A nice turnout for today's effort: Les, Mary Ann, Beth and Bob, and me. We could feel that fall tinge in the morning air, which served to remind me that beginning with next week's ride we will go with an 8:30AM start time. Today's route across Lake Hodges and along Bear Valley Parkway gave us plenty of time to warm-up for the Big Up-n-Over to Valley Center. Everyone seemed to get a good workout on that one and we were soon enough down into town for our destination: Java Journey. The JJ drinks and pastries went down easily and provided calories to burn for the peppy return ride. Loved that massive drop down from VC!
Next week we've got Anything Can Happen Day on the schedule, but the Anything part will include a Juice-A-Rama stop (I know I said it last month and it didn't happen, but this time for sure, unless it rains again)...
Anything Can Happen Day
Date: Tuesday October 4, 2011
Extra... Breaking News just in... Mary Ann drops Jerry on a 50 foot climb! Details to follow. Now to our regularly scheduled reporting...
A study in weather contrast today: cool and overcast, with some mist for the first half but full-on sunshine for the second. The VV Park roll-out saw Mary Ann, Les, and me clipping-in and rolling gently into a foggy gloom. Sheesh... isn't it a bit late in the year for this marine layer stuff?
Anyhoo... just in time for the hills leading up to Scripps Poway Parkway we were joined by Jerry, who was looking like his usual Mountain Goat self. It was rather surprising to him, and me, when our SPP hill-climb shoot-out turned into a no-contest event. Shortly afterwards Jerry discovered that his rear wheel was spinning about as freely as a brick thanks to a maladjusted PowerTap. That's the Great Equalizer: make your buddies drag an anchor!
The way back through the rural edge of civilization, aka Highland Valley Road, was a delight (note to gleaners: roadside pomegranates are ripening), as was our stop at Starbucks in RB.
And yes, MA did whip Jerry on the last roller on Pomerado Road, but now you know the rest of the story!
OK, so we rolled the dice and the weather gods smiled on us today... lots of early clouds, a tad cool, but it eventually gave way to blue skies. Yea!! Nobody has to spend the afternoon cleaning their bike with an old toothbrush!! We picked up riders along the way today and by the time we started attacking Del Dios we had six cyclists, in order of appearance: me, Mary Ann, Liz, Jerry, and Beth and Bob.
Beth and Jerry slammed through Del Dios and left the rest of the crew far in their wake. I deftly played my ride leader card to allow myself a hilltop re-grouping stop! By the time we reached Elfin Forest, I judged that Beth and Jerry were probably sufficiently wasted from all of their prior KOM battles to allow me to make a breakaway. It almost didn't work... Beth pressed hard! But in the end I managed to fly free to the end of Harmony Grove.
Our coffee stop turned out to be mistaken, misunderstood, and miscommunicated: to the delight of some and disappointment of others we did the Petersons' Donut Shop and supplemented their fare with provisions from the nearby Mi Rancho Mercado. Jerry reports that the market's taco de lengua is to die for.
My personal ride highlight: introducing Jerry to Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk In the Middle of the Road"
Next week we do the...
Highland Valley Loop
Date: Tuesday September 20, 2011
Yes, it's a classic! ...like original Coke! ...and Dead Skunk!