Old Julian Highway Ride-7 January 2017
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: John, Quoc, Bernie, Guido, Bob R, Eric R, Rick W, Rick B, Hodges, Rob, Tony, Neil and Claus (cameo)
The group ride met up at the 7-11 store on Poway Road. We waited for Hodges who had some mechanical issue; Guido had ridden by on the way to the start; Mike was coming. It was good to see Bob R out for the group ride, it had been awhile. Rick B was back testing his post-surgery hand and Rick W was still on the mend from his shoulder. The group rolled with 10 riders, once Hodges finally got there. Claus was only stopping by to make a cameo as he was riding between swim practices for his daughter. We met up with Tony and Neil later in the ride.
The group climbed to SPP and then spread out along the ascent. Rick W, Bernie and Eric blasted off the front. Rick B and I kept together a bit behind their wheel. Rick was feeling tired due to this being one of his first rides post hand surgery. He was easily cruising up the climb while I struggled to maintain his pace. We stopped at the corner to wait for the group. We started off again and the split reformed. I hung onto the back of Rick W, Eric, Bernie and Rick B until we hit Mina De Oro Road, on the 67 curve before blowing up and hitting the deceleration pace. I pootled alone until getting back to the guys who were waited before the descent past Mt Woodson. I told them I would go meet Tony at Dye Road while they waited for the rest of the group. Qouc had to depart the group ride at Poway Road; the rest of the gang were still coming. I got to Dye Road to find both Tony and Neil. They each had climbed HVR to meet us. We waited for a few minutes before the rest of the group rejoined. Bob R had to egress at this point but we still rolled on with 10 riders toward Ramona HS.
The pace along Dye to San Vicente was its usual pace line hammer. We all turned at Hanson Lane and made our way to Old Julian Highway. Rick B had pushed him hand enough by this time so he turned around to head home, the rest of us started the climb. The pace picked up, Rick W and Bernie led off the front. Neil, Eric and I kept them in our sights. The rest of the guys followed. OJH is a great climb and we motored to the end of the road, relaxed a bit and then decided to start heading back to sweep up the gang. Last climbing up was Hodges, he had been having difficulties all ride. As expected, he did not turn around, committed to get to the top. The group flew back down OJH and powered to D Street in Ramona, where we turned to take a break at the gas station. Water break was over just as Hodges rolled up to get his break.
We all rode out, retracing our ride to Dye Road and back to 67. The group split here, with Rick W, Bernie, Guido and presumably John going down 67 while Eric, Neil, Rob and presumably Hodges and Tony went down HVR. We did not see some of the back guys due to the light changing. Neil, Eric and I hammered along HVR until we started the fast descent. I kept a bit behind and in close enough contact to ride down the curves with them. We got to the end and it was then only Eric and I heading towards 4S. Neil turned towards the mall where he had parked his car. As we rode by West Bernardo Park, Hodges got back to our wheel and the three of us cruised along. I split from Eric in 4S and started to climb behind Black Mountain, very slowly. This is when Hodges caught me again and we rode together until I peeled off on Carmel Mountain Road to my house. Mike kept going to the bike path to get back towards his house.
It was a fast and fun group ride; 72 miles and 4,600 feet of climbing for me. It was also my last group ride due to all my travels and the rainy weather. I hope to be back again in a few weeks. Below are a few photos from the ride. Ride on!