descenders Labor Day Coronado Ride tomorrow 8AM

Labor Day Ride Report–Coronado and Little Italy

by Mike Hodges

Oleg – Many thanks Oleg.

This ride has become a classic in the true sense. One of the best rides we do. Many thanks for organizing. Each time we do it something new occurs. This time it was John’s impression of a Slalom skier going through the gates – how he kept his bike up right and didn’t cause an international incidence I know not.

Otherwise ride kept to the prescribed spirit – low key, mellow. We rolled down Oleg’s street, turned left and went parallel to the “Ketner Express”, a nice formation all two by two like a stretched out Fischer’s statistical analysis. After 5 miles or so we turned left/right and climbed Presidio where we met Dave Ernst (still looking for Voris). Rambled through Lewis and into normal Heights which is actually a variant of Mission Hills. Barista’s beckoned us to stop with their roasted bean and crumbled pastries making a change to the burned BBQ smell along the alternate Fiesta Island TT route. Turning right to roll down the shallow hill to the Naval Base – being careful not to follow John to closely as he was gearing up, literally, for his near miss.

The cycle path running North/South then runs parallel to the coast not sure what it’s called but it goes up and over the Gordy Shields memorial bridge – a well-deserved shout out to one of our people. A little known story from Larry is that Gordy is at least in part – through inspiration –responsible for Larry’s cycling come back. Very interesting to hear Larry’s story. And, indeed, this is one of the joys of the ride – we have at a time to convers e and learn more about each other. Fortunately there were not too many trees around as I might have jump off and given one a hug.

Larry, Dave G, Oleg took a few turns then Larry took us across the salt bridge and turned right to the Silver Strand cycle paths – Quite a few cyclists hear and LM did a fine job keeping us under control. Until … Dave E slipped onto the road and “escaped”. In deference to a series of small steps can lead to a disaster so became the group – Ernst now away, LM increased pace, not by much but enough to put a few of us into the huff and puff zone (those with power meters that is just below the red zone). We approached a lady on the right, light weighted, slowly walking, blissful Sunday stroll, unaware that eight Descenders where heading towards her. LM slowed down (correctly) as an ongoing cyclist was approaching and this is mellow ride – DE on the road was also moving but probably not top pace – John presumably thought that LM was going to overtake and not brake (repeat LM was correct not to overtake as we following him would not have had enough time) – John broke late and skidding to the left a little then skidding to the right completely being perpendicular to the cycle path and still travelling forward (that’s actually hard to do – think about it – traveling sideways on a bike) then flipped the bike to the left and slalomed between the unaware walker and the petrified oncoming cyclist. If it were in Rio would have got a solid 10 points in the gymnastics.

The group now in show split to leave LM Rob Dave G to chase down DE who was away now TT with two local riders. The catch was not made. We all regrouped under the Coronado bridge and found john – who presumably had teleported himself ahead of us to the ferry landing (how does he do this?). Mental Note – don’t ride on this particular cycle path (Eric R who rides this section regularly – never rides on the cycle path always on the road).

The boat trip across – free Strava miles .. .local rule – is always something to look forward to. More time to chat, laugh and joke. Off the boat and over to India Street Café Italia for coffee (Not to take a way), ordinary (= regular), biscotti, carrot cake. Finally the trek back to Oleg’s in Reverse. Nice chat with Neil – who by the way was one of four riders on disc brakes, soon the majority will be discers.

My memory is Presidio park – so green, families out having picnics, must go back there to sit and read a book.


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