Lake Wohlford & Circle R Ride-26 October 2019
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Dennis C, Rick W, Dave S, Garet H. and Rob V
I drove to the mall early to set up the gear concession stand, the plastic container holding extra Descenders kits and socks. It was close to 8 am before Dennis rolled to the lot. Neil R came over from the Ranchos group of riders to say hi. He and Jim W were ready to hammer out a fast Ranchos ride and both planned to come to the Julian Fall Ride for the Descenders set for Saturday, 2 November. Dennis and I watched the Ranchos ride out and we were just getting ready to roll when Sheehan drove up. He said he saw Rick W in route. I also knew Garet was also coming late and planned to meet us on the Wohlford climb.
It was another cool, crisp morning as the four riders headed up towards Mary Lane. The split happened fast with Rick and Dennis out front and me and Sheehan rolling along. We cruised through the side roads and onto Citrus to make our way to the climb up to Lake Wohlford. I had ridden it the previous week and knew the terrible conditions of the narrow road. It is a great climb but a classic example of a dangerous place for cyclists. A very narrow road with no shoulder and tons of broken asphalt and pot holes. It always amazes me how many of our local roads are in such disrepair. I stopped for a nature break and the rest of the guys sped up the climb. I saw Sheehan off in the distance and tried to close the gap. At the top of the 2.5 mile climb we regrouped and Garet quickly came up behind us. We were now five riders.
We spun off towards Woods Valley when a BMW 300 series driven by a country singer wannabe honked and yelled at Rick W, Garet and Dennis. He sped in front and them, pulled over and got out of his car. Garet stopped to engage with the driver. Sheehan and I were far behind but as we rode up to Garet and the cowboy hat driver, we could see the animated dialog. Before we got to them he jumped into his car and sped away. Apparently he was not happy with the way they were riding, taking up too much of the road and not directly on the shoulder. Garet had tried to politely explain the rules of the road and with no bike lane, cyclists are entitled to ride safely in the road; cars have to wait to safely pass. Garet tired his best and felt he made some progress; I am betting it does not stick.
We had regrouped on Woods Valley where Garet told the full story. Another ride with too much car interaction; a terrible trend. We finally sped out past Bates Farm and flew towards Valley Center. The five of us were hammering with Garet and Rick taking turns on point. I held on for as long as I could but backed off just past the golf course. Sheehan turned off along Valley Center Road to head back while the four of us rode to Lilac Road. A quick stop at the fire station for some water and then we sped along. Rick W was verbally and physically pushing me along to hold the pace. I tried a few times to fall off the back; Rick would hear none of it. We hit the decent of Lilac and I eventually fell away.
Garet had to get home, so he continued onto Old CastleRoad while Rick, Dennis and I turned onto Lilac Road. No one was interested in Couser, so we hit West Lilac to make our way back towards Old Highway 395. I again tried to ask Rick and Dennis to head off, but Rick would hear none of it; with their support and occasional push, I held it together all the way down Circle R. At the bottom, I finally convinced them to take off; I was spent. I pootled my way down to Escondido and made it back to the mall; 44 miles and 3K of climbing. Fun ride, photos in the link below. I will bring the Descenders kits and socks in the gear box to Dudley’s this weekend for our planned Julian Fall Ride. I hope everyone can make what is traditionally a fun group event. Bring some cash or a check if you want to buy any Descenders gear.