At the beginning of the month, many of our members had signed up with great anticipation for the Senorita Century ride on March 2, a metric century geared toward the female cyclist. Unfortunately, March 2nd landed square in the middle of the one truly rainy patch of weather we’ve had this whole year. Although a couple of brave ladies in our group did finish the route that day (congratulations to Laurie and Suzanne!), many opted out of the full length due to the downpours. Our goal was to offer a repeat of the event this past Saturday – although I had to start and end the route from Carbon Connection rather than the original start at Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley. As we set out on the first ten miles or so of our ride this past Saturday in drizzle that steadily increased to an “almost” rain, I thought, “Oh no, not again!” It was not forecast to rain, and although none of us were thrilled with the spritzing on our shades, the sky seemed more promising to the east where we were headed first. Eight ladies set out on the 66- mile route, and for several this would be a major milestone, or at the very least, the longest ride they’d done in awhile – completing a metric century. Drizzle or no drizzle, everyone was pretty bound and determined to finish this time!
The route started with a bang, with a fairly consistent climb from the bottom of Levante all the way to the fire station on San Elijo. At over 200ft average elevation gain per mile for approximately six miles, that is quite a way to start your metric century. I imagine several of you might have suspected I added that goodie out of my own malicious intent (I am known for suffer fests, of course!); however, a quick glance at the Senorita Century route will show you that I did not make that up! Granted, since that ride started in Carmel Valley, they had you warm up a bit more by going all the way up to Carlsbad on the coast and back before heading into the climb. I have a strong aversion to out-n-back courses, or stretches of routes even, so instead I made it a loop as much as possible – and captured as much of the original route as possible. I did, I will have you all know, see fit to drop Double Peak off the route!! (Check it out – they had it on there!!)
To replace the miles lost by skipping Double Peak (I expect thanks for that, by the way), I added on a little extra loop through Rancho Santa Fe known to locals as “Stud Loop” (although we did it in reverse). To me, this is one of the coolest little roads I can find in the area – twists, turns, rollers, views, sumptuous flowers, and aromatic citrus trees! I do it all the time – it never gets old.
After Stud Loop reverse, we dashed down Via de Santa Fe and El Apajo to San Dieguito Road. Thankfully the wind wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been there (or was it just that Jill jumped in front of me at that point??). The little surprises on El Camino to link in the Del Mar Heights/Carmel Valley area weren’t too welcome around mile 40, but they sure set us up to enjoy our snack where Sorrento Valley Road dead ends into the little connector trail back to Carmel Valley Road.
I know that personally, I was really into my snacks on Saturday. At the first two stops (enforced at ~20 and ~40 miles by me, who often fails to eat enough on rides and didn’t want anyone to fall victim to that), I enjoyed each half of my fluffernutter. So tasty! I think my group members were a little jealous.
From this stop, it was a straightforward 20 or so miles back to Carbon Connection, with just that pain in the neck climb on Carmel Valley Road to deal with before the gentle coastal ending. Congratulations to Tammy, Lauren, Heather K., Ellen, Kim Z., and Christa for finishing the route!
Now, I left a couple of names off that list, because a couple of us were stupid enough to look up at Torrey Pines from our snack spot and say, “We’re going to you next!” That would be Jill and I, who have a ridiculous penchant for Strava challenges, and in spite of however we are feeling that day (and I can tell you that Saturday, that would be “not optimal”), we force each other to finish them. This particular challenge was to complete a 160 km ride (~100 miles) during the month of March. After Torrey Pines, we enjoyed a touristy loop around La Jolla and Pacific Beach, even including a stop at the LDS temple. We probably dilly-dallied a little more than is optimal for keeping spirits up on a century, but the good news is that we think we identified a pretty cool loop for a social adventure ride. Maybe you will see it on our schedule during the late spring or summer months! What doesn’t this loop offer, I would say – snuggly sea lions, ocean views, amazing real estate, and a stop at In-n-Out!
Our fifth and final snack consisted of me doling out the 8 remaining dried apricots I had, one at a time, at lights during the last 12 miles or so. We were running out of water and snacks, and we were both unbearably hungry. Those little gems got us through, and yes indeed, we finished that challenge!
In addition to the Senorita Century route, Julie Dunks led a ride at a more casual pace for those with less time on a local route in Carlsbad totaling around 27 miles.
Next week we are offering two rides on the weekend. Check it out and join us if you can!
Saturday, March 29 – Coastal Ride to San Onofre (RSVP)
All levels welcome, but not this is intended to be a no drop ride with Beginner/Intermediate pacing.
Sunday, March 30 – March’s Big Adventure and Mountain of the Month – Mt. Laguna (RSVP)
We will be heading up Kitchen Creek during this 60-mile route. Shorter, less intense routes will be offered if there is enough interest.