There were Descenders riding all over the county and at all hours of the day over the weekend as observed from all the Strava posts. We even had a numerous international postings from Italy, UK and Australia. I will provide brief ride report summaries of the two Descenders planned group rides.
Saturday, 13 September–Reserve Old Julian Road
The group met at the 7-11 store and we started off with Tony, Len (TE), Rick W, Eric R, Guido, John M, Garet & Rob. We rode up to SPP where we met our 9th rider, Larry, He pedaled over from the coast to meet us. The group split some on the climb but regrouped at the top before heading north on 67. The next climb split us again with the led group pulling away while Garet pulled Len, John and me all the way to the top by Mt Woodson. We then sped along toward Dye Road where Garet turned to head back home. He was back on his bike for the first time in a few weeks after some minor surgery; he still looks strong. We cruised over to Ramona and made a planned stop at the gas station for water. It was already warm and the climb of Old Julian lay ahead.
We split again on the climb up Old Julian. Rick W, Larry, Tony, Guido, Eric and Len hammered up the climb while John and I drifted behind. Most of the way to the top I saw Eric heading back as he also had to get home. Eric did still find time to get in a short brick training run after his bike ride, amazing. I was melting and slogging my way slowly toward the crest of the climb. A very strong rider blew by me about a mile from the top. I accelerated hard to catch her wheel. She was on her way to Mount Laguna and seemed to be enjoying the brutal heat. I held her wheel long enough to exchange pleasantries and first names. As she accelerated away I asked her to say hi to the boys waiting for me at the top. I eventually got to the end of Old Julian when we quickly turned around to head back to the gas station.
We never saw John on the descent and assumed he turned back with Eric R. After a too short water break we rode back along Dye Road. At 67 Len turned left while the rest of the group rode to HVR. I tried to tell them not to wait for me as I was dying fast. Rick W, Larry, Tony & Guido rolled away from me and I suffer alone along HVR as the winds seemed to pick up from the west. Unfortunately the guys waited for me by the school so this time I reinforced my message–I will ride home slow and alone. They disappeared down HVR. I rode slowly to the bottom of HVR and made my way back through 4S and home, but not before another water break past the Westwood Swim Club. I estimate my ride was over 70 miles with about 4,400 feet of climbing. Larry hit 95 miles by the time he got back to the coast.
Sunday, 14 September–RSF Explore Recovery Ride
It was supposed to be a nice easy recovery ride. Kudos to Tony and Guido for riding after putting in a strong ride on Sat. I rode both events as well but was much slower on Saturday. Also joining us on the Sunday ride were Eric G, Sheehan, Jeff Cresap and Bryan Jones. Good to see Bryan out again on a weekend ride and to see Jeff C who has been recovering from a leg injury. I volunteered to host the ride and suggested we head to RSF, much cooler than Ramona from yesterday. Cresap and I have ridden around RSF on a number of occasions so we had lots of routes to explore. We headed down Three Witches and along Apajo toward RSF. Sheehan was not obeying the recovery ride rules and he kept pushing the pace on point. I let him pedal on when I told the group to turn right onto Los Arboles. Sheehan stayed in the group moving forward. We took this curvy rolling road toward the center of town where we regrouped. When in town I reminded the gang how important it was to stop at the STOP signs as I knew they like to ticket riders. Cresap made a few comments about a local security guard near-by who thought it important enough to also speak to us about police patrolling to ticket riders. After making new friends with the local constabulary, we pedaled on along the golf course.
I took them on a few side looping roads. We had to stop once to try to fix Tony’s wheel that sustained damage from one of the damaged road sections earlier in the ride. We got back into RSF for a quick water break. Cresp had to get home so he bolted back before any cops spotted him. Bryan and Guido decided to head to the coast while Sheehan Tony, Eric G and I headed to Del Dios. We hammered along to Lake Drive with Tony and Sheehan leading the way. I was right behind while Eric fell back a bit. We flew by a rider just as we noticed it was John bittenger. He had been out since before 5 am and gotten in 75 miles by that time; up early and beatin’ the heat. It was great to see John. We rode to the corner of Via Rancho to wait for Eric. John was parched so he rolled to get some water. We spotted Jeff S and Eileen while we waited on the corner. They also got an early start to the day and were on their way back from climbing Bandy Canyon. They rolled with a small group toward Elfin forest.
Eric eventually got to us and we rode toward a water break by the mall. Tony head for home while the three of us rolled toward Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge. We connected with John B again and rode to Pomerado. I went towards 4S while the other guys rode towards Poway. It was still a struggle to keep up a good pace but I eventually finished with 45 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing.
Our weekend group rides pale in comparison to the training efforts of Bernie as he tackled Palomar on both days–multiple times. Her is preparing for the Everest Challenge.
It was a great weekend on the roads.
I will upload lots more photos to our Shutterfly account soon.