SPP, Hwy 67, HVR, Bandy, Wohlford & Woods Valley Ride Report-9 January 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Tony O, Bryan J, Guido, Len, Rob, Sheehan, Rick W, Farkas, Bob P, Neil, Rick B, Hodges and guest rider, Marisa
After the great ride Tony created to start Descenders 2016 rides, the ride for 9 Jan was met with similar excitement. We had originally planned to do our Alpine loop. Tony started us at the same spot but had us head north to climb Wohlford. It was going to be a fun day in the saddle. Guido, Bryan, Bob P and I met up at the 56 bike path corner in PQ and pedaled over to Spring Meadow. We met up with Rick B, Len and Hodges before riding on Poway Road to the 7-11 store. We started with 12 riders, including our newest Descender, Marisa. Marisa just moved to our area from Santa Barbara. She reported that Gilbraltar Road has been recently repaved. Sounds like we need to go back up and climb that area again soon.
The group got strung out on the SPP climb. At the top we went north on 67. Bob P stayed back to wait for Hodges and Marisa. They planned to cut across at Archie Moore Road and meet us at the entrance to Sky Valley on HVR, by the elementary school. The rest of us rolled along Highway 67 until we got to HVR. We hammered the flat sections and got to Sky Valley. Bob was waiting for us. Mike and Marisa had carried on to descend HVR. We picked up Neil here as he had ridden up HVR after his sons dropped him off near I-15. Our group of 10 riders only made it through the first few turns of Sky Valley before Bryan hit an arowhead rock and sliced his tire. Bryan demonstrated why he spends most of his time riding MTB bikes tubeless as he and Sheehan played with his rear tire to get it patched and change out the tube. He blew his spare tube due to a pinch change so we got to do it all over again. Tubes and CO2 canisters were everywhere.
We finally pedaled on, not sure if we would ever catch Mike and Marisa. Rick B and Neil kept busy during all the mechincal fun by riding back and forth on Sky Valley. We got to the gate out of Sky Valley and back onto HVR. Rick B had to work at the bike shop so he turned back for home. The rest of us descended HVR, turned on Bandy Canyon and sped to Highway 78. Rick W and Bob P hammered off the front. Most of the rest of us tried in vain to close the gap. Sheehan took a nature break at the corner of Bandy and HVR so he was well behind. We all eventually regrouped at Highway 78 and turned towards the Wild Animal Park. I have lived here and long time and like the old park name, besides I cannot remember what it is called today. After Ysabel Creek Road we took the slight left turn onto Old Milky Way Road, taking it to the end and turning to climb Summit Road. Apparently Mike and Marisa were just ahead of us based on the fly-by review but we never did see them again. Rick W led the group up Summit. We cruised across to Highway 78 where the group split.
Rick W, Farkas, Bob P and Neil headed west on 78 while the rest of us rode towards Lake Wohlford. I think some of these riders finally saw Mike and Marissa near Lake Hodges on their way home. At the end of Citrus, Sheehan bailed so we were down to 5 riders as we approached Lake Wohlford. I was feeling good so I pushed the pace a bit and opened up a gap to the other guys. Guido, Bryan, Tony and Len stayed in a nice line to the top. We regrouped at the bathroom before riding to Woods Valley. We kept up a nice controlled pace on this usual sprintfest section and turned left onto Valley Center Road to head back into Escondido. Tony planned for us to reverse course back along Citrus and then Summit Road. We were getting tired and knew we had many miles to go so we just headed south back to the mall along Bear Parkway. Tony bailed out for home, we were down to 4 riders. We all stopped for snacks and drinks at the gas station before riding over the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge. Len turned down Pomerado while Bryan, Guido and I rode on West Bernardo Road towards 4S.
The three of us kept a nice pace going all the way back to PQ where we split off near Ovideo for our respective neighborhoods. I got back with 80 miles of riding, 5,500 feet of climbing and 5 hours in the saddle. Tony is going to get me in shape if he keeps up these Saturday routes all year! It was another fun Descenders ride. The link below shows some of the photos from the ride.