Dudley’s Dream Ride Report-28 May 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Rick B, Larry, Cresap, John M, Hodges, Neil, Oleg, Proulx, Garet, Bernie, Rob, Len, Jeff & Eileen, Eric, Renee, Eric & Lisa R, Tom, Brian and Mark
The May Gray was thick in Poway as we drove towards Santa Ysabel. Mike Hodges predicted it would clear up by the time we got to the start; I was more skeptical. I was also very wrong. It was bright sunshine and a gorgeous day for a group ride. We had more than 20 riders out for this classic ascent of Palomar Mountain. Jeff & Eileen brought some friends from the Wolfpack Cycling Club while Eric R brought some of his buddies to augment a large Descenders contingent.
We rolled up and over Mesa Grande. Oleg had an early flat so a number of guys waited to regroup while the rest of us started the climb up East Grade. The fast guys of Neil, Rick, Larry and Eric R blew by us within the first mile. Oleg and Bernie came by, as did just about everyone else for that matter. Proulx, Hodges, Cresap and I rode up together or in close proximity of each other all the way to Mothers. We headed to the Observatory with my stated goal of getting there before Hodges. The fast climbers were already heading back from the top well before we got there. I managed to keep Hodges at bay; a quick stop at the top allowed us to catch our breath and watch Hodges get a stern lecture for not dismounting from his bike whilst at the telescope area.
Mothers was a short respite of water bottle filling before many descended down the South Grade. Rick and Neil were eating brunch and Proulx made the strategic decision to not do South Grade; I was not as smart. On the descent I spotted Len and John already climbing back up as they skipped the Observatory, another good move based on how my legs felt later in the ride. Larry blew by me on the descent. We stopped at the Y to see a number of others circle back to begin the climb. It was a slow pace for me. I saw Cresap head down and eventually Hodges go by me with another tire issue; they were the only ones behind me at that point.
I enjoyed the fog layers breaking through the mountain tops and seeing the coast socked in with heavy clouds. It was sunny and still great weather for the ride. I finally stopped to take a break about 2 miles from the top. After stretching and eating, I got back on my bike. Cresap was now only a 100 yards behind me. I finally got back to Mothers and waited for Jeff to come up, he was looking a bit haggard. We rested and got water before Hodges showed up. He needed coffee and pie before we started back down the descent of East Grade. It was windy and the road was bumpy in many places. We took the descent carefully and rolled past Lake Henshaw.
Hodges announced he was going to ride home via Black Canyon. Jeff’s knee was hurting and my legs definitely did not look forward to a climb back up Mesa Grande. We bid adieu to Mike near the biker bar and then kept going straight on Highway 76 until we got to the turn at Highway 79. This was not the safest route with many holiday RV’s and trailers flying by with little road shoulder to protect Jeff and me. We slowly made our way back to the start. A number of riders had already departed and others were preparing to head home. I covered 74 miles and climbed almost 9K in elevation. It was another great Dudley’s ride. The link below has a number of photos of the riders.