HVR Climb, Mussey Grade and Poway Grade Loop
10 March 2013
by Rob Verfurth
It was a beautiful Sunday morning with bright blue skies and lots of sun. The early temps were still cool but it was going to warm up nicely. We had no set ride plans but the group met at the corner of Black Mountain Road and the bike path at 9 am, all the guys correctly set their clocks forward and arrived on time. We had five Descenders ready to knock out a small group ride: Guido, Bernie, Yi-Shiou, Tony (from Chicago) and Rob. The decision was to go climb up HVR and loop around back to the start.
Guido led us north on Black Mountain Road then handed off to Bernie who pushed the pace along Carmel Valley Road toward 4S. We cruised through the electronics companies business park and by RB park near Lake Hodges to get to the start of the HVR climb. Bernie was off the front as expected but he slowed after the first climb to keep us together and explain the route to Tony who had not ridden up HVR. We all rode to the top and then along the flats to Hwy 67. Bernie and Guido took long strong pulls on point.
The turn onto Mussey Grade coming out of Ramona was a bit challenging with all the traffic. We eventually got into a smooth paceline heading down Mussey; again with Bernie and Guido doing most of the front efforts. After a short break in the bright sunshine overlooking San Vicente Reservoir we pedaled back to the top of Mussey Grade. Yi-Shiou had to head back down HVR toward RB and home while the rest of us headed south on 67. Bernie pulled us along until I blew up and fell off the back. He came back to pull me back to the group around Mt Woodson. Bernie was on point to entire descent to Poway Grade and then again for most of the descent down to Espola; we were moving fast. The four of us rode together until Bernie cut north on Pomerado while Guido, Tony and I rode Ted Williams toward PQ. Tony cut north at Oggi’s Pizza so Guido and I got the chance to pootle the remaining miles to home.
Another great day in the saddle, about 53 miles and again about 4,000 feet of climbing. Attached are two photos. I will put the rest on Shutterfly.