Alpine Beatdown Ride Report-22 July 2017
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Bob P, Farkas, Len, Bernie and Rob
We expected warm weather on the Alpine ride. I met Bob at the corner of Black Mountain Road and the 56 bike path, we pedaled together over to the 7-11 store to meet the rest of the gang. Alpine in July, how many riders would show? Len came just before 8 am; I proposed we consider a different route if no one else showed. We were surprised to see Mike Farkas roll up, he hates Highway 67; too much fast traffic. Mike had a MTB race on Sunday, this was just a planned SPP spin. Bernie rolled up and we were even more surprised since he was supposed to be riding Nine Mile Meadow and Sherman Pass. He explained that a fire in the area delayed the race until another date. Looks like we had a small crew ready to tackle Alpine.
Mike led us up SPP, I fell off the pace. My legs were heavy after my hiking in the Sequoia National Park, so I just spun to the top. Bob was already sweating heavily and said he was not feeling well. Farkas spun back down SPP, Bob went over and then down Poway Grade and we were left with just 3 riders–me, Bernie and Len. We went down 67 and experienced why Farkas hates the road so much. The road crews have cut in the side bumps all along the descent and in some cases, cut off any shoulder we had to ride in, now it was even more dangerous to ride the road. We made it safely to the bottom and rode over to Lakeside. There was no Neil to join us, so the three of us rode to Olde Highway 80. I proposed skipping Dehesa but adding Quail Canyon loop. Len said he wanted to get in the miles up Dehesa and Bernie was open to anything. Bernie and Len dusted me on the way past Flinn Springs Park, they waited for me at the I-8 underpass. It was getting warmer and the humidity was high. My legs were not feeling the fun.
As we came to Harbison Canyon, I explained that I was skipping Dehesa and riding up South Grade Road and over to the regular store stop for water. I assured them they would catch me on 67 after I added the Quail Canyon loop. Bernie and Len rode away while I pootled up South Grade. I made it over to the CVS store for some much needed water and a coke. I finally got motivated to head back, turned onto Hawley Road and climbed up to Broad Oaks. These large houses with great views are on the ridge above El Monte, the road we ride to El Capitan Reservoir. I spun west to hit Quail Canyon and looped around the east side of Lake Jennings, then back to our usual route that hits the dreaded climb back up highway 67.
It was not very hot and I slowly spun up the road. After a quick stop to take a photo of San Vicente Reservoir, I made my way toward the corner of SPP. Bernie came up from behind and we rode together to the light. Len closed the gap and made the light too. We descended together down SPP, my plan was to stop at the Subway for more water. Bernie was buying coffee at the store on Community. He and Len turned to Stowe Road while I spun to Subway. After a nice, long water break I rode to the bottom of Black Mountain Road and climbed to the 56 bike path, making it home with about 68 miles of riding and 5,900 feet of climbing. Bernie got home with about 71 miles. It was a hot one but lots of fun, really. Below are a few photos.