The alarm goes off at 4:15 AM. Put on my kit, bike in the car and off to Coronado for the start of the SD Randos Coronado 300K brevet.
We were scheduled to start at 6:00. By 5:40 the riders were looking around for our Regional Brevet Administrator, Dennis. Jamie was there, who was volunteering for the event, but he did not have the brevet cards. About 5:50 Jamie called Dennis. Oops, Dennis thought we were starting at 7:00. He’s on his way.
Dennis arrives, goes over a few instructions and we are off at 6:15. South along the strand in Coronado. Coronado is an island, well really a peninsula since it is attached at the southern end, but they call it an island. Anyway, we head south, then around Chula Vista to Bonita, down to Otay Lakes, and then we head east.
Heading east in San Diego means heading toward the hills/mountains. Heading east on Otay Lakes road means making small gains in elevation for about 20 miles, a turn onto highway 94 for a nano second, then a turn onto Honey Spring Road where the fun begins!
Honey Springs Road is a 6 mile climb that gains about 1,600 feet. Prior to the climb was our first control, manned by Jamie. Water, bananas, grapes, and cookies! A well stocked control for a self-supported brevet. Thanks, Jamie! Then a quick one mile descent and a turn on Lyons Valley Road. Lyons Valley leads to Japatul Valley Road. Some up, some down, and eventually a lot more up than down, especially as Japatul Valley heads to Descanzo which is our second control. Greg is handling duties here with water, bananas, cliff bars, and bagels. I ran out of liquid about 5 miles prior to the stop, and started rationing about 12 miles out, so I’m a bit parched here. I go into the store for some Gatorade, a red bull, and a V8, and take a bit of a break to get replenished.
We are now on Highway 79 heading north, into Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. And we are climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more, before summiting between the Paso Picacho Campground and Lake Cuyamaca. Just about 5,000 feet. Finally a descent. Then more climbing, then a descent. We are now in historic Julian. Famous for its apple pie. There will be none of that today, I just want to start the downhills!
Previously anytime I have ridden through Julian, I just take 78 east to Santa Ysabel. This route had us go north on Farmers Road. Okay, pretty quiet, but all of the sudden we are climbing a bit, I’m in my 34x27, standing and really grinding. I look at my Garmin and see I am on a 20 percent gradient! Luckily it was a short pitch, but ouch. I guess this section was the rando tribute to the Giro. The treat to this was the super-technical downhill of Wynola Road back to the 78. Downhill to Ramona, and the next control.
A slight climb out of Ramona, then a bombing descent into Lakeside. Enjoy it, after Lakeside it’s a climb all the way to Alpine, the final control before the finish. After a chicken sandwich and Carl’s along with some chit chat with other riders, and realizing we had two Ironmen on this brevet, it was off for more climbing. About those two ironmen, I’m not just talking about guys that accomplished a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and running a full marathon in the same day. I’m talking about two guys that put up real impressive times. Mark did Louisville in 10:34 (apologies if I’m off a bit). I asked if that qualified for Kona, as I’m thinking that’s a great time. He said not even close, you generally have to break 10 hours. Jerald did Arizona in about 9:30 and did qualify for Kona. Okay, I’m beyond impressed.
Some more climbs and I finally return to Honey Springs Road, this time from the other side, which means a one mile climb, then a 6 mile descent. Yahoo! After peaking at 46 MPH, I’m back on Otay Lakes Road. We came back into Coronado a bit differently as we took Olympic Parkway, which means passing the Olympic Training Center. No matter how tired one is, seeing those rings, and the legs find a bit of juice. Mark had passed me on one of the climbs, but I see him, as he is finishing fixing a flat. We ride in together the last 15 or 20 miles.
Tim is handling the paperwork at the finish with some pizza, cookies, and coke. I don’t know why but a Coke tastes great after 190 miles.
Overall I was disappointed in my time for this ride. I took longer at the controls, but felt like I needed the recovery. I think I’m still a little fatigued and not 100 percent after my cold the previous week. The lungs were pretty good, but my legs seemed to tire much quicker. And the climbs seemed twice as challenging as they should have.
The stats: 190.82 miles. 12,313 feet of elevation gain. Highest elevation, 5,000 feet. Lowest: Sea Level. Top Speed: 46MPH.
Thank you to Dennis, Jamie, Greg, and Tim for volunteering and putting the event on. It was a good, albeit challenging route.
See the ride on Garmin Connect:http://connect.garmin.com/activity/37481940