Lake Wohlford, Couser and Rice Canyon Ride Report
2 Feb 2013
by Rob Verfurth
We had a good turnout for the group ride on Sat, 2 Feb. A total of 14 Descenders pedaled or drove to meet at the North County Mall to start the ride. We were joined by Jordan Babb, the 21 y/o son of Matt. Youth and good genes make for a powerful combination, Jordan is a strong rider. We stayed as a group to the Lake Wohlford climb and regrouped at the top. The paceline sped along towards Woods Valley. Guido was not feeling well so he and I dropped back a bit. The group pulled away and only Guido, Bob P and I were left for our own little speed drill back towards Valley Center. Garet, Bob and Guido turned left and headed back towards Escondido while the remaining 11 riders rode towards Lilac.
The pace was good on Lilac and West Lilac Road with Hodges taking a quick break for his hair appointment just before the climb up Couser Canyon. We regrouped at the top and had a fun and safe descent down the curvy narrow roads towards highway 76. Voris noted that we had only ridden 30 miles or so from the mall so the group was quickly convinced to add Rice Canyon to the day. The climb up Rice is beautiful with lots of overhanging trees, little traffic and mostly smooth road. We pedaled over to the church for water and bathroom break before the return back down Old 395.
Rick pulled us along Old 395, past Pala Mesa casino, back south at a fast clip. The fast climb back up towards the Lilac Bridge caused the group to break apart. Yi-Shiou and I swept at the rear and rode to our usual stopping location at the camp grounds. No Descenders were there so we continued on past the Welk Resort. We pulled in Steve K and eventually Hodges joined us as well. Mike had stopped for a soda at the store and then forgot his water bottle in the process. The four of us rode together, skipping the return down Jesmond Dene Road and went straight down Centre City Parkway to Escondido. Ernst had bonked and we reeled him in as we pedaled into town. The five of us cruised together on the back roads to the mall, finishing ahead of the fast guys who went the longer route.
I finished with 63 miles and about 5,000 feet of climbing; not bad given the 77 miles I did with Hodges on our ride the day previous for lunch in downtown San Diego. Many of the guys rode back home but some cars remained at the mall. As I was putting my bike in my car, the other riders cruised back into the mall parking lot. Jeff S had ridden over from the coast to start the ride so he finished with over 100 miles for the day, great riding. Another fun Descenders group ride. Attached are a few photos.