Oceanside, Sleeping Indian & Deer Springs Loop Ride Report

Oceanside, Sleeping Indian & Deer Springs Ride Report-2 Jan 2016

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Geoff, Tony O, Hodges, Larry, Claus, Len, Rob, Bob P and Dave Sheehan

It was our first planned group ride for the year. Tony O’ Gorman has taken the reins of the ride route committee and has promised to "spice" things up for our Saturday group rides. I have long been a fan of doing more rides outside our local market but know that travel times and family schedules make it challenging to always get in a car to go ride a bike. Tony is taking a different approach. He plans to mix up routes and combine great roads with portions of our old stand-by routes. The Saturday ride was just the start of the new adventures he has planned. Yes, Oleg took us on Sleeping Indian last year so some of us have gone from Oceanside to Fallbrook. Tony just added on to get us back to Escondido. Enjoy the ride….

We met up at the corner of Black Mountain and the 56 bike path. After riding toward the coast, we picked up Larry and Len along Carmel Valley Road. The pace was civilized with Larry and Geoff on point most of the time. There were lots of riders out on PCH, must have been all the New Years Resolutions! We motored north, past Swami’s, along Neptune and to La Costa Ave. This is where Sheehan and Bob turned inland while the rest of us continued onto Oceanside. There were a few miles of good hammering leading into Carlsbad, we all stayed together and cruised toward the harbor. It got busier as we neared the Oceanside Pier, more cars than desired and some in a big hurry to pass us. I saw an opportunity to sneak away in the confusion of cars and riders stopping along the congested streets by the pier. I wanted to fulfill one of my New Year Resolutions–win the sprint to the harbor.

Ok, is was a smaller group and they all basically gave me the lead-out; but I did not know it then. I hammered north across the bridge, turned right at the start of the harbor and pushed hard toward the final loop. I snuck one peek behind when I passed the bathrooms and saw there was no one coming so I backed off a bit. I call it a moral victory. I have tried to sneak away a number of times leading to the all out sprint for the harbor loop to always get passed, sometimes in the last section. Today, I rolled into the loop first-one New Year resolution done. Geoff and Hodges came along after I did the turn around, followed by Tony and Claus. Len and Larry stopped at the bathroom on the way to the harbor loop. Small win, but victory nonetheless.

We regrouped and headed back south, crossed the bridge and took the left turn onto the San Luis Rey River Trail. Larry, followed by Geoff and then Mike, pulled the group along the river trail at a consistent pace that kept us flying along but where we were all able to hang together in a nice seven-man pace line. This is a great trail, but it is not that wide as we passed everyone going our same direction and had to keep tabs on bikes, walkers and a few runners coming at us. Most of us know this trail from BWR events and the Pedal the Cause ride. It cuts east all the way past College Ave in San Marcos. We exited just before that to get onto N. River Road. This took us to Sleeping Indian Road where the climbing fun began.

This is a great 10 mile loop that climbs steadily up Sleeping Indian before cutting east onto Morro Hills Road, then a nice descent down Olive Hill Road. We could take Sleeping Indian up another mile to Burma Road and take the full length of Olive Hill, maybe next time. This area is near the old Avenue of the Oaks ride, great big oak trees cover the road as it curves down toward Bonsall and cross Highway 76. We were now close to our descent on West Lilac as we normally ride on Camino del Rey back to Old 395. I led the way on Old River Road and did my only real pull of the day. We went through the neighborhood with all the speed bumps and then turned onto Little Gopher Canyon Road. This is a road we have done from the other direction previously. It is also a nice, tree-lined curvy road. Larry led us to Gopher Canyon Road.

After turning left, we faced a two mile section of road that is fairly busy until we turned south onto Twin Oaks Valley Road. This is a route taken from a previous Skive Ride. It is a nice ascent up and then down a narrow road to get to Deer Springs Road. Geoff B flatted just before the light so Hodges and Tony stayed with Geoff. Claus was late and lost, needing to get home, so Larry, Len and I turned onto Deer Springs and climbed up and over I-15 to get back to Old 395. Claus now knew where he was and we decided to skip the Jesmond Dene descent to just ride all the way into Escondido on Centre City Parkway. After getting through the mall we split up at the gas station. Larry & Len stopped for food and drink while Claus and I headed for the Lake Hodges Pedestrian Bridge. Claus went left on Pomeerado while I rode towards 4S. Larry and Len should have caught me but I saw on the fly-bys that they headed farther to the west in 4S while I went behind Black Mountain to home. I rolled in with tired legs and 86 miles, 4,000 feet of climbing. Others topped the century mark: Claus and Hodges, with Larry hitting 95+ miles before he got home. It was a great ride and great start to our Descenders rides for 2016. Below is a link to some photos.


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