Elfin Forest and Double Peak-11 June 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Rick W, Neil, Sheehan, Jim W, John M, Hodges, Guido, Cresap, Garet, Ran, Ernst and Rob
The final weeks of MC trip training were at hand and Double Peak was the offering. I was so late that I had to drive all the way over to Pomerado Road to meet the group for the start of the ride. As I pedaled over, I saw Dave Ernst heading back towards his home. John M was there and he said Ernst already had a flat and was going home to get a new bike. The group gathered and I directed Rick W, Jim and Neil to lead us out; that was a big mistake. I missed the chance to clearly cover regroup points and reinforce that we want to ride together as much as possible. The end result was a ride of Descenders spread out all over the route, very little group cohesion, my bad. In the future, we will assign a host/ride leader for each group ride so we all know the regroup points and stay together as a cycling team.
Rick hammered out front on Pomerado. I was struggling to hold his wheel going almost 24 mph. We flew to the Lake Hodges bridge and looped around on the bike path. It was a busy morning on the path with riders, runners and walkers. This enabled us to regroup before we got to the light by the mall. The group climbed over the freeway but started to quickly spreadout along the road. Hodges took the turn at Felicito instead of Bernardo Raod so a small group of us followed, thinking everyone went that way, wrong. Our group was now down to Hodges, Guido, Cresap, Sheehan and me. We figured we would reconnect on Harmony Grove. In fact, they were waiting for us due to the break in the group. Another lesson learned, make sure everyone knows the route and do not follow the guy who is lost.
We kept up a steady pace through Elfin Forest but never saw the rest of the guys. At Questhaven, Hodges, Sheehan and I split for the dirt. We had a fun climb up the soft dirt trails and eventually got back to the climb towards Double Peak. The group was now reconnecting some as I saw Garet climbing out of San Elijo town center. Double Peak offered a good test of the legs for Monster Climbs, only two weeks away. At the top we found all our fast riders waiting for us, including Ernst who was now on his second bike of the day. We heard Guido flatted and was still on his way up. Garet had to get home so he went down the other side towards Escondido.
The group started the fast descent, a bit cautiously due to moisture on the road. We flew to Rancho Sante Fe Road and took the turn left. I knew we were now split up again so I waited on the side of the road. After 5 minutes, we decided to roll out; thinking guys must have gone back a different direction. We still had Rick W, Jim W, Neil, Cresap, Rob and Ran. The ride over to RSF went well, we spread out on the climb to Lago Lindo BUT did regroup nicely at Cresap’s water stop, just ahead of Stud Loop. The rest of the guys never showed so our small group rode towards Three Witches. I could not hold the pace on the climb and by the time I got to the top Jim W and Neil were waiting for me, Rick W had already gone south on Camino del Sur. Cresap and Ran were farther back and I knew I had to head back towards my car in RB, so I turned left, waving good-bye to Neil and Jim.
I was now looking forward to a soft pootle to my car after the fast pace trying to keep up with Rick, Neil & Jim. Unfortunately Jim directed Neil to head back the same diretion as me. Neil came up on me before we got near Del Norte HS. Neil pulled me around Rancho Bernardo Road and we kept up a healthy pace back to the start of the ride. It was only a 50 mile loop, but included some dirt and nice elevation; fun ride. After I got home and checked out the fly-by, it turns out that Sheehan, Guido, Hodges and Ernst were not that far from us on the return leg. Ernst got anothrer flat. John M was back there as well. Lot of riders not in a cohesive group. We will do a better job moving forward to keep togehter and regroup more often. In the link below are a few photos from the ride.
Faces Up Soledad-18 June 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Jim W, Oleg, Sheehan, Ran, Marcy, Neil, Rick B, Marisa & Audrey, Guido, Bob P and Rob
Only 1 week left until the MC Trip, last chance to test the legs. Oleg servved up the juicy adventure of Soledad. The group met on the 56 bike path and we pedaled over to the coast. Oleg met us on the bike path on his ride from the Soledad area. The climb up Torrey Pines was spiritied and we regrouped at the top. Marcy met us there before we rode towards La Jolla Shores. Bob P was saving his legs and had family commitments so he turned on Calle del Oro while the rest of the group headed to our first climb up Soledad.
We had Marisa and her fiance, Audrey, with us. They ride very well and we wish them a hdarty congratulations on the upcoming nuptuials. Traffic was heavy in La Jolla but we managed to safely make the turn to start the climb. Oleg made sure everyone knew the route and we all warmed up the legs, regrouping for the first time at the cross. We descended Neptune and started the climb up Country Club Road. Everyone stopped for a group photo with great views of the oceanography peir and the TP cliffs behind us. Another regroup at the top before another fast descent to get to our next climb.
We lost Marisa on a turn and Sheehan was falling behind so Oleg went back to sweep while I led the group up the climb. We then descended down Soledad Mountain Road and made our way to the difficult Pacifica climb. On the climb back up we we connected again with Sheehan and Marisa. The whole group made its way back to the Soledad Cross, except Oleg. He had to head back home. Ran also now had to head back so head left as well. At the top we received a very plesant surprise, Diane and Tony O’Gorman were waiting for us, with brownies to boot!.. It was great to see Tony up and about. He is making great progress on his long road to recovery form his bike crash. We all laughed, caught up and wished the O’Gormans well.
It was time for me to head back to PQ. Sheehan and I flew down Soledad with Marisa and Audrey. We climbed up Calle del Oro and then Sheehan led us on a traffic filled, harrowing route along La Jolla Village Drive, Regeants and Genesse; before riding on the I-5 ramp to Sorrento Valley. Yes, it was shorter than TP, but not nearly as bike friendly or beautiful. We made it back to the bike path. I grabbed the wheel of a young buck and spun along the path at a brisk clip until reaching the duck pond. I then pootled to the top of the next light and waited for the rest of my group. Marisa and Audrey rolled by, they were on their way back to Poway. Sheehan stopped for a nature break so I waited for him. We rolled together back to my house to get him my spare rear cassette–a nice 30 tooth gearing for the MC trip the following week. We had completed a nice 57 mile and 5,200 feet of climbing ride and were ready for the Sierras. In the link below are a few photos from our Soledad adventure.