I, along with riding partners Joe and Craig went out for this early season event in Southern California. 50 plus local riders joined us on this lovely route which traverses many quiet and hilly roads in North San Diego County, then heads to the coast alongside the San Luis Rey River Trail before finishing with a run back down the coast to the start in La Jolla. I have ridden the event twice before and enjoyed the ride well enough to come back and do it again. There aren’t many rides that I will do twice let alone three times!

This is a challenging ride with lots of climbing and this early in the season it seems like even more. Not big and long climbs but an accumulation of many smaller climbs. The event guide says there is 6500 feet of climbing while Ride with GPS shows 7850 feet of gain. Our riding partner Craig registered 7500 feet of climbing for the day on his Garmin. Hey, it felt like that much to me!

The control at Rainbow Store, mile 67.

Joe and Craig at the control at Rainbow Store, mile 67.

The conditions for the ride were excellent with temps reaching the mid 70’s at the peak of the day with lights winds. Not bad for January when much of the country still has freezing temps! In previous years I was able to do this ride in 10 hours, which I thought was good for a ride that passes through so much urban area. This year it took me 10 hours and 44 minutes. Apparently my climbing legs had abandoned me this year. My friends however did not, as they waited for me several times during the day, regrouping at some of the controls.

Thanks to San Diego Randonneurs for putting on another great event. This is a PBP year, so for many riders these early season events are crucial for preparation. For me, not so much. I have my cycling goals for this year but PBP is not among them. I do have a number of other cool events on my calendar however and hope to share them with you soon!