Alpine Loop, April 12, 2014

All, we had 11 Descenders show up for our (slightly modified) Alpine Loop ride. Small-ish group was party due to Hodges, Geoff and Paul P. doing Ride Across America – more than 300miles from Yuma to coast, and Eileen has put us all to shame by riding Mulholand challenge – 120 mile ride with more than 17K of climbing north of LA. Rob was still in Cabo – surely putting in some secret training – running or riding!

The weather was perfect all day – not too cold at the start, sunny but never got too warm during the day.
Larry and I rode from home and picked Bob Proux and Big Rick on Poway Rd. At 7-11 we met with John Moran, Ernst, Claus, Rick B., Bernie, Tony and Neil from Ranchos team.
We rolled out easy but going up SPP big Rick had a flat, Larry and I stopped to help change it and then chased back up – the group was waiting at the top. There was a lot of glass and debris everywhere and we would have two more flats (Rick B. and John), I am surprised we didn’t have more flats with all the broken bottle glass we had to ride over. Proux turned around as we got to Lakeside as he had to get home early. We rode steady as a group up Lake Jennings and beyond – two Ricks waited for John and helped him chase when he got gapped a bit along old 80. We decided to repeat the reverse Alpine loop direction from Feb – Larry and I pushed the pace a bit up South Grade, chased by the rest of the group, maybe only 40 seconds back. On the way down Dehesa Big Rick got away from the group and it took many of us (Claus, Ernst, Larry and I) rotating in organized fashion to bring him back – which we (finally!) did just before the fire station. Rick has a lot of power! We went up Harbison Cyn but turned left on Mountain View Rd up to Crest – it’s a nice 2.5 mile climb, and you end up gaining a total of 1,000 ft over the bottom of Dehesa. Larry, Neil and I broke way enjoying amazing views – Neil spent part of the climb talking on the phone and still had no problems following Larry and me. Larry grew up in the Crest area, so this was a stroll down the memory lane for him – he told us how he used to ride 12-speed (then state of the art) bike up these roads when he was a 20-year old youngster.
We stopped at the market at the top of Crest to refuel, then descended down La Cresta into El Cajon. The ride through El Cajon was… just what you would expect from El Cajon. All of us rode to El Capitan and back – the reservoir water level was even lower than last time we were here in February. On the way back Larry and I split off to ride directly through Santee and Clairemont home, while the rest of the group went up 67 climb back to Poway. Most of the group got 80+ miles, Larry and I ended up with about 100 miles, a routine distance for us by now – while Claus got 110mi, as should have been expected.

You should have come!
Photos attached, the rest are at:
http://goo.gl/SwMQ8P

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