4/5/14: Lilac Loop Report

9 Descenders showed up for the Lilac Loop Ride today.
Larry and I rode from home – the roads were quite wet from overnight rain and we got sprayed quite a bit (at some point our shoes were completely soaked!). We picked up Hodges at Pomerado.
At the Escondido Mall we met Jeff Langley (who has been ramping up mileage after missing 6 weeks due to broken collarbone), Rob, Guido, Ernst, John Moran and new rider, Quoc. Quoc is doing Belgian Waffle – in addition to Hodges, Larry, Ernst and me – we had 5 out of 9 riders today doing BWR training.
We all rode together to Lake Wohlford where we split into groups – Larry, Rob and I climbed together, closely followed by Ernst. Larry set a nice tempo, urging me to hit my power goals and inadvertently making me burn a few too many matches in the process. Rob was riding very strong – he was off to Cabo in a few days so this was his last change to do a big ride for a week or so. Both Rob and Ernst set PRs on Lake Wohlford (not an ideal day with the winds), strong efforts for both!
Ernst had to go back home after regrouping – it was good to see him – as well as Guido – a few from the core group of Descenders who are club regulars going way back before I joined and who I haven’t had the pleasure of riding with for a while (I inadvertently called them “old-timers” at the start, which offended Ernst so he flipped me off – see the photos).
On Woods Valley we had set a nice rotating tempo, I tried to break away in the end but it was futile – Larry rode past me like I was standing still, easily taking the sprint. Larry was riding his CX bike with thick 28mm tires, I think this is the key to his excellent sprinting. Either that, or losing some weight due to stomach flu he had last week.
Jeff and John went through a “shortcut” via W. Lilac, while the remaining 5 of us went via Couser, and Old 395/Lilac/Del Rey/back to Old 395. Guido should be called “King of Lilac” because whenever we ride on the road that starts with “Li-” and end with “-lac” he goes to the front to set a nice fast tempo for the entire group. And I have many memories of us riding Lilac, with the group being lead by Guido. He owns Lilac – both West and East sections.
We found John and Jeff waiting for us at the RV park store. After brief refueling, we kept climbing up Champaign (Hodges/Rob/Guido/Larry and I stayed together all the way to the top), and rode to the Mall – at which point Guido peeled off, while the four of us took Hodges’ generous offer to ride the dirt trails around Lake Hodges. It was a fun ride with some rocky sections and even a water crossing (see photos).
The four of us kept on riding via Del Dios to Rancho Santa Fe – Rob and Hodges went home via Three Witches while Larry and I took Linea del Cielo to Del Mar Fairgrounds and rode along the coast home. About 120 miles and 8K of climbing for Larry and me, 100miles for Hodges, 95 for Rob, 87 for Jeff – a lot of us hit pretty large numbers today. You should have come!

A few photos attached, the rest are at: http://goo.gl/JNfY85

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