RSF, Del Dios, Summit, Bandy & HVR Ride Report-7 September 2019
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Shawn D, Monica, Geoffrey M, Oleg, John M, Paul P, John A, Garet, Rick W, Peggy, Tony, Dennis, Bill and Rob
Lots of folks were out, ready to burn some calories ahead of the planned Descenders BBQ at Casa Hodges. We had 14 riders when we are grouped together at the top of Three Witches. The pace was spirited but under control as we sped towards RSF. The group spread out a bit on the short climb to Stud Loop. I was planning on skipping the loop to get a head start along Del Dios, my first of multiple shortcuts throughout the ride. Only Paul P joined me, everyone else hit the loop.
Paul and I sped down Del Dios and started the climbs toward Lake Hodges. We kept up a good pace, trying to get to the planned regroup spot ahead of what we knew would be a charging peloton. It was a beautiful morning and starting to warm up quickly. Lake Hodges looked good as we rode along Lake Drive, the last climb up to Via Rancho Parkway is all that we had to tackle before getting a well earned rest. The group came up in phases before we all headed toward the next stop at the gas station on the other side of I-15.
More spirited riding as folks pushed the pace, accelerations came from many as we made our way to some much needed water and snacks. We had covered only about 25 miles, but is was pretty quick and the weather turned warm. Everyone got plenty of drinks and food as we relaxed in the shade beside the gas station. Paul & Geoffrey M had to get home, so they headed towards the pedestrian bridge over the lake to get back towards PQ while the rest of us went north towards Mary Lane. We spread out on the climbs but did a quick regroup at the turn to Summit Road. The group sped downhill along Summit and turned onto Old Milky Way, where the pace really got hot. John M was blown off the back and I sat up just as the paceline sped past the turn to Ysabel Creek Road; my second planned short-cut. I hit the gravel/dirt road that cuts across to Bandy. I looked over my shoulder a few times expecting John M to join me; he never came. There was some truck traffic, unusual for the quiet dirt road. The sand was thick in a few places, but I made it across to start the climb of Bandy. I knew this gave me at least a four mile lead on the group, so I was sure I could get to the top of Bandy before anyone else would show.
I pootled up the road and enjoyed the views, lots of wineries and grape fields now on Bandy; Raptor Ridge just off to the east side of the climb. At the top I relaxed and took a photo of my bike by the road signs; plenty of time before the group showed. Tony O wanted to head up HVR, while everyone else was heading back down. John A and John M were behind, the remaining riders spun down HVR. John A went up part of HVR with Tony and John M followed us a few minutes behind the group. The pace to Pomerado was quick. The group split at the light, with Bill, Peggy, Shawn, Oleg and I heading towards Lake Hodges. The rest of the group went towards Poway.
We dropped off Bill & Peggy at their neighborhood just south of the lake. Shawn bailed when we got to his area near the Westwood Pool. Oleg and I stopped again for more water at the gas station on RB Road. We slowly cruised up past the HP offices and past 4S to climb behind Black Mountain. I headed down Black Mountain Road into PQ towards home while Oleg went straight towards the coast, he still have 15 more miles to go. I got home with only 45 miles and 3.5K of elevation gain but my legs were tired.
Fun group ride and an even better time at the Hodges house a few hours later. Good to see all the Descender riders and families. Thanks again to Mike and Shelley for hosting the event. The link below are the photos from the ride.