This past Saturday, sixteen ladies gathered in the bright sunshine to explore the hills of Encinitas and Carlsbad. Eleven women formed the combined advanced/intermediate group that would be approaching the ride as an “interval ride”, while five women would do a slightly shorter route (though about as hilly) at a more leisurely pace.
Jill and I worked together to map out this ride – I said, what are some of your favorite streets to ride on? We started with Saxony to Quail Hollow as a baseline, then worked on weaving our way around Encinitas and Carlsbad streets from there – even working in a pass by Jill’s childhood home. It seemed like a pretty typical route, maybe unremarkable even – but we decided to give it a test drive a few weeks back on a Sunday when we were looking for a “recovery ride”. We took it slow and it seemed pretty reasonable, although when I returned home and saw my total elevation gain (and we hadn’t even done the whole thing) and realized it wasn’t really a recovery ride at all, I thought, “Hmm, this may be more challenging than I think.” But the vast majority of the streets are low traffic, high scenery – so we stuck with it.
Well, I am very proud to say that everyone approached the ride with the best of attitudes, and maintained strength throughout. There were a few comments such as, “I didn’t know there were so many steep hills in Carlsbad and Encinitas!”, or, “How many more like that are there?”, or, “You always say we’re almost there!” But everyone was up for the challenge, and even plunged on to a final bonus hill (Whiptail Loop) before heading back toward the shop for the final cooldown – even after I offered to skip it (maybe I was getting a little tired!). I was very impressed with the positive attitudes and determination, and I would also like everyone to know that I was completely wiped out that afternoon! That was no small challenge.
“Loved this ride! Verity you missed a butt-kicker! :)” – Delia
“Great route, and great job by the leaders keeping us together! Thanks!” – Susan
“Fun ride today – even with the “little” hills. Thanks, Heather and Jill for leading. Great ride ladies! See you next weekend.” – Suzanne
“That was a great ride! I really had a great time!” – Kristina
“It went great today. The girls are getting much stronger .” – Kim, ride leader for the beginner group
I read a ride title this morning when reviewing my contacts’ rides on Strava that I thought was a great summary on our approach to riding –
Every ride is a gift…this was a nice one