We have had two great skive rides the past two weeks. I will try to summarize them both in this ride report.
Skive Ride–Old 395, Old Castle, Lilac & Dirt Roads to Cole Grade Loop–7 October
Our Skive Ride turned into a Bunked Up Ride–ask Hodges.
We planned another fun hooky ride starting at the mall. I pedaled over from home in time to meet Jeff Langley, Arlyn and Patrick O’Gorman at Hodges house on Spring Meadow. The plan was to ride to the Westfield Mall to meet Bill Wood and Sheehan. Bill was back in country for a short visit from Australia and to do more work on his local home.
The group of 7 riders rolled out just after 9:30 with Hodges leading us north. We headed up through Escondido to El Norte Parkway where Hodges turned us towards Broadway with the route up Jesmond Dene. Sheehan never got the message about this being a weekday, relaxing ride so he was pushing the pace up Broadway, dragging Patrick with him. They were well off the front and I kept telling Hodges to just let them go. At the light, I hit the accelerator and surged off the front to see if Sheehan and Patrick would respond; they did. Patrick pulled us up Jesmond Dene while the rest of the guys rode up well behind us. Near the top Patrick dropped his chain and Sheehan pulled a Contador, he pulled ahead and we left Patrick on the final climb. Sheehan finished strong as we rode toward the light to wait for the rest of the boys.
We flew down Old 395 at a PR pace with Sheehan again pushing the pace. At Old Castle we turned to ride up towards Lilac. Arlyn was planning to return home but we convinced him to climb Old Castle and loop back through Valley Center, more scenic. He pealed off at a store near the start of the climb to get some water and have a break. The rest of us climbed. Sheehan, Patrick and Hodges pedaled off the front with Jeff L following. I was farther back and Bill swept. Hodges got a flat near the top where we all regrouped.
I took off for Lilac with Jeff following. Bill flatted and the guys stopped to help but I was well down the road so Jeff caught me and we rolled over to our planned stop at the Yellow Deli on Lilac Road. The Yellow Deli is a very relaxing spot run by a group of folks that live off their farm in a commune of sorts. We had some great fresh banana bread and coffee while relaxing on the outdoor patio with music in the background. Jeff L had to head back to Valley Center and home and Bill W was heading back to Jesmond Dene. Sheehan had done a bit of map searching before the ride and spotted a road called Keys Creek Road. He spoke to the waitress and she noted it was right next to the Yellow Deli. She also told us it was a dirt road that led to their Lavender Farm a mile or so east. She reinforced that the road was bumpy and likely not ridable.
Jeff and Bill headed back on pavement. Sheehan had managed to convince Hodges, Patrick and me that this was the exploration route back toward Cole Grade. We headed down bumpy, sandy, rutted and rocky Keys Creek Rd looking for a slight right turn. We rode by a beautiful Lavender Farm, fields of purple bending gently in the breeze. We rode along and missed the turn but climbed a nice rocky, soft dirt 15% grade to the top of a ridge; we got to descend back down before realizing that our right turn was through a locked fence gate.
We climbed over the fence, some more gracefully than others, handed over the bikes and continued on an easterly fashion towards Ricks Ranch Road. After about 4 miles of dirt roads, carrying our bikes along steep sections, getting our kits caught in the fence line and enjoying some great views, we made it back to asphalt and pedaled over the Valley Center High School. This is at the top of the Cole Grade climb. We headed quickly back towards Valley Center and stopped for water at the gas station near Woods Valley. The four of us were getting tired and the day was getting long. Some of us had to at least pretend to do a bit of work in the late afternoon. It was time to get home.
Sheehan flew down Valley Center Road to get a nice Strava cup–Top 7 for the segment. Patrick pulled us back toward the mall. He is a strong rider. Like father, like son. Patrick pealed away near Kit Carson Park. The 3 of us headed for the pedestrian bridge of Lake Hodges. I headed right while Sheehan and Hodges went left toward Pomerado. My trek back through 4S was slow, but I got home with 72 mile under the belt, nice skive ride.
Skive Ride–Questhaven, Double Peak, Lake San Marcos and RSF Loop–15 October
The Skive participants were only 3 for this week: Oleg, Sheehan and Rob. Oleg pedaled over from his home so he had ridden almost 30 miles by the time Sheehan and I rolled over to the corner of HVR and Pomerado to start our skive ride. We cruised towards Elfin Forest. Oleg led us on the new route off Via Rancho Parkway past the Felicita turn. We eventually hit Harmony Grove with Oleg and Sheehan doing all the pulls while I hung on the wheel in front of me, trying not to get dropped. We turned onto Questhaven and Sheehan immediately had a mechanical issue with his gears. I pedaled on knowing they would be right behind me soon enough. Oleg blew by on the climb and waited for me at the second gate. I continued on while Oleg waited again for Sheehan. We pedaled on to San Elijo Road and up to the top of Double Peak for a much needed break.
Oleg led us along the paths from part way down Double Peak and we rode over to the mountain to the west with the electronic towers on top and hit the steep descent down into the back of Lake San Marcos. This nice private community eventually hit back out on Rancho Sante Fe Road where we headed back south. Tt was a skive ride so we needed to stop for some coffee. Sheehan suggested the Pancake House at the corner of Encinitas Blvd on the way towards RSF. We enjoyed a great pancake & coffee feast on the outside tables, a very relaxing brunch.
Sheehan was now short on time and I had to ride back to his house. Oleg headed out toward the coast to finish more than 70 miles. Sheehan led us back through RSF, along Stud Loop and down Zumaque. We climbed Artesian and hit Rancho Bernardo Road all the way back to his house. We made good time energized on our pancakes. It was a fun 48 mile loop.
The Skive Rides have become fun mid-week adventure rides. Hope you can break away from the office soon to join in the rides.