11 September 2008

2008-09-11 Peñasquitos ride with Andreas

Andreas, or Andy as he goes by now, and I met many years ago as Scuba Divers. I was just starting out in diving and so was he. We dove together several times at La Jolla Shores and probably a few other places too. One zig for me and one zag for him, and it was like going swimming on opposite sides of a big kelp plant in coastal waters--you'll never find each other again. So, we fell out of touch for several years, mutually forgotten, until, that is, he pulled up behind me at Joe Lawwill's BikeSkills clinic. We saw each other again on the Indian Creek Trail while I was on the Mt. Laguna Great Outdoors camping trip. I was riding by myself, but had hooked up with a good rider, and he was riding with the DirtTreaders.Com group. After some mishaps with email, I was finally able to get registered at DirtTreaders.com and that's where I saw the info about the Peñasquitos after work ride.

I decided that instead of commuting on my road bike between home and work, I would instead drive to work, bringing my MtB and ride with him at Peñasquitos in the evening. After all, I have been saying that given the opportunity to ride for pleasure, I'd take a MtB any day over riding on the road.

We met at the agreed upon location and we were actually on the trail no more than a minute later than our 5:30 departure time. We rode to Wagon Wheel Crossing, crossed the creek and continued on the road until the first climb. Since I was in the lead, I took control of the route and headed up the hill. It's not an easy climb and Andreas' heavier bike and lower endurance level showed, but he made it to the top. He did comment though that he hated climbing. As we rode on, I asked him whether he wanted to go up further or down. He chose down. What I had failed to mention was that the uphill was about 30 feet and would have left us on top of the mesa, whereas going down meant that we had another longish climb to get back up to the same elevation.

That said, the downhill was fun. Once we got back to the main east-west trail, we continued until we hit Powerline and headed up to the mesa. From there, Andreas asked me if I wanted to do "Rocking Horse". Not knowing realizing that the name "Rocking Horse" was the tunnel trail that had an old rocking horse at the top of it. So, we zipped down. Andreas, far more familiar with the ride than I was faster on the downhill through all the twisted and slanting trees. I still get a little freaked out by how close I must be coming to hitting the handlebar on a tree. There were points, however, where I really felt like I was one with the bike and the trail and the trees and I was zipping through, keeping up with Andreas, and probably pushing him a bit.

We did a couple of loops through Tunnels and then headed back. By the time we got to the top of Shits, it was time to put on the lights. After a long fiddling around with putting the light mount onto the helmet, I realize how much faster it is to mount my light because I leave the mount on the helmet all the time.

We zipped through Shits and back to the car. I tried to do the jumps, but wasn't feeling positive about my skills so I didn't hit the launch with enough force and just rolled over the top. Maybe I'll take a class out in Moab on jumping...

All in all, a nice ride. I would probably have finished the ride faster than we did, but Andreas is a good strong rider who is only going to get better. With only 7 months of riding under his belt, he's very proficient. I hope we ride together more often.