Skive Rides Round-Up

We have tried to be fairly consistent with our Tuesday morning Skive rides. They always start at 8:30 am and we meet at the start of HVR. They have been very popular rides for those who can adjust their work schedules. The skive ride concept has expanded to more weekday rides working different schedules. I will briefly recap the recent Tuesday morning Skive Rides.

Harmony Grove, Questhaven, Via Ambiente & Del Dios Loop-17 Feb 2015

Riders: Dave Sheehan, Tony O’Gorman, KC Butler and Rob Verfurth

Ride: 41 miles and 3,800 feet of elevation

We all met on the corner of HVR and planned to ride toward Elfin Forest. Sheehan tried to convince Tony and KC that they must ride up Crestwind, but they were not biting. We rolled along Via Rancho Parkway after crossing the Lake Hodges bridge, took the turn onto Bernardo Ave and made our way over to the start of Harmony Grove. Of course Sheehan still had us take the turn towards Crestwind. We stopped as he explained the roads and turns that would get us up towards the top of the hill, as he point up to the very top of the highest peak in view. Tony and KC committed that someday soon they will tackle Crestwind. It is a real leg burner for sure.

Sheehan did convince Tony and KC to ride up Questhaven–just a little dirt to spice things up. We all made good time climbing Questhaven and looped through the neighborhood to get to San Elijo Road. We did take a short break at the top of Questhaven to show the guys Attebury Road noting how it can connect up to Crestwind, just planting seeds for future rides. We sped down into the main square of San Elijo Hills for our planned stop at Cafe Stoked for coffee. We met up with Larry Gitman and a riding buddy of his. KC Butler has put on the Tour of Poway for many years and Larry Gitman use to organize rides as well. The last time I saw Larry was on the Tour of Palm Springs in 2013. He gave me a tube after my second flat. Len (TE) has known Larry for years. We all sat around and had a good time chatting about bike events, a little Lance bashing and local rides.

After coffee, the four of us headed back along Elfin Forest Road to Via Ambiente. This is always a tough climb. Sheehan led off the front with KC next while Tony and I swept. I finally caught up to KC at the top. Sheehan was probably already finished descending by this time. We all regrouped at Del Dios, facing another another climb back towards the start. The two miles from the bottom of Del Dios to the turn onto Lake Drive is always a hard ride for me. Tony and I took off first but were quickly passed by Sheehan and KC. As I trudged up the climb a strong, solidly built guy went by me pushing a big crank. I accelerated to catch his wheel and held on for as long as I could. I got past KC but never caught up to Sheehan–looking super strong.

We all regrouped at the corner of Lake Drive and then enjoyed our ride along the edge of the lake and under the canopy of oaks, love that section of road. After a final regroup at Via Rancho Parkway, Sheehan led off with me hanging on his wheel. We eventually broke KC with Tony falling back too. Sheehan and I were screaming down the hill when we hit the red light; buzz kill and stop. The light turned green just as KC flew through and led us toward the freeway. We crossed the freeway, said good-bye to Tony and the 3 of us spun back across the pedestrian bridge.. We rolled along Pomerado, cut through toward Valle Verde and said bye to KC. He still had a few more miles to go. Great route, lots of elevation and time for a coffee break.

Mary Lane, Summit, Jesmond Dene, Old 395, Gopher Canyon and Twin Oaks Valley Loop-24 Feb 2015

Riders: Todd Callaway, Tony O’Gorman, Dave Sheehan, Steve Bosowski and Rob Verfurth

Ride: 50 miles and 3,600 feet of elevation

It was sunny but cool as we rode from Sheehan’s house to the meeting spot at the start of HVR. Todd was waiting with Tony and Steve rolling up just after the arrival me and Sheehan. After some general discussion on routes and time constraints we settled on Tony’s route he recently put into Strava–basically north to Gopher Canyon and then south on Twin Oaks Valley. Todd wanted to get home by 11 am. Sheehan proposed Crestwind, again. Steve was riding on a 25 tooth rear cassette so we all decided Tony’s route was faster and less climbing.

The group rolled together until we started the climb up Mary Lane. Todd is a great climber and he accelerated up the ride. Sheehan and I hung pretty well, but burned some early matches, while Steve and Tony came just behind. The group rode along Summit and then over to El Norte Parkway. Todd and Sheehan were in front most of the time, offering a bit of protection from the winds. We did the gratuitous climb up Ash and over toward the start of Jesmond Dene. Todd was on point and Sheehan refused to get on his wheel. I tried to get some protection from Todd’s 135 lbs body mass, gut there was little to offer. Sheehan, Steve and Tony followed. Todd did all the work. The winds were in our face–gusts coming from the NNW direction. I faded halfway up the climb so the rest of the guys motored along with Tony coming behind me. I regrouped to catch Steve at the top with Sheehan and Todd just ahead. We rode to the intersection of Mountain Meadow Road. I saw a cyclist with a bright yellow jacket out in front with what appeared to be the coloring of Descenders bibs. He crossed through the intersection as I yelled, "Bill". I finally recognized our Australian teammate.

Bill was riding to Temecula with his wife, Laurie, following in the truck. Great one-way ride effort. We rode as a big group up Old 395 with a solid headwind. Each guy took turns at the front to absorb some of the wind. Bill was turning at Old Castle Road and heading to Couser Canyon & Rice Canyon to get to Temecula. We waved bye to take the left at Gopher Canyon. We stopped at the light when a group of motorcyclists rolled up next to us. A lady on the back of a bike asked Todd if there was a gas station near-by. He promptly replied that he does not know, we do not use gas; great line for the ride. Todd led us up the climb up with Sheehan following. We rode hard up and over the hill, looking left to find the Twin Oak Valley Road. We got to the sign and stopped, regrouped and then had to decide if we should take the road. A big sign said, "Not a Through Road." Sheehan said that was just for cars.

The climb up was steady and the valley beautiful. We found rolling hills and eventually made our way to a locked gate, easily navigable for bikes. We continued climbing and rolling down hills, the wind was mostly to our backs. It is a great road and we need to include in a Descenders route someday. We rode south towards Route 78 and could see CSUSM up ahead. We should have turned left onto Borden Road and made our way toward north Escondido. We kept going straight, over 78 and then finally left onto Barham Dr, going right by the university.

Todd was now late so we hustled along, rode by the Palomar Medical Center and the Auto Parkway. We had plans for a coffee break so Steve volunteered to route Todd back down Centre City Parkway and to the Westfield Mall while Sheehan, Tony and I rode into downtown Escondido. An almond croissant waited at A Delight of France. Tony gave us a tutorial on car engine combustion research. Sheehan piped in his engineering credentials while I, with glazed over eyes, drank my coffee. It was a beautiful day, the temps had warmed nicely and the porch seating provide excellent views. This has become a must stop locale for our Skive rides. To his credit, Hodges found the cafe first.

The rest of the way home was the usual ride down Bear Valley and over the Lake Hodges bridge to Pomerado. Tony reversed course before the bike path while Sheehan and I rolled back to his house. I have attached a few photos from each ride. Hope you can join us on a Skive ride soon.

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