Lots of riders, great weather and a fun weekend on the road. I will briefly recap the weekend Descender groups rides.
HVR and Old Julian Loop-Sat, 29 Nov
This was the planned group ride and we had a good turn-out–12 riders met up at the corner of Pomerado and RB. Oleg, Voris, Larry, Rick & Denise, Rick W, Eric R, Sheehan, Ernst, Rob, Claus and Tony. I was late getting over to Casa Voris and by the time I got there it looked like everyone had already left. I pedaled quickly toward Pomerado where I saw Denise heading north. I finally was able to close the gap so we rode together until we caught Oleg and Larry at the light at Ted Williams. The group rode toward the RB meeting spot with Rick B catching us in the final mile. Voris was late but we all gathered and rolled by 8:05 toward HVR.
The pace along the early sections of HVR was tame but the group split along the climb with Eric R and Rick B busting out to the front. Oleg and Larry were also driving the pace up HVR. Denise was super strong all day with a nice climb up past the Bandy turn out still fast up the second set of HVR climbs. Rick B led his yellow school bus pace, sweeping up climbers along the way. Rick allowed me to catch a ride behind his bus for some of the last steep sections. It was a beautiful morning and the HVR climb epitomizes the beauty of cycling in San Diego county.
We all regrouped at the corner of Archie Moore before rolling off toward Ramona. Sheehan loves to push the pace o the flats so he sped away with Voris and one other rider to beat the pack to the light at Hwy 67. We rode a nice paceline but Sheehan, Eric R and Rick W spun away from the group to fight it out for the win the the San Vicente light, not sure who won I was so far behind.
We headed straight to Old Julian as a group before things started to spread out on the climb. Rick W got a flat before the turn and Rick B stopped to help him. I hit the front fairly early on the climb to take a photo before falling way back. I was riding hard up the climb when Tony spun by my wheel. We rode together up the final mile when we heard Ernst closing fast. The three of us headed to the top of the climb where we ran out of gas. Tony and I spun together along the flats to find Larry and Oleg resting up by the weather vane near the very end of Old Julian.
The group headed south at a very quick pace. Claus and I could not keep up despite pedaling hard back to Ramona. We finally regrouped at the Chevron gas station where we all got some needed refreshments–thanks for the Pepsi, Oleg! We rolled from the gas station to head back to Dye Road. Claus and I were out front at the turn onto Dye–Claus took the point and pedaled strong. I hid on his wheel and glanced over my shoulder every so often to see if the peloton could close the gap–Claus was too strong. Despite a final push by a handful of riders Claus and I got back to Hwy 67 with the lead. There are a split at the intersection with Claus, Sheehan, Tony and Eric R heading back down HVR. One four man group–Oleg, Larry, Voris and Rick W went out front on Hwy 67 while Rick B pulled Denise, Ernst and me along past Mount Woodson. At High Valley, Ernst and I headed west while Rick and Denise kept riding along 67. The other four-man group was long gone.
Ernst and I had a nice spin down High Valley. Great views of Lake Poway along the top. We split at the bottom and I pootled home with 72 miles and 4,800 feet of climbing; even a new PR on HVR climb but still well behind most of the Descenders after I did a quick check of the stats on Strava. Great group ride.
SPP, Pomerado and Black Mountain Recovery Ride-Sun, 30 Nov
I was late getting out of bed and wavered in my decision to ride today. A short rain shower hit my house just before I left, another push to skip the ride. I eventually got motivated and spun over to the 7-11 store to find Ernst and Eric G waiting for me. After some deliberation on a route we decided to ride up to SPP and head west on Pomerado. No one pushed the pace and we rode as a group to Pomerado. The first climb took out what little leg we had left but Ernst seemed to find another gear flying down Pomerado through Scripps Ranch and over I-15.
We turned north on Black Mountain Road and cruised over Mira Mesa, down to Mercy and then back up the hill to the 56. There was a biker that we passed on the fast descent that now passed us on the early part of the climb. He was on an electric bike. I caught him at the Park Village light and then tried to stay out front on the final climb–not! He sped by me well before we hit the apex of the climb. The group decided to continue north on Black Mountain. At the top of the road Ernst and Eric headed right through 4S toward home while I went left to cruise past Westview HS and head for home. It was a nice 30 mile recovery loop.
Fun weekend of rides–lots to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day weekend.