DeLuz Ride Report-12 October 2019
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Rick W, Bill B, Peggy B, Dennis C, Tony O, Bob P and Rob V
It was a crisp fall morning at Gopher Canyon. Bob P and I drove to the start, parking in my usual hideaway space in the camp ground just north of the park-n-ride. Rick W called us and joined us in the lot. This location has been a great place to park for past rides since there is a bathroom right next to all the RV’s parked there. It was cold and sunny as we got ready to ride, I was glad I had my arm warmers at the start. We rolled over the the dirt parking lot to meet the rest of the group. We had a hardy seven person crew with a couple of notable rookies for the DeLuz ride. Both Rick W and Bob P had somehow avoided this awesome ride in the past. Today was their baptism by fire.
We rode out and up Circle R. I quickly went to my appropriate sweeper position. The 3 mile climb spread us out on the road. Rick W and Bob waited for me at the turn to Lilac where we descended past the Yellow Deli and made our way to Couser Canyon. Peggy was kind enough to slow her pace so I could find her wheel before we got to the top of the short climb. The four mile descent of Couser is always beautiful, the views in the cloudless blue sky were great. After a quick regroup at Highway 76 we started towards Rice Canyon. Peggy and I went out first and then the group passed us. Peggy was again kind enough to keep her pace at a level where I could keep her in sight and slowly get her wheel before we finished the five mile ascent. It was still cool, but all the climbing had definitely warmed up the body.
The group rode north towards Temecula. Rick W, Dennis, Bob and Bill all took turns taking wind on point. I hid in the back as much as possible. We descended fast, past the golf courses, and made our way to the gas station for a short water break. Bill led us on his side roads before going over the I-15 bridge and we made our way to the Rancho California Road climb. A similar pattern developed; we spread out on the climb with me closing onto Peggy’s wheel as we rode the switchbacks up the mountainside. The group was waiting for us at the mile 30 mark to start the DeLuz Road section. I told Rick W and Bob that this is a great ten mile section of riding, except for the spots in the road that are rough. The overhanging oaks on the narrow roads and the steep, curvy descents are always fun to the ride. I lost the group but could see them ahead on a few occasions. We all stopped at the DeLuz old school house for a water break.
The next ten miles seem to sap the remainder of my legs every time I ride DeLuz. The rolling hills are beautiful; the climbs hurt. I finally caught Peggy’s wheel. Bill was also kind enough to wait for us as we rolled towards the steep descent before the climb back up to Mission Road. We rolled fast through Fallbrook and made our way to Olive Hill Road, where we sped quickly down to the designated stop. Bob P slowed a bit to pull Peggy and I along. Tony & Dennis were planning to flog themselves further by climbing Lilac Road and looping back down Circle R to the finish, an extra six miles and plenty of climbing. The rest of us were heading straight back along Camino Del Rey to get back to the cars.
I only survived the paceline for about mile before falling off fast. I pootled my way to Old Highway 395 and south to the RV camping ground. Bill and Peggy waited to say good-bye, then they rolled down towards their car. Bob and Rick throughly enjoyed their inaugural DeLuz ride–63 miles and 5,500 feet of climbing. There were the expected complaints of the road conditions and brutal climbs. It is a leg smasher and I was feeling it. The locals in the RV area did not like us parking there and said they would tow us in the future. Looks like I will have to find another secret parking area. It was another fun Descenders group ride. The link below is to the photos from the ride.
p.s. The following day the club founders had a planned ride. Sheehan, Boyle and I met at Sheehan’s house for a planned loop of our original rides of Poway Grade to HVR. We had just started the ride and were on the fairly wide road of Espola, a half mile before the Blue Sky Ecological Preserve, in a line near the edge of the road. Sheehan in front, I was in the middle and Boyle swept, there was at least ten yards between each of us. All of a sudden a car mirror hit my left butt cheek and my left hand; fortunately I did not fall. The car buzzed by Sheehan as well before slowing and then speeding away. It was either a case of inattentive driving or a deliberant attempt to hit me. Boyle got a good look at the car; it was a grey Acura 4-door sedan. There were other cars behind the one that hit me. No one stopped or attempted to make the violating car stop. We rode to the parking lot of both Blue Sky and Poway High School looking for the car. We never found the guilty party. The impact tore a couple of small skin tears off my hand, no damage to the left cheek. We continued our fun ride, recognizing that we always have to be careful on the road. I am only relating this story to document it if needed in the future. Be safe out there.