Edit: I deleted the pictures that were linked to Imageshack becuase there are too many and they weren't loading. Here's a link to the ride pictures compliments of Extort. My58vw gets the credit for about 90% of the photos
Yesteday was the big day, and it lived up to be all that was promised, great terrain, hard climbs, excellent company and fun riding, not to mention terrific weather. My day started at about 3:45am , as I opened the garage, 1955 was parking in front of my house. We loaded our bikes and headed off to pick up Pico and Extort in Irvine. We had about a 1.5 hour drive, and stopped in Carlsbad for Starbucks, which would later come back to haunt Extort and Pico
We arrived at Lake Wohlford Middle School in Valley Center at about 6:15, to find most of the crew was already there. Half of us had never met, so we had some introductions and got our gear ready. My58vw was the last to show, we loaded the 2 sag cars (sweet, a sag to rider ratio of 1:4 ), took the cheesy group photo and rolled out.
The ride started off with about a 2 mile downhill, the temperature was in the mid 30's. We all held up pretty well through the coldest part of the day. At about 5 miles into the ride, we started the big climb up Palomar Mountain. The climb is about 11 miles, I think the average grade is around 6.5%. It's a fun climb that's full of twisty road and big switchbacks. Pico and I quickly found ourselves alone off the front, so we took turns pacing each other up. We arrived at the General Store at 8:31am, climb time from the Taco Shop was roughly 70 minutes.
Some of us had a pretty long rest stop at the General Store . Once everyone was together and refueld, we started off for the observatory. I think Jschen led some of the guys to belive that it was just a little hill . It wasn't bad, but more than some were anticipating.
We all regrouped at the Observatory, except for Extort and Worker4youth . They thought we had already started going down, so they had about 10 minutes on us. From the Observatory it was all downhill to Lake Henshaw, except for a short climb bythe General Store. Descending East Grade is very fun. I think it's about 13 miles of downhill mountain road with mostly sweeping turns. The views of Lake Henshaw on the way down are amazing.
We stopped at the Lake Henshaw Caffe and General Store to regroup and snack up. The weather was great, and we started shedding layers into the sag cars. Next up, 2 miles down the road was Mesa Grande. I think I was the only one that knew what we were in for, and I had forgotten how tough this 4 mile climb is. On this climb Extort stuck with us, so Pico and I made sure all 3 of us stuck together. This worked out nice, after the 4 mile climb, there's about 10 miles of rolly terrain with slight winds. We took turns pulling and were rewarded with some great scenery and a fun road.
After getting through Mesa Grande, it was only a couple of flat miles (but into a headwind) to Julian Pie Co. The Pie was great . Everyone loaded up on Pie, before heading west for Ramona. At this point in the ride, we decided it would be best to keep a pace that everyone could ride, and we held a nice paceline for the 15 miles into Ramona.
In Ramona we made a short stop at a Circle K. We topped off our bottles and continued on to Bandy Canyon. We continued to keep a nice and easy paceline until Highland Valley turned up. Then it was Me, Pico, Worker4youth and Norsa451. The downhill stretch of Highland Valley and Bandy Canyon are some of the funnest descents I've ever done.
Our last rest stop was where Bandy Canyon meets up with Hwy 76. It was obvious that we were racing the daylight at this point, 1955 arrived in the sag van. We headed out on Hwy 76 towards the Wild Animal Park. Norsa451 was giving Pico, Myself and Worker4youth a nice pull. At one point, I had to make a decision that we were going to have to hammer it, in order to get over the sketchy section of Lake Wohlford Rd before dark. Around the Wild Animal Park, we yook off, unfortunately dropping Norsa451. I think we did the climb after the Animal Park at about 20mph. When we got into Escondido, Worker4youth took over at the helm and pulled us to the start of Lake Wohlford Rd. At 100 miles into a ride, Lake Wohlford Rd sucks. I just ignored the pain and got into a zone, Worker4youth, Pico and I made great time up this climb. We then continued to hammer the rolling terrain to the finish. Somewhere Worker4youth fell back, but he finished a couple of minutes behind us. The last 20 minutes were so hard that my vision was fuzzy. My legs were shaking for 20 minutes after finishing.
This ride was great, thank you all for coming, especially My58vw and Norsa451's wife for great sag support. We'll do this again, but maybe with less climbing
Total Distance- 110 miles
Total Climbing- 10,475'
Me (OC Roadie)