This is the first time in about as long as I can remember that I cannot start off the ride report with, “it was a chilly morning”. Frankly, it was almost downright hot today. The arm warmers were getting ripped off within the first few miles, as the Santa Ana winds blew in the hot air from the desert. As we approached the 76 bike trail heading east, we almost simultaneously noted, “What a day to be heading east on the bike trail!!”
The Advanced group consisted of seven women riders today, plus a husband and friend. A few of us noticed the drafting possibilities of said husband and friend, and were thinking, maybe the bike trail won’t be so bad! I am proud to say that we didn’t sit back and let the men do all the work – we Team Fun ladies know how to pull our weight! The Intermediate group and Beginner groups were smaller today (six riders in both groups), but sometimes small means more time to chat, provide encouragement, and share cycling tips.
I just want to say very simply how much I enjoyed today’s ride. In spite of the wind, we kept a blazing speed on the bike trail, and continued the push on the rollers on Melrose. This route offers the perfect variety from my perspective – warm up through Oceanside, then build speed all the way down the bike trail, then push your limits on the rollers. I (almost) always enjoy riding my bike, but today I was just a little out of my mind thrilled.
I feel like it was a little bit of a guilty pleasure, though, because the pace was pushed quite a bit harder than we’ve gone in the last several weeks, and I don’t want that to “set the standard” for all of our rides (although it’s fun now and then). We are still working on our group dynamics, so hopefully those that attended will have patience with us while we work on that.
Update from Michell: Beginner and Intermediate Ride Perspective
We started out as a foursome and made our way pretty brisky through Oceanside to the surprisingly clear San Luis Rey River Trail (we only passed a few joggers and cyclists and I didn’t have to use my bell much at all). We stuck together pretty well. Tammy was on a heavier hybrid bike, but gamely kept pace. Sian and Ellie have gotten quite stronger in the last couple of months and will likely graduate to the intermediate group soon! Toward the east terminus of the trail we passed Laurie & Lindsay from the intermediate group changing a rear flat and decided to wait for them on the N Santa Fe climb. The weather was getting pretty warm when they arrived and the pair agreed to ride the rest of the way back with us instead of continuing on the intermediate route. That was lucky for me as Laurie is a good ride leader and it was much better that there were two leaders (one in front and one at the back) when the group started to splinter on the hot inland climbs and also during the tricky traffic merges at SR78 and I-5. Special notice to Lindsay who fought through a heat-related crisis on the climb to Palomar Airport Rd. Everyone has a crisis every now and then, but it takes courage to not call it quit too soon when the going gets rough. She recovered nicely as we headed back to the coast. Also a very well done to Tammy who gamely conquered all the neighborhood climbs that she didn’t like (but I’m sure will soon come to love ) – on a heavier bike with uncomfortably fitted cleats to boot!