Elfin Forest & Double Peak Ride Report–12 Feb 2017by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Neil R, Rick B, Flo, Bernie, Claus, Ernst, Bob P, Sheehan, Bryan Jones, Garet, Ran, Neil (from the Ranchos), John M, Bill & Peggy Braamse and Rob
The group ride was delayed from its usual Saturday time slot to Sunday due to the on-going wet Saturdays we have experienced this winter. The shift to Sunday was a great call as the weather was clear, roads were dry and we were able to bring out a large number of Descenders for the group ride. I rode over from PQ and met Bob P at the top of Black Mountain Road. Bob was getting ready for an upcoming business trip and had not been riding much, so he planned to skip Double Peak. He pulled me to the start where we met the group on Pomerado.
We all spun together, over the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge, and onto Via Rancho Parkway. The lake continues to fill with all the rain; there were lots of egrets in view from the bridge. The group rode up to Bill and Peggy Braamse before getting to the light at Felicito. They were out ahead of us and planned to climb Double Peak as well. Bill planned to take a few short-cuts with Peggy to stay close to the group. Most of us turned onto Bernardo Ave, taking our usual back route towards Harmony Grove. Due to the recent road work, we looped back towards Eucalyptus Ave, descending to Del Dios Highway. We regrouped on the corner of Citracado Parkway and then we all sped off towards Elfin Forest. I snuck out front as we hit Harmony Grove Road but was quickly mopped up by the group. Sheehan flew by, mumbling, "Hogwash"under his breath and took the point. He held pace as long as he could before falling back. The group basically stayed together, past the Questhaven Road turn, until the first climb of Elfin Forest.
I pulled up, not able to hold pace, and spun with Sheehan to the center of San Elijo. Proulx was already there resting in front of the coffee shop. The rest of the fast guys already started the climb to Double Peak. I stopped to chat with Bob and Dave for a minute before starting the climb. They were heading back towards home and to meet others previously arranged. Ran was out in front of me a bit so I closed the gap to catch his wheel before the final climb. I saw Bryan Jones as I was making the turn to Double Peak Road. He broke his rear cable and was off to find a way to fix it. I slowly climbed to the top, enjoying the ever expansive views and bright blue skies. Most of the rest of the group was already at the Double Peak picnic table area. Ernst was out from his new Carlsbad domicile and joined us for part of the ride. Bill and Peggy B were climbing strong and also joined us at the top. The views were spectacular. Snow and many mountain tops off to the north and east. You could see downtown and far off into the Pacific looking west. Bright, clear and crisp winter morning; a great day to be on a bike.
Guys had to bail from the top as we started to head back home. The fast, but controlled descent from Double Peak was a blast, as usual. Garet went down to Twin Oaks Valley. Ran had to head back home. John M rode in his parallel universe. Ernst kept going straight on Olivenhain Road as the group made the turn to RSF Road. We still had 9 riders as we climbed El Camino Del Norte to Lago Lindo. About half the group rode to Stud Loop, while the rest waited on the corner of Via De La Valle for us. We hammered Stud Loop Backwards, almost a top 5 time for my 35 posted Strava results for the segment; not bad after DP climb. We regrouped and sped towards El Apajo and the dreaded Three Witches Climb.
We just made the turn at the light and the pace intensified. Neil, Rick, Flo, Bernie and Neil (Ranchos) separated from us. Claus and I hung on for a bit, while Bill and Peggy followed. I tried in vain to close the gap. We all regrouped at the top of Camino Del Sur. Most everyone was turning north while Rick B and I headed south to the bike path. Claus kept on riding and got in another century ride. Bernie got in 86 miles, while the rest of the group finished with about 55 miles. Rick B and I chatted and spun lightly to the bike path, I peeled off to my house while Rick continued on to Scripps Ranch. Below are a few photos from a fun group ride.