We rolled from the start about 30 riders strong. Jerry Brown and another rider were on a tandem. I slowed my
pace just enough to let them take lead and set the pace through Otay Lakes Rd. It was funny when they rolled off
the front and expected me to pull. I said "You're the tandem you should be driving the pace on the flats".
Anyway as soon as we got that sorted out I stayed tucked in as second wheel getting sprayed even though they
had a rear fender installed on their bike. Approximately mile six I looked behind me and the group was nowhere to
be seen. As we turned onto Honey Springs Rd, I looked back across Hwy 94 and as far as Otay Lakes Rd but
didn't see anyone. I thought maybe there was a crash or something. The tandem was not going THAT fast to
drop so many riders so early and by so much.
MILE 11-- HONEY SPRINGS RD. CLIMB-- (see profile) This climb is a good 8 mile 7% climb. I tried riding
with the tandem but my largest cog was only a 23T. I was turning a 40 RPM cadence and was barely pushing
200 watts. I climb around 260-280 watts (3.8-4.0 w/kg). I climbed at my own pace and then descended Lyons
Valley at my own pace. The twisty roads which are usually so much fun to descend were nerve racking. So I
slowed my pace and decided this is what the ride is going to be like ...SLOW AND CAUTIOUS.
The Honey Springs climb is featured in the San Diego Grand Fondo from their site, "The timed climb in the Gran
Fondo Colnago San Diego — located at approximately mile 40 to 46 on the route – is 10 km (6.2 miles) long, up
the winding Honey Springs Road. The climb ranges in grade from 3% to 8%, with the steepest portion very near
Looks like they only time a portion of the overall climb. But any way you slice it, it's a good climb.
MILE 20-23 LYONS VALLEY- One of my favorite curvy roads to descend. It was drizzling, the road was
covered with rocks and water running across the road. I had to take it really slow. It was on this road that I got
my first real soaking. The rain was heavy for just long enough to get me throughly saturated. Even though I was
soaked the wool felt great and soon as that downpour ended I did dry off pretty quickly.
MILE 31.8 WILLOW GLEN-- As I turned onto Willow Glen the tandem caught me. I wasn't really trying to
stay away... not yet anyway. I remembered the last time I was riding this brevet solo in 2008. It was at this turn
where I caught up to Bruce Taylor. I had had rear derailuer issues on the Honey Spring climb and pulled over to
try and fix them. Bruce continued to climb and gradually created a gap between us. I thought about all the other
times I had been on the same course as Bruce. Sometimes we would ride together and have a little chin-wag. I
was hoping Bruce's head injuries would not be as severe but I found out later that evening that Bruce had passed
away. It was sad...really sad. I'll miss you Bruce.
MILE 55 EL MONTE PARK CONTROL #1-- (see profile) I arrived approximately 9:15 am 3 hours 15 minutes
elapsed time. Thank you Tim Sullivan for volunteering. I rolled in with Jerry Brown and his tandem partner. I
was riding conservatively and using their draft. I filled two bottles with water and two Infinit Nutrition packets
and I was off. The key to fast Ultras is staying on the bike. I was in and out of the control in less than 4
minutes. My Power Tap is set for Sleep Mode after 4 minutes. It is my goal to be in and out of a control before
those 4 minutes elapse.
MILE 64.5 HIGHWAY 67-- From Willow Glen to here I had ridden with the tandem team. At the base of Hwy
67 I knew the first 1.5 miles of the next 8 miles was steep. It is about 8.5% grade and I knew I could drop the
tandem here and create a big gap. I accelerated, (didn't need to "attack") rode the tandem off my wheel and didn't
see them for the rest of the event. Climbing Hwy 67, I thought of the previous year's event when Brandy and I
flatted on our tandem partway up the climb. I felt good on the climb. Rain and more rain throughout the climb.