Since I am feeling a little stingy with words right now (must be the heat I suffered through on Kitchen Creek this morning!), I was pretty much ready to write this post as follows:
We rode. Hard.
But that wouldn’t be an interesting read, so here goes.
When I came up with the routes for this Saturday, I had three main goals: (1) Stay fairly coastal to avoid inland heat (the forecast was wavering between approaching hot and acceptable), (2) Avoid the recent burn areas (the air quality is not the best near there), and (3) Hit some new streets (or at least, approach them in a different way). I mostly used the map as a guide, and my general memory of the areas. When I rode the A&B route last Monday and I was completely worn out at the end, I said, “Wow, that’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.”
As always, we are thrilled to see such a sizable group of ladies gathering on Saturday morning – this week, with many new faces. We broke up into our three groups based on estimated average speed, with Heather K and Kim Z assisting me in the leading capacity. The A&B groups attacked a 40+ mile route, where the middle 15 miles or so were jammed packed with hilly challenges. The C group matched the A&B route for the first and last third of the ride, but stayed more toward the coast for the middle third (still with plenty of its own challenges).
For my group, I decided to kick up the pace a bit heading south down the coast to make that long stretch a little more interesting – nothing too crazy, but just enough to get the blood pumping before the onset of the hills. At Solana Beach, we turned inland and made for the hills – first zig-zagging through some of the coastal neighborhoods, and farther inland embarking on one of the longer efforts of the ride. The “Santa Helena” hill is a 1.5 mile effort with flats and ramps to the north side of Lomas Santa Fe, just past the 5. This hill led us to Highland, where we descended into Rancho Santa Fe – with more hills on tap. With El Camino to Los Morros leading over to a personal favorite, Avenida Maravillas, this ride meandered through some of the quieter, hillier streets of RSF. After exiting RSF, we ascended Encinitas Boulevard with a long meander on Willowspring, with a final finish on Leucadia – at which point I heard one of the group members ask, “Is this the last one?” And another one say, “I sure hope so.” Breathless exasperation of my group members … always a good sign I’ve accomplished the goal of providing a good workout!
Both routes explored many of the less traveled and scenic, yet convenient ways through our coastal neighborhoods. It is my hope to demonstrate some alternative routes for people to plan their own routes, or to provide some interesting ideas for commuting routes.
I talked with a lot of tired, but happy ladies at It’s a Grind at the conclusion of the ride.