Monster Climbs Trip Report

Monster Climbs Trip-22-25 June 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Bill Wood, Tony, John M, Bob P, Sheehan, Ernst, Voris, Geoff, Hodges, Denise & Rick B, Oleg, Neil, Larry, Bernie, Len, Claus, Paul P and Rob

The annual Monster Climbs trip was a bit more complicated this year. This was the Descenders 11th annual cycling trip designed to tackle some of the toughest climbs we can find, a real fun riding club weekend. Most of the previous trips were based on the eastern slopes of the Sierras. This year we set off for the first time to Nor Cal to ride the beautiful roads near Los Gatos. Fortunately we have two Descenders living in the local area, Dave Voris and Geoff Barrall. These two guys did the lion share of the work to get us prepared for the MC trip. Dave and Geoff scouted lots of the local roads and designed the three days of riding. They mapped out each ride, giving us turn by turn details and the strava file for our bike GPS. Geoff led the search for hotels and then appropriate dinner locations. Dave took up the reins to draft all the details into our famous brochure. This was going to be an epic adventure.

We needed some San Diego rider support for the trip. Claus and I took up the logistics work of renting a U-haul trailer and driving up to Los Gatos with the bikes and spare gear. There were 19 riders that participated in the road trip to the Nor Cal adventure. Len took Bernie up early in his car, they rode near Santa Barbara and Monterrey on their way to Los Gatos. The rest of the guys dropped off their bikes and gear a few days before their flights to San Jose. On Wednesday, Claus and I got the trailer early in the morning, zip-tied each bike securely into the trailer and packed around the bikes all the other gear. We loaded up Claus’s SUV with the coolers and lots of food for our road trip north. Man can that guy eat, I gained a few pounds on the drive north just because there are so much food available. We made great time and got to the Los Gatos Lodge by 6:30 pm. We had time for a relaxing stroll around downtown Los Gatos and a late dinner before hitting the sack.

Thursday morning was spent relaxing and then exploring some of the local roads to loosen up the legs. We rode north to the Saratoga Gap and climbed up 7 miles to Skyline Blvd, before continuing north. At the Palo Alto sign we turned around to retrace our ride. A nice 31 mile loop with about 3,400 feet of climbing; some great roads, trees and views, definitely a preamble to the weekend ahead. It was pretty hot still but the weather forecast predicted a nice cooling trend ahead. We hit the pool and relaxed before the first of the guys started to show. The hotel gave us the room assignments so we were able to unload the bikes and gear from the trailer to each hotel room. The gang finally all arrived and we walked to downtown for dinner at local restaurants, we were on our own for the first night. After dinner we all got back to the pool area where Voris and Geoff went over final details from the brochure to make sure everyone was ready to ride the next morning.

After an underwhelming breakfast provided by the hotel, we all met near the front of the property to begin our first day of riding. Geoff led us through Los Gatos to a flat gravel trail with one climb that got us to Lexington Reservoir Dam before we spun around the south side of the reservoir and started climbing Old Santa Cruz Highway. Lots of thick forest surrounded this road as we climbed to Summit Road then headed south towards Soquel-San Jose Road. We are almost on top of a ridge line as we cruised together. At the turn, Claus rolled over an object that destroyed his tire. He had to walk back to a general store about half a mile and hitch a ride back to the hotel to get his spare bike. Claus rejoined the group back at the store later. We all flew down Soquel-San Jose about 5 miles before the road stopped due to a recent wash out from the winter rains, light traffic made the descent even better. We started back up the climb and spread out along the way. Tony hit a pothole and fell in the back of the group, a number of folks stopped to help bandage Tony up. Most of us did not know Tony fell and the really fast guys were already on their way to climb Mt Bache Road to Loma Prieta Peak. It was warming rapidly, the climb was tough and the road surface not good. I rode with Bob P and Paul P. We saw Rick B blow by us, he had kept a very conservative pace in the early part of the ride; this was his one push for the day.

The fast guys came back towards us while we were still climbing. We finally got to the top, great views all around. Now for the dangerous descent and stop at the store. Everyone regrouped at the nice patio in front of the general store. Much needed water and food were consumed. Claus rode up on his other bike, ready to keep riding. Eventually everyone headed back north on Summit Road and descended back down Old Santa Cruz Highway toward the reservoir. Geoff served up some more pain with a 5+ mile climb up Soda Springs Road. It was now very hot and the 8% average grade sapped out the last bit of energy. Some guys skipped this climb or only rode up part way. I rode slowly and kept an eye out for possible water stops, I was about empty. I finally got close to the top when the fast guys came back towards me. At the top I rested a minute before Len pulled up too. We descended together for the first 1.5 miles, I turned into a driveway and found a hose to get some needed water. Paul P was also descending when I got back on the road. The descent was fast. We found Sheehan climbing up, he was going to make it to the top, hogwash. We also found Tony making his way up, tough guy. Paul and I got back to the reservoir and swept up Bill W who was on his way back to the hotel. We all survived Day 1 of the MC trip–only 60 miles but almost 7,900 feet of climbing. The pool never felt so good, a few beers took off the edge and we all still managed to rendezvous at Grill 57 for dinner. The restaurant was just across the street and the family style food was delicious; they provided plenty of dishes for us to consume. Dave Ernst was late to the trip but he made dinner and was planning to ride the Mt Hamilton climb set for Saturday. After dinner we met back at the pool to go over the planned ride and hand out car assignments for the drive to San Jose. It was time for bed!

Day 2 brought forth the aches and pains of Day 1, another lousy breakfast at the hotel and Mt Hamilton. We drove over in assigned vehicles, based on how long we planned to ride, to Penitencia Creek Park, a community park in San Jose. Voris led the group to Alum Rock Park before we got to the start of the 18 mile climb up Mt Hamilton. The climb is up and down, so really three long climbs to get to the observatory. We spread out on the road, it got warmer. You could see the observatory on top from a long distance away as you switched back through the trees to reach the final pitch. It was a hard climb. Geoff and Voris had discovered a nice table and "park" setting behind the main building on their recon ride. We regrouped there, caught our breath and drank lots of water. The big studs left to ride the east side of the mountain where the temperatures were even hotter. The brochure gave great details on where to turn around and how far down the main descent would be to the turn. A number of riders declined to look over the east side edge. My car mates were all planning to ride the full route. Paul P had to leave early on Sunday so this was his last day to ride; same story for Ernst. I finally worked up the courage to head down. I only made it 2.5 miles and could see the curvy roads winding farther down. It was hot now and I knew every second I sped down was a lot more time to get back to the top. The descent back had two climbs, so that weighed on my mind as well. I stopped, took a few more photos and made the decision that it was time to go back. The short climb back to the top was tough. I assumed the guys that were not planning to go to the east side were out ahead of me, I start the descent back down the west side. Just as I hit the first corner, I saw Bill Wood on his final turn to the observatory. I waved and kept rolling. The smooth roads were magical to descend, traffic was light and I quickly went down the first 7 miles. The climb was short and painful with more fun descending. This was repeated a few times until I got back to Alum Rock Park where I decided to spin an extra loop. I finally made it back to the parking lot where the cars were. I rode only 55 miles and 6,500 feet of elevation. John M and I were the first to arrive. The groups of riders came back over the next hour, some made it all the way to the bottom of the east side–over 60 miles and 8,000 of climbing, others were happy to have made it to the top. We left as the cars filled up to get food and drive back to the Los Gatos Lodge.

The pool was inviting and Oleg brought out a few of his beers. For some reason we do not drink lots of beer after our MC rides…..think we are all too exhausted. Everyone recovered enough to stroll back into downtown for a group dinner at Gardino’s Ristorante Italiano. Geoff had picked a great restaurant. Unfortunately, they "lost" our reservation and did not know we were coming. Geoff used his magic and the restaurant moved tables around so our large group could fit. They came through big time with lots of great family style eats, from calamari to pastas to great meats. We made sure Claus did see not our plates with food still available, we all got to eat plenty. The stroll back to the hotel helped settled the awesome dinner to make room for the ice cream social. We all relaxed in the pool area and enjoyed the treats organized by Bernie and Dave Ernst, thanks guys.

The activity level picked up quite a bit on Sunday morning. Everyone had to pack up and check out before the ride. Bags were left in the bike trailer and we all spun out for the Day 3 ride. Geoff and Voris had us back in the redwood trees for the ride. We cruised around the Lexington Reservoir again and climbed Old Santa Cruz Highway before splitting off on Mt Charlie Road. Voris planned to lead the "long" ride group while Geoff marshaled the shorter route group. The long group had the expected suspects–Larry, Neil, Bernie, Oleg, Claus and Voris. Somehow Bob P, Len and I managed to stay with this group as we rode into Felton. Voris explained that the rest stop location was the store on the corner. Len was wise enough to head for the store and wait for the other group. Bob P and I called an audible and we changed our initial riding plans; we stayed with the Voris group. We had to persuade Bob to come. He and I were beginning to regret our decision while climbing Jamison Creek; it was a tough climb. We actually asked Voris if we should turned around and just go back to meet up with the shorter group. Voris helped keep our determination strong.

We finally made it to the top and cruised over towards Felton Empire. This 3-4 mile descent made all the pains of the earlier climbs worth it. We all flew down a smooth, curvy road that splits a redwood forest. The trees were so thick that is was actually pretty dark; scary, spooky, cool. It was awesome! We regrouped at the New Leaf Community Market, all organic food inside! The other group had come and gone about 20 minutes ahead of us. We relaxed on the patio tables and caught our breath before the last climb of the day. Geoff warned us that Zayante would be a tough climb. It was warm when Neil and I got out from the store first. He spun ahead and I tried to give him turn instructions from the top. He was way out front, made a few wrong turns but still got home to the hotel safely. The rest of the guys caught me and we rode up together. Bob P fell back a bit so I told everyone to head back, I would wait for Bob. I waited and waited. Bob finally came around the last corner slowly pedaling his square wheels; at the top he got off his bike and onto his back. After a few minutes rest, Bob and I headed back along Summit. Voris did not want to leave anyone behind so he and the rest of the guys had been waiting for us a mile or so up the road. We were now all back together, except Neil who was finding a new route to the hotel. We rode back to the hotel, tired yet exhilarated from the ride. It was 65 miles and almost 8,000 feet of climbing, a fitting end to a great cycling weekend.

Some of the guys were already gone, on their way to the airport. Claus and I changed into our swim suits and set about lashing all the bikes & equipment back into the U-haul trailer. It was hot, sweaty work. We closed the trailer and jumped in the pool before a quick change into driving clothes. We got on the road by 3:30 pm. Traffic was fairly light and we made it through Los Angeles ok. It was a long trip but we still made it home before midnight. We both crashed into bed. I got up early to unload the bikes from the trailer. Claus came over and we returned the trailer to U-Haul….mission complete.

A couple of folks commented on the trip. Denise said, "This being my first Monster Climbs trip and hearing about it for a decade, it was all that I expected and more. Everyone was so inviting and encouraging and really brought out the team camaraderie each day. The climbs did earn the "Monster" name for me, and the family style dinners were a highlight after a long hard day on the bike. The club is truly a group of friends and I am glad to be part of it."

Hodges also noted that he thought the Mt Hamilton climb was epic and he wants to do it again. He thought the Soda Springs climb was brutal, misses the epic nature of the Sierras and believes that Claus was the "man of the trip", great riding Claus. Mike also enjoyed the Italian food and thought it was great that we all came from so far to see Dave V and Geoff! Below is a photo Mike took by Lexington Reservoir. The link is to the photos I took on the trip. Look forward to MC XII in 2018.

https://goo.gl/photos/NdtJ4MuB5NwoduCT8

Posted in Local Ride Reports

Alpine Beatdown Ride Report

Alpine Beatdown Ride Report-22 July 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Bob P, Farkas, Len, Bernie and Rob

We expected warm weather on the Alpine ride. I met Bob at the corner of Black Mountain Road and the 56 bike path, we pedaled together over to the 7-11 store to meet the rest of the gang. Alpine in July, how many riders would show? Len came just before 8 am; I proposed we consider a different route if no one else showed. We were surprised to see Mike Farkas roll up, he hates Highway 67; too much fast traffic. Mike had a MTB race on Sunday, this was just a planned SPP spin. Bernie rolled up and we were even more surprised since he was supposed to be riding Nine Mile Meadow and Sherman Pass. He explained that a fire in the area delayed the race until another date. Looks like we had a small crew ready to tackle Alpine.

Mike led us up SPP, I fell off the pace. My legs were heavy after my hiking in the Sequoia National Park, so I just spun to the top. Bob was already sweating heavily and said he was not feeling well. Farkas spun back down SPP, Bob went over and then down Poway Grade and we were left with just 3 riders–me, Bernie and Len. We went down 67 and experienced why Farkas hates the road so much. The road crews have cut in the side bumps all along the descent and in some cases, cut off any shoulder we had to ride in, now it was even more dangerous to ride the road. We made it safely to the bottom and rode over to Lakeside. There was no Neil to join us, so the three of us rode to Olde Highway 80. I proposed skipping Dehesa but adding Quail Canyon loop. Len said he wanted to get in the miles up Dehesa and Bernie was open to anything. Bernie and Len dusted me on the way past Flinn Springs Park, they waited for me at the I-8 underpass. It was getting warmer and the humidity was high. My legs were not feeling the fun.

As we came to Harbison Canyon, I explained that I was skipping Dehesa and riding up South Grade Road and over to the regular store stop for water. I assured them they would catch me on 67 after I added the Quail Canyon loop. Bernie and Len rode away while I pootled up South Grade. I made it over to the CVS store for some much needed water and a coke. I finally got motivated to head back, turned onto Hawley Road and climbed up to Broad Oaks. These large houses with great views are on the ridge above El Monte, the road we ride to El Capitan Reservoir. I spun west to hit Quail Canyon and looped around the east side of Lake Jennings, then back to our usual route that hits the dreaded climb back up highway 67.

It was not very hot and I slowly spun up the road. After a quick stop to take a photo of San Vicente Reservoir, I made my way toward the corner of SPP. Bernie came up from behind and we rode together to the light. Len closed the gap and made the light too. We descended together down SPP, my plan was to stop at the Subway for more water. Bernie was buying coffee at the store on Community. He and Len turned to Stowe Road while I spun to Subway. After a nice, long water break I rode to the bottom of Black Mountain Road and climbed to the 56 bike path, making it home with about 68 miles of riding and 5,900 feet of climbing. Bernie got home with about 71 miles. It was a hot one but lots of fun, really. Below are a few photos.

Posted in Local Ride Reports

Lake Wohlford & Couser Canyon Ride Report

Lake Wohlford & Couser Canyon Ride Report-15 July 2017

by Bernie Bogard

The group met up at North County Fair including Len, John M, Bob P, big Rick, Eric and Bernie. Rob was said to be on the DL related to a rib injury sustained in some peculiar manner; he abandoned on the ride with Bob trying to get to the start. Bob P pushed up Mary Lane, then on the way to Wohlford we saw some Ranchos repairing a bike then Dave Ernst materialized from nowhere to join for a bit, depart to reacquaint with Cole Grade, then again join us at Gopher Canyon/395 before heading home to San Marcos. Dave was aggressive on the climb up Wohlford to the regroup. Eric paced the group from the break at the lake, then by Woods Valley. Rick took over doing an amazing pull basically all the way to Valley Center road. Much attrition as John M was MIA never to be seen, Bob P turned back from Wohlford, Eric wasn’t feeling it by the end of Woods Valley. Len, Rick and I trundled through Valley Center to Couser, enjoyed the descent then 76/neighborhood to Old 395 climb. Ran into Ranchos ,including Jordan Babb, at the store on 395, then finished off on the rest of 395 with some merciful cloud cover, through the stoplights of Escondido to Center City Parkway and North County Fair where Len and I said goodbye to Rick who rode home to Poway. 55ish miles/3800 ft climbing. No photos so you will just have to trust us that the ride actually happened; also check out all our Strava cups!

Posted in Local Ride Reports

Five Faces of Soledad Ride Report

Five Faces of Soledad Ride Report-8 July 2017

by Bernie Bogard

Riders: Hodges, Jeff Callahan, Bob P, Bernie, Len, Neil and Rob

Caught up to the group at El Camino Real finding Bob P, Rob V, Hodges and Jeff, a triathlete out to try a group Descenders ride. Soon after, Rob had shifter problems and after pushing himself up the inside Torrey climb he headed off to Trek for repairs. Bob P pushed 400+ watts at times up the same climb.We met Len and Neil as well as Tony (Guido’s son in law to be, he didn’t join the group) at the Torrey Pines bananas. Off to Soledad via La Jolla Shores for the usual climbs with Neil leading the way on each, surprise surprise. Bob P and Jeff headed back east after the first climb, Hodges claimed he needed to go to the airport on his bike, wearing his lycra, saying something about getting through the TSA to meet his daughter. Down to a mere three, Len led us up the third climb, then Neil pushed it on Pacifica and I meekly offered to forego the Valverde climb but Len and Neil would not hear of it so off we went. A bit humid but a fun day on the bike. Below link shows a few photos from early in the ride.

https://goo.gl/photos/4Ks75JnuFLpAQVV2A

Posted in Local Ride Reports

Coastal Cruise and Coronado Ride Reports

Oceanside Coastal Cruise-1 July 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Rick W, Jim, Paul P, Bryan Jones, Tony, Justin, Bernie, Cresap, Hodges, Bob P, Oleg and Rob

The usual fast pace was expected for the Oceanside Coastal Cruise. We had some riders we had not seen out for a bit so started with a good sized group on the bike path. We cruised together to the coast. The splits started as we headed north through Del Mar. We regrouped in Solana Beach, only to get a major split as the group spun towards Encinitas.

Bob P was in the lead group but got spit out the back and made the turn left after Swami’s; the rest of the group had gone straight. I was back a bit and found the lead group waiting. We all stated out again but never found Bob P. Oleg did a u-turn near Carlsbad. We lost Bryan, Justin and Paul in Carlsbad when they turned back. Cresap retreated back down the coast as well. The group was reduced in size. We did pick up a strong rider, Lane. He cut some major air out front and helped pull the group along.

As we cruised into Oceanside, I took off to see if I could gap ahead. Rick W and Jim easily pulled me back at we rode by the pier. Traffic was heavy, pedestrian traffic tied up space and I hit the accelerator. I got over the bridge and spun through traffic to push towards the turnaround. I caught the guys off guard and easily made it to the circle before cruising to the bathroom for a water break. Small victory, fast trip to Oceanside.

Tony, Bernie, Jim and Rick W headed inland along the bike path; on their way to Sleeping Indian. Hodges and I rode with Lane back through Carlsbad. We picked up some Sub 5 riders and kept up a good pace until Hodges and I turned inland at La Costa. It was warming and I tried to stay with Hodges up the climb to Lago Lindo, failed. He waited for me at the top. I stopped for water in RSF and pushed to catch back up to Mike. We cruised up Three Witches and then back to the bike path. I limped home after 64 miles and only 2,600 feet of elevation. I was still feeling the Palomar ride from the previous day, 64 miles and 6,600 feet of climbing.

The real studs finished Sleeping Indian and rode over 85 miles. Great riding boys. The link shows some photos from the group ride.

https://goo.gl/photos/S6PN6ZY5i2cmvsxy5

Coronado-4th of July Ride-4 July 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Tony, Oleg, John M, Len, Hodges, Rob, Justin (Garet’s friend), Neil and his brother, John; along with Oleg’s buddies-John, the PhD from UCSD, Nick, the IP lawyer, Kirk, the geriatric healthcare entrepreneur and Matt, the F-18 Marine pilot.

We all met at Oleg’s house on Ariane and spun south towards Balboa Park. Oleg led us through lots of hills and back streets to get down toward Chula Vista. We kept going farther south, climbed a nice steep road called Monument Hill and got to the US border. We saw the border fence and Tijuana just across a little valley; a border patrol truck was just off to the left.

We experienced multiple flats, Kirk had two and his tire was bad, so near Imperial Beach he abandoned and grabbed an Uber home. The rest of us pedaled along to the bike path towards Coronado. Oleg led the group into Coronado on the main road while Hodges and I stayed on the busy path all the way to Hotel Del. After a quick regroup, we headed for the ferry boat to take us back to downtown. We lost more of Oleg’s friends who were visiting family and friends on Coronado.

The remainder of the group pedaled from the Convention Center to Little Italy. Neil and his brother, John, had to get home so only Oleg, Len, John, Hodges, Justin and Rob stopped for coffee and a snack. We relaxed on the patio and finally got motivated to ride the rest of the way back to Oleg’s. The final hill up hurt lots but Oleg had beer ready for our thirsty bodies. It was a fun 60 mile ride. Photos in the link below.

https://goo.gl/photos/gCQ5H57Af6HSfR9L8

Posted in Local Ride Reports

RSF, Del Dios & HVR Ride Report

RSF, Del Dios & HVR Ride Report-17 June 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Rick W, Bill W, John M, Guido, Larry, Peter P, Bernie, Hodges, Claus, Neil, Eric R, Sheehan, Bob P and Rob

Last weekend to train for the Monster Climbs trip. We had a good group out for our Saturday sufferfest, most met up at the Blk Mtn corner to start. We picked up Eric R and Sheehan at CDS, then Bob P met us closer to his Santaluz house. The weather was nice and warming quickly. We stayed as a group down Three Witches and over toward Stud Loop. Rick W picked up the pace since he was bailing early. He said his good-byes at the start of the loop.

Eric R hit out fast on Stud Loop, I followed his wheel. We were quickly swallowed up by Larry, Neil and Bernie. Everyone regrouped before riding Del Dios. The group spread out along the climb. We spotted Tony and Patrick O. flying down Del Dios doing a local ride. Most riders turned onto Lake Drive with some staying on S6 to connect over to Via Rancho Parkway. We all cruised to the gas station by the mall for a water break.

Things split wildly from there. Hodges got in his dirt fix by riding Mule Hill to HVR. The rest rode over the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge. We saw Monica Taylor just finishing her MTB ride and gave her a hardy greeting. After the lake, John M and Peter P headed back toward PQ on W. Bernardo Dr. We rode over the freeway and turned onto HVR. Guido continued going straight along Pomerado and back to PQ.

We still had 10 riders climbing HVR. The group spread out on the climb with Larry and Neil setting the pace. We regrouped at Archie Moore. Bill W and Sheehan were still climbing when most of the guys headed out on a "civil" pace to the top of HVR. Sheehan and Bill W descended back down HVR to get home after they finished the climb. Eric, Bob P and I took Archie Moore Road to get back to highway 67. We cruised along 67, descended Poway Grade and took Twin Peaks back toward 4S.

I split from them at Bernardo Center Drive and climbed up behind Black Mountain to get back home. Short loop, only 56 miles, nice pace for me, about 17 mph, with some good climbing. Looks like the group is ready to tackle the routes Geoff and Dave Voris have planned for us this upcoming week. The link below shows some photos of the ride.

https://goo.gl/photos/b1CxXdcfkGqwpQ9q8

Posted in Local Ride Reports

DeLuz Loop Ride Report

DeLuz Loop Ride Report-27 May 2017

by Rob Verfurth

Riders: Marisa & Andrey, Rick & Denise, Jason, John M, Hodges, Tony, Bill Wood and Rob

I drove over to Spring Meadow to pick up Mike Hodges before heading north on I-15. We spotted a Descenders kit near the driving range by Jesmond Dene Road on our way to Gopher Canyon; it was Bill Wood. He had landed from Australia the day before and was riding to meet us. All the riders met at the small parking area off the freeway; Bill soon rolled up to join us. We had one new guest riding with us, Jason. He is cut from a similar cloth as Garet, Jim W, Todd, Oleg and Andrew–our 40ish year-old strong rider contingent with a young family. Jason is a local boy, a graduate of RB high school and also lives in RB. He is a strong rider and will soon join the club, coming to as many rides as his family responsibilities allow. Some of you other young bucks need to come out and push the pace with him. He was out front or near the front all day.

We rode north and started the Circle R climb. This DeLuz route is another of the brainchild’s created by Tony. He, Guido and I first scouted out this loop last fall, we have ridden it once on a group ride and most recently on a Skive Ride. It was still new terrain to some of the riders on Saturday. We regrouped at the turn to West Lilac and spun along, past the Daisy Deli and started up Couser Canyon. Denise, who has been riding very well, led us up the climb. We sped down the fun descent and regrouped at highway 76. After a quick turn we hit Rice Canyon. Hodges had pootled up Couser so he could now pace me and Jason up Rice. We kept up a brisk pace and regrouped just past the top. Quickly behind us were Rick and Denise, the rest soon followed.

Lots of new roads ahead for some. We rode north and dropped into Temecula where we got our first water stop at the gas station. Tony led us on some side roads to get to the west side of I-15 via the Santiago Road bridge. This is where Bill Wood turned off as he was heading to meet his wife for brunch, nice call. The rest of us rode to Rancho California Road. Denise pulled me and the group for the first mile. I went finally around and climbed, with Jason just behind me, up the final switchbacks and over across the top. We descended down to DeLuz Road to regroup. The next 10+miles were the quiet roads of DeLuz, through the vineyard areas and orchards. Lots of descending and a few biting ascents. The roads were covered with wide oaks, sometimes creating a nice tunnel of road, some beautiful scenery. The views were spectacular and everyone raved about the cool route. After a sharp descent we did the final 1.5 mile climb up into Bonsall. Hodges went to the liquor store and bought a huge 2-liter bottle of coke, we all shared it and regrouped before heading down Mission Road.

Tony led us onto Olive Hill Road, which looped around and then descended down toward highway 76, more fun roads to ride. We needed another water break at the gas station on the corner. The group split from here, with Tony, Hodges, Jason and Rob heading to the West Lilac Road climb and the rest of the group going straight to Camino Del Rey and back to the start. We climbed up to the bridge and sped along back to retracing our ride down Circle R. Tony and Hodges split, staying on Lilac towards Valley Center while Jason and I rode back to the cars. The early group was gone, they had ridden about 65 miles. We got in 70 miles and 6,400 feet of climbing. Tony got home with about 85 miles and Hodges pulled a Century, nice riding boys. Below is a link to some photos from the ride.

https://goo.gl/photos/6NdwMsqd9aXoutce9

Posted in Local Ride Reports