Dudley’s Dream Ride-8 October 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Neil, Eric R, Ran, Oleg, Rob V, Len, Bernie, Bryan T, John, Larry, Bill (friend of Bernie) and Marisa and Andrey
The concern of heat and high winds was greatly exaggerated for the fall version of Dudley’s Dream Ride. It was a beautiful, clear sky and cool temperature start to the ride in bright sunshine. We had a good group of 13 riders that pedaled out towards Mesa Grande, including a guest of Bernie. Bill, rode in his old Ranchos jersey, and was strong all day long. I hope he comes back to ride with us again soon.
We regrouped at the bottom of the Mesa Grande descent by Lake Henshaw to outline the various ride options again. This was the last time we were all together as a group. At the start of the East Grade climb Neil sped off the front. Others hammered after him, including Eric R, Bryan T and Larry. Oleg, Bernie and Bill also sped up the climb. The rest of us settled into our pace and enjoyed the views.
Len passed me about mile 7 and we rode together to the top. We both made a quick stop at Mother’s before descending South Grade. We decided to skip the Observatory out and back, a hill too far. We flew down to the Y and made the u-turn; the hill beckoned. I felt tired and trudged along, passed quickly by Len. I could not hold his pace and he gained more and more distance. The views to the coast were awesome and took a bit of the pain away as I slowly rode the curves of South Grade. About 2 miles from the top I spotted the fast guys heading down–Larry, Bernie, Oleg, Bryan and Bill. I picked up the pace and bit and closed the gap on Len as we approached Mother’s again. No sight of others so my guess was that Neil and Eric R headed back towards the cars after riding to the Observatory. I also did not see John, Ran or Marisa & Andrey, so they must have returned back down East Grade.
Len and I got something to drink and rested on the porch before tackling the return legs. Oleg showed up saying he turned around early on the South Grade descent. The 3 of us rode together back down East Grade and over to Mesa Grande. Oleg did the lionshare of the pulling and protected me and Len all the way back across Mesa Grande. He also led us back down the last few miles of highway 79 to get to the cars. My ride was 70 miles and about 8,300 feet of climbing. All the early returnees cars were gone, all having done various distances. I left before the final cohort got back to the cars. I saw Larry and those guys rode the full 80+ miles and 9,000+ feet of climbing–studs.
It was a great ride, a beautiful day and the temperature/winds were not a huge factor. Below are the photos I posted to Google+. Click the link.