Five Faces of Soledad Ride Report–6 May 2017
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Claus, Tony, Guido, Andrew, Hodges, John M, Jim W, Oleg, Len, Ernst and Rob
The start of the group ride coincided with the 5 km fun run for the PQ Festival. As I rode up the bike path toward the Black Mountain Road corner, hundreds of runners came down the hill towards me. I slowly made my way through the throng and got to the top. We started with a group photo under the banner. There were still some late-starting runners in front of us as we rode west. We picked up Oleg and Jim W on the bike path and continued on a steady pace towards the coast. It was a cloudy, cool day with rain in the forecast. We made it to Torrey Pines, I took an #obligatorrey photo of the group and caught Oleg taking his own #obligatorrey picture. The group climbed outside TP and regrouped at the top.
After a banana break, we pedaled along heading for La Jolla. Andrew, who was still on the recovery train, bailed to head down Genesee Ave back toward home. We spun past UCSD and down by the Scripps Oceanography Pier to La Jolla Shores. Guido bailed at Calle Del Oro and headed back to PQ. The fun of Soledad was still ahead. We did the usual Oleg routes up Hillside Drive to the top where we met Ernst and Len, the group was getting bigger. Sy was there and he took the group photo at the memorial cross. After a fast descent down Nautilus Street, we climbed back up Country Club, stopping for a photo overlooking the shores. John M left the group after two climbs while the rest of us went down for the third climb back up.
Oleg was preparing for a beer party at his house so he left us after the third climb. We faced Pacifica Drive next, the fourth face. The group got strung out a bit, I was near the back pedaling up with Len. He left at the top of Soledad Mountain Road to get back to his job site, the man does not know what retirement is; working machine. There were about 6 of us left to climb Via Valverde, things were really starting to hurt. We caught back up to Tony near the top, he skipped the fifth climb. Hodges was heading toward downtown, so Ernst led us down Via Capri, back up Calle Del Oro, through UCSD campus and down Torrey Pines. He pedaled off towards Carmel Valley while Tony, Claus, Jim and I pootled along the bike path. Jim and I were almost done. Claus and Tony had to get back to Poway and beyond, dark clouds loomed on the horizon.
Jim hammered the section between Carmel Valley Road and CDS, I hid on his wheel. Claus and Tony caught up to us at the light. I peeled off and got home with 60 miles and 5,300 feet of climbing. Jim finished with about the same. Claus got in another century while Tony had a flat in RB and called to get home; at least he missed the rain. It was a fun and painful Five Faces of Soledad, a few photos are in the link below.