Alpine Loop Ride Report-1 April 2017
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Jim W, Rick W, Tony, Hodges, Len, Neil and Rob
It was a cool morning and the turn-out for the ride looked to be only 5 riders at the Garden Road start. I was my usual late self getting going, so I sped along Poway Road to get to the 7-11store in time. Hodges was even later and he had to go through his medical update again so we knew what to do if he fell and explain that he was riding downtown on the way back from Alpine. We immediately picked up one more rider, Len, as he was parking along Garden. I felt bad for Jim, Rick W was going to have to leave early, there was no one that could keep pace with Jim for what is normally a tough ride. We rode to SPP, Rick W and Jim took off on the climb and then we all regrouped at Highway 67. Hodges helped shepherd Tony much of the day. With Rick leaving at the bottom of 67, it was down to Jim on point with Len and I hiding as best we could. Hodges and Tony swept.
Good news for Jim came when we made the turn past El Capitan High School, we picked up Neil. Jim had someone to play with now! Those two kept up a fast pace over to Old Highway 80. I could not keep up and also watched Len spin away as well. Hodges and Tony swept. We regrouped at the I-8 underpass, a bit before the Harbison Canyon descent. Len had to go to a job site, so he reversed course. We were back down to 5 riders. I escaped off the front at the start of Harbison and got a good lead on the group; I thought for sure I would make it to the start of the Dehesa climb out in front. Not to be, Jim and Neil flew by me just ahead of the stop sign at the bottom. They motored up the climb, disappearing out of sight. I soloed Dehesa. Hodges and Tony swept.
We regrouped at the pharmacy store in Alpine. The three of us waited about 30 minutes for Hodges and Tony. They finally showed, a mechanical had slowed them down. The five of us headed back with Tony falling a bit behind along Old Highway 80. When we got back to Lakeside, Neil and Hodges headed straight while Jim and I turned to ride towards 67; Tony was not in sight. By the time we got to the bottom of 67, Tony was in front of us. He had taken the more direct route while we rode Willow Road and Moreno Ave to the climb. Jim had been pulling me along for quite some time, I told him to head off and I would pootle up 67 with Tony.
Jim sped off quickly. Tony and I climbed together for a bit before I went ahead. I stopped for a nice view of the very full San Vicente Reservoir and pedaled to SPP. Tony caught me just before the light. I had planned to stop at the Subway store along SPP for a water break so Tony joined me. We were both in need of a rest. We finally got enough motivation to pedal home. Tony turned north on Community Road while I headed to Black Mountain Road for a final climb back to the bike path. I made it home, 73 miles and 5,400 feet of climbing; a good ride. Below is a link with some photos.