Oceanside and Inland Ride-9 June 2018
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Hodges, Tony & Diane, Quoc, Geoffrey, Bill & Peg, Andrew, Bob, Peter, Rob and Sheehan
The planned group ride over Palomar and down to Borrego Springs was changed due to the high desert temperatures forecasted for Saturday. We changed the meet location and planned a coastal cruise.
The group of 12 riders headed toward the coast on the bike path. Hodges guided us up Portofino and Mango, before meandering our way back down to Jimmy Durante Blvd, where we rode by the county fair. We looped around over to Nardo, a tough little climb. I spun ahead and then Bill B powered up the watts to close the gap and sailed by me easily. Bob, Peter and Quoc turned towards RSF when we got to Loma Sante Fe while the rest of the group looped around the neighborhoods and over the pedestrian bridge by the Solana Beach train station, then turned north onto PCH.
The pace was brisk until we got past Swami’s, regrouping there before Hodges lead us down towards Moonlight beach and up side roads and along our normal Neptune route. We regrouped again at PCH. When we got to La Costa, Geoffrey & Diane turned east; we were down to 7 riders flying up the coast.
We picked up two additional strong riders as we rode towards Carlsbad. The pace was again brisk, Bill & Andrew doing the lion share of the pulling. We rode through town and made our way towards the pier. I pushed off the front just to test the group a bit. Hodges grabbed my wheel and hid pretty much all the way to the harbor. I made him go on point at the last intersection and followed his wheel until the last 500 meters. I pulled left and he was not able catch my wheel. I died quickly, but still had plenty of room to coast into the final circle at the end of the harbor, small victories.
I, of course, received plenty of abuse when we regrouped at the bathroom about not stopping completely or riding unsafe through town or not doing enough pulls as we rode up PCH; all true of course. We had seven Descenders and one of the two strong riders we picked up earlier. His name is Calvin and we hope he rides with us again. Hodges was ever impatient after our water break so he pedaled off. I left as the group started to roll out, then pushed a bit to catch up to Mike. When we hit the San Luis Rey Bike Path, there was no one behind us. Mike slowed and stopped, I kept pedaling. I thought the group would quickly catch me and I would fulfill my pull duties, so I just kept a steady pace. No one was in sight so I push more and rode alone all the way to College Blvd, our normal path exit to Sleeping Indian. I waited for a bit and the group came back together. Tony was the only hardy sole to head over to Sleeping Indian. Calvin reversed course and headed back to the coast, we were down to 6 riders.
I had ridden the bike path farther east before and Andrew had looked at his phone map, so we had a pretty good idea of how to get back toward Lake Hodges. I did my requisite pulls duties to the end of the bike path at N Sante Fe Ave. We rode past Guajome Park, where the kids use to run XC meets, and made our way southeast through Vista and San Marcos. Bill and Andrew were pacing animals, the rest of us hung on the best that we could. We stopped for water and continued on S. Sante Fe Ave until it turned into Mission Road. After passing Palomar College, we rode over Twin Oaks Valley to get south of Route 78 and turned onto Barham Dr, by CSUSM. Bill & Peg led us on the back roads of Country Club to Harmony Grove and got us eventually to Gamble Lane. We turned onto Felicita Road in Escondido when Sheehan decided to sow the last of his oats. He built up a sizable lead before Bill B pushed the pace and we all hid on his wheel to close the gap and pass Sheehan before getting to Via Rancho Parkway. Sheehan rode strong all day, as did Peg; she never gets dropped off a paceline!
Water levels were low so I decided to head to the gas station by the mall. Hodges, Sheehan and Andrew went over the pedestrian bridge at Lake Hodges and turned to Pomerado to get home. Bill & Peg went right toward their house. After a quick water refill, I spun over the bridge and saw Bill & Peg climbing toward the park. I never did catch them before they turned into their neighborhood. I was alone, hot and tired. The slow spin through 4S and behind Black Mountain got me home with 80 miles and about 4K of climbing; nice coastal cruise. Everyone seemed to get about 80 miles for the loop. Tony was the man of day as he did Sleeping Indian and Twin Oaks Valley from Gopher Canyon and rolled home with just over 100 miles, a nice century for Monster Climbs training.
Below are the photos I took on the ride.