Weekend Riding Revalry

Hi All,

This past weekend was memorable in its varied Descender rides. We had folks riding all over the county and state–literally. I will attempt to capture a few of the highlights and add a picture or two. I believe we need to start with a few super kudos to the strongest rides of the weekend.

  • Rick and Denise Bienias–ElliptiGO World Championships
  • Bernie Bogard–Everest Challenge
  • Paul Pruschki–200 miles on Sunday, 500 miles for the week

ElliptiGO Ride–Mt Palomar

Dave Ernst has already written and posted a ride report for the great efforts of Denise and Rick on their race up Mt Palomar. Special thanks to Jeff S and Neil who had GoPro duties to record all the action. Look forward to seeing the final footage of the riders/runners conquering Palomar. The Descenders were out in support of Rick & Denise and enjoyed another beauty ride up one of the iconic climbs in the county. Most of us met at Casa Voris at 0-Dark-30 and drove to Harrahs for the start of the group ride. We headed for the bottom of Palomar a bit before 7 am, cool and just getting light in the early morning. The early part of the climb split us up as Hodges, Tony and Voris sped off on point. Guido inched ahead and rode solo while Len and I rode together until about the 4,000 elevation mark when went ahead. John M swept. Ernst came flying by us a few turns past the Y, slowed and then turned into a lookout to wait for the racers. It was a bright morning but a bit cold for me with temperatures dipping in the shadows to below 50 degrees as we climbed up Palomar, great climbing weather though. At the top Guido and I headed off towards the camp grounds since we still had time before we expected to see Rick and Denise. Eventually we all regrouped at the top to watch the exciting finish. Jeff S was leading the woman winner to the top before he turned back around to lead up and film more riders. Neil also had the camera on his bike and he came around the last corner with the eventual male winner just behind. Ernst had ridden the last mile with Rick offering encouragement. Rick was only about 10 seconds back as he pushed hard to the finish. Great effort by Rick. Amy came up to cheer on the runners/riders too. She helped pace Denise up the final turns, along with Hodges and Jeff. Denise finished high up in the woman finishers. It was awesome to see all the ElliptiGO bikes climb Palomar.

After the race was completed, many of us headed out to the Observatory to get in a few more miles. The early pace setters from the climb, Hodges, Tony and Voris, flew down the road. John had started first and I followed last. It was now very cold in my book but the shivers lasted only a few miles before starting the final climb to the Observatory. We spun around the building and headed back to Mother’s for some coffee and a bite to eat. Guido, Len and Ernst skipped this section and relaxed on the porch at Mothers in the warming sunlight. It was now time to descend back down Palomar. We all sped down the curvy road, some much faster than others. I was behind Guido when he blew a tire. Hodges and I stopped to help him replace his tube and then more cautiously descended back to Harrahs. Only about 40 miles in total but 6,000 feet of climbing. Many congrats to Rick and Denise for their strong ElliptiGO performances.

Everest Challenge

This is a monster race up in Bishop, CA. It is about 110 miles each day and about 29,000 feet of total climbing. The route took Bernie on a number of roads the Descenders have ridden over the years on our Monster Climbs trips. Bernie tackled all of it over two days, almost 9 hours in the saddle each day. His riding was super strong based on the Strava times and segment awards. I see that Day 1 was South Lake up and back AND Pine Creek up and back–WOW! Great accomplishment Bernie. I look forward to hearing about the race at our Descenders Social this upcoming weekend. Bernie will now be hosting the event. It is Saturday, 4 Oct starting at 4 pm. We are having it catered with tacos and Geoff B will be bringing his latest brewings for us to sample. Final details will come out in the next few days.

Tour de Poway

The annual Tour de Poway was overshadowed by all the other events of the weekend. The Descenders still came out in force to ride the local roads. I managed to get up early and pedal over to the start line just as the final instructions were being given out to the riders. I saw Hodges, Ernst, Len and John B lined up for the ride. Great kudos to the boys who tackled Palomar on Saturday and still had legs for the 100 mile event. We started down Midland and Hodges was out in front. Ernst and I chatted up John B for a bit until he motored away up the Poway Grade. Ernst, Len and I rode to the top. I waved bye as the guys took the turn north onto 67 and then headed south to descend SPP. The Strava posts showed some great riding from the guys that went the 100 mile loop. Kudos to Hodges, Ernst and Len for pulling in Palomar and Tour de Poway during the weekend. Always great to see John B out riding. Looked like another fun event.

I was not planning to ride any of the Tour de Poway and made my way back to the 7-11 store to wait for the Sunday Recovery Ride guys. By 8 am we had Geoff, Sheehan, Tony and John M ready to ride. The plan was to head up SPP and do Mussey. Tony wanted to add Mahogany and loop back via HVR. We rolled up Sycamore Canyon and my legs were tired. I opted to bail and head back west on SPP while those guys went on the recovery ride. I pootled home with 32 miles while the boys did a civilized 50+ mile loop.

Paul Pruschki–200 mile ride

While all the Sunday action was going on, Paul Pruschki was completing one memorable week of riding and celebrating his 50th. He started last Sunday with a 50 mile loop in the dirt, similar to the Ernst 50 mile birthday ride last summer. Paul rode to work all week and finished the week with a monster 200 mile loop yesterday. I know Bryan Jones did part of the ride to keep Paul company but I think he rode mostly solo. I got an e-mail message from Paul before 6 am to track his progress via Garmin. I checked him out before I headed off to the Tour de Poway start and saw him every few hours over the next almost 12 hours of riding–unbelievable effort. He averaged over 17 mph and looped all over north county with one long extension north into Camp Pendleton. I was getting tired just watching my computer. Great riding Paul.

Here are a few photos and I will post the rest to Shutterfly.


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