All – we had 13 descenders who came out for an epic Pine Valley ride featuring two major climbing attractions of Greater San Diego area – Pine Creek and Kitchen creek.
In addition to descender regulars had a new rider, Keith, as well as chicagoan Tony O’Gorman (who is becoming a regular), and Larry Tanzo who was sporting brand new descenders jersey and vest. He was looking very sharp in new descenders gear. I think it added to his speed. It was super windy and the ride was sort of a survival mode almost from the start, at least for me. I rode with Matt, Larry, Jeff Southerton and Eric for the first third of Kitchen creek or so and then gradually backed off to ride at my own pace. Larry and Matt rode together to the top, chases by Jeff and Eric. There was some snow as we climbed higher, at times we even had to ride through snowy patches, but nothing major.
We briefly regroupped at the top for some photos and then descended down to Sunrise Hwy and regroupped at the store again. Then we were off to Pine Creek. I never ridden it before and even though everyone kept saying how steep it was, I was still surprised. With strong headwinds the 20% grades felt like 25% or even 30% at times. Bernie and I rode together for the most of it – we let Jeff, Larry and Matt go off the front, and Keith was chasing us from behind for a while. We passed a few people on mountain bikes. It was a day of suffering for sure. Bernie and I kept riding looking for the Sunrise Hwy and this was the longest 5 miles ever. Then it was a fun and fast descent (Larry got into top 10 on Sunrise descent) and back to the cars. Selected photos are attached.
More photos are here:
You should have come!
New riding goal: ride hard enough to get into more of Oleg’s photos.