Team Fun Weekend Ride – November 23 – I (heart) Rancho Santa Fe

Last Saturday morning started off a chilly one, especially for those of use who left our house around 7:00 am to ride over by bike.  For those of you from cold climates who don’t understand how it can be cold in San Diego, join me around sunrise for a bike ride in December!  The other difficulty is knowing how to dress – you don’t want to wear too much that you can’t later stuff in your jersey pockets, because you know it’ll almost always get to the usually comfortable winter late morning temperature in the low 60s (really, I have become a huge cry baby, I know).

So back to the ride – mainly, all I could remember at first was how cold I was starting out (see the hunched up person in front down below – I almost look like I’m shivering).

Heather, Heather, Heather and Ellen starting out from Carbon Connection

Heather, Heather, Heather and Ellen starting out from Carbon Connection

You can see many folks chose to wear jackets, but the morning was still gorgeous.  I especially love these next few pictures taken by Michell, who always provides such great action shots.

nov23b nov23cThe three groups (advanced, intermediate, and beginner) usually start off in the same direction, and in this case, we all headed south along the coast until we reached Cardiff, where we all turned inland to explore Rancho Santa Fe to varying degrees.  I have to admit that the cold had me pushing it a little harder down the coast than I probably should have – I was mainly trying to to fire up some heat in my extremities!

The Intermediate group ended up with around 40 miles, with a loop around Lago Lindo in RSF, and winding back north inland for some additional hilly challenges.  The Beginner group cycled 35 miles, and also enjoyed a short RSF loop.  More pictures of the fun from Michell:

Anika, Kim, and Verity pause along the coast highway

Anika, Kim, and Verity pause along the coast highway

Love that nice, safe single file line climbing in RSF!

Love that nice, safe single file line climbing in RSF!

Showing off more climbing and blue skies on the way home coming up Poinsettia

Showing off more climbing and blue skies on the way home coming up Poinsettia

Everyone has a smile on her face when she's finishing!

Everyone has a smile on her face when she’s finishing!

Meanwhile, the Advanced group wound around and around Rancho Santa Fe, climbing, descending, turning – on what is definitely one of my favorite “close in” routes (i.e., not too far from the coast).  This route has it all, in my opinion:  a variety of climb lengths (but nothing too horribly long, although I can’t promise there isn’t anything horribly steep – because I’d be lying), twisty descents, fun rollers, mostly-deserted roads, plenty of shade, opportunities to sprint, and places to hold back and enjoy the quiet and greenery (and those on the ride right now are wondering… now when does Heather EVER do that… ).  Maybe other people would, but I never get tired of this route!

We don’t stop much, and I’m pretty much a danger to myself and others if I try to take pictures while riding, so I only have one photo from our ride, which was near the end of our time in RSF, when I know I, for one, had reached one of those “walls” that another shot of Honey Stinger gel wasn’t going to get me over (H .. U.. N .. G .. R .. Y ..).

Heather chats with Heather, as Jill and Julie approach.

Heather chats with Heather, as Jill and Julie approach.

And one last shot, back to the beginning – here’s most of the group gathered up just prior to takeoff.

Row 1 (kneeling):  Jill, Kim, Heather B Row 2 (Sally, Heather K, Christa, Ellen, Heather B, Lynn, Mary, Verity, Michell, Grace

Row 1 (kneeling): Jill, Kim, Heather B
Row 2: Sally, Heather K, Christa, Ellen, Heather B, Lynn, Mary, Verity, Michell, Grace

It ended up being a beautiful day for a ride.  Thanks, ladies, for such a great time!  I enjoyed my pumpkin bar and almond capuccino at It’s a Grind afterwards immensely, as nothing tastes better than the first real food you eat after a long, hard ride!

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