SPP, Mussey, HVR & Del Dios Ride Report-18 March 2018
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Hermann, John A, John M, Quoc, Oleg, Neil B & Rob
Late winter rains forced us to move our group ride from its usual Saturday spot to Sunday morning. Tony lined up a local ride for the group to tackle. I was late getting going so did not meet anyone on the 56 bike path as I pedaled over to Spring Meadow. It was a crisp early spring morning, but there were some rays of sunshine poking through the clouds trying to warm up the day. I dropped off at Mike Hodges house his new bibs but did not see anyone yet…thought I might have a lonely ride ahead. Fortunately there was a small contingent waiting for me at the 7-11 store. Oleg was able to join us since the ride was on Sunday and he did not have any camping trips for the weekend. We also had Neil B out for the first time since his crash on highway 67 down in Lakeside. Neil was not sure he was ready for a Ranchos ride yet.
In all, we had seven riders ready to head toward SPP. We spread out on the climb with Neil B, Oleg and John A pushing the pace. After a regroup at highway 67, we headed north. I quickly saw why the Descenders have not ridden along 67 in almost a year. The rumble strips on the side of the road make it very challenging. There is also a new guardrail that narrows the road as you climb towards the Poway Grade light. Traffic is going faster and seem more concerned about center barrier plastic tubes than cyclists on the right side of the road. It is a bit of a scary section of road, all the way until you get to Mussey Grade. We did a quick regroup at the top of the 67 climb by Mt Woodson and Oleg/Hermann took turns pulling us to Mussey, impressive power.
On the descent, Neil B, Oleg and Hermann pushed the pace. John A, Quoc and I hid as well as we could; John M rode in his parallel universe. We stopped to enjoy the views of San Vicente Reservoir at the bottom of Mussey Grade and took a few photos. The recent rains brought out the lush green hillsides on the horizon, beauty day. The climb up was at a fairly pleasant pace and we regrouped before riding over to HVR. We held a nice paceline until Neil B picked up the pace, we held it together at the faster pace until the turn towards the middle school. I was hiding on a wheel and still managed a PR for a segment. The group split a bit more on the rollers before the descent of HVR. Neil B and Oleg headed out first. Hermann, John A, Quoc and I rolled when the group got together. John M continued in his parallel universe.
A few cars distracted us from a nice smooth and fast descent of HVR, but we still flew down one of our favorite local roads. John A and I caught Oleg and Neil on the flats as we rode to Pomerado. At the light, Hermann and Neil B turned left while Oleg, John A and I turned right and over the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge. Quoc soon followed; John M rode home via Bernardo Center Road. We stopped at the gas station for water before riding onto Via Rancho Parkway to Del Dios. Quoc turned towards Harmony Grove to go abuse himself on Double Peak while Oleg, John A and I rode on Del Dios to RSF where I was able to capture a quick good-bye wave from Oleg as he headed for the coast. Oleg got in over 90 miles by the time he cruised home. John A and I returned to PQ via Three Witches and got back home with 67 miles and 4,800 feet of climbing; a fun Descenders Sunday ride. Photos in the link below.