Yesterday we had 13 Descenders showing up to the first post-Monster Climbs ride.Usually a few weeks after the big climbing weekend are not as well attended, but we had plenty of regulars. Larry rode from home but I didn’t keep his company this time – due to family obligations I had to leave early. I parked at the Mall and rode back to Rancho Bernardo to pick up John, Eric G., Paul, Geoff and Larry – we rode back to the mall together.
Rob, who was still sporting a bandage from injured (and a bit swollen) wrist from MC Day 3 fall (his jersey is now named “Old Julian-Happy Canyon” jersey) have quizzed us on various trivia of World War I, in particular on assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand, which happened exactly 100 years ago.
We rode to the Lake Wohflord – Paul picked up the pace and Larry and I had to follow, as well as Bernie, Frankie, Paul P. and Rick. Soon Rick went to the front and Larry jumped around, I grabbed his wheel and we rode together to the top, much harder than I would have liked! We regrouped briefly at the top and took off, not realizing Hodges and Eric G. were just 30 seconds or so behind! Rick and Paul took off and the rest of us had to chase. By the time we caught them, I burned a few matches and decided to take it easy. On Woods Valley I waited a bit for Rob who fell a bit behind to bring him back to the group, but otherwise was content sitting in the pack and not going for the sprint, I was too tired.
Larry took off, way too early, probably almost a mile to go, but I still thought he was going to hold it all the way – but Paul chased him down basically on his own, dragging Rick and me back to Larry, and then Rick took off. I was just riding in his slipstream the whole time, following his wheel. In the end Rick tired himself out and I kept riding the same tempo and “accidentally” took the sprint without sprinting, by default, as the only rider who never went to the front. Note to self – laziness pays off sometimes.
Paul and Rob turned around. Steve got a flat and asked not to wait for him. Hodges and Eric caught us very quickly (they were just a minute or so behind us the entire time) and Rick stopped to get some water at the fire station – we never saw him again.
John, Eric G. and Hodges formed their own mini-group, while the rest of us – Larry, Bernie, Tony, Frankie, and myself, and on occasion Geoff, were riding together. Couser is now newly repaved and was a lot of fun riding on. We saw Matt and a bunch of Ranchos descending on Hwy 395
Some people took shorter route on Old Hwy 395, while the 5 of us went around through Lilac – this worked out great as nobody had to stop and regroup till RV park. We timed it well with a staggered start from RV, so that we all got a rolling regroup just past the top of Champaign Room. Perfect timing. We finished together as a large group, arriving just as Steve came from his multi-puncture unfortunate adventure. 60-70 miles for most of us, but 113 miles for Larry with extra credit.
Beautiful day to be out riding, you should have come!
More photos on storyline: