|At the start line|
|Mike Sturgill and Brian McGuire from AZ|
The rider meeting was brief and 15 riders rolled out of the Holiday Inn at 0400. We headed north for a few hundred meters, turned right, and started climbing! Once the climbing started, the group slowly split apart as each rider found their own pace. With so many miles, so much climbing, and so few riders, this would a brevet enjoyed mostly alone!
When I reached the first control at the Stage Stop Market a few of the fast climbers were there and
preparing to leave. One of the local San Diego guys commented that now the real climbing begins! Reloaded, I pulled out and dropped into my 'Granny Gear' and started the grind up to Mesa Grande!
Traffic was light and the temperatures were very conducive to steady climbing. As the elevation increased, so did the trees and lush green valleys.
I thought the climbing was done reaching Henshaw Lake (a shallow grassy lake that reminded me of Mormon Lake in Arizona). Passing the lake, the cue sheet indicated a right turn toward Mesa Grande Road. A very steep 4 mile climb led to the information control on Mesa Grande. The Mesa was a spectacular rolling farming area! Plus it was the high point on this loop, so there would be more descending than climbing on the way back to Solana Beach.
|A short descent on a long climb!|
With all the climbing, my overall average speed was very low. I was expecting it to climb rapidly on the way back to Solana Beach, but with all the traffic and stop lights, it was hard to get any real momentum.
|Shady forest nearing Henshaw Lake|
I rolled into the Holiday Inn, got my brevet card signed and rolled out while Brian and Mike Sturgill were reloading their bikes in the parking lot. I went to my room, put on fresh kit and reloaded my bike. I had expected to complete the first loop of 125 miles in about 8 hours. My Garmin computer indicated over 11,000 feet of climbing, that combined with all the city traffic, put me at 9.5 hours for the first loop!
|Near the Control on Mesa Grande|
Arriving at Solana Beach, I had my brevet card signed at the Holiday Inn and returned to my room. It was about 1 am, so loop 2 was in the books at about 11.5 hours. I showered, ate some soup Deb procured for me earlier, reloaded the bike, and with a fresh kit, was out the door at 1:30 am. Loop 3 is an out and back along the Pacific Coast Highway to Newport Beach.
|Poway Scripps Parkway|
|Descending on Loop 1|
I saw a Travelodge and decided to check in for a nap. The groggy clerk ( I am sure I woke him up!) gave me a nice discount (since I told him only needed the room for two hours!), I set the alarm for 2 hours, and crashed in the bed! I woke just before the alarm went off and rolled out at 0700. I felt refreshed and after a cup of coffee in the lobby I was back on the bike heading up the PCH!
The nap did the trick, I was able to develop good power and pick up my speed. Traffic was still light and I made reasonable time to the Circle K/Jack in the Box control in Newport.
As the morning wore on, traffic, heat, and a quatering headwind picked up. The PCH is no flat affair, but with my Garmin out of the game, I don't know what the climbing was for this loop. It felt like alot!
|Along the PCH heading toward the finish!|
Finally I was on the last climb into Solana Beach, and after the requisite stops, detours, and traffic, I rolled into the Holiday Inn a few minutes after 2 pm with Deb there to cheer me on at the finish!
I signed my brevet cards, deposited them in randonneur room, and departed for the Courtyard. We had a late checkout, so I was able to shower, dress, load the truck, and head back into town for some dinner.
With Deb behind the wheel, and a full stomach, I was out like a light!
375 miles, 20,000+ ft of climbing, 34 hours, and the Super Randonneur Series for 2013 is in the books!