HVR, Bandy and Ramona Loop
9 Sep 2012
by Rob Verfurth
This is a ride that Bryan Jones has termed the “Descenders Coat-Tail Group” ride. It starts every Sunday at the bottom of Highland Valley Road at Pomerado. It has a number of excellent riders, including a few Ranchos. They keep up a wicked pace. Bryan, Guido and I were to meet at the corner of Black Mountain and the 56 bike path at 6:45 am. I was late as usual and they were gone by the time I finally got to the corner. I chased them across Ted Williams to Pomerado where 4-5 other riders were also heading north towards HVR. We had told Sheehan to meet us at 8 am, the time we thought the ride started. We cruised over to the bottom of HVR just before 7:30 am and I knew we had made a mistake in the timing for Sheehan. Most of the group kept going while a few guys stopped to meet other guys.
The pace up HVR was fast and I fell off the back quickly. Byran and Guido hung on most of the way up to Bandy. Our group of about 9 riders reformed and flew down Bandy towards the Ramona Grade. We rode by Yi-Shiou just before the San Pascual School going about 28 mph. He must have been out for an early am ride so I waved him to join us. I was spent before we started the Ramona Grade climb. Bryan hung for a while and Guido eventually rode away from me. It was a warm morning as I slowly pedaled up the road. Large groups of riders who had started later from HVR flew by me. Another Ranchos kit came by and I decided to hang on to Ramona. Everyone regrouped at the gas station, there must have been 25 riders in total.
We all sped out towards Dye Road and flew in a group back towards 67. Sheehan had been chasing us this whole time thinking he was late as his usual time to the meeting spot. He chased us down Dye not knowing where we were and finished in the top 5 for the sprint, going solo! That man can fly on the flats. Our large group was well ahead of Dave and we sped back on 67 towards Mount Woodson. Guido eventually started to fall back. Fortunately for me the group waited at the Poway town sign before a fast paceline to the top of the Poway Grade. Some guys went down the grade while others went over to SPP. Bryan and I waited a bit for Guido and the three of us went down SPP to Mercy and up Black Mountain. Bryan kicked into Park Village and I hit the bike path home while Guido kept going up Blk Mtn to his house. This is a great early am ride that gets you home before 10 am. We rode 53 miles and climbed 3,600. We should consider this on future Sundays for a Descenders group ride.