got that 1,000 feet of elevation loss after all!
Join us next week for a classic route:
Elfin Forest Loop
Date: Tuesday January 18, 2011
I was beginning to think I was going to do the ride solo until the text messages started arriving: hey, stuff happens and sometimes it's a bit tricky to get to the starting line in time. But the cats got herded eventually and we formed a tight group, consisting of Mary Ann, Rick, and me.
Our route was a simple one: out along Espola, back through Poway and Sabre Springs, along the 56 bike path, and then a turn north through Del Sur. From there it was an easy jaunt to RB where we made a stop at the 7-11 for Lotto tickets ($350 million jackpot, folks) and at the RB Donut shop for sustenance.
Rick and I did some extra credit riding after the official mileage was in the bank. I probably shouldn't mention that Rick made good on the ACHD theme by practicing his bunny-hop technique and... No, I'll just say that maybe he hasn't jumped enough stumps lately!
Next week is a good one...
San Pasqual Drop-Off
Date: Tuesday January 11, 2011
Loop out to Ramona from Valle Verde Park in Poway. Climb Scripps Poway Parkway and Mount Woodson to Ramona. Leaving Ramona there is a 1,000' elevation loss on Hwy 78 into San Pasqual Valley followed by the Bandy Canyon Road climb.