Sunday, December 27, 2009

64 miles today from Lake Morena to Warner Springs

64 miles today from Lake Morena to Warner Springs via Mt Laguna. Over 6000 ft elev, lots of roadside snow.
(posted via cell phone)

The rest of the story:

We woke up to 27 degrees in the morning but a bright sun in a clear sky promised to warm things up quickly. As we would throughout this trip, we had a fulfilling breakfast that would provide good energy for the day ahead. By the time we finished breakfast, cleaned up the facility, and loaded our bags it was already well above freezing.

There was an alternate route today that would ascend Mt Laguna via Kitchen Creek. I had read a lot about this route on the San Diego Randonneurs website as well as through some Adventure Corps events. I was looking forward to riding this route, however with the tire issues of the previous day (and now riding on gluelessly patched tubes!) I decided it better to stay on the official route with the possibility of rescue via support should I have more trouble.

The official route backtracked our previous afternoon's route back several miles to I-8 where we kept heading north towards Mt Laguna. Before we got to I-8 however we got to pass through a Border Patrol Check Point. Gee, I don't know but I'm thinking if I'm trying to sneak across the border I'd jump out of the vehicle a few miles before the check point, sneak along through the underbrush and rejoin the vehicle a couple of miles beyond the check point. Certainly the locations of these apparently permanent check points must be known to those who transport illegals?

I visited with border patrol for 10-15 minutes. They were amazed that I and the rest were riding a planned 60+ miles that day. What would they have thought if I had told them that I've ridden more than 200 in a day many times? ;-)

I crossed the freeway and passed through the towns of Descanso and Guatay. I picked up a better patch kit at the little store in Descanso, and saw the first roadside snow near Guatay. From there our route went out to Pine Valley then turned onto Sunrise Hwy.

The road continued a moderate but relentless climb towards the 6000 ft summit of Mt Laguna via the Sunrise Hwy. We were climbing through low growing shrubbery and dwarf trees called chaparral. I was climbing well and managed to be able to stop to take a lot of photos and still gain on the pack. When I got to the top at the Mt Laguna Store I stopped and got a Snickers bar to munch on while visiting with the rest of our party.

Before long it was time to saddle up and begin the descent. I saw a flock of 30-40 wild turkeys not too far beyond the store. I also stopped to talk to a couple of deer hunters who were waiting for a buddy on the side of the road. Got another flat tire as I finished talking with the hunters. :-(

In sharp contrast to the mostly green chaparral that I had climbed Mt Laguna through, the other side was absolutely treeless. Not a speck of green as far as the eye could see. I was standing at nearly 6000 ft in elevation looking down into treeless valleys that dropped below sea level. In the distance I see the Salton Sea. Our route would take us along it's shores in two days.

The route took us to Julian, famous for it's apple pies! The little town is quite the tourist mecca evidently. It reminded me a lot of the Central Oregon town of Sisters, though busier. I availed myself of a piece of apple pie.... just because a visit to Julian wouldn't be complete without it! Just outside Julian I got another flat! One of the glueless patches had failed. I always consider them temporary but on this trip they were pressed into full time duty because there no other options.
I was told that adhesion of these glueless patches can be improved by using a alcohol wipe instead of sandpaper to prep the surface. I'll have to put a little wipey pack in my repair kit.

Jeff, the guy who had helped on a couple of my previous flats rode up as I was repairing the flat. We rode together for a few miles. He had speedplay pedals and some dirt had lodged in his shoe cleats keeping him from engaging the pedals properly. As we began a steep climb he slipped out and went down hard. After a bit of checking for damage he remounted and we both pedaled away cautiously.

I got to Santa Ysabel where our route now backtracked the course I had ridden in June on my Mt Palomar ride.

I got into Warner Springs, our stop for the night, well in the pack of first finishers. Though I was navigating via GPS, and had the paper cue sheet along, it was not entirely clear where our facility was. It might have been nice to have a sandwich board out front, or red arrow on a post for us "out of towners". I could see the school but didn't see a soul around. After poking around behind buildings I finally found the Penske truck and additional associated vehicles.

I set up my tent, showered, had a couple of cups of hot chocolate, then just milled around and visited as folks came in.

Another good dinner that night, followed by a spirited tire changing competition.

I was noting that I was way more tired these two days of riding than I should have been. Sure, both days had more than 5000 ft of climbing in just over 60 miles but that shouldn't be a concern for me. I've done enough miles and hills this year that shouldn't be an issue. It finally dawned on me as I was getting my supplies ready for the next day's 100+ mile ride. I had two bottles on the bike for today's 63 mile ride. Planned on refilling along the way. Instead I had consumed about 2/3 of a small bottle of water, and none of my Accelerade. That was it for hydration. The problem was confirmed by the color of my addition to the "sandbox". I needed to DRINK more even if it was cool and I wasn't thirsty. I also wasn't eating enough.

Tomorrow's plan will include mandatory drinks on a schedule!


video

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles Today
.................64...............0.................64
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........503.....+.........0........=.......503
November........664.....+.........0........=.......664
December........658.....+.........0........=.......658
Year to date..10,434.....+........30.......=.....10,464 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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