RSF & Del Dios-Rick W Farewell Ride-30 November 2019
by Rob Verfurth
Riders: Rick W, Bob P, Sheehan, Shawn D, Garet and Rob
Thanksgiving was a rainy affair and many folks were traveling during the week. The planned ride might have been a small group of riders. I pedaled up the bike path to the Black Mountain Road meeting spot to find only Rick W waiting for me. It was good to see Rick as I remembered his last ride with the club was about this time. We caught up and discussed his upcoming drive and move to Boise, ID the following week. Sheehan got dropped off by the Stater Bros shopping center less than a mile away and pedaled up just as Rick and I were about to head towards Three Witches to meet the other riders. The three of us headed west.
We sped past Westview HS when Sheehan noticed his rear tire was flat. Rick helped Dave fix his flat while I spun along to make sure the guys at the top of Three Witches knew we were coming. I got there just before 8:30 am to find Bob P and Shawn D waiting. We chatted and hoped more riders would join us while waiting for Sheehan and Rick W to catch up. They cruised up a few minutes later and we sped down towards RSF. The sides of the road were full of all the gravel and junk from the rains during the week. A good sized pebble got kicked up by one of the bikes ahead of me and nearly took off part of my check, we sped to El Apajo and climbed toward the start of Stud Loop.
At the corner Garet flew up the climb to catch us. He was winded as he had rode hard having left his house very late. Garet & Rick led out while Shawn and I hung onto their wheels. Bob P and Sheehan threatened to skip the extra miles and head straight to Del Dios; they swept behind us. I fell off the pace about halfway but closed the gap as we all regrouped at Del Dios. Thinking Bob & Dave were ahead, we sped down to loop around Lake Hodges.
The pace was too much for me on the climb up to Lake Drive and I spun solo under the overhanging oak trees to meet the guys on the corner of Via Rancho Parkway; still no sign of Bob & Dave. We figured they were heading to the gas station so we pedaled off. Garet, Rick W and Shawn dropped me again but I caught them before I-15 as they hit one of the lights. We relaxed at the Shell station and waited. Bob & Dave finally showed; Sheehan had another tire issue and had a side blow out. He was only able to put 50 psi in the tire; his day was done.
The route was supposed to have us climb HVR, but there were no takers. Rick W had to finish preparing for his movers, Garet had his family to get to, Shawn was just coming back from an injury so he wanted to take it easy and Bob & I were ready to head towards home.
We all rode over the Lake Hodges bridge, Sheehan headed for home while the rest of us climbed West Bernardo Road. Shawn left by the Westwood Club for his place. Bob & I said our good-byes and best wishes to Rick W before the light at RB Road. Rick W has been riding with the Descenders for about 6 years. He will be missed and we wish him and his wife, Tina, all the best in their new life in Boise. Rick is coming back to San Diego this week to do some final police duties, then it is back to Boise and full retirement. Good luck Rick.
You can see from the photos that is was a blue sky, dry day on the roads, a much needed break from recent rains. Bob P & I spun along behind Black Mountain where I turned south for PQ while Bob continued west to home. It was a fast, fun final group ride with Rick W. Good times.