|Giro di San Diego registration tent at Bike Expo in Solana Beach.|
|Race packet contents|
|Race bible has maps of all the fondo rides.|
|I arrived an hour before start time to find stuff still being set up.|
|Registration area the morning of the ride. Volunteers wore neon green t-shirts.|
|Revolution Bike Shop mechanics checking bikes out before start time.|
|First group of gran fondo riders at the start line.|
Elfin Forest Rd was still under construction, so all the fondo routes were re-routed up San Elijo Rd toward San Marcos.
The gran fondo and the medio fondo riders went all the way thru to Escondido. Our first aid station was on Valley Center Rd just south of Lake Wohlford Rd. The volunteers here didn't get their neon green shirt, but still managed to feed us hungry cyclists delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, watermelon, chips and sport drinks.
|Up Valley Center Rd toward the mountains|
|Man, was I glad we climbed Cole Grade Rd from the south side...|
By the time I hit the base of Palomar South Grade Rd the sun was feeling macho and seemed bent on scorching the joy out of all living things. There was a company of paramedic at the turn off with warm coolers of water and a bunch of O2 tanks. Their thermometer read 103F and quite a few exhausted riders lined up to be revived by some fresh gas.
|Riders taking a breather in a shaded spot along S6 up Palomar Mtn. SAG cars along the route provided energy bars and water.|
|Never saw any cow on the mountain, but there are 4 cow crossings along South Grade Rd that were icky to ride over.|
|Yes, I got passed by a few really fit ladies... I plead guilty to being slow!|
Half way up I passed one exhausted rider walking his bike up. The dude was spent, but still wasn't willing to give up! Another dude ran out of water and food a mile or so from the top. Luckily I started with 3 bottles and still had one nearly full one left then, so I half the liquid with him and gave him my last energy gel before going on up the road. He came riding up a bit after. Gotta give these riders kudos. They were down, but they refused to throw in the towel!
There was a volunteer guy at the base of the climb (on Hwy76 just past Valley Center Rd) recording our bib number and time for the King of the Mountain contest. There wasn't anyone recording our finish time on the top of the road by the time I got there, though. At any rate, plenty other volunteers were there in front of Mother's Kitchen with tablefuls of goodies; apple pie wedges, watermelon slices, chips (good source of replacement salt!), and more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with bottles of Pepsi and sport drinks.
You'll pardon me for not taking any photo on my way down twisty South Grade Rd... I maybe moderately crazy but I'm not suicidal. Thank you very much. I did turn back and took a shot at a group coming down Lake Wohlford Rd after me while waiting for the traffic light to turn green. That was my last road shot of the day, though. It was almost 3PM then and I was overheated beyond caring. To heck with fishing out the camera to shoot anything. I just wanted to make it back to Solana Beach before dark!
|The salad was soggy and the pasta cold, but the lemonade and the iced tea were cold and tasted wonderful!|
Thanks very much again to all the volunteers at the gran fondo!
- Giro di San Diego gran fondo official website
- My pre-ride of the mountain part of the gran fondo route