Alpine Loop Ride Report-15 October 2016
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Guido, Bernie, John, Len, Andrew, Rob and Neil R
We had a small, but hardy group of riders attempt to tackle the Alpine Loop. The ride was great, the number of mechanical issues was mindnumbing. Guido started the string by flatting on the way to Spring Meadow. He caught up to the group at the 7-11 store. Mike Hodges was sick but he made a cameo appearance at the start and took the group photo for us. We climbed SPP and then descended Highway 67; Bernie had a problem with his saddle being loose so we stopped to fix it at the bottom of the descent. Guido turned around at the end of Moreno while the rest of us rode toward Lakeside. Just past El Capitan HS, we stopped again to work on Bernie’s loose saddle. Fortunately there were a couple of engineers in the group so we finally were able to cobble together the tools we had to tighten his seat.
Neil R joined us as we rode toward Lake Jennings. At the top of the climb I got my first flat of the day. It was a pretty quick change, since I had help from Andrew and Len. We were back on the road cruising along Olde Highway 80. I feel off the pace a bit but we regrouped before getting to Harbison Canyon. We flew down Harbison and were doing a nice casual climb up Dehesa until a rider sped upon us from behind. This spurred on Neil to attack the fast rider. Bernie and Andrew also sped up while Len and I pootled our way up the climb. John M was in his parallel universe and met us at the store. As we climbed I asked Len if he had heard anything recently about Drew Peterson. Len said he was feeling better and was back doing a bit of riding. I was remembering the times Drew sped along these roads leading past Alpine Challenge rides and was glad to hear he was back out riding. As Len and I neared the turn on Tavern, we spotted Drew coming down towards us. My comments were a bit prophetic; so good to see Drew. He had stopped to talk to Neil, Bernie and Andrew who were waiting for us at the turn.
We all rode into Alpine and met up with John at the store. After a short break we were preparing to head back when Andrew noticed his tire was flat. John and Len decided to ride while the rest of us fixed the flat on Andrew’s bike. We rolled out and had not made it back to Olde Highway 80 when we came upong Len and John. John was attempting to shorten his chain to convert his bike into a fixie. His rear derailleur lower pulley had just fallen off, lost on the road somewhere. It looked to be a bit of a major rework so they were planning to call for a ride home. The four remaining riders–Neil, me, Bernie and Andrew–decided to start the ride back towards the 67 climb. We bid adieu to Neil at El Capitan HS and we were down to three. Andrew and Bernie pulled me along Moreno Ave to the start of the climb. I told them not to wait. I pedaled slowly up the climb and watched them get farther and farther ahead. I did stop for a nice view of San Vicente Reservoir and took a photo.
I finally made it to SPP, rolled down, stopped at the Subway for water and finally made it down the rest of SPP to Mercy Road and the climb back up Black Mountain Road. It was about 74 miles and 6,300 feet of climbing by the time I got to my house. To top it off, my rear tire flatted just as I got to my street. That was a four flat, saddle fix and derailleur mechanical ride; too much. Nevertheless, it was a fun ride.