HVR & Lost in Ramona Ride Report-30 May 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Larry, Claus, Jim W, Garet, John M, Cresap, Len and Rob
A Memorial Day ride was posted to host Dave Voris for his return visit to San Diego. Dave’s plans changed but we kept up the original ride. I was late getting out of the house and trying to meet Bob Proulx at the top of Black Mountain Road. I drove to BMR park, saw Jim W on the way, but never found Bob. He went to Blk Mtn and the 56 bike path and missed the group ride. We had a small group meet at Pomerado and RB Roads, ready to climb HVR.
Larry led us up the climb of HVR. He circled back to sweep Len and I before going past Bandy Canyon. I tried to get the group to ride Camino Del Aguilo, but got few takers. It was another slow climb for me as I swept up the group. John M met us at Archie Moore; he had a flat early on so guess he rode up Poway Grade. I again offered some adventure to take the group through some side roads to get beyond the Ramona Airport and into town. Everyone said is was not possible and I backed down. The group was heading to OJR for the rest of the ride. Garet had to head back down HVR to get home.
We rode as a group on the top portion of HVR to Highway 67. I decided to explore alone as I was sure there was a route. I took the left turn at Rangeland while the rest of the guys turned right to stay on HVR. Pretty soon after the turn I spotted a small dirt road that looked like it was heading in the right direction. I decided to skip it in favor of the paved road up ahead.
The private road entrance to Highland Hills Winery was straight ahead. I turned and climbed up Rangeland Road until it ended a few miles later. I retraced my ride and went through the gate when a car came through. I climbed up this road for a few miles and found every dead end in the private neighborhood. I was above the Ramona Grade Canyon but found no way to get into town or connect to any road. After another regress, I got back to the original dirt road. It was soft, rutty, rocky and barely passable; probably a good BWR route for next year!
I slowly peddled east and north, saw the airport and knew I was making progress to get to the other side. I finally hit Montecito Road, the same road I was on during my BWR explore last month. It headed into town and I was now debating on whether the guys were long gone from the gas station after climbing OJR. I took a chance and turned left to get to the center of downtown. The gas station attendant said the guys left only 5 minutes earlier. They would be riding back along Dye Road so I headed back through town to try to get to the HVR intersection. I spent the last reserves of my energy making a vain effort to find the boys. Strava Fly-by later showed I was 25-30 minutes behind the group at the gas station. The pootle down Poway Grade and back over to BMR was slow. I finished with 54 miles and 4,500 feet of climbing. I did see on Fly-bys that Claus rode by on Carmel Valley Road as part of his 120+ loop, just after I got back to my car. Claus was the stud rider of the day. Getting lost in Ramona was fun, now I know the way for a future adventure. The link below shows photos from the early part of the ride.