We had another fun Skive Ride this week. Hodges had taken me, Bryan Jones and Bob P on the Lake Hodges Trails for the Sunday Recovery ride a few days before; Mike out did himself for the Skive Ride.
We met up at our usual spot at the start of HVR. It was Mike, Sheehan, me and Steve Bosowski, a new rider who has been on one of our recent Sunday Recovery Rides. Steve and his friend, Peter, are both good riders. We hope to see them become full time Descenders soon. Sheehan and I were late as we were chatting with Dave Ernst who had stopped by Sheehan’s house but was not able to break away from work for the ride. By the time Sheehan and I rolled up, Hodges had convinced Steve we needed to do some BWR training. Mike outlined a ride that mostly consisted of dirt trails and off we went, just like pigs to the slaughter.
We cruised over the pedestrian bridge and to the start of the Mule Hill Trail. This was a nice warm-up of mostly hard packed dirt, only a few soft spots and rocks. We rode over to where the trail hit HVR and climbed up to Bandy Canyon. The descent was nice and smooth until we took the turn at Isabel Creek. This dirt road is a washed out, bumpy mess that cut us over to Hwy 78 where Mike led us toward the end of Bandy Canyon Road. We immediately turned off Bandy and rode the San Dieguito Trail, which basically parallels Bandy Canyon until you turn towards the climb up Raptor Ridge.
Our riding as a small group had been exemplary thus far, we seemed to have a handle on the BWR segments. Hodges led us most of the time on the trails. Sheehan followed close behind. Steve was next and I usually swept to make sure no one got lost. Along a soft section of trail with a wooded fence line to our left, Sheehan got his front wheel stuck and did a nice slow rollover the front of his bike. Steve seemed to have plenty of time to slow but somehow locked up his front brake and went over his bike, almost on top of Sheehan. Our first bit of road carnage. No serious issues so we were back cruising along in a jiffy.
The climbs to the top of Raptor Ridge were great, there was only one small section that was too steep, too soft and had too many ruts for me to ride up. I got off for a slow "walk of shame" to the rise. We relaxed and took in the great views from the lookout spot. The descents off Raptor Ridge were a bit harrowing. We all managed to keep the speed under control, rubber side down and only got off the bike for one small rocky section. We were just about done with all the potential hazards when Steve hit the last sharp rock on the trail before getting back to HVR, he immediately flatted his front tubeless tire.
Mike and Steve were a nice respite and comic relief to me and Sheehan as we watched them try to fix the tire. Mike first attempted to pump it up–no joy. He then took off the edge of the tire from the rim to discover that the tire was full of white liquid for the tubeless tire. Liquid dripped from his hands and the tire lever that he had now placed between his teeth, lovely sight. Steve managed to get out a tube and put in the tire. We were back riding in no time.
Sheehan liked this off road stuff so much he offered to get us to the Water Tower via some dirt sections. We crossed HVR and went through one of the many tree nurseries out there. We climbed up dirt and then a steep road to get to an even steeper road that got us to the Water Tower. This tower is in The Heritage development and allows for great views. We eventually safely descended back to the road and headed towards the exit on Espola. Sheehan again suggested more dirt so we took the Old Coach Trail and looped back toward his Valle Verde neighborhood. This was mostly packed dirt trails but we did have to hike-a-bike up to a steep road that got us to St Andrews Road. We rode together, past Casa Ernst, and got to Sheehan’s house in need of water.
Dave and I were done–less than 30 miles, most of it on dirt. Mike and Steve got water and resumed their treks towards home. Thanks Mike for hosting a fun and eventful skive Ride.