Sunday Dec 4 2015
“The San Elijo shortcut”
Five hearty souls showed up for the 34 degree, 8 am meeting spot at Pomerado and Rancho Bernardo rds. In attendance were Brian “baby face” Jones, Mike “I don’t ride dirt on my road bike” Farkas, John “off the front” Moran, Steve “I am always tan” Bosowski, and me.
With Rob and Hodges not there yet, I had to check email to find out they were not coming. So we started a casual roll towards Lake Hodges bridge. On the docket for today: Exploration. We crossed Lake Hodges, came up Via Rancho Parkway and turned right on Bernardo with some strong climbing by all. As we wound our way towards harmony grove we found a new road at the end of Citracado. We dismounted and went around the barrier- to keep just the cars off the road and of course allow bikers to pass. The road wound left and eventually came out at Harmony Grove. This new road looks like it will have many new homes which means Harmony Grove will soon look more like Irvine than the pristine speedway it used to be.
So now the exploration- on google maps saw a climb off Wilgen rd which is a right turn off Harmony Grove. From Wilgen we got on Bresa De Loma which is a short stout climb with a 22% section thrown in. We wound down the backside and continued stopping several times to find the right road, Crestview- that would lead to the water tower we could see up at the top of the hill. After several steeps including one climb that had a 36% grade we came to a gravel road. With a split vote (I was in the minority) we decided to turn around at this point. We will be back to finish this climb as the backside of it leads down to San Elijo.
We had a medium high tempo ride to San Elijo with Mike and Brian sharing pulls and me holding on. We stopped downtown for halfway point. With John sporting his Pearl Izumi retro wool jersey, Brian lamenting his ability to grow a beard and Mike explaining his training strategies, we enjoyed Stoked Café’s best fare. Because of the collective uneasy feeling from the incomplete prior summit-OK mostly mine, the decision was made to go back Elfin Forest and do Ambiente. John of course went off the front but was gathered in by Brian, Mike and I. We climbed Ambiente and stopped at one point for a new road going in and then eventually summited. At the base we split with Steve and I heading back on Del Dios and the San Deguito Trail and Brian, John and Mike heading back RSF and three witches route. Overall 41 miles and 3900 feet of climbing. A great day to be a Descender. You should have come.