We had 17 riders come out for our Old Julian Ride.
Larry and I rode from home. Normally we can cover the 20-mile section from Genessee in Clairemont to Pomerado and RB in just about 70 minutes, comfortably at about 17mph average. But perhaps because we caught a few too many red lights or perhaps because it was really really cold at the start (Larry had to ride through canyons that must have been in 30ies F), we were riding too slow (7 minutes too slow) – we got to the meeting spot at 8:07, and the group was already gone!
By the way, when I say “really really cold” I have to apologize to my friends in Chicago and East Coast who have had sub-zero F temperatures all week. “Really Really cold” by SoCal standards, where sub-60F is cold, sub-50 is “really cold” and sub-40 is really really cold. We have no word for sub-30F temperatures because this never happens. Supposedly water freezes then but I think it’s a myth, I guess we’ll never know for sure.
We tried to chase the group (which apparently left at 8:04), hoping to see them coming up HVR but it was hopeless. Strava records indicate the group was really flying and despite Larry and I doing our best impression of two-man time trial team, we were actually losing time to the peloton – on flat HVR section and the climb to Bandy canyon we lost over a minute!
Luckily for Larry and I, (but not for him) Rick W had an issue with cassette and the group stopped at the bottom of Bandy Canyon. It was good to see Janet who keeps coming out for our rides regularly, John and Len were in the group, as well as Bernie, Neil and Jim who I haven’t ridden with in a while. Happy Birthday to Bernie! It was also good to see aero-Sheehan who was all smiles as usual and did some strong pulls with his aero bars and aero helmet. He and Rob are riding stagecoach as a team with Boyle and Ernst – good luck guys! That’s a strong team!
We went up Ramona grade lead at a steady pace by Rick B, and our group has dwindled down to about 6 or so when Rick W attacked towards the top, and Jim easily chased him down. Neil and Larry were never under much pressure, but Voris and I were on the rivet. Rob stayed with us almost until the last few steep sections when he wisely let us go. We regrouped in Ramona and rode over to Old Julian. On the climb I watched the front group of Jim, Rick, Neil and Larry ride away from Rick W. while Tony, Janet, Rob and I were chasing them at our own pace. There was a strong acceleration from Jim that dispatched Larry and for a moment gapped Rick and Neil, or so it seemed. The top trio of Jim Rick and Neil were chased by Larry who was chased by Rick W who was chased by me who was chased by Tony who was chased by Janet who was chased by Rob who was chased by Bernie who was chased by Mike etc. Everyone had a 30-yard gap on everyone else but nobody caught anyone as far as I could see.
We also picked up another rider named Steve.
On the way back there were a few strong pulls on Old Julian but nothing too crazy. We regrouped at Chevron, by now it was 70+ F. Hodges had a flat and we waited for him for a while but decided to head on home. Part of the group went back via HVR while the rest of us rode through SPP. Bernie rode up Pomerado hill with me and Larry to add some elevation, while Jim and Rick stopped at Subway for a sandwich.
It was a fantastic day in Ramona area (especially once it warmed up) – you should have come! (Photos attached)
Good luck to everyone who is riding stagecoach next Saturday! For those who prefer dessert to the desert, I will be holding a low-key sight-seeing/coffee/pastries ride to Coronado returning via Ferry next Saturday, starting from my house in BayHo around 8:00 (leaving 8:10).