Ride Reports and musings from an erstwhile Roadbike Warrior

Hi Guys,

I have been a bit negligent in writing up a number of Descender group ride reports over the past month. I can use the excuse of my new job that requires me to actually work most every day as a good excuse. This is also the reason I have now settled into the lower echelon of the Descenders group riding pace. I can only get in a ride on the weekends and Skive rides are a fond memory. My excuses of missing local ride reports must pale in comparison to Mike Hodges. He has yet to write up anything from his adventures during the Tour of France. Yes, he has teased us a bit with some Instagram photos but no reports of all the riding in France. He has learned to forward a simple Skratch e-mail, maybe a ride report is coming. Bernie has at least written a nice summary of the Death Ride he and Rick accomplished, I am hoping Mike will step up as well. I will try to summarize a number of recent rides with an economy of verbiage and some photos to tell the rest of the story.

Crestwind, Questhaven & Via Ambiente Loop-12 July


This was scheduled for a Sunday Recovery Ride after our Alpine Loop the previous day. Geoff Barrell was the only other rider to show at the Pomerado & RB Roads meeting location. I was still feeling the effects of Alpine but decided to give Geoff a tour of one of our Skive Ride routes. We rode the back roads to Harmony Grove and turned up towards Crestwind. Geoff climbed well ahead of me and waited for me at the top. We rode up even higher and descended down Questhaven, both the road and dirt sections to get back to Harmony Grove Road. We took the right turn onto Via Ambiente and climbed up into the El Cielo neighborhood. After a fast descent to Del Dios we finished the ride by climbing up Artesian and back to home. Geoff added some beach mileage while I limped home with 48 miles and 4,700 feet of climbing.

Five Faces of Soledad-25 July


Oleg planned another leg beater for us as we motored over to climb Torrey Pines, descend and climb Blacks Beach and then ride over to start the various ascents up Mount Soledad. Pete Wood has been in country visiting for a few weeks. He joined us on a number of rides. We started with the usual Via Capri climb followed by Country Club and then Nautilus. We grouped and regrouped at the cross after most of the climbs. I was falling farther and farther behind the group and lost them on the third climb. I descended back to La Jolla Shores, climbed Mina de Oro and returned back down Torrey Pines to the bike path. I only got in 51 miles but it included 4,500 of Soledad climbing.

Carmel Country, Santaluz & 4S Loop-26 July


This Sunday Recovery Ride was only attended by Todd and Bob P. Todd is on his REI sabbatical so he has time to ride some weekends. He and Bob rode strong and hard, while patiently waiting for me to regroup on a number of occasions. We took the bike path toward the coast and turned up Carmel Country, looping back to El Camino Real and then over to Carmel Valley Road to get Bob back to Santaluz. He had to get ready for another week of work in Albuquerque so we left him just after the south gate entrance. I took Todd on his first tour of Santaluz. He hit the hill hard up toward the top of Run of the Knolls. I told him there was a segment here. We used to ride into Santaluz on our Descender group rides last year but have not gone there of late. Todd now sits in the top 10 of the segment on Strava. We headed out the north gate towards Del Sur where I swung by my buddy, Witt’s, house. Todd took off to tackle Ralphs Ranch Road and the waterpower segment I told him about. Todd is a super strong climber. I looped home through 4S–36 miles and 2,400 feet of elevation.

Reverse Wohlford-1 August


We had about 18 Descender riders out for a warm group ride up to Couser Canyon. Pete Wood was again able to join us on the ride. This was a reverse Lake Wohlford loop so we headed up Mary Lane, along Citrus and over to Jesmond Dene. Along Old 395 I got caught taking some photos and the group rolled away from me. I played chase to Camino Del Rey and could not close the gap. Garet had a flat as I took the turn but he said he was good, so I pressed on to try to get back to the group. At the turn to West Lilac I began the climb up solo. Larry had a flat a mile into the climb and was being aided by Oleg & Bernie. They asked me about Rick B and Ernst. I did not see them but later learned they looped back to Gopher Canyon, looking for a shorter route. Larry, Oleg and Bernie blew by me with about 2 miles to go in the climb. I hung onto their wheel for a few rotations before falling back. The group was waiting to me at the Lilac Bridge. We all descended toward Highway 76 and the Circle K store for some needed refreshments. We rolled out to climb Couser Canyon. I was quickly off the back and found the group waiting for me at the top. I descended first toward Lilac, was again the lantern rouge before passing Sheehan. We all rode up into Valley Center where I stopped for water at the gas station before the Woods Valley turn. Eric R had already made his decision to ride straight back to Escondido. Sheehan was going back the same way as Eric. He was at the gas station but the rest of the guys rolled to Woods Valley. I left late and made a vain attempt to close the gap. I soled past Lake Wohlford and back to Bear Valley Road toward the start of our ride at the mall. I saw Oleg, Larry and Len just getting their bikes onto the car. I saw John M getting into his car too. I waved and pootled my way toward the Lake Hodges bridge and the final 12 miles back home. My Garmin was acting up but my guess is I survived about 85 miles and 5,700 feet of climbing. Hot day of riding.

RB, Del Dios & Three Witches-2 August


After the Wohlford ride, I was planning to rest or go for a run. Bob P talked me into riding over to the start. Geoff B had sent me an e-mail so I knew he was coming as well. It looked like just the three of us when both Steve Bokowski and Jeff Cresap arrived just after 8 am. The five of us rode over to Del Norte Parkway where we saw Jeff S and Eileen B coming the other direction, resplendent in their matching kits. I think they were riding with a few of the Wolfpack group and it looks like they rode up HVR and into Ramona. We continued on to Lake Drive and looped back out to Del Dios. There was some talk of riding to the coast but we all thought better if it and headed toward the Three Witches climb. Bob P dropped off after getting to Santaluz while the rest of us rode back toward PQ. Tired legs and another fun weekend of riding with 36 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing.

I am sure many of you noticed that Claus checked off Haleakala from his bucket list and joined the elite small club to Descenders who have ridden up this dormant volcano. Claus is on Maui for vacation. What’s a little 110 mile ride and more than 10,000 feet of climbing? Great stuff Claus, still on my bucket list. No time to ride bikes during the week. I hope to see you all for the Saturday group ride.


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