Swami’s Team Fun Summer Review

As the summer winds down, it is an opportune time to take a look back over the last couple of months of rides and remember the great times.  Unlike most parts of the country, we do not have a weather cool down to look forward to in the fall, but if you are looking at using the start of the school year to inspire you back into a regular fitness regimen, take a look at all we have to offer.  We can also consider this our “Happy Third Anniversay, Team Fun!” post, as it is around this time three years ago the Team Fun jerseys first donned the backs of the three Heathers and a Jill.

team fun cabrillo

Our Bread and Butter:  the Saturday Ride

Many of the routes in the last two months definitely rank among my favorites.  Of course, it seems like I almost say everything is my favorite, but many of these are my go-to classics:

June 18 – Coronado Loop

This ride always draws a crowd – the perfect seaside location, a great length (just shy of 40 miles), and almost no climbing, this ride is ideal for all of our levels.  This time I even dragged my son along for the fun.  The ferry ride back to the city side provides a great opportunity for socializing.  This is also probably one of the only group rides around where you actually get to ride through downtown and essentially tour the city with very little traffic.

We were lucky enough to have Michell join us that time, so I have a great assortment of pictures to show the fun.

June 25 – Another Exploration Route

This was the week where because the cat was away, the mice will play… specifically, the fourth Saturday of each month is designated as our “hill challenge” day, but since I was not leading, Jill decided to sneak in a non-hill challenge ride. No one was sad.  A novel route through Carmel Valley and then Rancho Santa Fe, this became an instant favorite. I tried it out later that week, and hope to do it again some time soon.

July 9 – Classic Rancho Santa Fe

The main bulk of the route that day was comprised of the twisty Rancho Santa Fe route that was going to be our original “stand by” route when Team Fun was founded August 2013.  I am pretty sure everyone thoroughly enjoyed it until we started climbing out of Rancho Santa Fe for even more climbing, on a route that wasn’t technically supposed to be a hill challenge, and then the fun vibe started to fade.  More than once, I was accused of trying to sneak in the skipped hill challenge from June 25.  That was definitely not my intention, but I think with the heat and humidity we have been experiencing this summer, everything just feels a little harder!

July 16 – La Jolla Tour

We had some huge numbers this morning, and a beautiful blue sky awaited us as we ambled south toward La Jolla. Our joy soon diminished in the C group (Team Fun A group) when we were abruptly stopped by a police motorcycle in Del Mar.  The front of the group stopped, but the policeman stated that his expectation is that each cyclist come to a complete stop at the stop sign.  We were definitely bummed out by this experience, which generated much discussion within the larger Swami’s group, but managed to turn it around and enjoy the rest of the ride.  You can be sure everyone individually stopped at the stop signs throughout the rest of the ride.  I have a feeling we were more of an inconvenience to the motorists in La Jolla and Pacific Beach throughout the remainder of the route, but we are in fact a very law abiding bunch!  These are the kids that sat in the front of the class, took notes, and tried to follow everything the teacher said!  Rebels we are not.  Hopefully through the proper channels, positive change will come out of this in the end.

July 23 – A Sufferfest for the ages

Saturday, July 23 was forecasted to be an extremely hot Saturday at the end of an extremely hot week.  Usually when we San Diegans complain about heat, it’s ridiculous because it’s probably 72.  This week it was actually 90+ for most of the week, with humidities in an East Coast range (65-90% humidity).  By the time Saturday rolled around, we were all a little overheated.  Given the expected heat, I had designed routes that were less than our usual standards for “sufferfest” – typically the Team Fun A group aims for >100’/mile, and this route was around 85’/mile, although most of the steepest climbing was front-loaded when it would be hopefully somewhat cooler.

It turned out to be at least as hot as expected, and my group took a somewhat longer break than normal at a Rite Aid out in Vista.  This was a day when the shade didn’t offer much relief.  By the time we got to the end of most of the climbing in Oceanside, we had one group member suffering from muscle cramps.  Needless to say, despite all that fun, I didn’t manage to take any pictures!  It is most likely because my phone was literally covered in a film of sweat.

At one point in the first half of the ride, we came across the Team Fun B group heading in what I knew to be the wrong direction.  We had just come from the “El Fuerte Flipside” climb, and they were heading in that direction. I’m crazy, but I wasn’t diabolical enough to throw that climb (with its sustained portions in the mid-teens % range) onto the B route.  I was descending and trying to say they should be going the same way as us at that point (away from that climb), but the communication was not effective.  Those poor, brave souls made it up that beast, but by the time they regrouped at a gas station for rehydration, they decided to bag the rest of the route and head for the coast – hence, the smiles in the pictures below.

July 30 – The Not Quite Cabrillo Ride

Although I don’t specifically plan it to be this way, it seems that every year I decide to do the Cabrillo Ride on the Saturday closest to my birthday.  Starting at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, this ~45 mile ride hugs the coast on the way down for stunning views from La Jolla Shores, Bird Rock, and Sunset Cliffs before making the final climb up to the Cabrillo National Monument.  We had enormous groups that day, and not too many passes to go around, so we decided against the expense of getting us all into the Park proper.  This is a route for those looking to enjoy the day and revel in the best view San Diego has to offer.  This route would make a fantastic tourist route, if you have guests in town looking to get a great ride in!

August 6 – Classic Routes

Typically on the first Saturday of the month, the Team Fun A and B groups (also referred to as Swami’s C and D groups) head out after the Swami’s B group on the “World Famous Swami’s Saturday Ride”, which winds up from the coast, and then out and around the Elfin Forest – Harmony Grove – Del Dios loop for a total of about 39 miles.  The Team Fun C group (or Swami’s E group) typically does an approximately 30 mile loop that heads south to the 56 bike path, then north inland through Rancho Santa Fe and out to the coast for a more moderate introduction to our Saturday groups.

Aug 6 - B group

Team Fun B group at the halfway point

Aug 6 - C group

Team Fun C group at the halfway point

Friday Coffee Rides

Every Friday we host a casual ride that starts at the back of the Ralph’s parking lot off Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad and heads either north for a 20-mile ride to Oceanside Harbor, or south for a 20-mile ride to around the Solana Beach/Del Mar border.  Coffee stops are chosen each week, although Lofty in Encinitas is a favorite.  Speeds are typically in the 13-17 mph range, depending on the group.  This is the best ride to give us a try, as the distance is short and the speeds manageable.

Sunday Swamdo Training Rides

On July 10, Swami’s started hosting Sunday training rides for the Swamdo (short for Swami’s Gran Fondo) full and metric centuries.  The first full century training ride started at 40 miles.  Currently we are going to hit into the 60 mile range this week.  The Sunday routes are on the actual course of the century.  There are cut off points designated for where to turn back if you are looking for only metric training.  These rides begin at 8am on Sunday, and start at the Peet’s in Bressi Ranch. Social hour follows at Pizza Port in Bressi Ranch.

The Swamdo will take place on Sunday, September 11 – stay tuned for details and registration coming out soon.

Swamdo July 31

Swamdo training takes us on inland routes we don’t often get to ride on Saturdays.

We have also advertised mid-week training rides, including the morning Swami’s Tuesday/Thursday rides that start at 6:30 am at the corner of La Costa and El Camino.  The Swami’s “C” group is appropriate for our advanced riders.  Occasional “base miles” Wednesday rides are also offered, with a pace targeted to be around Team Fun “B” (or Swami’s D) pace – typically averaging in the 14-17 mph range on a hilly route.

The fun continues year round, so check out our Meetup page for the latest ride schedule:  http://www.meetup.com/Swamis-Team-Fun/

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