Descenders, we had about 18 riders on our Soledad exploration today.I have parked support car at the top and rode to meet the group – I intercepted a group of ~14 at Camino Del Sur. A lot of regulars who I haven’t ridden with in a while – Voris was spotting a mean goatee that gave him this "Don’t F with me!" look – he looked like an Evil Twin version of the Voris we all know. Ernst was back from travels across Northwest, since Monster Climbs I had more interactions with him over instagram than in real life.
I was very happy to see the group riding cautiously and courteously, maybe only 15-18 mph, on the bike path. Apparently Rob Verfurth threatened the group with me giving them physics homework if they don’t comply.
We picked up Larry as we got to the coast, as well as Bryan Taylor, as well as Marcy – a very fit, former (or even current?) elite triathlete.
I managed to snap a spoke (front wheel too, weird) and briefly stopped to fix it (thanks to Ernst for waiting), so I missed the Torrey Pines fun. We descended down to Black’s Beach but missed Sheehan who went off the front and missed the right turn. Even with some tailwind, the ride up Black’s beach road was tougher than I remember. I miss my compact! This was first time for several Black’s Beach virgins, including Ernst, Zach, Bryan, Marcy and perhaps several others I forget.
After Hillside riders started bailing already. But we picked up Roman DeSalvo, riding – what else – DeSalvo custom bike (no relation). Roman loves Soledad – I think we see him every time we do Soledad ride.
We rode most of the time as a group (as much as this is possible on 18% gradients!), even though we may have temporarily "lost" or "misplaced" Eric Gruff (who used his spare time to explore Soledad descent all the way down to Mission Bay instead of going down Nautilus) and also Jeff Langley – but it turned out Jeff just started Country Club climb ahead of the group.
The weather was great, even though it was a bit on hot and humid side at times.
The clouds rolled in a bit later in the afternoon, which was nice.
In the end, we finished the final climb "thought the Green Valley" (via Valverde) with about 8 riders out of total 18 participants – not bad. The group had apparently some strong animated pulls on the way back to Poway (just like last time), I missed those as I drove the car back home. Most of us ended up with ~60 miles and ~6K ft of climbing but Bryan had taken the prize with 100 miles and 10,000 ft of climbing – nicely done! Still not as much as Larry T. and Matt Babb’s 180-mile, 17K ft adventure yesterday – they would have done 200miles but ran out of daylight. Check it out on strava.
I still had plenty of pastries left, so you most definitely should have come!
Photos are here: http://goo.gl/3J5zL2
Also, here’s a public announcement (from your Mom) on why you should always wear sunscreen (especially if you are light complexion, spend time outside and live some place sunny, like San Diego) – how your face looks in UV camera – enjoy: