It was not a great day in Japatul! The group riding had high expectations. The weather reports showed the rain gone by Saturday morning. It was going to be a good day in Japatul. Alas, it was not meant to be.
We met over at Spring Meadow and only Guido, Paul P, Voris and me were there for our 6 am rendezvous. It was raining when I left PQ and was raining harder by the time I got to Spring Meadow. I went to Hodges house to give him one last opportunity to pull a double header–ride Alpine today and BWR on Sunday. He was staying deep under his covers!
We drove two cars out to Alpine. The weather started to clear and our optimism climbed a bit. We met Bernie at the start, finished our registration details and five riders rolled by about 7:15 am, all planning on doing the 100 mile loop.
The first 6 miles are a loop down Old Hwy 80 and back around past the start before we rode over to Harbison Canyon. The clouds were thickening and rain started to fall as we descended. Near the bottom Voris had a mechanical issue with his real derailleur. He was done for the day. Fortunately the maintenance van drove up right at this time and took Dave back to the start. Guido climbed back up Harbison and they both called it a day. Bernie, Paul and I ventured forth.
The climb up Dehesa was well paced with the rains falling more. Bernie and Paul stopped at the SAG at the corner of Tavern and I kept rolling along to get some distance ahead. Bernie blew by me about mile 23 and I never saw him again. Paul caught me and we basically rode together up Japatul toward the freeway underpass.
It got colder, wetter and the fog dropped lower. Paul talked about how cold it was at the top of Mt Laguna last year and how the effects of that ride negatively impacted his Achilles heal for many months. He suggested we turn at the SAG before the drop into Pine Valley and loop back. Fortunately for Paul, I am very weak of mind and was easily influenced into the shorter route. It was getting colder and wetter. We stopped long enough to grab some snacks and then hit the loop.
The winds were howling, the rains blustery and we were definitely cold. We made it back to the summit underpass and headed back down Japatul. Paul finally pulled away from me just past the Lyons Road turn and we both rode ever slowing paces back to the start. We only got in 57 miles and just over 4,500 feet of climbing. It was a bit warmer at the finish and we got to chow down a semi-warm pasta lunch with a cold beer. It was still a fun adventure. Look forward to a group ride out to Kitchen Creek soon.
Warrior Award for the day goes to Bernie. He has not posted his ride to Strava so I can only assume he rode to the top of Mt Laguna. It was in the 30’s from reports at the finish line. There was no one that had completed the 100 mile ride by the time we left. Bernie looked super strong as usual so I am sure he rode the full ride. Congrats to Bernie—Warrior for the Day! Below is a link to a few photos.
Good luck to the Descenders crew riding BWR tomorrow. Think I might head out to see if I can spot you out there!