12 or so Descenders met at the BMR/56bp rendezvous. Geoff B turned up and like Bryan the week before left the ride before it begun – Bryan turned up for atonement. The pace was somewhat languid to the climb up to RSF, when Larry became "sporty", and I was popped off the back, feeling comforted that I had given the group strict instructions to do Stud Loop – a detour I had no intention of riding. Bob P was also missing Stud Loop but was in more social mood than I – hence he waited and I pedaled on. I should of course have felt guiltily, lonely and sneaky by riding solo to Double peak – I did not. The ride up Double Peak was bliss – I gently spun the pedals along the off road path that runs parallel to San Eilijo road (BWR training) and even waited at the light before the final left hand turn on to DP road. Near the top the GC riders came past me fast – Larry (muttering pointing a finger at me and saying "cheater"), Rick W (breathing hard), Steve K (great performance), Tony, Dave G, with Claus, Bryan, John M et al a bit further back. Kudos to Steve K for getting the third place on the podium and nearly catching Rick W. Nice pictures at the top with a young guy who turned up for the Swamis B and foolishly found his way to Swamis A – and never saw them again as they dropped him.
After DB we descended fast – Tony was flat on the bike as he screamed past everyone as we played through and off a bit on the way down. Left hand turn onto Elfin Forrest Rd then right hand up and on to Ambiente. Now those of you who have done this little gem will know of its qualities. Its pitchy, steep and longer than you think. Its actually quiet hard to do fast – which is why John M and I pootled our way to top having given the GC riders carte blanche to push forward to the finish line without us. John was riding strong and put some distance into me, but thankfully managed to regroup near the bottom of the descent. Claus, Tony and Steve had waited, so the five of us turned left on to Del Dios Hwy and then later did the wonderful detour along Lake Drive – that is a cracking section. Sadly for me I was again popped off the back and looked at John’s florescent rain jacket disappearing once more. The boys were waiting for me at the junction of Lake Drive and Via Rancho. We turned right and up we went and I went off the back – I realized that I was so far behind I really wasn’t on the same ride as the others, and it was at that moment I entered the parallel vortex where Yi Shiou had been on the "Five Faces of Soledad". I was looking at the group way off in the distance and could have sworn that everyone rode beyond the right hand turn to the 15 bridge. So I took a sneaky short cut through the woods (BWR practice) and slipped and skidded my way off road to the foot bridge over the road (hairy down hill). No Descenders were to be seen – looped all the way back to the gas station – still no one else, so road home over Lake Hodges and then took my favorite way back to home …. via LTE’s famous detour and Black Mountain. 65 miles and 5.5K climbing – I have no idea how we get to climb so much for a ride that is so close to the coast.
See you next Saturday.
On Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM, Michael Hodges <Michael.Hodges> wrote: