HVR & Old Julian Highway Ride Report-27 February 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Larry, Bob P, Guido, Jim W, Cresap, Tony, Hodges, Bernie, Garet, Len and Rob
I was super late trying to meet Guido and Bob P at the top of Black Mountain Road so I had to jump in my car and drive to the PQ meeting spot. I told the guys to meet me down by Dove Canyon and parked in the elementary school in 4S. We rode over to the group at Pomerado and RB Roads. Group photo was taken and Hodges rolled in late. We took off for HVR as a group of 11 riders. It was a nice, sunny morning but not at all hot; perfect riding weather. The group spread out a bit on the HVR climb. I hung with Larry, Jim W, Bernie and Garet until we passed Bandy Canyon and started the second climbing section. I got in a few photos and then fell behind, maintaining a nice pace. I was alone, no one behind me and the guys rolling away from me up the hill. Some sections of HVR are so beautiful with the overhanging oak trees. I managed to take a few more photos before the steeper face by Eagles Crest. I rolled to the top and cruised over, past Mt Woodson School to meet the first guys at the usual corner. Less than a minute later the rest of the riders all rode up together, they had maintained a nice group pace up HVR.
The group got into its usual paceline on the top section of HVR. Garet and Larry traded spots on point as the group flew to Ramona. At the highway 67 light, Garet bailed out right to head back towards Poway. The rest of us went straight along Dye Road and over to San Vicente. The road construction is still bad on San Vicente Road heading east, while we turned by Ramona HS to head toward Old Julian Highway. I somehow got out front and started the climb to OJH with Jim, Bernie, Larry, Bob and Guido right on my wheel. We took the turn onto OJH and I took a few more photos before falling off the pace. Guido joined me while we saw the other four guys accelerate up the climbs. At the top we rested and waited for Tony, Hodges, Len and Cresap to join us. This is where the planned split took place. The insane guys: Tony, Bernie and Hodges took the turn onto Highway 78 toward Alpine. They rode to Dudley’s Bakery, over Mesa Grande, up East Grade of Mt Palomar, down South Grade and then up Cole Grade before riding through Escondido back toward home. This was a 110+ mile adventure for each of them, more than 10,000 feet of climbing…..INSANE! Great stuff guys, I will let Tony, Hodges or Bernie comment more on their all day experience.
The mere mortals headed back down OJH. We passed a group of riders close to the top as we started our descent. They turned and tried to ride down with us. Jim W was on point and I held onto his wheel as long as I could. There were more guys behind me and I was going about as fast as I wanted to on a bike in a group. Larry passed us and I let Guido and Cresap get in front too. One rider from the other group also managed to get in our little speedy group descent. The extra rider fell off on the flat section while the rest of us held Larry’s wheel as best we could. We flew down and I dropped off fifty feet or so on the last section. Just after the turn I was back on point as I did not stop like Larry, et al did to regroup. They all quickly caught me and we were all flying down towards Ramona. The group took the turn onto D Street and made for the break at the gas station. We needed water, food and a few moments to relax from that scary descent; at least I did.
The 7 riders continued on to Dye Road and back to Highway 67. The pace spread us out with most of the guys out in front of me and Cresap sweeping. I stopped at Mt Woodson to move some liquid to the ice in my other water bottle. The guys were waiting for me at the top of the turn past Mt Woodson. That was a mistake by them, althoughI appreciated the gesture. We rolled fast toward Poway Grade; I was instantly off the back and struggling to find some legs. I descended Poway Grade alone but caught views of the guys out in front of me. At Twin Peaks, I turned towards home and saw Bob, Guido and Jim W up ahead. I think Larry and Len rode straight onto Espola to get back to the start. Cresap was still sweeping and likely headed down SPP. My legs started to cramp and I could not keep up with the guys. In Rancho Arbolitos I turned towards the house of a college friend to get water. I stopped, filled my bottles up with his garden hose and got back on my bike. Legs were still not cooperating but I felt better after the short break. I only had a few miles to go on Camino del Norte to Bernardo Center Drive and over to the school in 4S.
I only rode 64 miles with about 4,000 feet of climbing; a pittance compared to the Palomar Boys. Great ride and good fun. Photos in the link below.