Bike cleaning, great food & a big ride

Coronado was well worth a look, as the bridge over is not far from where we are staying in San Diego. We moseyed around late Friday morning, found some great ginger beer in a Scottish shop (not quite sure what that was doing there, but the accent was great) & generally looked over the harbour at the city while chatting with a very talkative gallery owner.

The afternoon had been long ago handed over to bike maintenance at Chip’s place. My bike was still filthy from its Utah & Colorado muddy adventures & just altogether greasy. So it was great to hang out with Chip (I met & rode with him a bit last time I was here, we’ve obviously kept in touch) & pull various parts of my bike to bits. A short trip to the LBS (local bike shop) later I had been converted to a Geax Saguaro on the rear (back to tubeless, the tire was so hard to get on the rim I don’t see it coming off any time soon).  After riding on it for a day, I’m not entirely won over – it didn’t seem to give as much climbing traction as the Crossmark.

All the time I was tinkering with my bike Chip & Dale (a coincidence I assure you) had been preparing a feast for us. Over the last two years I’d got the impression that the food served around here is fantastic, so I was pleased to see this great looking barbecue in action.

The homemade bread was delicious, the barbecued chicken & ribs absolutely fantastic and the homemade strudel so good Valerie managed to down a whole one. With some good wine & a lot of travel & bike stories it was definitely the most memorable meal of the trip so far. Thanks so much for having us in your home,, Chip & Dale – I can’t say much more, I don’t want it going to your heads.

It wasn’t a late night, however, as Chip had organised a big ride for early Saturday morning. With most of an hour’s driving out of the way, nineteen of us were on our bikes by 7.45. We were riding a big loop around the Cuyamacas – I’d done this same loop (or a similar one) with a few of the same people last time, but in reverse. I’m not quite sure how we ended up with so many people, but it was fun – even if it did end up breaking up into two or three smaller groups at times.

It was a nice morning for a ride, not too hot, clear & usually there was enough breeze to keep the annoying bugs away. We ended up doing 50km/31 miles & there was a fair bit of climbing involved (1200m). I mostly sat in the back group just hanging out & cruising along in the middle ring pretending I was slower than I am – was good fun. Although a long ride, it wasn’t too technical (some short sections up required a little pushing) so I wasn’t as tired by the end of it as I expected – hungry though. I think because I’d ridden it before I didn’t end taking a lot of photos, but here are a few.

Despite having been told by many that riding the loop anti-clockwise was better, I’m not so sure. The climbing was definitely easier, but the way we went yesterday had a big downhill on a fireroad – reading my post of last time I rode here, I was definitely more excited about the down sections going clockwise. Still, it was wonderful ride – the longest of the trip so far, so that’s got to be good for the legs.

I wasn’t long home & showered & I got a text from Andrea, so I spent the evening in PB (Pacific Beach) with her & some of her friends – very nice to catch up & see a familiar Kiwi face. It was great just to be driving back into the area; the scenery is always good in PB. It turned into a bigger night than I’ve had for quite sometime (which is not altogether difficult), so I’m not sure if I’m tired from the ride or not getting to bed (couch) until late. Best thing was the lack of mugging. But the sun is out now, so we should go & explore San Diego a little more.

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