Five Faces of Soledad Ride Report-10 February 2018
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Tony, John M, Shawn, Garet, Monica, Guido, Don, Rob, Len, Neil & John
Most of the riders met along the 56 bike path. We started with a handful of Descenders and also had Don, an ex-Rancho who has ridden with us before, join us. It was Garet’s 40th birthday, so Happy Birthday to Garet! We had a slight tailwind, so Guido and John M pushed the pace and flew along the bike path. Neil met us as we got closer to the coast, he had parked on top of Soledad and rode towards us.
We all climbed inside Torrey Pines and met up with Len before pedaling off for La Jolla Shores. Garet looped back home first by going straight on Genessee Road to celebrate the rest of his birthday with his family. There were lots of riders out on the road. It was a nice day for climbing. Guido left us as we started our first ascent of Soledad. Neil took off and sped up the hill and we all eventually regrouped at the top. Neil’s brother, John, now joined the ride as well.
Hodges just cannot get enough of the Descenders. He was not on his bike, but had his family and out of town guests at the top "sightseeing" as we all regrouped following the climb. Riders started to head out as Shawn and Don descended Via Carpi while the rest of us rode down to to begin the climb of Country Club Road. Once again, Neil flew off the point and disappeared while the rest of us powered up the climb. John and Monica were both very strong on the climbs. We stopped for bananas and water before heading back down for the third ascent.
Once we all got back to Soledad Mountain Road, we headed down to tackle Pacifica. John M was grinding out the climbs on his new Fuji but it only had a 25 rear cassette, he was cooked after the 4th climb. Back at the top of Soledad, it was only the two Rintoul brothers, Len, Tony, Monica and Rob left to head to Via Valverde for the fifth face of Soledad. Legs were hurting but we all made it back to the top before heading towards home.
Len went towards Soledad Mountain Road, Neil and John kept riding while I descended down Via Capri. I thought Tony & Monica would be with me, but they were gone. I slowly climbed Calle Del Oro and turned towards UCSD campus. I thought about riding through campus when Tony & Monica caught up to me. We pedaled back towards Torrey Pines, descended to the beach and rolled along Carmel Valley Road. I was pooped and hid behind Tony as he did most of the work.
We got back to the bike path and made our way towards PQ. I bailed to get back home while Monica and Tony had to ride back to Poway and beyond to get home. My ride was only about 60 miles, but the 5,800 feet of climbing was a good workout; another great day for a Descenders ride. The link below are the photos from the ride.