Thursday, April 30, 2015

Palomar

Sunday, the 26th of April, I rode up Palomar with some of the VeloNutz.  

They were riding it as a training ride for a Mt Baldy climb associated with this year's Tour of California.  I was riding it because I had a family-free day.

Looking back down
I'd been given a Strava link to a friend's track, told that we were riding the same thing.  The track was 75 miles, and when I converted it to a route Strava predicted just under 5 hours.  Either of those metrics would make it my longest ride for the year.

There were seven of us at the start.  We picked up one more after we crossed over Lake Hodges, so then we had a small group of eight, able to ride two abreast.   Knowing we were going to get out of my comfort zone, I did what I could to stay in the pack.  Further, not knowing the route, I needed to stay with the group - by ten miles in, we were on roads I don't visit often, and by twenty I'm not sure I'd ever been there before.  So I stayed in.

Two split off at one turn, then we two more split off before climbing South Grade up to Palomar.  That left four of us for the climb.

Above the clouds
Within five minutes, I was alone on the climb.  I'd lost Tony's wheel and he was off the front out of sight.  Irwin and Hermie was somewhere behind me.  Time to settle in and grind up the climb. First under a cloudy sky, then in the clouds, then above the clouds.  11.5 miles and 4100 feet later, I reached the general store, with four stops to read and respond to text messages (one of which told me the second pair of two had turned back) and snap a couple of photos.

Then it was down the hill and back home.  85 miles.  

General Store stop
Wait, what happened to the 75 mile route?  We climbed a different way.  

Hermie's instagram collage captures the various weather patterns, and Tony's picture shows the four of us at the top.

Strava gives the route and metrics.