All, We had 14 Descenders coming out for the Elfin Forest+Double Peak ride past Saturday. Larry and I rode from the coast – we got to casa de Voris around 7:30 but Geoff who was already waiting there for a bit informed us there was no sign of life anywhere around Springmeadow Lane, so the three of us kept on riding to the meeting spot, picking up John Moran along the way.
Geoff really pushed the pace putting some hurt on me and when we got to the meeting spot, there were only 2 or 3 descenders waiting there. But soon, around 8:05, there were several late arrivals, including Voris himself, Rick, etc. When Larry and I are 5 min late we usually have to chase the group full-gas, at 28mph or 400 Watts, whichever comes first, to and up Highland Valley! Not fair!
Speaking of Watts, Rick was trying out a new Quarq power meter. Quarq and equivoque are the only two words I know with two q’s in it, and I suspect quarq is not scrabble-legal.
Anyways, Quarq shows Rick B., out of shape and struggling with knee problems, easily did close to 500W for 5min on his stroll up Double Peak, just for fun. For most people 400W for 5min would be a fantastic result. (my personal best is merely 398 Watts, for the record).
We tried a new shortcut route to Elfin Forest. You have to hit the second right after passing over I-15, up Bernardo Lane – it’s a beautiful little climb makes you think you are in Ranch Santa Fe instead of Escondido, and then keep going on Bernardo Ave. until it connects to W 11th St. by I-15 – this when you realize you are back to Escondido. A few roller-coaster up-and-downs and you are at Harmony Grove, all on small streets with virtually no traffic. Something to keep in mind.
Elfin Forest/Harmony Grove was barely recognizable. Partly because of all new construction, but also mostly due to the recent fire damage. It was like scorched lunar landscape or enchanted forest with all black trees and black grass (or what used to be grass). Weird stuff, gave me goosebumps just riding through it.
After climbing Elfin and Double Peak we decided to explore the path behind Double Peak that leads to San Marcos. Again, check out strava if you want details of the route. It included about 20% climb, on which Rick B. set a new KOM, and a descent that featured 26% downhill section, ending with a (frustratingly!) closed gate. This is one of the steepest roads in San Diego county, supposedly. Good practice for descending steep Painted Cave in just two weeks. Gingerly and carefully, ride your brakes, no risks and nobody gets hurt.
On the way back we rode through Rancho Santa Fe engaging in usual Descender shenanigans. Despite strong attacks from a few riders (you know who you are, and yes, I am guilty too), the group stayed together with Guido cleverly taking the sprint to the right turn. From there Larry and I rode to Solana beach and back home while the rest of the group headed to Santa Luz for more climbing.
Great day in the saddle, you should have come!
Desperate for even more photos? Really? Go here: