Last Saturday (Sept 27th)’s Mt Soledad ride was the result of a popular vote in which the only ‘hilly’ option on the menu skewed toward flat coastal rides won! Lucky thirteen fun cycling gals gathered up at the cul-de-sac in front of Torrey Pines Gliderport again to launch an invasion of La Jolla’s Mt Soledad by scenic back roads without disturbing the area’s many resident steepies. Don’t get me wrong, Soledad doesn’t give away its awesome views for free. The higher you go up the mountain, the steeper the price. Literally! It’s just that, if you know the place well enough, you can figure out some nice bargain routes that maximize the view without causing too much pain to both you and the bike.
Heather K: “On 9/27 the Team Fun A group, A for ‘Aspiring’ to be fast like Heather Bruemmer, gathered in Cardiff to have an early morning, beat some of the heat, jaunt up to the TP glider port. The 3 A’s consisting of Jill, Kim N and the other Heather arrived at 8 just about on the dot to see a large group of ready cyclists huddled around Michell raring to go. After a quick photo for posterity, the triplet was quickly underway.”
“Jill had concocted a rather twisty course which borrowed from some of Michell’s favorite tertiary routes up Soledad, not the main roads, and not even the secondary routes up the mountain, but some neighborhood wanderings that made Soledad seem like a different mountain altogether. The weather was reasonable and somewhat seasonable for a change, making the long and some times winding ascents to the top rather bearable. On the single ascent that went all the way to the top, timing was perfect as group B arrived shortly after A. The groups went their separate ways, group A making a beeline (not exactly) to Bird Rock coffee roasters for a long line, some seriously awesome iced lattes and an excellent guitarist/vocalist.”
“After discussions at the summit, it was decided to make it mellow from Bird Rock and take Calle Del Oro back up to TP road from La Jolla Shores. From there, the UCSD campus was crisscrossed to hit a few tourist sights like the Star House and the Boulder Bear. The campus was full of new students and their parents either driving aimlessly in the campus streets, or carrying loads and suitcases down the middle of the road on their way to their new digs for the scholastic year. Fortunately for Jill and the other Heather, Kim is an UCSD alumna and knows her way around the campus. Then it was down TP and back up the coast to Cardiff with a rare southerly tail wind. All in all a Team Fun kinda day.“
Judy had charge of the B Group, which shared much of the same route with C group plus the climb to the cross and a stop at Kate O Session Park:
” It was a fun day for all. The ride did t exactly go as planned for us B riders. But in spite of the difficulty with my route slip in getting us onto the bike path on the return to UCSD, I would say it was a successful ride for everyone. Muirlands was awesome! The climb to Soledad challenging, but everyone made it! Janice and Ariel were an adventurous team when the headed back on their own. I saw them again at the glider port and they said they enjoyed the route they took. I was so relieved as I half expected them to want to strangle me!
Kudos to Marta for doing all that climbing today. Pretty impressive for a gal who hasn’t climbed much before. You will do great if you do that Santa Barbara ride next month.
Kudos to all the ladies in my group. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you a little better.”
Michell (yours truly) took C Group messing about the foothills of Mt Soledad and only did 1/2 climbs (1/2 up the Bridges Route without going up Hillside Dr and then through the magical Muirlands), spending most of our time sight-seeing while avoiding the mountain’s steeper climbs. Alas, Sian broke a rear spoke as we turned downhill on Hillside Dr to go to the Love Loop (that heart shape loop on the north side of Soledad Ave) and though I can MacGyver the thing just enough for the bike to be rideable (but carefully so), the wheel was too compromised for Mt Soledad’s cracky and pitchy roads. We sent Sian back up La Jolla Shores to the Gliderport where her car was while the rest of us returned to the labyrinth of curvy hedged-in lanes of the Muirlands and La Jolla Corona.
We didn’t see any other group until Janice and Ariel caught up with us as we were turning left back to the Gliderport from Torrey Pines Rd. Apparently they got separated from the rest of B Group on a Mt Soledad climb and decided to head back on their own… by way of Clairemont and UTC. Adventurous gals!
We were back on UCSD campus by 10:30 am or so, and decided to go see the Stuart Collections in Warren Mall area… hung out with the Hawkinson Bear, coasted gingerly under the Fallen Star and then hiked the bikes up the Snake Path to Geisel Library to pay Dr Seuss and the Cat in the Hat a visit before finishing the ride.
And then, as if I’m not already spoiled enough, Laura bought me a post-ride ice-cream at the Gliderport… It was another fun Team Fun ride that could only get better when Heather Bru is back with us again!